BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security with foundation year and industrial placement

Organisations rely on talented and well-qualified professionals to keep their data safe from hacking, espionage, user error, and equipment malfunction. The University of Bolton's BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security with foundation year and industrial placement degree offers the applied skills and understanding needed for a career helping to keep the modern world running smoothly.

Key information

Award:

BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

5 years

Location:

University of Bolton

UCAS code:

G484

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Recent news reports reveal data breaches at large corporations, and some people say the age of cyber-warfare has already begun. The need for talented, professional and ingenious computer network and security professionals has never been greater. Governments, organisations, and individuals need to store and access information securely and efficiently. Our BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security with foundation year and industrial placement offers an excellent preparation for a career in this field.

The foundation year is the first year of this degree, offering an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of computing, programming, logic and problem-solving. It’s designed to prepare you for degree-level study.

Our dedicated staff will support you to develop the strong understanding and practical know-how vital to protect data against all possible sources of disruption at all times. Focusing on the design, configuration, management and support of all types of computer networks, we’ll guide you as you gain valuable hands-on experience with a range of industry-standard hardware and software.

We'll support you in gaining vital academic and lifelong learning skills to prepare you to research new technologies and apply your knowledge in new ways. As a graduate of this course, you'll be well prepared to keep abreast of innovations and enhancements in the computer networks and security industry throughout your career.

The University will offer lots of support to help you find a placement with a relevant company in preparation for your year in industry (the industrial placement takes place between the third and final years of this five-year course). Through our relationships with employers, we’ll share placement adverts as they become available, and you can also seek your own placement. Our placement team will help with applications and interview skills. Your placement does not have to be in the Bolton area – it could be elsewhere in the UK. Completing a year in industry will give you invaluable skills and experience that will help you in your final year of study with us and boost your CV to help you find an enhanced career afterwards. If you’re unsuccessful in securing a placement, you’ll be able to transfer directly to the final year of study and complete your degree in four years.

Highlights
  • Our Computer Science courses are top in the UK for student satisfaction, according to The Complete University Guide 2022.
  • Our Computer Science courses are also placed first in the UK for teaching quality and student experience by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to gain Cisco certification to CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) standard. The Cisco CCNA examination is offered at external testing centres and incurs a separate charge. The course also includes training towards RedHat Linux qualifications and Amazon AWS certifications in cloud computing.
  • Our dedicated staff team has a wide range of professional experience, industry knowledge, technical expertise and academic credentials, offering you a variety of perspectives and broadening your horizons.
  • We prefer to keep lecture and practical classes relatively small so that you have plenty of opportunities to us ask questions and get help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • Our dedicated laboratories are firewalled so that you and your classmates can experiment and evaluate attack tools without worrying about disrupting the wider University network.
  • We’re committed to helping you develop your employability and career network. You’ll be encouraged to attend guest lectures that enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry, and contribute to your professional development.
  • Completing a placement year in industry will give you experience and skills that are highly relevant for your future career and greatly enhance your employability.
  • By designing the course assignments and projects to mimic industry pipelines and standards, we aim to give you a real feel for a career in computer networks and security.
Key Features
  • We offer a warm and friendly environment for your studies, with relatively small class sizes, purpose-built teaching facilities, and excellent student support and library services.
  • We want to work with you as an individual, giving you access to the help and support you need to succeed.
  • The industrial placement year offers valuable experience in the workplace. This can be of great benefit to you in your final year of studies and will enhance your employment prospects after graduation.
  • Our dedicated networking laboratories have industry-standard hardware and software. You’ll have unrestricted access, so you’ll always be able to practice and develop your workplace skills.
  • As you’d expect, many of our computing facilities can be accessed across the internet, allowing you to work on your assignments whenever and wherever you choose.
  • Your final year project offers the chance to specialise in an area of interest. We'll support you in developing it as a work portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge and skills, ready to impress potential employers.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.
Professional recognition

In years two and three of your BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security with foundation year and industrial placement studies, you’ll be registered with the Cisco Networking Academy to enrol for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) study programme. A Cisco certificate is awarded after you successfully complete each of the Cisco courses. Once you have completed the CCNA study programme, you can choose to sit the Cisco CCNA examination at an external testing centre. A separate charge is payable to Cisco for the external exam.


  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. Relevant science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and computing-related subjects are preferred.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English and Mathematics.
  • If you don’t meet the standard entry requirements but have non-traditional qualifications and/or relevant experience, we’ll be happy to consider your application.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work. As part of your interview, you may be asked to undertake additional assessment(s) to determine your suitability for the course.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • If English is your second language and you feel you need extra help with your language skills, you have the option of studying specialist language modules during the foundation year. Please contact the English for Academic Purposes team for further information and advice.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


This is a growing sector as companies become increasingly liable for their customer and business data security and confidentiality. As a graduate of our BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security with foundation year and industrial placement degree, you'll understand how to evaluate an organisation's security needs and put plans in place to protect against possible cyber-attacks and security breaches. This course covers designing and implementing new systems and leading and managing them effectively.

As a graduate, some of the key transferable skills you'll possess include teamwork, leadership, communication, time management, commercial awareness, problem-solving and negotiation. You'll also be well prepared for lifelong learning, as continuing professional development is significant for people working in computing because technology and software develop rapidly.

What can I do with this qualification?

Every company has some form of digital infrastructure that supports the day-to-day running of the business. As a computer networks and security graduate, you'll be able to explore opportunities in a range of businesses, including large corporates and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), government agencies, local authorities, health authorities, financial services, retail and e-commerce, network providers and internet service providers.

Completing this degree will also prepare you for a variety of related careers, such as computer and information systems management, technical support engineering, computer systems analysis, network and computer systems administration, network analysis and network security, digital forensics and computer network architecture.

Alternative career options

Graduates can use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Roles include:

  • Teaching
  • Research and development
  • Social media management
  • Technical writing
  • Product management
  • ICT Training
  • ICT sales
  • Digital copywriting
  • Telecommunications
  • Network engineering

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:


Lectures introduce the core course content, while practical laboratory sessions give you practical experience and help consolidate your learning. Tutorials offer you space to ask questions, ensuring you understand the topics covered in lectures and laboratory sessions. We use case studies and practical scenarios to help you learn to apply academic theory to real-life problems, allowing you to gain insights into computer networks and security in commercial environments.

Guest lectures/presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from relevant employment areas offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and understanding further.

While you’re away from the University on your industrial placement, our academic team will contact you during the year to check that everything is going well.

In terms of assessment, you can expect time-constrained exams and coursework, such as essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, and others. These contribute to your final marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes for the course.

We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these don’t count towards your final marks. For instance, you might be asked to complete quizzes or undertake practical exercises. You’ll also receive feedback on assessment drafts. This helps to identify any areas that would benefit from extra attention on your part or where you need extra support from your tutor.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Logical Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Computer Systems
  • Foundation Project
  • Programming and Scripting
  • Security Fundamentals
  • Networking Principles
  • Modern Operating Systems
  • Secure Systems
  • Scaling Networks
  • Advanced Operating Systems
  • Modern Infrastructure
  • Industrial Placement
  • Undergraduate Project
  • Ethical Hacking and Digital Forensics
  • Operations Management
  • Network Management
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 88%, Practical exams 12%
Level threeCoursework 75%, Written exams 25%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 51%, Placement/study abroad 33%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 16%
Level threeGuided independent study 77%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 23%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Adam Isherwood
Programme Leader

A.Isherwood@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903075

Andrew Parker
Admissions Tutor

A.Parker@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903467

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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