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FdSc Network Engineering

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UCS Buildings - Nov 2013 (35)
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Two years full-time.

Two and a half years part-time.

This course starts in February each year.

Typical Offer: 

80 UCAS tariff points (or above)
CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC)

See Entry Requirements Section below.

  • Part-time work-based learning means your studies complement your employment.
  • Further advance your career - our graduates can progress into a range of related careers.
  • Benefit from dedicated facilities including computing suites, Microsoft Imagine software, and specialist hardware for networking.


The FdSc Network Engineering degree has previously been known as the FdSc Communication Technologies: Network Engineering.

This is a part-time work-based course in which theory and practice associated with network and communications technologies are explored. The main focus of the syllabus is the physical and software set up of local and wider network architectures.

The understanding of the wider environment in which technology is employed is an important aspect of the course, as is the encouraging of students to take responsibility for their own personal and professional development.

Students are required to be employed within roles where they are responsible for networking or communication management or maintenance. Their workplace experience and practice forms an integral part in the learning process, providing a context for reflection and practice.

While the primary purpose of this course is to equip students to be able to be effective in their work situations, meeting their employers networking and communication needs, they will also be able to progress to an Honours degree.

Students are assessed through a mixture of written assignments, case study reports, presentations, practical skills and knowledge tests, and examinations. Some work involves group working, and students are expected to link their assessment to their work experience.

Course modules

In part-time mode, the course is delivered over two years and one semester with six modules at Level 4 and Level 5. With the exception of Delivering Network Capability, which is 40 credits, all modules are 20 credits.

In the first year of study students are provided with the fundamental skills and knowledge within the area of network maintenance and configuration. Later modules build on this by exploring subjects such as advanced routing and switching, project management, Voice Over IP and network security.

Through this study, students are also prepared for the industry recognised CISCO qualifications. In addition, students are encouraged to understand the context in which they work by looking at how business operates and their own personal and professional practice. Finally, all students complete a significant personal development project.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.


This covers the principles of computer systems, hardware components, the essence of operating systems, and relevant computing-related mathematics. This module will provide the foundational underpinning to enable students to progress deeper into the disciplines of computing and networking, and a grasp of the history of computing, recent developments and its possible future.

Networking Overview

This module introduces the concepts of communications and networking. It explores the Open Systems Interconnectivity (OSI) 7-layer reference model and TCP/IP Routing Suite (the 5-layer Internet reference model). TCP/IP is the model which is most commonly deployed in the majority of modern-day networks.

Personal & Professional Development

This module covers the concepts of personal development, effective study, and self-awareness. It also explores the professional, legal and ethical standards and guidelines that influence commercial and technical operation, and to give opportunities for students to reflect on them, and apply them, within their own working environment.

Delivering Network Capability

This module builds on the understanding of network operations by focusing on the design and implementation of a single network. It is delivered through a series of practical exercises which provide the practical appreciation of the full process of network creation from requirements capture through design and implementation to testing.

Foundations of Management

This module offers an introduction to the most important business functions. It examines how organisations create value through their functional operations and the people they employ, and covers organisational culture, structure, marketing and various elements of management.

Routing Technologies

In this module, students will discover how data is routed through a network using hubs, switches and routers and the OSI layers at which each of these devices operate. The TCP/IP protocol suite will be explored in detail so that the students gain an essential appreciation of how data units are propagated through the OSI layers, from the Application layer down to the Physical layer, and how the various routing protocols are chosen and combine in this propagation. Routing protocols such as RIP, OSPF, MPLS and BGP will be covered.

Research Skills

Research skills are an essential set of capabilities in the toolkit of a professional network engineer. In this module, students will develop knowledge and understanding of the purpose, processes, methods (surveys, experiments, interviews, case studies, etc.), analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and outputs of research and will be able to apply them.

Software Design and Programming

This module will introduce the concepts of programming and a modern programming language. Through programming practicals, students will become fluent in structured programming constructs, procedural programming and object-oriented programming. It will also consider all aspects of the software engineering life cycle from requirements gathering through design and implementation to testing.

Voice over Internet Protocol

In this module, students will be given an understanding of the history of VoIP and the need for it. Standards, protocols, and the underlying principles of VoIP technology and IP telephony will be explained and how they relate to hardware and software components.

Managing Network Projects

A successful network manager needs to know more than just networking technologies. This module aims to provide some of the other skills that make for a more rounded professional.

Broadly following a project development life cycle, it covers the more customer-focussed issues, such as writing proposals, planning, budgeting, documentation, resource scheduling, and help desk operations.

Network Security

This module covers basic and advanced security concepts related to wired and wireless networks. It focuses on presenting security issues that are common to wired and wireless deployments and environments, while maintaining a high-level view of general security aspects. It includes typical attack techniques, common defence measures and tools used to counter security threats.

Career opportunities

Students can progress in to a range of careers including Computer Programmer, Network Administrator, Network Infrastructure Technician, Network Engineer, Network Security Specialist, System Administrator to name a few.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.


  • Full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.

Further Information

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

80 UCAS tariff points (or above), CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC)

All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.

If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.


Non-academic Requirements

You will need evidence of appropriate employment and employer's support.

Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.


Professor of Information Systems Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Information Technology

Facilities and Resources

Students can benefit from access to a range of facilities and resources including dedicated computing suites with network test cabinet including server, routers and switches, access to Microsoft Imagine software library and network simulation software.