Developed in partnership with Cisco and Microsoft, build the skills and knowledge that employers need in a range of professional IT careers related to networks and administration with this foundation degree, and lay the groundwork for further education and a successful future career.

Enhance your abilities if you’re already working in networking, or start developing your expertise for a career in this field, and gain
vendor certifications in industry standard products like Microsoft MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). You can even complete the Linux (LPI) and Administration qualification that’s often requested by the IT industry.

Advance your practical skills in networking with Cisco Systems Administration within the infrastructure, implementation of active directory and troubleshooting, and in the use of the latest versions of Windows Server operating system and Linux Distro’s and Server setups. And with additional units and work-related learning, you’ll prepare yourself for successful future employment in this industry.

Openshaw Campus
Full Time
2 years
August 2020
Awarding Partner:
Manchester Metropolitan University
Our team are committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

• Students that have passed a recognised Access programme will also be considered

• GCSE English Language and Mathematics A* to C or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded

• 64 UCAS Tariff Points
Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) who are able to demonstrate relevant skills or knowledge gained in employment or vocational activity will be considered and may be invited to interview.

An interview is required for those applying who do not meet the entry requirement.

You will be asked to write a 500 word academic report to gain an understanding of your writing skills prior to the course.

Year 1: Linux Fundamentals with Administration (30 credits)
Explore the ethos and concept behind open source, study the theory required to maximise the usefulness of Linux, and practice designing, implementing and managing a Linux based virtual networ

Year 1: Network Security and Software Management (30 credits)
Discuss the important factors when designing a secure network, by identifying potential threats and risks both internally and externally, before designing, implementing and managing a solution, while trying to attack the network.

Year 1: Networking with Routing and Switching (30 credits)
Learn fundamental networking concepts and technologies and develop the skills necessary to plan and implement small networks across a range of applications, using routers and switching technolog

Year 1: Professional and Academic Development (30 credits)
Focus on developing and re-enforcing your critical, analytical, academic and linguistic skills, enhancing your overall knowledge and preparing you for existing or potential professional careers.

Year 2: Advanced Network Design with Security and Environmental Factors (30 credits)
Explore additional factors that affect the design of a network, including legal, ethical and social implications, and the provision of an efficient service, that all require confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Explore additional factors that affect the design of a network, including legal, ethical and social implications, and the provision of an efficient service, that all require confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Year 2: Practice-based Research Project (30 credits)
Conduct your own small scale research project, with the research methods, knowledge and skills you’ve learnt.

Year 2: Scaling and Connecting Networks in a WAN (30 credits)
Examine the WAN technologies and network services required by converged applications in a complex network, and explore the selection criteria of network devices and WAN technologies to meet network requirement

Year 2: Vitual Desktop Infrastructure (30 credits)
Understand the principles of virtualised desktops, via the deployment of virtual server and desktop environments.
Hunt, C. (2015) TCP/IP Network Administration

Maiwald, E. (2016) Network Security: A Beginner’s Guide

Cisco Networking Academy (2017) Routing and Switching Essentials: Companion Guide

Bolton, G.E.J. (2016) Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development
A range of assessment methods are used and could be in the form of the following:

• Reports
• Oral presentations
• Group work
• Practical assignments
• Time constrained tests
• Peer assessment
• Live industry briefs.

Each module is structure is broken down as follows:

• Summative Assessment 25%
• Directed Study 30%
• Student-centred Learning 45%
With a national shortage of computer and network technology specialists, you’ll be highly sought after with this qualification, and able to work across a number of roles, including:

• Network Engineers
• Network administrator
• Network Consultant
• Wireless Network Field Engineer
• Network Support Technician
• Linux Administrator

Starting salaries for graduates are usually around £20,000 to £25,000 per annum. With a years' experience, you can command up to £35,000. After 5 years, and working in more senior roles, you can expect to earn in the region of £40,000 to £60,000.
There are two main costs you will have whilst studying and if you are a home student studying on a full-time course, you can apply for student finance to cover both of these:

 Your tuition fees for each year of your course.
 Help with your living costs e.g. rent, food, clothing, course materials, entertainment.

You can find more details, including the actual tuition fee charged on our Fees, Funding and Finance Page.

Learn more
All of the books required for the course are available from the library. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Estimated costs for a laptop are £300.

You may also need to print your assignments and other documents.

Campus printing costs start from 5p per page.

You will need to purchase digital storage device up to 1TB at an approximate cost of £50

All students are subject to UCEN Manchester’s Terms and Conditions from the date they accept an offer to study here, full details of which can be found here.


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