What you will study
Cisco qualifications are highly regarded in the networking industry and their position at the leading edge of network development means that their academy program is right up to date.
You’ll study this module using an online virtual learning environment provided by Cisco, and develop practical skills, using real networking equipment, at the four compulsory day schools. View a sample ‘chapter’ of the CCNA Version 4 Exploration curriculum for an example of the type of materials you will encounter – note that the actual content and style of the Version 5 curriculum materials will differ.
Pearson VUE offer the CCNA certification exams – visit their website to find the locations of their centres.
The day schools are essential for gaining a full understanding of how to configure network equipment. You’ll be expected to configure routers and switches as part of the practical activities carried out at the day schools. The activities will be carried out in groups, and you’ll need to prepare for these day schools using simulation tools provided as part of the online curriculum. Cisco insist that day schools are included in this module, which reflects the importance they place on the practical component.
The module is structured into four parts.
1. Introduction to Networks
Part one introduces the architecture, structure, functions, components, and models of the internet and other computer networks. The principles and structure of IP addressing and the fundamentals of Ethernet concepts, media, and operations are introduced to provide a foundation for the curriculum. By the end of this part, you will be able to build simple LANs, perform basic configurations for routers and switches, and implement IP addressing schemes.
2. Routing and Switching Essentials
The second part describes the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in a small network. You will learn how to configure a router and a switch for basic functionality. By the end of this part, you will be able to configure and troubleshoot routers and switches and resolve common issues with RIPv1, RIPv2, single-area and multi-area OSPF, virtual LANs, and inter-VLAN routing in both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
3. Scaling Networks
This part describes the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in a larger and more complex network. You will learn how to configure routers and switches for advanced functionality. By the end of this part, you will be able to configure and troubleshoot routers and switches and resolve common issues with OSPF, EIGRP, STP, and VTP in both IPv4 and IPv6 networks. You will also develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement DHCP and DNS operations in a network.
4. Connecting Networks
The final part discusses the WAN technologies and network services required by converged applications in a complex network. Completing this part will enable you to understand the selection criteria of network devices and WAN technologies to meet network requirements. You will learn how to configure and troubleshoot network devices and resolve common issues with data link protocols. You will also develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement IPSec and virtual private network (VPN) operations in a complex network.
Full details of the Cisco Academy Program are available on the Academy website.
This module includes four compulsory day schools. To pass this module and gain the completion certificates from Cisco, you must attend all four day schools and complete an online Cisco examination at the end of each day school.
Day schools will be held on Saturdays (and occasional Sundays at specific venues) and there will be a choice of dates (usually two different weekends, per venue, per day school). The cost of attendance at the day schools is included in the module fee but you’re expected to make your own travel arrangements. In exceptional circumstances an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) can be provided. Exceptional circumstances include students who are registered disabled, the carer of a registered disabled person, members of HM Forces (or their dependants) serving abroad or HM Government employees (or their dependants) working abroad. Other applications will be considered on an individual basis.
Unless you need to study this module as part of an OU qualification, do not choose it if you think that you will be unable to travel to the day schools. Students outside of the UK and Ireland may prefer to study for Cisco CCNA at a local academy.
Venues for day schools will depend on student numbers and may include Birmingham, Camborne (Cornwall), Dublin, Glasgow, London, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Sunderland and Swansea.
On completion of the Cisco CCNA® Version 5 curriculum, you’ll be in a position to take the CCNA certification exams, a widely recognised work-based qualification. These are available at Pearson Vue venues and are not organised by The Open University (OU).
From the summer of 2016, Cisco will be releasing an updated version of the CCNA certification. Presentations from October 2016 onwards will include Cisco created bridging material as additional content at the end of the module to ensure that students wishing to take the certification are prepared.
The CCNA is an internationally sought certification, equally recognised by the IT and Telecommunications sectors as the starting point for career progression and development for network engineers. Taking the CCNA at the OU, enables you to gain essential academic credit as part of the qualifications listed below, which enhances your long term career prospects.
The OU also offers the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) programme using the latest CCNP curriculum. This comprises a set of four 30-credit modules at postgraduate level and leads to the award of an OU Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking (E51).