computer networks student examines cables and server
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


From the Internet to cloud computing, social networking, and multimedia streaming, computer networks play a vital role in all aspects of business, government and public services.

On this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree course, you’ll learn to develop and manage sophisticated computer networks solutions and get hands on with the latest technologies, such as servers, mobile applications and security networks.

Not only will you develop skills that can make a mark on the future of the industry, you’ll also have the option to join our Cisco Networking Academy to add an industry-recognised Cisco certification to your degree, such as CCNA or CCNP.

Course highlights

  • Configure, manage and experiment with different network technologies and web applications
  • Specialise in topics such as security, big data, Internet of Things, management or business and innovation
  • Take on practical network design projects, such as designing a real computer network for a bank
  • Work with our private cloud environment to learn about virtualisation and cloud computing, and use network analysis tools such as OPNET and Wireshark
  • Apply your skills through our work with charities and organisations such as Code Club, where you'll help 9-13-year-olds with their Scratch, HTML/CSS, and Python projects
  • Benefit from our Student Union clubs and societies, such as the IT Society, AI and Robotics Club and Gaming Society
Female computer networks student at a computer

I love the problem-solving aspect of my course. There’s always issues that need to be solved and it’s about figuring out how to solve them.

Eleanor Abbiss, BSc (Hons) Computer Networks student

95% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Pending accreditation

This course is currently going through the process of accreditation with the British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT) after the 2020 assessment visit was delayed due to Covid-19.

CISCO Networking Academy

Our CISCO Networking Academy blends face-to-face teaching with web-based curriculum, hands-on lab exercises, and Internet-based assessment. You can practice, experiment, learn and share your work using our bespoke networking labs equipped with the latest Cisco networking devices. The teaching is delivered by fully qualified Cisco Academy instructors.

Explore the Academy

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points, including an A Level in a relevant subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Discover Computer Networks

Eleanor: My name is Eleanor Abbiss and I study computer networks. It's about creating first world basic understanding so you learn about Windows and you learn about Linux operating systems. As well as creating your own networks, you each have your own pod and then you use that to configure your own network in here.

You are given a design and you need to fit all the routers and switches to that design. I love the problem solving aspect of my course. There's always issues that need to be solved and it's about figuring out how best to solve those problems, so that in the future you then "I know, I've had the problem before, I know how to fix it this time" and it's all about constantly evolving. Networking is constantly evolving.

I chose Portsmouth because it was the number one university for Computer Networks. They're building a new Cisco Suite which is great, and you'll be able to do your CCNA here as well as studying your degree at the same time. 

Your facilities

Close up of computer system

Cisco Networking Laboratory

Use our bespoke network laboratory with in-lab and remote access to over 200 routers and switches in a data-centre environment. The lab also has specialist dual-boot (Linux and Windows) PCs and a private cloud, for implementing and testing virtualised computing and network infrastructures.

Learn more

Female engineering student pointing to computer

High Performance Computing Laboratory

Our most powerful hardware for working with big data. Fitted with a Hadoop Cluster with 12 nodes, 144 virtual cores and 384GB RAM for completing process heavy tasks.

Learn more

Students sat around table in the Maths Cafe playing a game

Maths Café

No problem is too small or too tough for our Maths Café tutors, who are on hand every day during term-time to help you if you get stuck or need something explained.

Learn more about the Maths Café

One of the best things about the course is it’s very hands on. You learn by doing and not just theory.

Katie Tuffrey, Computer Networks Student

Careers and opportunities

The current shortage of networking and IT professionals will only grow as the importance of computer networks in all areas of society increases. Your skill set will be in high demand across many sectors when you graduate, opening doors to careers in all roles related to computer networks.

In fact, 95% of graduates from this course are in work or further study 15 months after graduation, with 100% of those asked also saying they find their current work meaningful. What's more, once you have some experience in industry, you can expect an average salary from £35,000 to £55,000 as a network engineer.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • VMWare
  • Syamntec
  • BAE Systems
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Deutsche Bank

What jobs can you do with a computer networks degree?

Our graduates now work in roles including: 

  • solutions architect
  • network engineer
  • presales technical consultant
  • service desk engineer
  • network and systems engineer

Placement year opportunities

Taking an optional placement year gives you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation. You could work in a paid role in a professional organisation or set up your own business, giving you the change to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

Potential roles

Previous students have taken placement roles such as:

  • network engineer intern
  • network operations analyst
  • business operations intern
  • junior operations analyst
  • technical operations undergraduate

Potential destinations

They've completed placements at organisations including:

  • CX Labs (Cisco)
  • G-Research
  • Intel
  • ParkNow
  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Architecture and Operating Systems – 20 credits
  • Comp Tutorial Level 4 – 0 credits
  • Core Computing Concepts – 20 credits
  • Database Systems Development – 20 credits
  • Networking Essentials – 40 credits
  • System Administration and Internetworking – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Comp Tutorial Level 5 – 0 credits
  • Network Servers and Services – 20 credits
  • Network Simulation and Traffic Management – 20 credits
  • Routing and Switching – 20 credits
  • Virtualisation and Cloud Computing – 20 credits
  • Wide Area Networks – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Big Data – 20 credits
  • Computing Undergraduate Ambassador – 20 credits
  • Ethical Hacking – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits

On this course, you can do an optional study abroad or work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Comp Tutorial Level 6 – 0 credits
  • Enterprise and ISP Network Solutions – 20 credits
  • Individual Project (engineering) – 40 credits
  • Network Design – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Distributed Systems and Security – 20 credits
  • Fuzzy Systems and Networks – 20 credits
  • Hacking 4 Mod – 20 credits
  • Internet of Things – 20 credits
  • Malware Forensics – 20 credits
  • Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms – 20 credits
  • Wireless Networks – 20 credits

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • practical work

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • technical reports and logbooks
  • written exams
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • case studies
  • group assignments

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 43% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 47% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 40% by written exams and 60% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 25% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 65% by coursework

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £18,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying and memory sticks.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I122
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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