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Networking - Advanced

This postgraduate diploma course will provide you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to install, configure and maintain local and wide area networks. On completion of this diploma you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examinations.

Key features of the course
• Develops your skill set with the largest Cisco Networking academy in the UK
• Draws on the latest CCNP, CISSP and CCNA-S curriculum
• The chance to upgrade to our MSc in Advanced Networking
• Provides the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to install, configure and maintain local and wide area networks
• Includes hands-on experience of using online tools and configuring networks.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

Entry requirements

You must be suitably prepared for study at professional postgraduate level. You are expected to have studied to at least HNC/HND level, or to have had equivalent practical experience. Individual module descriptions will tell you more about the requirements.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.


2 – 4 years.

Most students study this qualification in two years, where they take each module in sequence, 30 credits at a time. The minimum time to complete is two years, the maximum time to complete is four years. We cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.

Number of credits

120 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
As a Cisco Academy, The Open University can offer you the opportunity to study the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) programme using the latest CCNP curriculum. Cisco systems are the market leader in the supply of networking equipment for the internet. They also have a well-established Academy programme aimed at educating network professionals. Cisco qualifications are highly regarded in the networking industry and their position at the leading edge of network development means that their academy programme is up to date. On completion of this diploma course you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examination.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

Advanced routing – CCNP Route (T824) is the foundation module for the diploma and should normally be studied first. You can study the remaining modules in any order, but if you are taking one module each presentation, we recommend that you study them in the order shown.

Note: you can take the Cisco components of T824 (Route), T828 and T826 (Switch) in any order. You must successfully complete both Route and Switch (or their predecessors BSCI and BCMSN) before taking the Cisco component of T827 (TShoot).

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:
Compulsory modules
Advanced routing – CCNP 1 (T824)
Network security (T828)
Multilayer switching – CCNP 3 (T826)
Optimising networks – CCNP 4 (T827)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T825.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking, entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Adv Net (Open) after your name.

If you obtain 60 credits or more at distinction grade, you will qualify for the award of the diploma with Distinction.

Once you have completed the postgraduate diploma, you can gain the MSc in Advanced Networking Engineering (F56) by taking either a 60-credit research project and dissertation module or a 30-credit professional project combined with a 30-credit module on digital forensics.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!