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Computer Networks and Security BSc

Develop high-level skills for designing and building secure computer networks. Gain industry-recognised certifications, and first-class placement and career opportunities
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September 2024
3 years full-time
4 years with placement
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Dr Robert Colson

Why choose Computer Networks and Security BSc at Middlesex?

In an increasingly interconnected digital world, strong computer networks are more important than ever. This course will help you build the skills and confidence to handle real-world IT issues including Cyber security.

You’ll develop your professional skills with a year-long, paid work experience placement as part of a four-year study option.

We have strong links with industry giants like Cisco, Lucent Technologies, Huawei, Xilinx and Jupiter Networks. We are an accredited Cisco and Huawei training Centre.

What you will gain

After graduating from this course, you will have developed in-demand skills which will help you adapt to the ever-changing computer networking landscape.

You'll gain practical competencies in network design and security and learn how to develop mobile internet applications and services.

You'll also have the opportunity to achieve industry-recognised certifications, including Cisco's CCNA and CCNP.

At a time when cyber security is of utmost importance, you will learn to strengthen and defend your networks from malicious attacks.

What you will learn

You’ll learn how to reduce security threats to networks, and develop the skills to design and implement internet and network applications.

Throughout your Computer Networks and Security degree, you’ll put your skills to the test with hands-on experiments in our Cisco, Xilinx, and mobile communication labs. And you'll also have access to observation control rooms andtest areas in the networking labs.

We have taken a more radical approach to teaching this course than other universities, in order to improve your learning.

Our approach includes:

  • Using practical, problem-led sessions that reflect the way Computer Networking occurs in the real world, to help you develop an appreciation of the key topics of the discipline
  • Integrating Security throughout the course and using programming to set up and control operation of routers and switches
  • Using examples, challenges, mini-projects and case studies in the first year to provide an opportunity for multiple topics to be introduced and investigated

Allowing you to dictate the pace of learning.

Keep informed

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Our communications are designed to support you in deciding your future and keep you up to date about student finance, employment opportunities and student activities available at Middlesex University.

The course explores the principles of up-to-date network systems and focuses on key operational and technical aspects. Core modules such as Data Communications, Computer Networks, and Programming and Problem Solving for Communications are covered in this course. You will have the opportunity to put what you've learned to practical use and make valuable industry contacts; even more so if you decide to complete a work experience placement in your second year.

Year 1

STEM, Programming for Computer Networks, Computer Networks, Computer Systems Architecture

Year 2

Project Management, Data Communications, Networking Protocols, Network Operations

Year 3

Advanced Networking, Network Security, Individual Project, Optional module


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Computer Systems Architecture and Operating Systems (30 credits)

      This module provides you with fundamental knowledge and principles of computer hardware and operating systems in order to understand the structure and operation of modern computers.

      The module aims to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental behaviour and components (hardware and software) of a typical computer system, and how they collaborate to manage resources and provide services in scales from small embedded devices up to the global internet.

      The module will focus on the understanding of concepts, theory and associated terminology of two core components: ‘Computer Architecture’ and ‘Operating Systems and Networks’. Practical hands-on laboratory experiments will be used to illustrate the application of theory and concepts.

      The lab work ranges between using C code, Batch, Bash and Python. This will allow you to develop a range of programming skills that will support your knowledge and skills not only in this module but in future studies as well.

    • Computer Networks (30 credits)

      This module provides you with the basic skills needed to succeed in networking-related degree programs and also helps you develop the skills necessary to fulfil the job responsibilities of network technicians, network administrators, and network engineers. It provides a theoretically-rich, hands-on introduction to networking and the Internet.

      You will learn both the practical and conceptual skills that build the foundation for understanding basic networking. And you will gain an understanding of the “layered” approach to networks by examining the OSI and TCP/IP models in detail. Among the topics covered will be the various network devices, network addressing schemes and the types of media used to carry data across the network.

      You will also gain a better understanding of routing protocols and learn how to configure, verify, and troubleshoot routing operations.

    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) (30 credits)

      The overall aim of the module is to provide you with the knowledge and skills required for the theoretical understanding of inter-communicating computer systems. This is achieved through the study of relevant general mathematical and scientific principles. These principles are applied to illustrate the operation of hardware components such as logic gates, processors, controllers and data storage devices; communication channels and network concepts.

      The module ensures that you are suitably equipped with the theoretical underpinnings needed for the proper understanding of subsequent course modules.

    • Programming for Data Communication and Networks (30 credits)

      This module introduces fundamental computational concepts and programming constructs relevant to understanding and use of a range of widely used programming languages.

      The main aim is to provide you with the opportunity to learn programming effectively. This takes place in the context of learning to solve a range of problems arising in the context of the processing, storing and transmitting data.

      You will understand the role of a basic but important range of data structures and types, and their use. Several data structures of interest within the networking and security fields will be considered, for example those to represent RTP packets (and associated operations on these), and how audio-visual data can be sent using transport protocols such as the UDP protocol.

      The concept of an algorithm is introduced early on together with the techniques for program implementation. You will be encouraged and supported in undertaking - both individually and within a small group setting - a variety of problem solving tasks.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Project Management and Professional Practice (30 credits)

      The aim of this module is for you to gain knowledge of professional project management in the context of your degree and future profession.

      You will use your newly acquired professional project management knowledge to participate in a ‘real world’ group project, relevant to your level of study.

      The module will focus on all aspects of professional practice including project management. In addition, you will study ethical, legal, regulatory, organisational and business issues in order to further your employability within the computer and networking world.

    • Network Practices and Operations (30 credits)

      This module provides you with the skills needed to succeed in networking-related degree programs and also helps you develop the skills necessary to fulfil the job responsibilities of network technicians, network administrators, and network engineers.

      The primary focus of this module is regarding the architecture, components, operations of routers and switches, the WAN technologies, and network services in a large and complex network.

      You will also develop knowledge regarding networking and network security trends, including Cloud, virtualisation, and SDN.

    • Network and Protocol Analysis (30 credits)

      The module looks at Network and Protocol Analysis and attempts to cover all aspects of Networking and Protocols including Internet Protocols, Network Services and Cloud Environments as well as Network Monitoring and Analysis.

      The main goal of the module is to equip you with the ability to build and analyse any networking environment independent of the underlying physical networking technology.

      Internet Protocols are the backbone of global communications and will be thoroughly examined in this course: including ARP, IP, UDP and TCP.

      This is then followed by the examination of the use of Network services including DNS, DHCP and CIFS as well as Cloud Environments.

      The course then looks at the Y-Comm Framework, which combines communication, mobility, quality-of-service and security. The course finishes by looking at issues of network monitoring, network analysis and network performance.

    • Data Communications (30 credits)

      This module addresses the fundamental principles of electronic communication, particularly in relation to digital data.

      A key development in the last decade has been the seamless integration of many different data types (documents, images, speech etc.) onto common communication platforms.

      These communication platforms (legacy hardwired telephone connections, wired and wireless computer networks, broadcast television, mobile phone systems to name but a few) have themselves spawned new functionality so that we are now able to access any data/function on any device, almost anywhere.

      The main aim of the module is to provide you with an operational understanding of how current communication systems work, and specifically how we can communicate information over any distance with a high degree of accuracy and reliability. As part of this, encoding data, capacity, data compression, bandwidth, security and cryptography are covered.

  • Placement year - Optional

    • Supervised Industrial Placement (120 credits)

      The overall aim of the module is to provide a minimum of nine months and a maximum of 15 months experience in a relevant work placement.

      The specific aims of this module are to enable you to:

      • Experience a technical employment role in a real work setting
      • Apply theoretical knowledge to the solution of practical problems
      • Build your skills to assess practical problems effectively and provide well-grounded solutions
      • Develop and enhance your professional qualities, to work in a management structure, to develop team skills and communication skills;
      • Develop the maturity that will enable you to perform well in your final year;
      • Develop the skills of autonomous learning
  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Individual Project (30 credits)

      The primary aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate how effectively you have consolidated your knowledge and skills from all other modules via an individual project, which must involve a computer / network / communication solution or a cyber security solution or a digital forensic investigation method.

    • Network Security (30 credits)

      This module aims to examine some of the weaknesses that are found in network systems and the methods and attacks that threaten networks today.

      It also examines ways to secure such networks through network design and available tools to resist attackers.

    • Advanced Networking (30 credits)

      This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to plan, implement, secure, maintain, and troubleshoot converged enterprise networks.

      You will learn how to implement complex enterprise LAN and WAN routing and switching solutions.

      Comprehensive labs emphasise hands-on learning and practice to reinforce configuration skills using a range of routing protocols in IPv4 and IPv6 environments and the secure integration of VLANs, WLANs, voice, and video into campus networks.

      The course also covers the configuration of secure routing solutions to support branch offices and mobile workers.

      The module reflects the job skills and responsibilities that are associated with professional-level job roles such as network engineer, systems engineer, network support engineer, network administrator, and network consultant.

  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Enterprise Networking and Automation (30 credits)

      This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills related to designing, securing, operating, and troubleshooting enterprise networks.

      This module also covers wide area network (WAN) technologies, introduces software-defined networking, virtualisation, and automation concepts that support the digitalisation of networks.

      Extensive labs emphasise hands-on learning and practice to reinforce the skills to configure and troubleshoot enterprise networks.

      The module reflects the job skills and responsibilities that are associated with professional-level job roles such as network engineer, systems engineer, network support engineer, network administrator, and network consultant.

    • Network Management & Disaster Recovery (30 credits)

      This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to consolidate many computer networking concepts and introduces elements of network design, equipment selection and configuration, and LAN and WAN addressing.

      An integrated case study presents critical thinking scenarios to help you develop skills such as analysing business objectives, determining technical requirements and constraints, planning timelines and resources, and preparing and delivering customer presentations.

      This module also shows you how to ensure that a network is restored to its normal state as rapidly as possible.

      The module reflects the job skills and responsibilities that are associated with entry-level career opportunities in networking.

    • Security and Network Forensics (30 credits)

      This aim of the module is to provide an understanding of both general and advanced areas related to network security, cyber security, and network forensics.

      It looks at issues, such as, threats and security attacks, vulnerabilities, cryptography, security tools, software security, network attacks and defences, countermeasures, web-based security, network forensic analysis, and security in cloud computing.

To find out more about this highly regarded course, please download the Computer Networks and Security BSc specification (PDF).

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

  1. Teaching and independent learning
  2. Coursework and assessment


You will have access to a wide range of advanced equipment and software. Facilities include internetworking labs equipped with Cisco units, blade servers and high-end simulation software, as well as state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment.

Student plugging wires into a wall of computer equipment

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the BSc Computer Networks support your career?

This course opens the door to a career in the rapidly growing network industry. This includes fields such as network design and implementation, network consultancy, internet software applications development and network security. Recent graduates have progressed onto masters courses or have secured jobs with global companies.

As a Computer Networks and Security graduate, you'll have excellent career prospects. The range of potential employers is across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, and you will be put in contact with Networking recruitment specialists during your final year of study. You'll also have the potential to start your own business.

Graduate roles

Below are just a few examples of the types of careers that you could pursue after graduating with us:

Applications developer
As an applications developer your role will include writing specifications and designing, building, testing, implementing and sometimes supporting applications using computer languages and development tools. You may also specialise in a specific development environment, such as computer games or e-commerce, and you will have in-depth knowledge of a few relevant computer languages.

ICT manager
The role of the ICT manager is to ensure that information technology resources are aligned with the organisation's mission, corporate goals, and the corporate strategic plan. Your role will include developing, maintaining, facilitating and implementing information frameworks in line with a corporate ICT strategy, and supporting policies and defining standards associated with information management.

Network engineer
A network engineer is responsible for installing, maintaining and supporting computer communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. Your role will be to ensure the smooth operation of communication networks in order to provide maximum performance and availability for their users (staff, clients, customers and suppliers).

Software engineer
Software engineers research, design, test, implement and maintain software systems to meet client or employer needs. In this role you will use a variety of computer programming languages and applications, working in teams with other IT professionals, or alone.

Systems developer
Systems developers test systems, diagnose and fix faults, write diagnostic programs, and design and write code for operating systems and software to ensure that they function more efficiently. In this role you may also create systems in response to technical specifications supplied by an IT analyst, often integrating off-the-shelf software packages into existing systems.

IT project manager
An IT project manager specialises in information technology but also in sectors unrelated to IT that rely on IT systems. Their role is to manage the development and implementation of plans to meet business needs and the change control procedures to ensure a smooth transition during the implementation period.


Our Careers and Employability Service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has been recognized with the following awards:

  • The top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money, 2023 
  • A top 10 university for producing CEOs  – Novuana, 2023

MDXcelerator Student Start-Up Support

Want to be your own boss? You'll have the chance to pitch your business to gain mentoring and grants of up to £15,000.

Global network

You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.

Work placements

Work placements increase your success in the job market – as well as being a fantastic experience. You can further develop your interpersonal skills, build your confidence, and make contact with industry leaders.

By making a good impression during your placement year, you greatly increase your chances of securing a job with the company after graduation. Research shows that 70% of placements result in a graduate job offer.

Our specialist employability service and London location ensure that every year our students and graduates gain prestigious placement opportunities. Past placements have included Thales, IBM, Exponential-e and Reed Exhibitions.

Placements normally run for 8-12 months, and typical salaries paid are £18-22,000 pa or pro rata.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below refer to the 2024/25 academic year unless otherwise stated. Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £16,600

Part-time students: £138 per taught credit

Additional costs included

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Free access to the resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Fees disclaimer

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

Dr Robert Colson
Course leader

Dr Colson graduated in Electronics and subsequently studed for a PhD in Medical Telemetry at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. He was CEO of a company manufacturing medical telemetry equipment during the 1980's and joined Middlesex University in 1992. Robert has a lifelong interest in Data Communications, and is a licensed Radio Amateur. As well as heading up this course, he is the Industrial placement module leader, and Link tutor for several Middlesex courses running in Hong Kong.

  • Damian Milkins


    Middlesex graduate Damian Milkins is president and co-founder of Control Circle, a global IT services company. Watch a video of Damian discussing his time at Middlesex and his thoughts on our investment in the latest facilities and equipment.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years with placement

Code: G404

Computer Systems Engineering BEng

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Code: HP50

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