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From the Internet to cloud computing, social networking, and multimedia streaming, computer networks and security play a vital role in all aspects of business, government and public services.
On this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security degree course, you’ll learn to develop and manage sophisticated computer networks and infrastructure security solutions, and get hands-on with the latest technologies such as servers, mobile applications, the cloud and security networks.
- Configure, manage and experiment with different industry-leading network technologies and applications
- Develop practical and theoretical skills in designing, building, troubleshooting and managing complex secure network systems using real world scenarios, such as a computer network for a bank
- Work with our private cloud environment to learn about virtualisation and cloud computing, and use industry-leading network modelling and emulation platforms, such as VMware vSphere and Workstation Pro
- Gain the skills to secure computer networking infrastructures, and understand specialist technologies including firewalls and cyber security
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 (The Chartered Institute for IT), fully meeting the educational requirement for CITP and partially meeting the educational requirement for CEng.
The University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of the modern universities for research quality in computer science and informatics
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
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 and Security degree entry requirements
- UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
- A levels - BBB-BBC, to include a relevant subject.
Relevant subjects: Mathematics; Further Mathematics; Statistics; Computer Science; Software Systems Development; Electronics; Physics; Information Technology; Economics.
- T-levels - Merit
Acceptable T Level Subjects:: T Level in Digital: Digital Production, Design and Development, T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Digital Business Services, T Level in Digital Support and Services, T Level in Science, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control, T Level in Accounting (if mathematical components are passed), T Level in Finance (if mathematical components are passed)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
- International Baccalaureate - 29
You may need to have studied specific subjects – find 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.
We look at more than just your grades
While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.
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.
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.
System Administration and Networking Suite
Our System Administration and Networking Suite provides an environment for large-scale network simulation experiments.
Device loans library
Find out more about the equipment available for our students to borrow from our device loans library – from smart watches to Raspberry Pi devices.
One of the best things about the course is it’s very hands on. You learn by doing and not just theory.
Careers and opportunities
There's a recognised shortage of capable computer networking and security professionals worldwide, and that trend will only continue as the infrastructure that supports our digital economy grows and matures. 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, cloud and security technologies.
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 chance 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
- Core Computing Concepts for Cyber Security – 20 credits
- Networking Essentials – 20 credits
- Programming – 40 credits
- System Administration and Internetworking – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Network Servers and Services – 20 credits
- Ethical Hacking – 20 credits
- Cloud Computing – 20 credits
- Enterprise Networking – 20 credits
- Security and Cryptography – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Big Data – 20 credits
- Business Information Systems Security – 20 credits
- Computing Undergraduate Ambassador – 20 credits
- Web Programming – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
Core modules in this year include:
- Individual Project (Engineering) – 40 credits
- Network Design and ISP Solutions – 20 credits
- IT and Internetworking Security – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Complex Problem Solving – 20 credits
- Malware Forensics – 20 credits
- Artificial Intelligence – 20 credits
- Distributed Systems and Security – 20 credits
- Internet of Things – 20 credits
On this course, you can do an optional study abroad or work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years, or after your third year, to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.
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.
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.
Costs and funding
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship)
- International (non-EU) students – £20,200 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
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.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying and memory sticks.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
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 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – I124 (BSc)
- 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.
Applying from outside the UK
As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things.
You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
Find out what additional information you need in 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.