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Network Computing

BSc (Hons) - single

Accredited by the British Computer Society

Department of Computing and Communication Technologies

This course is designed to cover the higher level design, construction, administration and security aspects of network systems used by businesses and homes. It provides students with the knowledge and skills essential for a career in the rapidly changing networking industry. 

Training for several professional and internationally recognised networking qualifications operated under the Cisco System Networking Academy Programme is an optional part of this course.

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years or 4 years if a work placement is chosen
  • Part time: up to 8 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Oxford Brookes is a Cisco Academy, and there are several components of Cisco training on this course.
  • You will use up-to-date laboratories and equipment, including dedicated networking, cyber security and server laboratories.
  • You will learn from teachers who are experts in their fields.
  • The course has been designed with the aid of experts from industry to ensure that it meets the needs of employers
  • Enterprise level systems and software are used to teach the fundamental academic theory. This gives students valuable real world experience that greatly enhances employment  propsects

In Year 1 you will study fundamental concepts in networking, computer systems and computer programming. 

These subjects are built on in Year 2 and your final year, which contain key modules on networking, network construction and administration, systems development, security, network management and communication technologies. Optional modules in operating systems and mobile app development are also available.

Central to your final year is a major project that allows you to try out your knowledge and skills on a real-life problem of your choice, giving you the opportunity to enhance your networking skills.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1

  • Professional Software Design (double) (compulsory)
  • Understanding Programming (double) (compulsory)
  • Introduction to Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Discrete Mathematics (compulsory)
  • Basic Communications and PC Networking (compulsory)
  • Introduction to Networks (compulsory)

Year 2 and final year

Year 2

  • Professional Issues and Computer Risks (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Computation (compulsory)
  • Current Research (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Security (compulsory)
  • Communication Technologies (compulsory)
  • Software Development with C and C++ (compulsory)
  • Network Technologies (compulsory)
  • WAN Technologies (compulsory)
  • Systems Administration (compulsory)
  • Further Object Oriented Programming
  • Approaches to Mobile Software Development
  • Foundations of Operating Systems

Final year

  • Trends and Directions (compulsory)
  • Network Security (compulsory)
  • Advanced Networking (alt-compulsory: choose at least 1)
  • Network Systems Management (alt-compulsory: choose at least 1)
  • Project (compulsory)
  • Advanced Mobile Software Development
  • Device Hardware

Work placements

Although it is optional, we encourage you to take a supervised work placement in the computing industry for 12 months between Year 2 and your final year. You will need to apply for your placement position yourself; however you will be taught about how to apply for jobs effectively in a second year module, and we have a placements office with dedicated staff to provide information and advice to help you secure a placement. We maintain links with industry and most students who go on placement obtain their position through the Department.

More and more students are finding that a placement benefits their final year studies and career prospects. Possible placement organisations include IBM, Microsoft and PepsiCo.

On returning to University for your final year, the experience you have gained will improve your academic performance. In addition, we have an excellent record of students gaining full-time employment on graduation, often with their industrial placement company or organisation.

It is possible to change your programme of study to include or exclude the work placement option up to the end of your second year. Your tuition fees are reduced to £1350 for the year you are on placement and the positions are normally paid which should cover your living expenses. You will however be responsible for the cost of travelling regularly to the placement, which will be affected by the location of the placement; although as Oxford and the surrounding area have a strong IT industry, many placements are available near the University.

Study abroad

Great opportunities to study or work abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. 

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

Exchanges are optional and are the responsibility of the the student to organise although the University can provide support and assistance. Depending on where you choose to study, there may be additional costs involved. For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

The most likely extra costs involved in studying this course are computers, books and printing.

You are not required to have your own computer though many students choose to. We have computer rooms available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on campus, so you should always be able to work if you don't have your own machine. Students who choose to buy a computer are advised to avoid low-end machines since reliability will be important; a budget of around £600 should suffice, although some modules may require use of higher-end hardware which is available on campus. Since computers are always available when on campus, it is not necessary to use a laptop computer; a desktop at home or in your Hall will provide greater value for money. The Department does not provide any Apple MacOS machines and their use is not required, but their use is supported if you wish to bring your own. Tablet or smartphone devices may be useful for taking notes but are usually not sufficient for completing computer based lab work.

Most software used on the course is freely available to students. The Department is a member of the Microsoft Imagine scheme and other programs designed to grant access to professional-grade software tools, which would normally be very expensive, for free.

Your University library membership includes access to an extensive electronic library so in many cases, you will be able to read coursebooks online without extra cost. You can of course buy physical copies of books as well if you wish. Computing textbooks generally vary in price between £20 and £60 depending on the degree of specialism.

Most submission of work for Computing modules is electronic, so there is little need for printing. 

Teaching and learning

Network Computing is all about designing, constructing, managing, administering and securing PC networks over local and wide (international) areas. 

Many of the skills needed to undertake these functions are practically based and require you to develop application and networking design and development skills. This means that many of our modules have a large practical, hands-on element and our lectures are often followed by extensive practical sessions that reinforce the taught material. Our laboratories are always busy with students working individually or in groups.

Lecturers and technicians are friendly and approachable and will often help you on a one-to-one basis if you have difficulties.

Approach to assessment

Assessment methods are varied and reflect the development of academic content as the course progresses, from the practical emphasis of some of the early modules to the more conceptual content that you will encounter later in your degree. The modules covering core material are mostly assessed on a combination of coursework and examination.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - cost per module: 2017/18: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £1,380

International - full time: 2017/18: £13,730

International - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £3,840

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

International Baccalaureate: 30 points, preferably including science

BTEC: DDM profile, preferably in a science subject

We would prefer it if all the above qualifications include science subjects.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offer quoted for each subject. 

We are happy to consider all types of entry qualification, so if you don't have one of those mentioned above, do get in touch with us and we can discuss the possibilities. Applications from mature students with few academic qualifications, but who have a substantial history of relevant employment, are also welcome.

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Do you accept applications for entry with credit?

Yes, we consider applications, from all parts of the world, for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutor. The minimum amount of time you need to study with us is one year. If you would like more information about whether you are eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree, foundation degree, etc, please contact us.

What if I already have A-level Computing?

Our course covers many topics you will not have seen before, even if you have already taken A-level Computer Studies or a course such as a BTEC Level 3 qualification in a computing subject. Having a pre-university qualification will not be enough to exempt you from taking any first-year modules, because we want to make sure that we give you a quality introduction to all the relevant topics.

What can I do if I don’t have the required qualifications?

If you don't have the right qualifications to apply for a place on one of our degree courses, we may be able to consider you for our Computing Foundation course, which has UCAS Code G406. This course, which lasts one year, is an excellent preparation for any of our computing degree courses.

Passing the foundation course allows you to progress directly onto one of our degree courses the following year. The entry requirements for the foundation course are quite flexible, but as a guide we are looking for something like DD at A-Level or the equivalent in another qualification. Again we are happy to discuss individual cases and actively encourage mature students who have been out of the education system for some time.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics at grade C minimum, and grade C minimum in English Language

Do I need to know about computing or networking before I start?

No,our first year modules will quickly get you up to speed. Any previous experience you have might help you to get started more comfortably but even if you think you know a lot about computing or networking already, there will still be many new things for you to learn.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

 Part-time students should apply directly to the university.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a hub for UK-based computing and technology firms, so our research partnerships and links with industry are hard to beat. Many computing and media students take up work placements within Oxfordshire-based companies.

Support for students studying Network Computing

In the early modules, the department makes extensive use of an apprentice learning model where students are taught in short bursts immediately followed by the opportunities to put into practice what has been taught. This allows students to gain a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts before progressing further.

As well as the academic staff, students can gain help from our dedicated technical support team who can help students make best use of the available equipment

Specialist facilities

Our recently developed state-of-the-art networking, server and cyber security laboratories offer excellent facilities to develop your practical expertise and provide you with experience of using high-end professional equipment, and software tools. These include enterprise level CISCO equipment, a virtualisation platform, industry standard network management software, mobile phones, and GSM monitoring equipment. Students also have access to a range of free software resources including Microsoft and VMWare software through the departments software licensing subscriptions.

 You will also have access to other state-of-the-art laboratories for electronics, software development, and media production such as a TV studio. Students undertaking specific modules and project work have access to certain departmental and faculty resources including several robots (including life sized humanoid robots) and a large High Performance Computer.


General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

Training for several professional networking qualifications, operated under the Cisco Networking Academy programme, is an optional part of this degree programme. Obtaining these qualifications, which are recognised worldwide, represents an important step towards a lucrative career as a networking professional.

On registering for training under the networking academy scheme you will be given access to extensive, professionally developed on-line learning facilities, including network simulation tools, testing and feedback systems. The training is incorporated as an optional integral component of the degree course.

Career prospects

With some form of PC network in virtually every company and many homes, the demand for graduates with networking skills is very high. The combination of networking and programming skills offered by this degree opens up a huge variety of career opportunities in areas as diverse as network security, network systems programming, IT management and many more.

Further study

World-class research and superb links with industry come together to make Oxford Brookes one of the best places in the UK to study technology at postgraduate level, whatever your subject interest.

Our courses, taught by leading academics with active research programmes, are designed to meet the needs of modern industry. And our location in Oxford places us at the heart of one of Europe's biggest concentrations of high-tech businesses - opening up opportunities for research collaboration and employment.

Further information about our postgraduate courses at Oxford Brookes can be found here.