Network Computing blends academic rigour with practical skills and incorporates the Cisco Certified Network Associate curriculum for small and medium-sized networks.
Compared to Computing BSc (Hons), this course has a much stronger focus on computer network technologies. You will develop both practical skills in designing and building networks, as well as expertise in five key areas of network management: fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security. For each of these, you will learn about available protocols and how to analyse different models and standards.
At the same time, the course covers all the fundamentals of computing. Topics include web applications, database systems, programming and software development.
Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions. We also use the University’s virtual learning environment for group activities, discussions, assignments and links to resources. We encourage you to develop independent study skills as well as to work with other students on the course.
As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include coursework and exams.
The Computing Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Fundamentals of Computing (100 credits)
- Software Development and Theory: Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Formal Methods
- Programming: Microsoft C# .NET and programming for Robots
- Database Systems: Database Design, Relational Databases and SQL, Database Integrity and Security, PHP and MySQL
- Computer Systems and Networking: Operating Systems, Networks and Computer Architectures
- Specialist Mini Project: Showcase your talents through a project in your chosen area of computing. Past projects have included a Facebook app, a hack challenge and the creation of a retro arcade game.
Systems Administration (20 credits)
This module explores how to manage large installations in Windows and UNIX. It provides an insight into the role of system administrator, which is one of many possible roles for computing graduates after the end of their studies.
Software Engineering Enterprise and Innovation Project (40 credits)
Choose to develop a software project for a client or yourself. You will gain valuable experience of working within a team-based software development environment.
Intermediate Software Development (20 credits)
This module will move beyond the basic object-oriented concepts associated with simple classes and objects to cover a series of more sophisticated object-oriented ideas, including ‘inheritance’ and ‘polymorphism’.
Network Fundamentals (20 credits)
This module introduces the architecture, structure, basic protocols and devices used in routed and switched networks, as well as in-depth discussion of the OSI and TCP/IP reference models and where these devices and protocols sit within it.
Scaling and Securing Networks (20 credits)
This module goes into detail concerning the configuration of routers and switches in complex routed networks employing protocols such as multi-area OSPF and EIGRP (IPv4 and IPv6).
Virtual Networks (20 credits)
This module examines the impact of virtualisation when applied to modern networks. You will learn advanced desktop and server based scripting techniques and also examine the impact of established hypervisors within virtualised environments.
Computing Major Project (40 credits)
You will research a topic and develop software that’s connected to that topic. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.
Advanced Routing (20 credits)
The module begins with a detailed study of the current exterior gateway protocol that manages the routing of IP traffic over the Internet. You will learn how service providers and other multi-homed organisations use this protocol to support their routing policies.
Telecommunications (20 credits)
Module moves from analogue principles to digital telephony, VOIP, packetized voice, GSM and converged networks. You will have an opportunity to build a fully converged modern telecommunications system.
Ethical Hacking (20 credits)
You will develop knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking, which is about locating and strengthening security weaknesses in computer systems. The module will also cover a range of legal and social aspects in the ethical hacking domain.
Project Management (20 credits)
You will learn modern approaches to the development and management of IT-related projects, making use of the latest principles and research.
Software Enterprise (20 credits)
This module focuses on providing the knowledge and skills that will enable you to explore and exploit business opportunities for software enterprises.
Advanced Cyber Security (20 credits)
In this module you will learn how to analyse the range of tradeoffs in balancing the security properties of confidentiality, integrity and availability. You will also learn how to select the appropriate tools and techniques to address and manage concepts of risk, threats, vulnerabilities and potential attacks.
The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.
The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.
In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.
Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.
If you are a full-time UK student you will be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This course has a strong emphasis on real-world learning that boosts employability and equips you to make a bigger contribution in the workplace.
Sunderland has a good reputation with employers and 94.2% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK undergraduate students).
Our graduates have gone on to become web programmers, IT managers, information analysts and software developers. Employers that have taken on our graduates include Sage, British Airways and the NHS. Other graduates have started their own businesses or become software contractors earning over £50,000 a year.