MSc in Advanced Networking

The Open University

Program Description

MSc in Advanced Networking

The Open University

MSc in Advanced Networking

This masters degree course consists of a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking and an MSc dissertation. The final MSc dissertation module draws together the knowledge and skills you have gained, in a research-based project. Professionals in IT and related fields will benefit from the completion of a dissertation, helping them to develop the skills required for systematically addressing problems in their own organisations. The MSc is also relevant as a basis for further studies at doctoral level or for anyone working professionally requiring knowledge and experience of advanced networking and research methods.

The postgraduate diploma consists of four professional vocational modules, which include the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) materials. It will provide you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to install, configure and maintain local and wide area networks. You will be provided with hands-on experience of configuring networks at day schools and using online tools. If you complete the diploma you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examinations.

Educational aims

The Postgraduate Diploma and MSc in Advanced Networking form a specialist career development programme. The degree is aimed at practising professionals and managers in the fields of network engineering, computing or manufacturing, in related service industries, the public sector or educational organisations, and allows them to obtain the skills required to further their career in network engineering.

It aims to:

  • Equip you with the knowledge, understanding and professional skills, to participate in the design, building, assessment or management of advanced data communications networks.
  • Develop your ability to analyse and evaluate problems and draw on the theoretical and technical knowledge to develop solutions and systems.
  • Develop your awareness of current research in data communications networks, the analytical skills and research techniques for their critical and independent evaluation and their application to new problems.

There is a strong practical and professional orientation to the programme. If you complete the Postgraduate Diploma part of the programme you will also have the opportunity to gain the industry-recognised CCNP certification by taking the necessary Cisco examinations.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire knowledge and understanding in the Postgraduate Diploma mainly from the online Cisco study materials, with supporting material provided via reference texts, resources on the Open University website and online discussion forums. Formal assessment of the modules is by way of continuous assessment in the form of the tutor-marked assignments (submitted at fixed points in the module) and an examination for each module. Assessment of the final research project module is based on the production of a 10,000–15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice in the area of networks. Support and advice is given at all stages of the dissertation course by University staff.

Cognitive skills are also assessed in the assignments and examinations of the various modules. You will also be provided with practical activities to develop cognitive skills, using specialist tools where appropriate. The research project and dissertation, mandatory for the award of MSc, provides an extended opportunity for you to further develop and be assessed on these skills.

Key skills (some of which you will may already have gained in your workplace) can be further demonstrated and developed by this programme through the interim assignments and the research project and dissertation.

Professional skills are covered specifically in all four diploma modules, and implicitly as part of the continuous assessment on each module. They are studied and assessed specifically in the research project and dissertation. All teaching and assessment strategies will help you develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to your workplace, and the programme encourages a problem-solving approach to professional tasks in the assignments.

The University wishes to emphasise that, while every effort is made to regularly update this site, the material on it is subject to alteration or amendment in the light of changes in regulations or in policy or of financial or other necessity.

Career impact

Cisco Systems are the market leader in the supply of networking equipment for the internet. They also have a well-established Academy programme aimed at educating network professionals. Cisco qualifications are highly regarded in the networking industry and their position at the leading edge of network development means that their Academy programme is up to date. If you complete this MSc you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examination.

Entry requirements

To gain the MSc you must first obtain the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking (E51). You then carry out research and study in a specialist topic by taking the 60-credit research module. You will need to select a research topic that is in the area of advanced networking.

You must complete your MSc within seven years of starting the first module for the diploma.

You will also need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 year
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Full time
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Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom
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Duration 1 year
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