Computer Networks - BSc (Hons) / MSci

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years), Full Time (4 years), Sandwich (5 years)
September 2017

Please choose how and when you would like to attend the course...

See the UCAS website for help and guidance with your application.

Communication technologies form the bedrock of our modern connected mobile society. Our BSc in Computer Networks will equip you to take this revolution to the next level.

What's covered in the course?

The course takes a practice-led approach, making use of equipment and tools found in the workplace.  Our approach prioritises the practical skills sought by industry, backing this up with a thorough understanding of theory.  The programme delivers the latest in computing, network, and cloud and server technologies, backed by the opportunity to gain additional accreditation from Microsoft, Cisco Systems and the Linux Professional Institute.

The programme delivers a well-rounded curriculum in computer network engineering, programming, server systems and practice, as well as management-level skills such as project and change management to maximise you career potential.

Upon graduation you could progress into a career as a network administrator, network services engineer, network architect, network support analyst, data centre engineer, storage and virtualisation analyst, technical infrastructure architect, Linux network administrator, field network technician, service desk analyst, solutions architect, and IT infrastructure specialist.

Our course has a 95 per cent student satisfaction rating (National Student Survey, 2016), displaying the quality and clarity of our teaching. 

My placement involved being an intern for a year, doing everything a full engineer would do, everything from configuration to documentation to eating lunch with the rest of the guys. Phil Bridges (Network Consulting Engineer at Cisco Systems)

Why Choose Us?

  • We are home to a Cisco Systems and the Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies – and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
  • We are internationally recognised for our high quality of teaching, our excellent research capabilities and our extensive industry partnerships.
  • Our course has accreditation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which demonstrates that it meets the educational criteria needed for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.
  • You will work with industry-standard software development and simulation tools.
  • You have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement and gain professional qualifications from vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft and Linux Professional Institute.
  • The School is based at Millennium Point, within the state-of-the-art City Centre Campus, which has outstanding resources and facilities.

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Cisco
  • Interactive Intelligence

And in jobs such as:

  • Technical associate
  • Associates System Engineer


This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now
Young Innovator Prize

Young Innovator Prize 2017

Planning to study an Engineering undergraduate course with us? You could have the cost of your tuition fees covered in full. Register your interest, apply for a September 2017 start and you could be successful.

Register your interest now

*Terms and Conditions apply

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Pandelis Zembashis

24 – hour hackathon

"The hackathon was amazing! Everyone was super helpful to each other and there was a real community atmosphere." Read Computer science student Pandelis' experience at our first 24 – hour hackathon.

Read Pandelis' blog

This course is accredited by:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, at least one from a Science, Technology, Mathematics or Computing subject.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 , including a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points from three Higher Level subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate BBBBCC – must include one from Technology, Mathematics, Sciences or Computing
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher BBC – must include one from Technology, Mathematics, Sciences or Computing
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 30 points
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
MSci Sep 2017 FT 4 years £9,250 per year
SW 5 years £9,250 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
MSci Sep 2017 FT 4 years £12,000 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Computer Systems
20 credits
Maths for Computing
20 credits
Computer Programming
20 credits
Network Fundamentals
20 credits
Integrated Operating Systems
20 credits
Innovation Project
20 credits

Year two

Internet Sensors and IOT
20 credits
Server Systems
20 credits
Programming for Network Engineers
20 credits
Enterprise Network Systems
20 credits
Network Technologies
20 credits
Industry Practice Project
20 credits

Year three

Data Centre Systems
20 credits
Consultancy and IT Management
20 credits
Wireless Networking Technologies
20 credits
Infrastructure Storage and Management
20 credits
40 credits

Year four

Cloud Infrastructure and Services
20 credits
Advanced Networking Systems
20 credits
Software Defined Network Engineering
20 credits
Technology Adoption and Rollout
20 credits
40 credits

We think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your course. These will include continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work.

Further Study

At course completion, there is a high level of interest for further study. This relates to the need to continue to research and practice as a core activity, but also recognises statistical evidence in 2014 from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills which noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification, which, when coupled with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation that one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022, shows that the contribution of postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.

International Opportunities

Our Erasmus scheme will allow you to undertake part of your studies abroad, allowing you to experience life and studying in another EU country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance a student’s CV and experience new cultures.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - full IEng

Our course has IET accreditation, which demonstrates that it meets the educational criteria needed for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Phillip Bridges

Cisco expert Phillip Bridges can’t recommend hands-on experience highly enough. He made full use of our impressive lab facilities and an invaluable Cisco internship to hone the skills that employers prize.

Enhancing your employability

You will benefit during your studies from strong links with companies such as SAS, SAP, Xbox, Samsung, Intel and NEC, keeping your course relevant, real-life and respected by employers.

Your studies here will equip you with the practical and academic skills that will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role.

Because we have strong links with companies such as SAS, Microsoft Studios, SAP, Xbox, Samsung, Intel and NEC, you have the chance to work with and understand the workings of real-life industry from early on in your degree studies.

The University has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.


You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our students have gone on to work at companies such as Cisco Systems, Cisco Meraki, Capgemini, Reply, BT, Vodafone, SCC, Logicalis and Lloyds Bank.

The broad scope of the topics covered throughout the programme will leave you well-equipped to take on roles such as network administrator, network services engineer, network architect, network support analyst, data centre engineer, storage and virtualisation analyst, technical infrastructure architect, Linux network administrator, field network technician, service desk analyst, solutions architect and IT infrastructure specialist.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our computer networks course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.


Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Ron Austin

Associate Professor

Senior lecturer Ron Austin is course leader on the MSc Data Networks and Security course and teaches all network-related courses.

His expertise and areas of interest include: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security technologies, and forensic and ethical hacking.

Prior to joining Birmingham City University, Ron spent 17 years in network management systems for companies including Telewest and Cable & Wireless. 

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295