BSc (Hons)

Computer Systems (Networks)

Students using laptops
  • UCAS code(s): 350V / G420
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

To succeed in the design, implementation and management of networked computer system and mobile communications, you need a grounding in theory and practice, which this degree provides. You'll have the opportunity to learn about networks and how they work in large organisations.

Why choose this course?

It will provide you with a detailed understanding of how the communications and networking involved in large computer installations operate to underpin a system's ability to deliver what is required. The course is vendor neutral, giving you practical experience in a range of technologies (including Microsoft and Cisco) and is excellent preparation for specialist networking and computer systems roles.

Your learning will be enabled by extensive laboratory sessions and project work using our specialist isolated networking laboratories and communications equipment. You will also study techniques for programming and databases to enable you to understand whole systems and be able to write scripts and undertake a broad range of roles in industry.

  • Our computing degrees are accredited by the bcs, The Chartered Institute for IT to Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status.
  • placement and the School has strong links with local industry representatives such as Siemens, Her Majesty's Governments Communications Centre (HMGCC), Experian and Excel.
  • This course shares a common first term with BSc (Hons) Computer Systems Engineering and BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Forensic and Security) allowing you the flexibility to review your pathway once you have started studying.
  • Our student work can be groundbreaking, innovative and consistently attracts industry attention.
  • You will work with our highly-regarded academics, who are active in a broad range of research areas, achieving 80% world-leading or internationally-excellent research impact (REF 2014).

You may also be interested in:

What you'll study

What will I study?

The Computer Systems degree clusters focuses on 'behind the scenes' infrastructure aspects of computer systems. All students learn about the infrastructure components involved in networks, communications and operating systems as well as learning about the types of systems that they support.

By offering a common first term with BSc (Hons) Computer Systems Engineering and BSc (Hons) Computer Systems (Forensic and Security) you can review your pathway at the end of Year One.

What's included in the course fees?

Your course fees cover all the facilities and support you need to succeed. This includes the following:

  • You will have access to extensive computing facilities, some available 24 hours a day and including technician support.
  • You will have dedicated online storage to support backup of work.
  • You will have access to Microsoft Academic Alliance membership, which gives you free copies of all Microsoft developer software including operating systems, Visio and Project.
  • As one of our students, you will be able to join the Oracle Academic Initiative as an individual member and get free database software.
  • Students are able to register for a free personal copy of 3D Studio Max.
  • Extensive equipment is available to loan for coursework and project work. For example, you can borrow cameras and phones.
  • We offer extensive free training software including tutorials on 3D Studio Max, Flash, Photoshop, TCP/IP Packet analysis, Java, Javascript, HTML5, and Oracle.
  • Most major software is available across the campus machines, including Adobe Master Collection Suite.

Learn from expert academic staff

Computing and Technology comprises 35 full-time academic teaching staff. We and our students have excellent support from our four dedicated technicians. We are very proud to have achieved 80% world-leading or internationally-excellent research impact (REF 2014). Find out more.

We have a rich mix of knowledge ranging from software development for different types of system through to hardware aspects such as networking. This involves many uses of computing and considers all aspects including security and management. Our knowledge is built up and maintained through our wealth of industrial experience, our industrial links and our research activity. These are the ingredients for ensuring the relevance and vitality of your course.

Much of our research is internationally recognised, particularly in the areas of games for learning and in security. For example, Prof David Brown leads several projects, funded by the European Union, in games and assistive technology while Prof Paul Evans' innovative developments in security are supported by USA Dept of Homeland Security.

We engage fully in our subject area and this engagement feeds directly and indirectly into our teaching. Other examples of our activity are:

  • developing patents e.g. in voice signal processing
  • involvement in the GameCity Festival
  • organising conferences on Interactive Technology and Games and on Intelligent Environments
  • working with local companies on funded projects e.g. enhancing the capability of the press association to search their image database
  • publishing novel findings in research publications on for example financial prediction, mobile communications, detection of human behaviour patterns.

Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.

For information on International student support or to see our academic term times please visit our International student pages.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the ULP.

  • Year One

    Foundation in Computing and Technology

    This module has four strands, including programming and technical aspects that introduce you to the fundamentals of writing computer programs, as well as numeracy and website development.

    Systems Programming

    This foundation module in programming uses high-level languages and how to apply these to produce scripts or programs for networking and forensics-related applications.

    Systems Technology

    Learn the key principles, underlying technologies and practical application of computer networks. You’ll be introduced to embedded systems, fundamentals, operation and hardware components.

    System Analysis and Design (SAD) with Professional Development

    Introducing you to the fundamental principles of SAD, this module gives you a working knowledge of the key systems development methodologies, techniques and tools.

  • Year Two

    Network Design and Administration

    Network infrastructure has become key to the effective operation of most organisations. This module will enable you to plan, configure and manage networking solutions to support business needs.

    Computer Security Management

    Manage the security of computer-based information and systems within organisations and develop the ability to make informed choices based on business drivers.

    Communications Technology

    Analyse and test communication technology applications and understand their constraints and limitations.

    Distributed Network Architectures and Operating Systems

    Introduction to operating systems running on single machines and how they can be put together to form a large scale system comprising of many networked machines.

    Information and Database Engineering

    Understand the nature and application of database management systems and acquire skills for database administration and management.

    Practical Project Management and Professional Development

    Continued professional development and lifelong learning are important to your future career. Through this module you’ll improve your time and project management skills, presentations and report writing.

  • Year Three

    Optional work placement for sandwich students. Please see our excellent placement opportunities section.

  • Final year

    Project

    Investigate problems in computing, implement solutions, critically evaluate and reflect on your work, and develop your abilities to communicate, self-organise and manage.

    Wireless and Mobile Communications

    Continuing from Year Two’s Communications Technologies module, you’ll study and examine a range of current and emerging wireless communication systems and their applications.

    Mobile Platform Development

    Gain an awareness of the requirements, capabilities and constraints of a variety of mobile platform technologies and consider how they can be used to build systems which are outside the traditional desktop paradigm.

    Service-centric and Cloud Computing

    Discover two challenging aspects of implementing distributed computing systems in Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA).

    One from the following modules:

    Security Technologies

    Introduces fundamental principles of security and provides you with some core technologies of information security that are extensively used in both industry and academia.

    Computer Crime and Forensics

    Covers different types of computer crime and how they occur. It also shows how you can investigate a crime and generate documentary evidence necessary for legal proceedings.

    Business Analysis

    Understand the design and operation of business systems and investigate the principles, role and practice of business modelling as it’s applied to business operations.

    Information Systems Management

    Develop an understanding of how to manage the build and deployment of enterprise and Internet information systems in small to medium organisations.

    Communicating Science and Technology

    This module will be of interest to you if you are considering a career in teaching and / or want to develop your portfolio of transferable skills.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Scheduled contact time in lectures and seminars is around 12 hours per week and these will be held on Clifton Campus. Lectures are spread between various buildings on campus, including Erasmus Darwin and Mary Ann Evans. See Clifton Campus maps and travel information.

You will be assessed on a variety components including:

Coursework and Practical

  • assignments
  • dissertation
  • group projects
  • oral presentations
  • reports

Written

  • exams
  • written tests

Assessment methods

Year 1 - coursework 17(%) and written (83%)

Year 2 - coursework (38%) and written (62%)

Year 3 - coursework (17%) and written (83%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (26%) and independent study (74%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (24%) and independent study (76%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (24%) and independent study (76%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Careers and employability

Your career development

As one of our graduates, you will possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills, including investigative and analytical techniques, problem-solving, planning, organisation and communication skills, all of which are invaluable for a number of careers.

Recent graduates have gone onto work in the following roles and companies:

Graduates can expect to gain employment with government departments and institutions, software companies, consulting engineering companies, network management and in any organisation with significant computing installations. Other pathways open to them include working as designers and managers of effective networked solutions to maximise efficiency and security.

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

Excellent placement opportunities

After the second year, you will have the opportunity to undertake a one-year work placement in industry. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. Recent placement salaries have ranged from £12,000 to £30,000 and many students impress their placement employers so much they are offered jobs upon graduation.

Our students have secured work placements in companies and in roles such as:

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBC including an IT, Maths or Science subject grade B; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in an IT, Maths or a Science subject; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma grades DMM (including relevant IT, Maths or Science modules); and
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBC including an IT, Maths or Science subject grade B; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in an IT, Maths or a Science subject; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma grades DMM (including relevant IT, Maths or Science modules); and
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Science and Technology course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 8351