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Computer Networks - BSc (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

Download the course factsheet
UCAS Code:
BSc (Hons)
  • Full Time (3 years)
  • Sandwich (4 years)
Computing, Telecommunications and Networks
Faculty of Technology, Engineering & the Environment
City Centre

This course is accredited by:

The Institute of Engineering and Technology - towards Incorporate Engineer status

Course Graphic - Computer Networks BSc (Hons)

This course produces commercially aware networking professionals who can plan, design and implement new networks, including using the latest wireless network technologies. Our graduates demonstrate a clear understanding of computer operating systems, network communication systems and can integrate hardware and software with business elements.

The course is informed by the increased importance of the competitive global economy, new developments in high-speed digital communication systems and the necessity for strategic computer networks systems and associated applications in successful businesses. The course also emphasises the need to develop interpersonal skills, which are essential in today's professional business environment.

The Guardian University Guide 2014 recently showed our computing courses rising 41 places in the last 12 months, placing us higher than other Midlands universities including Aston, Keele and Coventry.

The latest National Student Survey also revealed that our computing courses are highly rated by those who really matter, with 93 per cent of students saying they were satisfied with their course.

Key Facts

  • The Course’s computer networking theme follows the Cisco Systems Networking Curriculum.
  • Get skills to plan, design and implement new networks, plus gain the interpersonal and business awareness needed in today’s professional world.
  • Also offers professional qualifications, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA/P), Wireless Networks (CWNA) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications.
  • Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) - successful completion meets educational requirements for IEng status.
  • The School is a Cisco Systems & Microsoft Academy Centre - one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies.

Why Choose Us?

  • Use embedded systems laboratories to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and work with industry-standard software development and simulation tools.
  • Use dedicated facilities for work such as systems analysis, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and business intelligence, and to support the application areas of mechatronics, games technology and computer forensics (with its own fully equipped laboratory).
  • School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks is internationally recognised for teaching quality, research and extensive industry partnerships.
  • It’s established as one of the leading academies for Apple, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.
  • Strong links with companies like SAS, SAP, Xbox, Samsung, Intel and NEC keep your course relevant, real-life and respected by employers.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

  • 280 points. Minimum of two 6-unit or one 12-unit A-Level (GCE or VCE).
  • National Diploma with Merit Merit Distinction.
  • Advanced Diplomas are accepted.
  • AGNVQ overall Merit + GCSE Mathematics C
  • GCSE Mathematics and English grade C or equivalent must be offered
  • Irish: 280 points in ILC. Scottish : 280points from 4 Highers. IB: 30points
Unconditional Offers 2014/15

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Application Details

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: G422.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

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

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

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BSc (Hons) £7,500 per year
Sep 2014 SW 4 years BSc (Hons) TBC
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BSc (Hons) £10,100

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.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs required for this course, except you are required to own your own personal computer and have access to the internet to obtain course and on-line material.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

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

International Students

International Students at BCU

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 reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

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

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

Open Days

Saturday 14 June 2014 (9am - 3pm)

Open Day Courses Tab June2014

Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.

You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers – as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.

There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.

Who is it for?

The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.

bcyou icon registerRegister to attend the Open Day

University Approach to Employability

Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.

Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.

Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.

* Sunday Times University Guide 2012

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates typically forge careers in these areas:

  • Specifying, designing or managing and support of secure communications networks
  • Providing technical, software or applications support or training
  • Implementation and/or evaluation of secure systems
  • IT professionals with responsibility for planning, implementation, management and support of PC operating systems
  • Entrepreneurs providing creative solutions for businesses in the above areas.


    We encourage you 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 that many employers are looking for, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity to further develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. The Faculty's placements team will give you every support throughout the placement process.

    Learn more about some of the prestigious organisations that our students are placed with:

    Full details can be found on the School placements page.

    Placement Profiles

    ctn philip bridgesPhilip Bridges

    Course : BSc (Hons) Computer Networks

    Further Studies

    The University has a range of either taught (MSc) or research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

    Full Time

    About KIS data

    From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

    Putting our students first

    We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

    Employability facts

    76% of course leavers are in a professional or managerial position, earning an average salary after six months of £18,000. Graduates of the School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks have gone on to work for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Bell Micro, BT, Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel Corporation, Siemens and Nokia.

    Working with your Students’ Union

    Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

    The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

    As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

    Course Modules

    Year 1
    Professional Context of Technology 15 Credits
    ICT Programming 15 Credits
    Computer Systems Technology 30 Credits
    Computer Networking Basics 30 Credits
    Supporting ICT Clients 30 Credits
    Year 2
    Management in Technology Innovation 15 Credits
    ICT Programming 15 Credits
    Wireless Networks 30 Credits
    Switched LANS and WANS 30 Credits
    Infrastructure Services 30 Credits
    Year 3
    Individual Project 30 Credits
    Advanced Networking Technologies 30 Credits
    Network Design and Management 30 Credits
    ICT Infrastructure Management 30 Credits

    The course is based on a themed approach:

    Infrastructure Technologies
    This theme is about understanding Microsoft Operating systems and involves managing the administration, installation and troubleshooting of PC hardware and software.

    Communication Networks
    This theme consists of technologies employed in Local and Wide Area Networks. It follows the Cisco CCNA curriculum and introduces protocols, LAN/WAN terminology, TCP/IP, addressing, switching, routing protocols and management of networks.

    Emerging Technologies
    This theme consists of fundamental principles of computer hardware and digital storage devices, computer architecture, digital systems and data representation. You’ll gain an understanding of wireless networks including installation, configuration, troubleshooting and network security.

    Application Development
    This theme consists of programming languages, Graphical User interfaces and understanding of realistic robust programming applications.

    This theme consists of providing professional development, and an introduction to the business macro-environment sector. You’ll gain an understanding of market-led innovation planning and management. It also develops your teamwork skills in evaluating and effectively communicating information in both written and oral form.

    Assessment Methods

    We use a range of assessment methods throughout the course, including continuous assessment, in class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work. We find this helps us to appraise your all-round ability and gives you the best opportunity to excel.

    Case Study - Phillip Bridges

    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.

    Working on the very best equipment

    “My course was composed of several Cisco NetAcad modules that helped me get both my internship at Cisco and my current role,” says Phil. “I chose Birmingham City University based on its strong links with Cisco and the facilities in the lab. I was also an intern at Cisco, working everyday on Cisco equipment. It helped me in my final year to produce an excellent standard of work for my final year project.”

    How to impress employers…

     “Hands-on lab time has been the most valuable and most enjoyable,” says Phil. And on that subject, he’s got some great advice: “Make the most of the lab equipment. Employers love it at interviews and assessment centres when you get tested for hands-on and work fast to a high level.”

    Constant change, continuous training

    Phil’s hard work has landed him such a fantastic job that he doesn’t anticipate needing to study any further at university. “I take continuous training sessions with work,” he says, “because the technology moves very quickly”. His plans? To make the most of the great career progression in his current role.

    Our Facilities

    We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

    The Institute of Engineering and Technology - towards Incorporate Engineer status

    The programme is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as satisfying the academic requirements towards becoming an Incorporate Engineer (IEng) but accreditation depends on the final year project being completed and passed without compensation.


    Prospective students from the UK or EU
    • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
    • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
    • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
    Prospective students from non-EU countries
    • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
    • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.


    For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).

    Further Information

    For general enquiries, please contact the School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks as follows:

    School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks
    Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment
    Birmingham City University
    Millennium Point
    Curzon Street
    B4 7XG

    Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5400

    If you haven't already, visit the School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks website for more information.