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Course content

This highly technical course is aimed at networking professionals who already have Cisco CCNA or equivalent networking skills and experience (CCNA certification is recommended but not required). Each of the modules are designed to prepare you for the latest Cisco certification exams and to develop the critical and analytical skills required for the challenges faced in today's enterprise infrastructures.

The ability to provide scalable, integrated, flexible and secure networks is critical for modern enterprises. Graduates from this course gain the skills and knowledge to become valued experts in their field.

You learn both practical and theoretical skills in the areas of designing, building, troubleshooting and managing complex secure network systems. The course complements your academic achievements by funding a single attempt at each of the latest Cisco Networking Professional Routing and Switching Certification exams.

Our networking labs are comprehensively equipped with the latest Cisco switches, routers and security devices. You work on different platforms including • Campus LAN Access Switches (Cisco Catalyst 2960, 3560 Series) • Campus LAN Compact Switches (Cisco Catalyst 3560-CX Series) • Campus LAN Core and Distribution Switches (Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches) • Security Appliances (Cisco ASA 5510, IPS 4240)• Enterprise and ISR Routers (Cisco 2800, 2900 Series) • Cisco wireless devices • VOIP devices • ADSL connections • VMWare virtual computing platforms. Your lab facilities are available from 8am to midnight during term time and are not limited to your tutorial sessions.

After the successful completion of your taught modules, the dissertation enables you to work on a real project with a company, or research and develop your own complex system for further analysis.

The course has been designed with industry in mind. The theoretical and practical learning you engage with is directly related to the latest trends in industry. The timetabling arrangements are specially designed to be suitable for both part-time and full-time study.

This course helps prepare you for exams in • Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP R&S) • Cisco Certified Design Architect (CCDA) • Cisco Certified and Networking Associate Security (CCNA Security). A single attempt at the latest CCNP R&S exams is included in the fee.

Course structure

Full time - September start - typically 12 or 16 months

Part time - September start - typically 36 months

Core modules

  • Advanced switching and enterprise switching
  • Advanced routing and enterprise routing
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Cloud technologies
  • Network Security
  • Advanced Network Design
  • Research principles and practice
  • Dissertation


Modules are assessed using coursework. Assignments are typically individual pieces of work but some modules involve group work.Assessments are most often completed through practical work, supported by reports or presentations.


Graduates from this course have the skills and knowledge to work in most areas of IT, particularly as a network engineer, IT consultant or IT manager.

You are well placed to fast-track into the more technical areas of network engineering. Our graduates work in companies as diverse as Cisco, Sky, PlusNet, IBM, Citrix and BT in roles which range from network engineer through to network architect.

Visit the Advanced Computer Networks MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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