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Data Networks and Security - MSc

Course Description

Our MSc Data Networks and Security course will provide opportunities for you to engage in the design and implementation of secured and optimized communication network solutions, including SDN (Software Defined Networks and wireless technologies.

This will be achieved by industry-led, research-informed, practice-based teaching and learning. Using industry-standard resources, you will apply the skills and knowledge gained to real-life project scenarios across industry, commerce and public sector.

The programme of study will include areas such as requirements capture, network design, evaluation, securing and optimisation, ranging from hardware configuration to protocol analysis and software definition. The programme will include research and scholarly activity in order to incorporate the latest thinking into the proposed solution.

What's covered in the course?

On this course, you will learn to:
-Critically evaluate and apply knowledge of advanced routing principles.
-Evaluate and apply advanced routing protocols for specific networking solutions.
-Evaluate a variety of routing techniques for a given network environment.
-Critically evaluate routing policy requirements for a network.
-Design and implement ethernet-based LANs. Ensuring security within the given environment.
-Apply mathematical analysis to use VLSM efficiently.
-Apply security considerations to the design and management of networks.
-Design/plan and implement LAN/WAN solutions which require switched hybrid.
-Critically assess SDN solutions in both the industry and research domains.
-Design an SDN-based network for a given system, identifying appropriate components and network structure.
-Implement an appropriate SDN controller to manage device configuration, and any other relevant network policies within an SDN network.
-Select, plan and implement an appropriate testing strategy to validate security requirements against a threat model.
-Critically evaluate the requirements for penetration testing, ethical hacking and effectively communicate security audit results to a variety of audiences.
-Design and conduct security assessment experiments to expose security vulnerabilities and to interpret, analyse and critically evaluate the resulting data to recommend remedial actions.
-Critically appraise the role of security testing within the wider context of continuous security improvements to the information assurance processes within the organisation.

Why choose us?

-The Centre for Cloud Computing houses the Cisco Networking Academy, which has an international reputation for delivering high-quality teaching, training and support acrossEurope, the Middle East and Africa.
-In six purpose-built rooms, the Centre also houses £500,000 of computer networking and communications equipment, together with more than £200,000 of web-based equipment and bookable resources.
-The course provides opportunities for you to engage in advanced studies using problem-based learning and flipped curricula strategies. You will work in groups and on your own to deliver solutions to industry-related problems and scenarios.
-The unique combination of employer-led, research-informed technical knowledge and practical experience on industry-standard resources makes our graduates more employable and sought after.
-The course encourages critical thinking and problem solving, giving you the opportunities for research.

Course in depth

All the modules are practice-based and learning is carried out in the labs. Each 20-credit module will have two hours contact, and you are expected to undertake approximately six additional hours of learning, research and assessment preparation for each module.

Assessment is carried out through presentations (both group and individual), timed tests and exams, written reports, research activity and publication of findings, and practical-based time assessments.

At the start of the course, there will be a three-week, full-time induction tool kit, comprising of a review of CCNA and associated technologies.

The course also provides the base knowledge for students to undertake the CCNA certification, and with an additional boot camp to undertake the individual CCNP certification exams.

-Information Security 20 credits
-Software Defined Network Engineering 20 credits
-Advanced Networking Systems 20 credits
-Network Management 20 credits
-Advanced Ethical Hacking 20 credits
-Research Methods 20 credits
-Project and placement 60 credits

Enhancing your employability skills

The University is eager to recognise students have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate. Thus, we offer a range of options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry.

We also have our Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

Visit the Data Networks and Security - MSc page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Amrik Singh

“I truly believe that the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment is the best place to study for Cisco networking,” says Amrik Singh. And as a Cisco network consulting engineer with five years here at the University behind him, who could be better placed to judge?

The seal of approval – from an expert
“The practical aspect of the courses at the Faculty is highly regarded in the industry. Access to the full Cisco lab is also something that other universities do not offer. The course has the perfect balance of theoretical and practical knowledge,” explains Amrik.

It certainly worked for him. He not only won the Faculty Computer Networking Prize for his undergraduate studies, but he also picked up the Faculty Postgraduate Prize for his MSc. Amazingly, he even found time to play on the University cricket team too!

A perfect practical grounding
“I use the technologies learnt in MSc Data Networks and Security in my day-to-day job,” says Amrik. “The major aspect of the course was related to practical labs which I preferred as it was essential when we went into the industry to work. Now, having been working for over a year, I think it has definitely helped in understanding the network issues and how to resolve them.”

A great way to open doors
Amrik was offered an 11-month internship with Cisco alongside his studies. Clearly, he impressed – as Cisco then offered him an Associate Network Consulting Engineer role! Amrik’s loving his new career – and plans to build expert level knowledge in Cisco technologies through Cisco certifications.
Amrik’s advice

“If you are looking to go into the industry as a complete engineer who has both practical and theoretical knowledge, I think Birmingham City University is the perfect place to study.”

(Student Profile)

Michael Goodwin

Security engineer, Michael Goodwin, was so impressed with his experience as an undergraduate here that he decided to come back for his MSc.

Hands-on staff….
“I completed my undergraduate degree here, and found the course very interesting, and the tutors very helpful, and the equipment and labs very well equipped,” says Michael. The chance to continue with the same staff was a real draw in choosing where to take the next step. “All of the tutors are very helpful, “ he says, “and go out of their way to make sure things are working as they should. They’re very knowledgeable and well-experienced staff, who have had years of ‘in industry’ experience, that they are now passing on to us.”

….and hands-on experience
He especially enjoyed getting hands-on with the equipment that he now uses every day in his job with a security reseller, supporting customers, advising colleagues and installing new equipment. “It helped having this hands-on experience, and not just being taught theory in a classroom,” he explains.

The perfect student city
The student experience is another big attraction. “Birmingham is a very vibrant city, catering for many types of students. The whole University atmosphere is good, the Students’ Union is very well-organised, and the Millennium Point location is very well situated in the centre of the city.”


Entry Requirements

In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must have passed and Honours degree at minimum of 2:2 or equivalent.

Last Updated

26 January 2017

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