Taught course

Computer Network Administration and Management

University of Portsmouth · School of Engineering

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Why take this course?
In today's IT-centric business environments, the need for correctly specified, configured and managed computer systems is at the heart of business efficiency and security.

This course aims to teach you the principles and practice of systems administration and management, including system and network design, analysis, specification, efficiency and security in an ‘Open Systems’ environment.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Use our fully equipped multi-platform suites and computer labs to enhance your learning experience
  • Gain hands-on experience of configuring and optimising secure networks and develop skills in building client, server and middleware aspects of internet applications
  • Carry out your final project in a workplace environment or relate your topic to a current issue in industry

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). It will provide you with some of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Module Details

This course provides a broad understanding of client-facing management techniques within the context of computer network administration. You will study six core topics on this course, followed by an individual project.

Here are the units you will study:

  • ICT Configuration and Administration: This unit aims to conceptualize and evaluate the theory, methods, and issues involved in installing, configuring and effectively managing a Unix based operating system for networking, as well as a complete virtualized environment.
  • Client Server Network Architecture: This unit covers client and server network architecture with strong emphasis on internet/web architecture.
  • Cloud Computing: This unit aims to provide familiarisation with the concept of cloud computing and extensive knowledge of the Open Nebula solution. It provides background knowledge of the RedHat Enterprise Linux (CentOS version) operating system, virtualisation in RHEL, to install configure and manage Open Nebula. The unit provides a good understanding of the concept of cloud computing and the technologies involved.
  • Data Communications and Networking: The unit provides you with the required foundation and depth of knowledge to comprehensively understand the core principles of data communications and computer network.
  • Network Design and Management: This unit aims to introduce you to the issues, processes and tools of top-down network design and provide you with awareness of the issues and techniques involved in the management of large scale computer networks.
  • Communications Security: This unit attempts to follow a systematic and rational engineering approach to help you master challenging topics such as cryptography.
  • Individual Project: The course ends with a four-month individual project in which you apply your knowledge to a significant communications system or network planning problem. Projects are tailored to your individual interests and may take place in our own laboratories or, by agreement, in industry.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions in conjunction with implementing your individual project, which can often be linked with industry. In addition, you will need to spend significant time in our electronic, communications and computer laboratories as well as in private study directed by lecturers.

Assessment is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • Examinations
  • Coursework assignments
  • A laboratory report
  • A dissertation

Student Destinations

Whether it is an in-house accounting and finance system in an SME or a corporate-wide data system in an international organisation, the role of systems administration is one that ensures integrity of the vital data upon which major business decisions are made.

The management aspect of the administrator's role includes securing suitable investment and commitment from staff so that the systems implemented are used correctly and to their full extent by all in the organisation. Overall, this course is about professional practice in IT at a senior level, where there is a growing need for practitioners who can take strategic IT plans and implement the associated computer and network infrastructures, as well as create appropriate administrative and maintenance structures that are responsive to company needs. Upon graduating you can expect to find roles as system administrators and managers, network designers, IT managers and system consultants.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £7,700 Part time: £2,570 p/a* (3 Years) *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £15,100 Part time: £5,030 p/a* (3 Years) *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months
full time
12/16 months

Further details of qualification

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - Partially fulfils educational requirements for CEng under United Kingdom Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC)

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566