Mode of StudyFull-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start dateSeptember 2023
From the Internet to cloud computing, social networking, and multimedia streaming, computer networks play a vital role in all aspects of business, government and public services.
On this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree course, you’ll learn to develop and manage sophisticated computer networks solutions and get hands on with the latest technologies, such as servers, mobile applications and security networks.
The University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of the modern universities for research quality in computer science and informatics
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
- Configure, manage and experiment with different network technologies and web applications
- Specialise in topics such as security, big data, Internet of Things, management or business and innovation
- Take on practical network design projects, such as designing a real computer network for a bank
- Work with our private cloud environment to learn about virtualisation and cloud computing, and use network analysis tools such as OPNET and Wireshark
- Apply your skills through our work with charities and organisations such as Code Club, where you'll help 9-13-year-olds with their Scratch, HTML/CSS, and Python projects
- Benefit from our Student Union clubs and societies, such as the IT Society, AI and Robotics Club and Gaming Society
I love the problem-solving aspect of my course. There’s always issues that need to be solved and it’s about figuring out how to solve them.
of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course
(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)
Cisco Networking Academy and VMware IT Academy
Not only will you develop skills that can make a mark on the future of the industry, you’ll also have the option to join our Cisco Networking Academy or VMware IT Academy to add an industry-recognised Cisco or VMware certification to your degree, such as CCNA, CCNP, VMware Certifications on Security, Virtual Cloud, Data Center Virtualisation, and Cloud Management and Automation.
This course is accredited by the British Computer Society, partially meeting the educational requirement for CITP.
CISCO Networking Academy
Our CISCO Networking Academy blends face-to-face teaching with web-based curriculum, hands-on lab exercises, and Internet-based assessment. You can practice, experiment, learn and share your work using our bespoke networking labs equipped with the latest Cisco networking devices. The teaching is delivered by fully qualified Cisco Academy instructors.
BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree entry requirements
- A levels – ABB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–128 points, including an A Level in a relevant subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- T levels – Merit
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't 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.
Discover Computer Networks
Eleanor: My name is Eleanor Abbiss and I study computer networks. It's about creating first world basic understanding so you learn about Windows and you learn about Linux operating systems. As well as creating your own networks, you each have your own pod and then you use that to configure your own network in here.
You are given a design and you need to fit all the routers and switches to that design. I love the problem solving aspect of my course. There's always issues that need to be solved and it's about figuring out how best to solve those problems, so that in the future you then "I know, I've had the problem before, I know how to fix it this time" and it's all about constantly evolving. Networking is constantly evolving.
I chose Portsmouth because it was the number one university for Computer Networks. They're building a new Cisco Suite which is great, and you'll be able to do your CCNA here as well as studying your degree at the same time.
Careers and opportunities
The current shortage of networking and IT professionals will only grow as the importance of computer networks in all areas of society increases. Your skill set will be in high demand across many sectors when you graduate, opening doors to careers in all roles related to computer networks.
In fact, 95% of graduates from this course are in work or further study 15 months after graduation, with 100% of those asked also saying they find their current work meaningful. What's more, once you have some experience in industry, you can expect an average salary from £35,000 to £55,000 as a network engineer.
Our graduates have worked for companies such as:
- BAE Systems
- Morgan Stanley
- Lockheed Martin
- Deutsche Bank
What jobs can you do with a computer networks degree?
Our graduates now work in roles including:
- solutions architect
- network engineer
- presales technical consultant
- service desk engineer
- network and systems engineer
Ongoing careers support
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
Placement year opportunities
Taking an optional placement year gives you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation. You could work in a paid role in a professional organisation or set up your own business, giving you the change to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.
We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.
Previous students have taken placement roles such as:
- network engineer intern
- network operations analyst
- business operations intern
- junior operations analyst
- technical operations undergraduate
They've completed placements at organisations including:
- CX Labs (Cisco)
- Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
What you'll study
Core modules in this year include:
- Architecture and Operating Systems – 20 credits
- Comp Tutorial Level 4 – 0 credits
- Core Computing Concepts – 20 credits
- Database Systems Development – 20 credits
- Networking Essentials – 40 credits
- System Administration and Internetworking – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Comp Tutorial Level 5 – 0 credits
- Network Servers and Services – 20 credits
- Network Simulation and Traffic Management – 20 credits
- Routing and Switching – 20 credits
- Virtualisation and Cloud Computing – 20 credits
- Wide Area Networks – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Big Data – 20 credits
- Computing Undergraduate Ambassador – 20 credits
- Ethical Hacking – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Comp Tutorial Level 6 – 0 credits
- Enterprise and ISP Network Solutions – 20 credits
- Individual Project (engineering) – 40 credits
- Network Design – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Distributed Systems and Security – 20 credits
- Fuzzy Systems and Networks – 20 credits
- Hacking 4 Mod – 20 credits
- Internet of Things – 20 credits
- Malware Forensics – 20 credits
- Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms – 20 credits
- Wireless Networks – 20 credits
Teaching methods on this course include:
- laboratory work
- practical work
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- technical reports and logbooks
- written exams
- mini projects
- case studies
- group assignments
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 all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get 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
- 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.
Course costs and funding
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)
How to apply
To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – I122
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can 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.
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.