STANDARD LICENSE; PLEASE SEE ADDITIONAL ASSET FOR FULL LICENSE TERMS.

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time (September start), 16 months full-time (January start), 3 years part-time (September start)

Start date

January 2023, September 2023, January 2024

Accredited

Yes

Overview

Secure and streamline the computer systems that underpin businesses big and small with this practical MSc in Computer Network Administration and Management. 

You'll study the principles and practice of systems administration and management, analysing and designing networks in our high-performance computing labs. You'll use our cloud server and virtualised machines as you explore the efficiency and security of your systems, and get insights into the practices of industry partners like Cisco with guest lectures and field trips to data centres. 

When you graduate, you'll have the technical and problem-solving skills for a career keeping business running. Your study will help prepare you for industry qualifications, with module outcomes that get you ready for VMWare certification. 

You can start this course in September or January (full time only in January).

The University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of the modern universities for research quality in computer science and informatics

Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2021
Read more about our computer science research

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Join an long-established and accredited course that's recognised by networking industries and major businesses, like HSBC and BAE Systems
  • Get hands-on experience of configuring and optimising secure networks, and build client, server and middleware aspects of internet applications
  • Have access to over 250 servers in our £1 million network laboratory, featuring the latest computer networks and communication systems
  • Work on solving a significant communications system or network planning problem in your Master's project
  • Use your learning toward professional certification, including VMWare certificates
  • Learn from a close team of academics, visiting lecturers from industry partners, and field trips to active data centres
  • Get a free hard drive to store your work on while you study
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT), partially meeting the educational requirement for CITP.

Our Cisco Networking Academy blends face-to-face teaching with web-based curriculum, hands-on lab exercises, and internet-based assessment. Students can practice, experiment, learn and share their work using our bespoke networking labs equipped with the latest Cisco networking devices. The teaching is delivered by fully qualified Cisco Academy instructors.

What you'll study on this MSc Computer Network Administration and Management degree course

Full-time

All modules on this MSc Computer Network Administration and Management are core.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise the principles of Cloud Computing and their applications in common business scenarios.
  • Evaluate service provisioning in Cloud Computing data centers and optimise their operation to meet user requirements.
  • Design business models and implement the corresponding Cloud solutions for specific applications and assess the resulting benefits.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise the different properties attained by the specification and design of security protocols.
  • Create and critique access control models and policies in networked systems.
  • Analyse and evaluate security in network systems via the analysis of data.

Explore this module

Additional content

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse network requirements, business goals, constrains, and tradeoffs and justify network design decisions.
  • Use appropriate tools, theoretical and algorithmic techniques for modelling and design of enterprise networks and for simulating different design scenarios.
  • Appraise the need for network management and discuss the benefits and limitations of different network management functions.
  • Design and develop Web-based GUIs with client-server interaction using relevant client and server-side technologies and databases, to meet specific business requirements.

Explore this module

Additional content

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise theories, standards and methodologies for efficient, secure and reliable system configuration and management.
  • Design effective approaches for installing, configuring and managing Linux-based operating systems, including networking and virtualised environments.
  • Evaluate system configurations, networked computing solutions, and implemented management practices according to specific business requirements.

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Investigate and solve a significant practical or (discipline) theoretical problem arising out of the material in their current programme of studies.
  • Plan, manage, evaluate and reflect upon a significant project over an extended period of time.
  • Critically appraise and reflect upon the range of methods, data collection and analysis, in research related to their field and in relation to the dissertation.
  • Select and apply to research, appropriate research methods and apply them to their problems, showing awareness of relevant ethical, social, professional and legal factors.
  • Evaluate and critique research material effectively in the solution of the problem.
  • Assemble a coherent presentation of the outcomes of a masters level project in written and oral form.

Explore this module

Part-time

All modules on this MSc Computer Network Administration and Management are core.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise the different properties attained by the specification and design of security protocols.
  • Create and critique access control models and policies in networked systems.
  • Analyse and evaluate security in network systems via the analysis of data.

Explore this module

Additional content

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse network requirements, business goals, constrains, and tradeoffs and justify network design decisions.
  • Use appropriate tools, theoretical and algorithmic techniques for modelling and design of enterprise networks and for simulating different design scenarios.
  • Appraise the need for network management and discuss the benefits and limitations of different network management functions.
  • Design and develop Web-based GUIs with client-server interaction using relevant client and server-side technologies and databases, to meet specific business requirements.

Explore this module

All modules on this MSc Computer Network Administration and Management are core.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise the principles of Cloud Computing and their applications in common business scenarios.
  • Evaluate service provisioning in Cloud Computing data centers and optimise their operation to meet user requirements.
  • Design business models and implement the corresponding Cloud solutions for specific applications and assess the resulting benefits.

Explore this module

Additional content

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise theories, standards and methodologies for efficient, secure and reliable system configuration and management.
  • Design effective approaches for installing, configuring and managing Linux-based operating systems, including networking and virtualised environments.
  • Evaluate system configurations, networked computing solutions, and implemented management practices according to specific business requirements.

Explore this module

All modules on this MSc Computer Network Administration and Management are core.

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Investigate and solve a significant practical or (discipline) theoretical problem arising out of the material in their current programme of studies.
  • Plan, manage, evaluate and reflect upon a significant project over an extended period of time.
  • Critically appraise and reflect upon the range of methods, data collection and analysis, in research related to their field and in relation to the dissertation.
  • Select and apply to research, appropriate research methods and apply them to their problems, showing awareness of relevant ethical, social, professional and legal factors.
  • Evaluate and critique research material effectively in the solution of the problem.
  • Assemble a coherent presentation of the outcomes of a masters level project in written and oral form.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

The interconnected business world increasingly depends on computer networks – global recruitment agency Robert Half finds that the UK had "more network engineer jobs than there are professionals to fill them" in 2022. With this Master's, you'll be able to show your fitness for senior roles in a industry already calling out for your professional skills. 

You'll graduate with demonstrable expertise in the computer networking sector's systems and processes, with experience of industry-standard hardware. You'll have made senior-level industry contacts through your project, visiting speakers and your lecturers' consultancy partners, plus access to professional certification.

Beyond network management, you could work in an in-house accounting and finance system, a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), or a corporate-wide data system in an international organisation. You'll also be well-placed to follow an academic career by studying for a PhD

Graduates of this course could go onto roles such as:

  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Manager
  • Network Designer
  • IT Manager
  • System Consultant
  • University Lecturer or Researcher

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert careers advice from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Student Placements and Employability Centre. You can access support from our Careers and Employability Centre for up to 5 years after you graduate.

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council
  • 1-to-1 appointments  
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Facilities

Cisco Networking Academy

Use our bespoke network laboratory with in-lab and remote access to over 200 routers and switches in a data-centre environment. The lab also has specialist dual-boot (Linux and Windows) PCs and a private cloud, for implementing and testing virtualised computing and network infrastructures.

Learn more

High Performance Computing Laboratory

Our most powerful hardware for working with big data. Fitted with a Hadoop Cluster with 12 nodes, 144 virtual cores and 384GB RAM for completing process heavy tasks.

Learn more

Maths cafe

No problem is too small or too tough for our Maths Café tutors, who are on hand every day during term-time to help you if you get stuck or need something explained.

Learn more about the Maths Café

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure 

This Master's degree will take:

  • 3 years (part-time study)
  • 12 months (full-time study, September start)
  • 16 months (full time study, January start)

In the last 3 months of the course you'll be focusing on your research project.

Full-time study

You can expect:

  • 10 hours of teaching time every week, made up of lectures and tutorials . 
  • 20 hours of independent study each week, depending on the modules being studied.

We do our best to keep all full-time teaching within 3 days, leaving you the rest of the week for work experience or self-guided study. You'll be able to access the hardware and labs you need whenever you're on campus.

Part-time study

You can expect:

  • 3–4 hours of teaching time every week, made up of lectures and tutorials.
  • 6–8 hours of independent study each week, depending on the modules being studied.

We do our best to keep all part-time teaching within 2 days, leaving you the rest of the week for work experience or self-guided study. You'll be able to access the hardware and labs you need whenever you're on campus.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching on this course is highly practical, including tutorial and laboratory sessions. You'll also attend lectures covering the theoretical material you're putting into practice. 

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • coursework assignments
  • a laboratory report

You'll also plan and deliver a project or dissertation exploring a subject that interests you in depth. Previous dissertation topics have covered subjects including:

  • Internet of Things and blockchain security
  • How social media marketing drives business
  • Machine learning techniques
  • Cloud-based apps supporting long-term health conditions

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Shikun Zhou Portrait

Dr Shikun Zhou

Senior Lecturer

Shikun.Zhou@port.ac.uk

School of Computing

Faculty of Technology

PhD Supervisor

Read more
User profile default icon

Mr Ioannis Kagalidis

Senior Lecturer

Ioannis.Kagalidis@port.ac.uk

PhD Supervisor

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (January 2023 and September 2024 start)

  • Full time: £9,900
  • Part time: £3,300 per year

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £9,900
  • Part-time: £3,300 per year
  • Full time: £19,200
  • Part time: £6,400 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Find out more how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover. 

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for postgraduate taught courses

Discover how you can fund your postgraduate studies at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.

Explore funding

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

January 2023

  • An upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 (or equivalent) with no component score below 5.5.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

September 2023 / January 2024

  • An upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 (or equivalent) with no component score below 5.5.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

September: standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 3 years

January: standard applications

Start this course in January 2023

Apply now (Full-time) – 16 months

Start this course in January 2024

Apply now (Full-time) – 16 months

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.