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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

With computer security breaches and hacking incidents hitting the headlines on a regular basis, there is an urgent demand for highly skilled professionals who can deliver effective solutions.


Why you should study Computing at the University of Derby

Our BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security delivers the knowledge and skills that the industry is looking for, giving you a distinct advantage in the job market.

A vital specialist role

High-calibre network and security specialists have never been in greater demand. Companies today are finding that they are increasingly liable and responsible for ensuring that the information they hold and transfer across networks to the web – and to clients and associate companies – is secure and confidential.

Numerous highly-publicised breaches of security and hacking incidents have demonstrated that businesses still have a lot of work to do. At Derby, we are nurturing a new generation of professionals who can help companies become fully compliant and earn the trust of the public.

Build your expertise

This BSc (Hons) degree prepares you to become a successful network or security specialist. You will develop the technical skills to specify and build the physical infrastructure and the software development skills to make sure that solutions are robust and secure.

We focus on switching, routing and wide-area networks, wired and wireless networks, Cisco and Microsoft networks. We also deepen your understanding of security issues and develop your ability to critically analyse and evaluate responses to security-related problems.

In addition, you will look at the theory and implementation of wired and wireless networks, network management, network security, network applications development and security protocols.

Optional industrial placement

You can choose to spend your third year on an industry placement. This is a great opportunity to work alongside other network and security professionals and to put the skills you have learned on the course into practice. Our students have broadened their professional horizons on placement with major names such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel and BT.

We offer wide-ranging support to enhance your employability through internships and placements while you are studying and to secure graduate roles at the end of the course. For more information, please contact our Careers and Employment Service.

Professional accreditation

The CISCO Certified Network Associate Certification (CCNA) is an integral part of our BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security, which adds further credibility to your qualification. We are also a member of the Microsoft IT Academy.

Students working on computer
Students working on computer
Student working with network cables

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4CC503

Computational Mathematics

This module introduces, and in some cases reviews, the mathematical foundations of computer science.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC505

Foundations of Computer Science

This module explores two related, and yet very distinct, foundations of the practical application of computer science: The first is human-computer interaction; the second is data. Computer systems do not exist in isolation; they are used by human beings for entertainment – such as videogames – and as tools to support human activities, such as mobile telephones or Web browsers. Therefore, the one half of this module explores how computers and computer software are built to entertain and assist humans by drawing upon research and industry practice in human-computer interaction, including interfaces to computer systems, software design, interaction design, product design, and research into the social impact of computing.

Whilst computers are used by humans as tools and entertainment devices, fundamentally they are nothing but data-processing machines. Indeed, in a very broad sense, the only practical application of computer science is to help build systems that manipulate data. Therefore, the other half of this module explores Data, including its definitions and philosophical underpinnings; its representation in computer systems including data types and an introduction to type theory; various techniques for modelling the storage and movement of data.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4CC509

Introduction to Computer Science

This module introduces students to the concepts, contributors, terminology, sub-fields, and history of computer science, whilst encouraging students to develop academic skills in reading, writing, research, and presentation.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC510

Programming 1

This module introduces students to the fundamental principles, concepts, and practice of computer programming, and develops the skills needed to design, implement, and test simple computer programs. No prior computer programming experience is assumed, and all practical work is done using an industry-standard programming language and software development environment.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC511

Programming II

This module builds on the concepts introduced in Programming I by covering the theory and practical techniques needed to develop usable, robust, and reliable end-user software applications.
20 Credits

Code: 4CC523

Networking Fundamentals

This module will provide an introduction to computer networks based on the Cisco CCNA 1 curriculum. The module will cover the fundamentals of network operation including OSI and TCP/IP models, IP addressing, protocol operation, routing and basic LAN design. Additionally, the module will also discuss Ethernet operation in a LAN environment and the requirements for designing and building a small enterprise network. The course content will be a combination of theoretical and practical work underpinned by Cisco learning materials and simulation software.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC507


This module explores the concepts, technology, and theory that underpin industrial-strength multi-user database systems. Students will be required to develop the practical skills necessary to design and implement robust and scalable databases, and they will develop critical understanding of the issues related to multi-user database development, such as choosing suitable database management systems and tuning them to achieve acceptable performance.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC512

Ethical Hacking

This module discusses the principles and methods of how to manage and secure LAN resources. Different methods of system breach will be discussed, as will the mechanisms necessary for detecting and protecting against them. The module will equip students to know how to approach the securing of a LAN both internal and external threats. Students will learn the processes involved in Penetration Testing (Ethical Hacking).
20 Credits

Code: 5CC514

Network Routing and Switching

This module aims to give students an in-depth understanding of routing and switching protocols, together with an understanding of the necessary techniques to design, implement and troubleshoot a routed and switched network.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC515

Networks and Security

This module covers two important areas of network communication; information and data security, and network programming. The first part of the module will introduce the concepts, theory and practice of information and data security. The module will establish i) the importance of sound, effective, and practical security policies; ii) an understanding of the structure and implementation of security protocols; and iii) the effects of security policies and implementations on the local network environment and the wider Internet.

The second part of the module will focus on the principles of IP based network interoperation and the implementation of network applications. The module will establish i) an understanding of common network protocols, and ii) knowledge of how to implement applications which communicate over an IP network using standard and non-standard protocols.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CC517

Wide Area Networks

This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of wide area network (WAN) technologies, together with an understanding of the necessary techniques to evaluate, design and implement a WAN.
20 Credits

Code: 5CC518

Team Project

This module is intended to foster employability skills by simulating, as accurately as possible, what it's like to work in a given Computer Science specialism.

This will be done in two successive activities:

  • Students will be introduced to the “world of work” via a simulated work environment – they will be put into teams that represent fictional companies, but which need to produce real products or engage in realistic work-related activity. This will give students the opportunity to safely discover and explore their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and inclinations before embarking on real-world employment activities.
  • Students will engage with a real-world industrial brief to develop a small project – such as software, a Web site, a network design, a forensic analysis of a data set, or some similar real or realistic industrial activity – suitable for entry level employees at a relevant industrial employer.

For example, many programmers work as part of a team on large software development projects. Therefore, students working toward a BSc (Hons) Computer Science award will be assembled into fictional software development companies to develop a realistic project, and will thereby experience the challenges that can occur when trying to develop a complicated development project and deliver it on schedule and with high quality. After completion of the fictional-company project, the same teams will work on a small-scale, but real, work-based development project set by a subject-relevant industrial employer, such as a software company.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5CC886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits

Code: 5CC887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline. During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC503

Advances in Wireless Networks

This module starts by providing students with an overview of current wireless technologies and then looks at developments in wireless networks covering areas such as WiMax and type n networks. It then moves into the area of ad-hoc networks, with mobile ad-hoc networks and opportunistic networks.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC510

Distributed Networks

Peer-to-Peer networking (P2P) is an emerging technology that encapsulates systems and protocols designed to facilitate large scale information and resource sharing. As opposed to the traditional client-server model, P2P advocates the relative equal spreading of the application logic onto the nodes that participate in the network. When P2P first emerged as a class of distributed systems, it was largely constrained into the domain of file sharing. Since then, this technology has experienced significant growth and nowadays it is considered as a methodology for building large scale fault tolerant systems enabling the sharing of resources of almost any type; from files to processing cycles and application layer services.

This module will equip computing final year undergraduate students with the necessary knowledge for critically reflecting upon and applying P2P and other emerging technologies (eg cloud computing, web services and virtualisation technologies) in real world IT scenarios. As such, the aim of this module is to provide an in depth coverage and critical evaluation of the concepts, techniques, and applications of distributed computing by following a research-oriented approach.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CC513

Security Protocols

This module discusses advanced theory and practice relating to information security protocols focusing particularly on the authentication mechanisms, link security and concepts relating to encryption and key management.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC530

Server Infrastructure

The content of this module is concerned with the setup, the management, the security and the administration of server infrastructure in a network. Different servers, technologies and administration environments will be discussed, as with the mechanisms necessary to manage, secure and troubleshooting them. You will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of how server infrastructure can be built, maintained, managed and secured.
20 Credits

Code: 6CC995

Independent Studies

This module enables students to demonstrate the ability to independently develop a substantial piece of work related to their specialism. It can be either a significant piece of research following a recognised research methodology, or it can be a significant “design and development” project to create, test and evaluate an innovative solution in computing. Students will be supported and mentored by a member of academic staff, but the project will be defined and implemented by the student.
40 Credits

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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Open Days

Register your interest for a future Open Day and we'll be in touch as soon as we are able to welcome you on campus.

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How you will learn

This course features a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. You will learn in our 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 can also spend an optional year in industry on a placement, working alongside network and security professionals.

How you are assessed

The majority of the modules are assessed by coursework, although there is a small number of computer-based exams. In the final year, one third of the assessment relates to your personal project.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Shao Ying Zhu
Programme leader

Dr Shao Ying (Peggy) Zhu is a Senior Lecturer in Computing at the Department of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics in the College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Derby, UK. She is the programme leader for MSc Advanced Computer Networks and BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Security.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

 Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

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Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


There is a high demand for skills in developing, maintaining, securing and managing computer networks, as well as the engineering side of network protocol development and research.

The comprehensive training you receive through this degree equips you with wide-ranging skills which are relevant to a broad spectrum of careers in the computing field such as security, networks and computer systems management. You will also gain management abilities so that you can lead network consultancy projects in your future career.

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

4 years with placement year

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.

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.

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