Learn to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between organisations on this Level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship programme – equipping you with industry-recognised skills to support you in your chosen career.
Network engineers need to maintain high levels of operation of communication networks in order to provide maximum performance and availability for their users, such as staff, clients, customers and suppliers.
This innovative and exciting apprenticeship programme will enable you to build your technical knowledge of the principles of networking and protocols, while being able to apply and test them at the same time.
You’ll gain the knowledge to be able to design, configure and secure simple networks from well-defined specifications, including switches, routers and firewalls. You’ll also cover testing and adjusting network systems through monitoring tools and troubleshooting by identifying network issues to enhance network performance.
You’ll be prepared and tested academically through interpreting written requirements and technical network specifications for maintaining accurate records of network activities. In addition, logging in and responding to network service calls and providing technical network support and solutions will enable you to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively within the working environment.
Understanding networking engineer duties such as how algorithms work, data and expanding maths skills for binary will help to prepare you for future opportunities within the industry.
In addition to these academic studies, apprentices must achieve one internationally recognised vendor or professional qualification. To help apprentices achieve this, we are offering CISCO CCNA 1 and 2 which cover the basics of networking, as well as routing and switching essentials.
We currently offer the network engineer pathway aligned to the Institute for Apprenticeships standard.
Apprenticeships can add value at all levels of your business:
- Upskill your staff with industry relevant qualifications.
- Drive an increase in productivity.
- Promote long-term loyalty and reduce staff turnover.
- Reduce the cost of qualifications and training.
- Develop staff with a minimum of interruption to day-to-day operations.
- Offer genuine opportunities for personal development to both full-and part-time staff.
- Scale your business with the help of an increasingly skilled workforce.
Here's what a higher or degree apprenticeship can offer you:
- A combination of on-the-job and academic study which is relevant and applied.
- A continued wage and contract of employment which includes all the same benefits as any employee.
- A higher or degree qualification which is recognised, transferrable and the same level as if achieved through traditional study routes.
- A debt free future with zero tuition fees. (Please note, as apprenticeships are funded by employers, apprentices are not eligible to apply for Student Loans Company loans)
- An opportunity to develop new skills and progress within your industry.
What does this course lead to?
This course can lead to roles such as network technician, network engineer, systems engineer and network administrator roles.
Who is this course for?
This course is ideally for individuals working in a junior support role in a field related to network engineering, who are passionate and eager to expand their knowledge and networking skills.
Apprenticeship students at Solent University have access to our technology labs and software packages. These include our CISCO-certified networking and security labs, the E-C Council lab, media technology labs, development centres and usability testing environments.
Our vibrant campus brings state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning and elevate your student experience. Our award-winning teaching building, The Spark is centred around students and offers a stimulating study environment with flexible learning spaces. Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.
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Introduction to Networking
Introduction to Networking is designed to develop the skills necessary to plan and implement small networks across a range of applications.
Routing and Switching
This module introduces the fundamentals of enterprise Local Area Networks (LANs), the technologies available to implement them, and the terminology used to discuss them.
Problem Solving Through Programming
This module introduces you to software implementation through the process of understanding how to solve problems using programming. Currently we use Python.
The subject of computer networking involves either hardware, in the form of network devices such as routers, or software, in the form of network operating systems and applications. It is important for networking specialists to have knowledge of both aspects. This module is designed to cover the latter.
Cyber Security Essentials
The network security threat environment is constantly evolving with new tools and techniques becoming available every day. The module offers an opportunity to develop the blend of skills, ranging from specialist technical to social engineering, necessary to counter those threats.
The core module represents the last taught module in the Level 4 apprenticeship and offers the student the opportunity to bring together their knowledge and skills into a real-world based project within the discipline of their subject area.
Successful apprentices will graduate with a:HNC Network Engineer
How you'll studyYou will learn through a combination of directed learning, collaborative learning and guided learning. You will also make use of the University's online learning platform Solent Online Learning (SOL).
You may be assessed by a combination of:
- Timed exercises
Students are assessed through a combination of academic assignments and occupational standards assessments. Coursework assignments can include presentations, essays, exams, case studies, practical assessments, and reflective accounts.
Apprentices area also expected to go through an end-point assessment within three months of completing the course.Find out more
Businesses with an annual payroll above £3million will be classed as a levy paying employer and will be able to use funds accrued in their digital apprenticeship service (DAS) account for payment of the training. Please contact us for guidance on fees if you are a non-levy employer which will cover at least 95% of the costs.
- The 2022/23 programme cost is not yet available. For guidance, the 2021/22 cost was: £17,000
An apprenticeship levy payer is classed as any UK employer with a PAYE bill in excess of £3m. A 0.5% deduction will be taken from PAYE over this £3m marker directly through the HMRC.
This 0.5% becomes the employers levy fund, which they can use to upskill their existing staff with apprenticeship qualifications or introduce new apprentices to their organisation.Find out more
Non-levy paying businesses and businesses that need to supplement their digital levy account will need to co-invest 5% of the cost of the training. The government will pay the remaining 95%.
Small businesses (<50 employees) will receive 100% of the funding where the apprentice is 16-18 years old or is between 19-24 and has a local authority education, health and care plan (EHC plan).Find out more
Apprentices pay nothing towards their course fees
The course fees will be covered by your employer.
While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact email@example.com.
Earn while you learn
As an apprentice you'll earn while working and studying towards your degree.
There is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket is currently £15. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include A levels, a Level 3 apprenticeship or other relevant qualifications, and relevant experience.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship offers a unique blend of work experience and academic study. Candidates on an apprenticeship will work a paid job while simultaneously working towards a relevant qualification in their chosen field.
Apprentices are employees with a contract of employment which offers the same benefits and protections as any other employee. Apprentices will typically work for four days of the week, using the remaining day to attend classes and study.
Higher degree apprenticeships
Solent offers a diverse range of higher and degree apprenticeships, all of which are underpinned with recognised and transferable degree qualifications (BA, BSc, etc).
Higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships give employees the opportunity to upskill in their chosen field or retrain for a new career while working.
They offer employers the opportunity to develop their staff - improving productivity, increasing knowledge, and boosting expertise within the workforce.Find out more
Thinking of applying?
Visit us on campus and explore Solent University by registering for one of our apprenticeship events.Come to an open day
Support at SolentAll students at Solent University have access to a range of specialist support services. Whether you are having financial difficulty, need additional help with academic skills or want advice on setting up your own business you'll find that help is always on hand.
Most of our specialist support services are based around the Student Hub, a central space where you can access all the information and support you may need during your time at University. The Student Hub is the first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your course, including questions about your timetable, options, and assessments and extenuating circumstances.