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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 Year, Part-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£875 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,700 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

The Internet has become an indispensable part of many people’s daily lives. With computer networks forming the underlying infrastructure of the Internet, there is a growing demand for professionals who can keep our online experiences efficient, effective and safe.

Connecting with our digital future

More and more people use the Internet for social networking, shopping, banking and many other online activities.  As the full potential of the Internet of Things/Internet of Everything (IOT/IOE) is realised, we are beginning to see the shape of our digital life in the near future. 

This degree captures latest advances in the digital age. It provides a structured environment in which you can develop your critical understanding of modern theories along with practical expertise in networking technologies and applications in a wide range of contexts. It offers the ideal preparation for employment in the network industry.

Professional credibility

The MSc Advanced Computer Networks has been developed in consultation with leading employers and industry to ensure the content is relevant and up to date.

It follows the syllabus of the CISCO CCNP for those who have already obtained the CCNA. If you are not already qualified to CCNA level, we give you the opportunity to study the CCNA syllabus if required.

A comprehensive portfolio of skills

We explore all the latest developments and issues in distributed networks, as well as network management and maintenance and the methodologies and approaches used to plan, configure and verify the implementation of complex enterprise LAN and WAN routing and switching solutions.

You will build a critical and in-depth awareness of the theory, methods and issues involved in the design, development and deployment of modern wireless networks. The course will focus on secure networking systems and examine advanced concepts in ethical systems penetration, attack signature detection and mainstream host-based and network-based protection methods.

With information governance and law becoming of increasing importance, we also give you the chance to critically evaluate issues of good governance in the context of the design, deployment, operation and management of information and information systems.

Pursue your personal interests

The whole MSc programme is brought together by an in-depth project exploring a theme of your choice.  As part of the Independent Scholarship module you can concentrate on an area where you see your career developing, usually by solving a commercial IT problem in association with industrial collaborators.

If you are studying part time while working, you can potentially focus on a subject which is directly relevant to your current role and the needs of your employer.  

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

For the Postgraduate Certificate, you will study three modules from the list below. 

Network Management Concepts

On this module, you will gain an in-depth awareness of the issues involved in the management of large-scale computer networks. You will look at the underlying concepts of network management and associated models, and how to improve the day-to-day running of a network and prevent network failures.

Studying at Masters Level and Research Methods

You will develop your skills to study at masters level to help you plan and execute a research project. This module will also give you an understanding of research design and methodological enquiry.

Advanced Network Switching

We will equip you to design and evaluate switching in complex enterprise networks. You will also study the secure integration of VLANs, WLANs, voice and video into enterprise networks.

Securing Networks

In this module, you will focus on protecting a network from external and internal threats and will discuss different methods of system breach and the mechanisms for detecting and protecting against them.

Advanced Network Routing

You will develop your abilities to design and evaluate network configurations in an enterprise network. This module concentrates on software optimisation techniques as well as alternative and complementary protocols.

Mobile and Wireless Networking

This module gives you knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in the design and implementation of wireless networks. You will look in depth at the theory behind wireless networks and how this affects their design.

You will study a further three modules from those listed under Postgraduate Certificate.

You will study one module, such as:

Independent Scholarship

During this triple module, you will formulate, research and resolve a commercial IT problem, usually working with our industry partners to help focus attention on specific and real applications. You will present your findings and solution in the form of a masters-level dissertation that you can use to demonstrate your ability to apply your learning
independently and rigorously.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Postgraduate Live Online Event

Over two days we’ll be running a range of interactive sessions to help you decide if the University of Derby is right for you. Learn about our courses from our expert teaching staff and discover what it’s like to be a Derby student, all from the comfort of your own home.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

You will learn through lectures, seminars, discussion groups, practical sessions, presentations and blended learning.

Your theoretical and practical skills will be developed using our dedicated Network Development Suite which has a full range of routers, switches, wireless and conventional equipment from manufacturers like CISCO, D-Link, Linksys and Netgear.

You will be assessed through a mixture of coursework and examinations. The range of coursework techniques includes analytical essays, reports on lab-based problems, research papers, assignments using case studies, multi-task portfolios and presentations.

Entry requirements

You will require: 

If you do not meet the above requirements please contact our Admissions Department as we have a flexible policy and you may be able to use extensive experience in computing as an alternative to the formal qualifications.


Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)


£875 per 20 credits*

£875 per 20 credits*


£14,700 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

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International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


The MSc Advanced Computer Networks delivers excellent employment and earnings potential. Your career prospects include working for network consultancy companies and providing in-house network design, support and management. There is also a growing demand for specialists in network security and network programming.

Alternatively, you could use your learning experiences on the MSc as the basis for undertaking further research leading to a PhD.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.