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About the course

Computer networks play a pivotal role in all organisations, and very few businesses survive without one – meaning well qualified network engineers are in high-demand. This degree will support you to develop an in-depth understanding of the major components and principles underpinning computer network technologies – ready to start a fascinating career as a computer network engineer.

In partnership with the Cisco Networking Academy, the course will equip you with the practical skills required to design, implement, secure and manage computer network systems for business and industry – ranging from small businesses to large scale enterprise levels.

The course also has embedded industry-recognised professional qualifications including CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Security, Cisco Cybersecurity Essentials, Cisco CyberOps and PCAP Python to equip you with the practical and technical skills in high-demand by industry.

Throughout your studies, you will be working in our high-tech computer networking labs with industry standard facilities; featuring a wide variety of equipment including Cisco routers and switches, CCNA and CCNP bundles, multi-vendor network devices and high-performance servers. The lab machines are also equipped with a multitude of academic and commercial software including Cisco Packet Tracer, OPNet, VMWare, Open NMS, Wireshark, and GNS3 in Windows and Linux environments. The lab machines can also be configured flexibly to implement and test computer networks, and learn advanced technologies such as software-defined networks, cloud computing, virtualisation and the ‘Internet of Things’.

Your future employability is a key focus, and in addition to professional qualifications there are a broad range of transferable skills such as project management, problem-solving and communication skills embedded throughout – helping you to become highly employable. After completing the second year, you will also have the option to spend a placement year in industry to develop your practical skills further. Previous students have completed placements and been employed in companies such as British Aerospace, Cisco, Juniper, and IBM. 

The course is delivered by a team of passionate, friendly and research-active qualified academics who work at the forefront of the field. Our academics are also fellows of the Higher Education Academy as well as Cisco certified instructors.

If you apply for this course with a placement year, you have the opportunity to undertake a year in industry between your second and third years.
Placement year
You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Industry-recognised professional qualification such as CCNA Routing & Security, CCNA Security, PCAP Python, Cisco Cyber Security Essentials.

What does this course lead to?

Recent course graduates have gone on to various roles in network infrastructure and system support organisations including; Cisco Systems, IBM, Juniper, Symantec Security UK, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Electra networks, QinetiQ, Quostar, VeriFone, TalkTalk, Rackspace, Vodafone and Peer 1 Hosting.

The course leads to the role of a network engineer and its various specialised forms such as:

  • System Support Analyst
  • Network Security Analyst
  • System Architects
  • Penetration Tester
  • Network Systems Consultant
  • IT Support Engineer
  • Product Support Engineer

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited to those with a passion for computing, wishing to develop the skills to support, research, design, deploy and maintain computer systems and networks.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year
UK, EU and Channel Island placement year fee: £1,425
International placement year fee: £1,850

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, 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 was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96-112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels , a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DD or equivalent which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • A BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications.
  • Alternative entry is available through the Computing Foundation Year.
  • Direct entry into year two or three may be considered for this course.  
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply
Placement Year 4 years Apply

Computing Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement Year 5 years Apply

Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Problem Solving though Programming
    This module will introduce software implementation through the process of understanding how to solve problems using programming. 
  • Introduction to Networks and Security
    In this module you’ll explore networks by using a network simulator to learn what devices and connections are used.  These will then be applied to various principles of networking, protocols and associated technologies. 
  • Network Applications
    This unit investigates the function and management of operating systems and the services that run on networks to facilitate this communication between systems.
  • Introduction to Databases
    In this module you are introduced to the skills and concepts required to develop and use relational databases. You will learn how to write programs interacting with databases and how to create them. 
  • Routing and Switching
    To prepare for the network transition towards controller based activities, this module will prepare you with the knowledge of foundational technologies, ensuring you stay relevant with skill sets.
  • Cyber Security Essentials
    In this module you will be introduced to the importance of cyber security. Studying concepts including; basic security theory and security assistance, the basic techniques for application of security concepts; and the role of ethical hackers. 

Year two

Core modules
  • Network Systems Automation
    Throughout this module you will explore topics including network system principles, services and configuration, and investigate the applications and management of network systems. 
  • Network Engineering
    This module has the aim of giving you the knowledge and practical skills to specify, design and scale large computer networks which are essential for a typical network engineering role. 
  • Network Security
    The module will investigate the theoretical concepts of network security and the application of these to the design of secure networks.
  • Research Methods Project
    This module will align you with the forefront of scientific knowledge, and, in doing so, you will hone your research skills.
  • Enterprise Networks
    This module has the aim of giving you the knowledge and practical skills to specify, design and implement large connected networks.
  • Network Implementation
    This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills to design, implement and test computer networks to meet a company’s requirement.

Year three

Core modules
  • Dissertation Project
    Your dissertation may be practical or investigative in nature, but all projects must produce specific artefacts that demonstrate your intellectual and practical skills in the subject area.
  • Computer Systems and Architecture
    On this module you will develop practical skills that will enable evaluation, comparison and assessment of computer components and your capabilities. 
  • Industrial Consulting Project
    The module will deliver ‘Real-world’ learning which involves interaction with employers and external organisations to allow you to prepare, rehearse and reflect on your experiences

Choose two options from the following:

  • Cyber Ops
    On this module you will complete a Cisco academy training course on cybersecurity operations to discover, identify and analyse threats, perform attack techniques, discover vulnerabilities and apply mitigations.
  • Cloud Computing and Virtualisation
    On this module you will learn how to investigate, critique and evaluate a range of cloud computing enabling technologies and your applications from various user cases and case studies.
  • Network Management
    This module investigates the issues relating to the design and management of computer networks. 
  • Internet of Things
    By the end of the module you will have explored how to evaluate, critically analyse and synthesise information, data and ideas and acquired practical skills in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Dr Shakeel Ahmad academic profile Shakeel Ahmad Course Leader View profile
Neville Palmer academic profile Neville Palmer Senior Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Dedicated electronics and specialist networking labs provide opportunities to work with a wide variety of real-world networking equipment from Cisco, Fluke and HP, as well as high-fidelity simulation systems including the market-leading Opnet.

You’ll also have access to our devices lab. This is a special test area integrated within one of our existing software development spaces. It consists of a range of mobile devices mounted on flexible tethers, giving you the chance to test your websites and apps on real equipment.

Industry-informed contemporary course contents which would make you ready for the industry.

Your future

Solent’s Computer Systems and Networks Engineering course will prepare you for a wide range of graduate level employment opportunities. Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Network Engineer
  • System Support Analyst
  • Network Security Analyst
  • System Architects
  • Penetration Tester
  • Network Systems Consultant
  • IT Support Engineer
  • Product Support Engineer


The work placement variant of the course provides you with the chance to gain valuable real-world experience, often in a paid role. Whilst you will be expected to secure your own placement, you will be given extensive support in finding a suitable position between years two and three, as well as guidance on carrying out your placement.

We also encourage and support you to gain industrial experience during vacations, or develop your final-year project in conjunction with industry.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day