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BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security

Course Overview

Systems and device failures have the potential to endanger human life, undermine the safety and viability of industrial and commercial systems, and fuel criminal activity.

BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security course will equip you with the academic and practical skills that are required for you to play your part in combating fraud and malice, while developing secure networks and communication systems. The study will see you designing, implementing and evaluating identification systems, data capture systems and communications networks and their associated security protocols.

Following the Cisco CCNA curriculum, you’ll investigate protocols, TCP/IP, routing protocols and management of networks.

You’ll also explore computer programming and aspects of security encryption and network security, gaining the skills to specify and develop elements of a secure system, integrating hardware, software and business elements.

The course will also require you to develop the necessary analytical skills needed for computer networking, as well as an in-depth understanding of the technologies employed in Local and Wide Area Networks.

Key information

    Course name

    BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security

    Total academic credits

    360 credits

    Qualification awarded

    BSc with honours

    Awarding body

    Birmingham City University

    Professional recognition

    The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

    Academic level

    Undergraduate (QCF_NQF Level 6)

    Study mode

    Full time – Classroom & Laboratory based


    3 or 4 years

    Tuition fees

    £12,000 per year



    Work placement


    Course location


Academic entry requirements

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. GCE A Level/ AS Level with BBC at A Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.

Progression route

Further academic study at postgraduate level or professional career.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this course are able to embark upon careers not only in the specialist field of computer networking but also in IT/information security industry (particularly in relation to cyber/network security) as network administrator, network and security engineer/designer/manager/consultant, planning analyst, LAN/WAN support in IT/information/cyber security companies, cybercrime investigation companies, the police force, government agencies, etc.


Year 1

  • Professional Context of Technology (15 credits)
  • Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Computer Systems Technology (30 credits)
  • Visual Programming (30 credits)
  • Computer Networking Basics (30 credits)


Year 2

  • Management in Technology Innovation (15 credits)
  • Open Systems (15 credits)
  • Data Capture Technology (30 credits)
  • Security Systems Theory (30 credits)
  • Switched LANS and WANS (30 credits)


Placement year

You'll be encouraged to further enhance your career prospects by including an industrial placement in your course. This takes place after the second year of study and extends the course duration to four years.

As well as providing the workplace experience sought by many employers, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity for you to further develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. 


Year 3

  • Individual Projects (30 credits)
  • Personal ID and Authentication Systems (30 credits)
  • Advanced Networking Technologies (30 credits)
  • Network Design and Management (30 credits)


Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods are employed, the criteria for each module being published within each specified module guide and assignment briefs. Knowledge is assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open- and closedbook), presentations, and practical work. Assessment breakdown: written exams (24%), coursework (66%), practical exams (10%).


Reasons for choosing this course

Developments in high speed digital communication systems and computer networks have created demand for professionals with a broad knowledge and practical skills in data networking, intelligent devices who are able to evaluate communications networks and design and implement secure network systems. The course aims to address this need through a broadly-based and stimulating curriculum which places emphasis on active and participative learning to produce professionals that will be able to play a significant role in system design and implementation across a range of rapidly developing computer network related areas.

The aim of the programme are to:

  • provide a rewarding learning experience which combines study of communications networks, security systems and technologies, product and asset tracking and traceability, programming for networks and business management relevant to industrial and commercial environments
  • enable students to develop skills to specify and design and implement elements of an ICT system, integrating hardware, software and business aspects in compliance with appropriate standards
  • provide an understanding of commercial, social and business factors which influence technical solutions to solve problems
  • satisfy accreditation requirements of the relevant professional bodies and provide a basis for professional development and further educational progress


Main learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of secure networking systems, and its underpinning science and mathematics
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts, principles and theories of network technologies that underpin information transfer and data communications
  • demonstrate appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary computer networking context and its underlying principles
  • demonstrate appreciation of the social, environmental and commercial considerations that impact on the processes of computer networking
  • apply business management and organisational theories and techniques applied to a successful computer network enterprise with the legal and regulatory systems within which they operate
  • demonstrate understanding of relevant ethical, legal and professional issues applicable to rapidly evolving technology based business


Intellectual skills

  • use proficiently information and materials from a variety of sources for independent enquiry and learning
  • demonstrate creative and innovative ability in the synthesis of solutions and in formulating designs in secure computer network systems
  • draw independent conclusions based on a rigorous, analytical and critical assessment of argument, opinion and data
  • analyse the information requirements of an organisation in the achievement of its business goals
  • apply appropriate quantitative computer networking and engineering tools to the analysis of problems
  • select appropriate software tools and techniques for the implementation of network applications
  • apply relevant analytical and modelling techniques for specification and design of security based systems


Practical skills

  • demonstrate practical skills acquired through work carried out in laboratories and workshops in individual and/or group project work
  • manage a major project in a computer networking field
  • design and implement hardware and software solutions in data capture technologies
  • set up, test and administer systems for effective use
  • implement applications using appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques
  • troubleshoot and diagnose network systems using appropriate procedures and tools


Transferable/key skills

  • monitor, record, present, analyse and interpret data
  • use Information and Communications Technology
  • communicate effectively through written and presentation tasks
  • manage time, prioritise activities and work to timescales
  • reflect on progress and plan for personal and career development