Computer Networks and Security (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

Computer Networks and Security (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

School of Physical Sciences and Computing




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years, Sandwich: Five years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • UCAS Code:

    C486; Short form:

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

This practice-based degree will prepare you for a career in a rapidly changing industry that, thanks to new ideas, applications, security threats and constantly evolving technology, is a fascinating area to work in. It includes the latest developments in wired and wireless computer networking and security, underpinned by relevant theory to offer a broad view of the networking industry. Supported by teaching in purpose-built laboratories, you will use specialist software to develop your networking and security skills. In addition, the course covers core computing skills and legal, social, ethical and commercial issues so you will graduate with a range of transferable skills allowing you to work across the computing industry, as well as in other graduate careers.

Please note this course is running for September 2018 entry

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 UCAS Points. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Pass
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Merit
Pass Access Course: 72 UCAS Points
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Course at a Glance

Year 1

  • Introduction to Software Development
  • Investigating IT
  • Problem-solving for Computing


  • Study Skills 1 – Learning How to Learn
  • Study Skills 2 – Developing Academic Skills
  • Introduction to Mathematical Methods

Year 2

  • The Computing Challenge
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Programming
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Systems Analysis and Database Design
  • Computer Systems and Security
  • Interactive Applications

Year 3

  • Computer Security
  • Introduction to Network Routing
  • Network Management
  • Interacting with the Internet of Things
  • The Agile Professional

One from the following:

  • Advanced Programming
  • Database Systems
  • Internet Application Development

Year 4

  • Advanced Network Routing
  • Wireless and Mobile Networks
  • Penetration Testing
  • Honours Degree Project

One from the following:

  • Computers, Society and Law
  • Cloud Computing
  • Science Communication
  • A level 5 option which hasn’t been taken

Further Information

The course structure has three strands: technical; network and security specific; project management: the first develops general computing skills relevant to the networking and security specialist; the second looks at topologies, protocols, hardware devices, security and network management; the third develops communication skills, provides project experience and explores legal, social, ethical and commercial issues.

Since the start of the course is common with other courses in the School, you will gain the experience to choose the most appropriate specialist route for you.

You will focus on acquiring basic skills through small laboratory exercises and develops essential computing skills across a range of application areas. You will develop programming and analysis skills and an understanding of basic computer and network technology. You will explore modern applications of computing for business and entertainment. At higher levels, more complex techniques are developed through case studies and extended exercises. Throughout the course, you will solve real networking problems based on the Cisco curriculum. Having completed the taught element of the CNAA qualification during the course, you may take the exam at a test centre, for which a fee is due. You will investigate, analyse and discuss networks and security issues, including implementing and troubleshooting networks, researching relevant literature and evaluating network management tools and techniques. Interaction with other students will challenge you to discuss, defend and evaluate ideas. You will participate in a team-based network development project. In final year, you will undertake an individual project. A module to help you plan your career is available as an additional module, linked to the agile professional module.

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Sandwich Placement Year

This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team and UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

A placement is invaluable to your development as a person and a developer, no matter in which field it is. I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to boost your CV above the rest and earn some amazing life and work experience while doing it. I met some amazing people whilst on placement, as well as doing some really meaningful and interesting work.”  - Ryan Sheff, Industry placement student

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"Choosing which university to go to was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. After spending four years as a student at UCLan, I can safely say that attending this university was undoubtedly the right decision. The knowledge, skills and relationships I gained during my time there has enabled me to grow as a person as well as an IT Professional and has ultimately resulted in the achievement of securing a job in the very demanding and competitive field of information security.

I firmly believe that this could not have been achieved without the support of the staff. Any student who attends UCLan should have a bright and promising career if they make use of all it has to offer."


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Professional Accreditation

The course has accreditation leading to MBCS, CITP and partial CEng exemption from the British Computer Society, the computing professional body.

Learning Environment and Assessment

We emphasise practical-based learning using purpose-built laboratories and the University's general computer rooms. Our laboratories allow you to use specialist software and to do things normally forbidden on a public network: for example, configuring networks or database servers, testing system security, exploring the performance of a network under excessive workloads, and using sophisticated software to monitor protocols. You will configure and examine wired and wireless networks. Where possible, we make software available for use on your own PC. You will use an on-line learning environment to facilitate flexible learning. This environment enhances traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions by providing additional, resource-rich, online materials allowing you to continue learning independently. You will have directed work to do outside timetabled classes.

The course is assessed using individual coursework assignments, group work, presentations and exams. There is a practical emphasis with the main contribution to your degree classification coming from coursework.


You can take a one-year industrial placement after completing your second year/third year if on Foundation entry. Most placements are UK-based, but we regularly place students in English-speaking workplaces elsewhere in Europe. It is possible to study a year of the course at a university abroad.

The taught element of the CNAA qualification is integrated into the course, so you can gain the qualification by taking the CNAA examination.

Most students find roles in network security, management, design and implementation. Others will be employed as analysts, systems managers and technical support staff. There will also be opportunities in graduate careers that do not require a specific degree.

Our innovative course will enable you to work as a security officer, network designer, network manager or even a network engineer. With Cisco accreditation and a wide range of transferable skills including project management, group working and communications, you will develop excellent long-term career prospects and a high earning potential.

Our graduates have gone on to work for organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Red Bull, Fujitsu -Siemens and a large defence organisation. Some have undertaken an MSc in computer security while others have gone into teaching.