MSc (SW) Computer Networking Principles and Practice with Sandwich Placement
About the course
This course considers current research and practice in computer networking, distributed systems and security. You will develop technical expertise and practical skills in the design, management and evaluation of networks, and in the use of tools and techniques for system security. This MSc can lead to a career such as a network system designer or administrator, or as a security consultant.
This course is part of our Masters Programme in Computer Science. For more information about the different course titles, visit our Programme Summary page. Here you can also download the Programme Prospectus as a pdf file.
The MSc Computer Networking Principles and Practice course consists of two major parts: taught modules and an MSc project. Each taught module has an assigned number of credits (either 15 or 30). All modules are compulsory. The project is compulsory and has a modular value of 60. In order to obtain an MSc degree you must study and pass 120 credits of taught modules plus the project i.e. 180 credits in total.
Part I: Taught modules:
A student will complete a set of compulsory taught modules which are Professional Issues (15 credits), Investigative Methods for Computer Science (15 credits), Distributed Systems Security (30 credits), Multicast and Multimedia Networking (15 credits), Network System Administration (15 credits), Secure Systems Programming (15 credits), and Wireless, Mobile and Ad-hoc Networking (15 credits).
Part II: MSc Project
After completing the required credits of taught modules, the student may progress to the project.
Why choose this course?
- This MSc is available with an optional one year industry placement. The 'with placement' programmes give you additional industrial experience by applying the skills you have learned throughout your studies
- One of a range of advanced courses within our postgraduate Master's programme in Computer Science, this particular course provides you with a specialism combining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in computer networking.
- You will develop technical expertise and practical skills in the design,management and evaluation of networks, andin the use of tools and techniques for system security.
- Taught by a highly-regarded and long-established computer science department with strong links to business.
- Half the research outputs in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire have been rated at world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
A recent, good bachelors degree (e.g. honours degree from the UK) or equivalent in Computer Science or closely-related subject. Plus IELTS 6.0 if your first language is not English.
Applicants who do not wholly meet these requirements, but who are considered to have the professional experience, motivation or potential to succeed at the programme, may also be accepted.
If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English courses can help you to achieve this level.
Our masters programme is designed to give Computer Science graduates the specialist, up-to-date skills and knowledge sought after by employers, whether in business, industry, government or research. This particular course will prepare you for a career such as a software engineer, developer or project manager.
Classes consist of lectures, small group seminars, and practical work in our well-equipped laboratories. We use modern, industry-standard software wherever possible. There are specialist facilities for networking and multimedia and a project laboratory especially for masters students. In addition to scheduled classes, you will be expected a significant amount of time in self-study, taking advantage of the extensive and up-to-date facilities. These include the Learning Resource Centres, open 24x7, with 1,500 computer workstations and wifi access, Studynet our versatile online study environment usable on and off campus, and open access to our labs.
This MSc is available with an optional one year industry placement. The 'with placement' programmes give you additional industrial experience by applying the skills you have learned throughout your studies.
This offers you the opportunity to work for one year in a highly professional and stimulating environment. You will be a full time employee in a company earning a salary and will learn new skills that can't be taught at University. During the placement, you will be able to gain further insight into industrial practice that you can take forward into your individual project.
We will provide excellent academic and personal support during both your academic and placement periods together with comprehensive careers guidance from our very experienced dedicated Careers and Placements Service.
Although the responsibility for finding a placement is with you, our Careers and Placements Service maintains a wide variety of employers who offer placement opportunities and organise special training sessions to help you secure a placement, from job application to the interview. Optional one-to-one consultations are also available.
In order to qualify for the placement period you must maintain an overall average pass mark of not less than 60% across all modules studied in semester ‘A’.
Investigative Methods for Computer Science
Students working at, and beyond, Master’s level are expected to understand both generic and domain-specific investigative methods, and to be able to apply them in their work. This module explores a range of such methods and the uses to which they may be put, and helps students to enhance their proficiency in the skills that are expected of those working at postgraduate level. Furthermore, this module involves working actively as part of a team of fellow students on a complex, multi-domain computing problem. Typically, the project can be a research project to answer a research question, a thorough empirical investigation of a specific topic, or a development idea from student themselves, or a virtual or real client. Each team would be expected to manage the project, to report regularly to their supervisor(s) on the progress of the project, and to collectively deliver a set of appropriate outputs from the project. The output(s) of the team project will typically be a computing product or system together with appropriate documentation etc.
This module covers the relationship between technological change, society and the law, emphasising the powerful role that computers and computer professionals play in a technological society. It also covers the professional codes and UK laws which are relevant to the disciplines of computer science and information systems, and provides students with an understanding of important ethical concepts and dilemmas of relevance to computer professionals.
Investigative Methods for Computer Science
Students working at, and beyond, Master’s level are expected to understand both generic and domain-specific investigative methods, and to be able to apply them in their work. This module explores a range of such methods and the uses to which they may be put, and helps students to enhance their proficiency in the skills that are expected of those working at postgraduate level. Whilst some material will be presented in lectures, the module will be largely literature- and activity-based. It will place strong emphasis on self-management and will encourage students to reflect upon, and learn from, their own work. As the module progresses students will be expected to select an increasingly large proportion of the reading matter for themselves, so that they can tailor their learning to their individual needs. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the development of skills in the planning and management of individual investigative projects.
Distributed Systems Security
A range of topics will be covered in this module. The detailed content will vary according to current research directions. Case studies will be used throughout. Issues will be considered in relation to each topic as appropriate. These pervasive issues are: models, design, standards, protocols, and performance. A more detailed description of the module content is provided in the module delivery information for students.
Secure Systems Programming
The variety and proliferation of passive and active malicious attacks made against users of networks and distributed systems has led to a need for pro-active defence mechanisms against such attackers. For an individual, the inconvenience of being attacked can range from being extremely frustrating to downright expensive with slow to no service at all on their computer. For a company it too can be frustrating and costly both financially and to their reputation. This module will be both theoretical and practical, exploring concepts and applications from the fields of computer systems and their security weaknesses. Content will vary according to current research directions. A more detailed description of the module content is provided in the module delivery information for students.
Network System Administration
This module is designed for those with an existing knowledge and understanding of fundamental computer networking concepts, protocols and architectures and aims to extend that knowledge in practice. Students will be able to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation in computer networks and the Internet by having hands-on experience with real networks and will learn how to configure and maintain network systems. A more detailed description of the module content is provided in the module delivery information for students.
Multicast and Multimedia Networking
How do we deal efficiently with applications that have to send the same data to many different destinations? How can a network mix applications with very different quality of service requirements? This module addresses these and other problems that must be solved if we are to integrate the gamut of diverse network applications onto a single network infrastructure. It exposes students to some of the most important developments in computer networking. By the end of the module, you will be familiar with most of the important issues and ideas in applying high-speed network technology to applications with diverse quality of service requirements. A more detailed description of the module content is provided in the module delivery information for students.
Wireless, Mobile and Ad-hoc Networking
How can we cope with users and computers that move from place to place, and yet wish to remain in contact with the net? This module looks at a range of wireless communications technologies, and addresses some of the problems of mobile ad-hoc and wireless networks. It exposes students to some of the most important developments in computer networking. A more detailed description of the module content is provided in the module delivery information for students.
Computer Networking Principles and Practice Masters Project
The project is a showpiece opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know about current research and practices in networking, distributed systems, and system security and show off their skills in selecting and using appropriate techniques and tools employed in these areas to conduct a practical investigation into a particular distributed systems or system security problem. The project is a self-directed piece of work, conducted with minimum supervision that demonstrates the student’s ability to plan and manage a substantial piece of work, and steer their own efforts. Students are expected to be thorough in their work, and, particularly, identify and tackle any difficult or challenging aspects of the problems they are trying to solve. It is not just the quantity, or even the quality of work that is considered when grading the project, but the level of difficulty and the scope of the problem being addressed.
Preparation for Placement
The module will explain the benefits of the Supervised Work Placement and encourage students to apply. It will support students in their application by informing them about the types of employer and job role available, helping them select the most appropriate for their strengths and weaknesses, and how employers conduct the recruitment process. The module will assist students to make an application, throughout the entire process, via a series of lectures, seminars, individual guidance and online communication. This includes writing of CVs and letters of application, preparation for psychometric and other forms of assessment, and development of interview technique. For those who are successful in securing a placement there will be further help in preparing for employment.
Professional Work Placement for MSc Computer Science
Supervised work experience provides students with the opportunity to set their academic studies in a broader context, to gain practical experience in specific technical areas and to strengthen their communication and time-management skills. It greatly assists them in developing as independent learners, so that they will be able to gain maximum benefit from the learning opportunities afforded by their future study programme. It gives them opportunities, according to the nature of the placement experience, to acquire the basis of technical expertise in specialist areas, which they may be able to enhance through study after completion of the placement, especially in the final project.
Fees & funding
The government has yet to announce the upper limit of Tuition Fees for applicants wishing to study an undergraduate course in 2018/19. As soon as this information becomes available, our website will be updated and we will contact everyone who has applied to the University to advise them of their Tuition Fee.
Full time: £8,150 for the 2017 academic year
Full time: £12,600 for the 2017 academic year
Full time: £8,000 for the 2018 academic year
Full time: £12,500 for the 2018 academic year
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
How to apply
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|25/09/2017||31/05/2018||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|16/01/2018||30/09/2018||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|25/09/2018||31/05/2019||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|16/01/2019||30/09/2019||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|25/09/2019||31/05/2020||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|16/01/2020||30/09/2020||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|