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Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

As a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre, The Open University offers the Cisco CCNA R+S version 7 curriculum that provides the foundational knowledge, understanding and skills needed to configure a small scale LAN/WAN using Cisco equipment. As part of your studies, you’ll complete CCNA 1 Introduction to Networks and CCNA 2 Switching, Wireless and Routing Essentials and gain hands-on experience of configuring networks at a compulsory day school.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
TM257
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

The full Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum consists of three parts, sometimes referred to as CCNA 1–3. This module covers CCNA 1–2.1

Part 1: Introduction to Networks (CCNA 1)
This part will provide you with a strong theoretical and practical grounding in all aspects of networking, with a particular focus on local area networks (LANs). It will introduce you to the key networking hardware and software, and give you your first insight into the importance of internet addressing.

Part 2: Switching, Wireless and Routing Essentials (CCNA 2)
Routers and switches are used extensively in wide area and local area networks. Their basic function is to forward data packets across networks and between networks. Part 2 focuses on how you can configure routers to operate in computer networks as well as their switch counterpart.

Each part consists of a number of chapters. Most chapters have an online exam, and each of the two parts has an online final exam.

1Module Cisco networking (CCNA) part 2 (TM357) covers CCNA 3 and IoT Security.

You will learn

This module will:

  • help you develop an understanding of how computer networks work, and the principles behind them
  • help you develop the practical skills needed to configure network devices such as routers and switches
  • provide you with an opportunity to go on and gain an industry-recognised qualification (CCNA Routing and Switching certification).

Vocational relevance

You'll learn both theory and practical elements of network addressing and management, router configuration, switch management and securing a local area network.

In addition, this module will prepare you for the industry-standard CCNA examination.

You must make your own arrangements to sit the CCNA – there are exam centres all over the world.

Professional recognition

Those within the networking technician and engineering discipline consider Cisco certification professional recognition and personal accreditation. CCNA certification is an invaluable entry accreditation for the network engineering profession.

Outside the UK

This module is available outside the UK; however, unless you must study this course as part of your OU qualification, do not choose it if you will be unable to travel to the day schools. Students resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland might prefer to study for Cisco certification at a local academy.

Synchronous tutorials and communications could be difficult to deliver to students outside UK due to time differences. If you can’t attend the synchronous tutorials or make synchronous communications, you’ll have to use asynchronous alternative methods, such as watching recorded tutorials and emailing questions.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

All module tutorials are online – TM257 provides an induction tutorial and a subject specialist tutorial. As well as TMA and EMA support sessions. In addition to the tutorials, the module has a compulsory day school, taken closer to the end of your studies – this covers EMA assessment and industry network engineering skills. Students with a disability, carers or those serving in HM Forces are eligible to apply for a remote alternate experience.

You'll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work as well as manage your studies on the Cisco NetAcad platform; you can also seek academic advice and guidance from them. Your tutor will offer support through email, telephone and online forum discussions. Additionally, there will be online tutorials. We will advertise tutorials before the module starts; TM257 tutors will take them, but depending on the tutorial, not necessarily your own named tutor. We recommend you book online to attend these tutorials. The day schools are supported by a wider community of Cisco experts – the person delivering the session may be an OU TM257 tutor, however they may not be your named tutor.

Assessment

You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Residential school

The day school is a practical experience with Cisco Networking technologies and a Cisco assessment at the end. Your work during the day school will be linked to the end-of-module assessment. You must satisfactorily attend a day school to pass this course and gain the completion certificates from Cisco.

We’ll hold the day schools at specific venues on Saturdays (and some Sundays) near the end of the module. We’ll offer a choice of dates – usually over two different weekends at each venue.

The cost of day schools is included in the module fee, but you must make your own travel arrangements.

In exceptional circumstances, we can provide an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE). 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. We will consider other applications for the ALE on an individual basis.

COVID-19

It may be necessary to cancel the day school. Should that happen, we’ll replace the day school and associated ALE with an online alternative. This will include arrangements to take the CCNA2 Switching, Wireless and Routing Essentials online exam. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity of any changes to the planned day schools.

Future availability

Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1 (TM257) starts once a year in October (places are limited and in high demand, so enrol early).

This page describes the module that will start in October 2020.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    Embedded residential school


    Entry requirements

    There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

    However, as this is an OU level 2 module you’ll need a good knowledge of the subject area obtained through any of the following:

    • OU level 1 study
    • equivalent work at another university
    • experience as an IT professional

    Preparatory work

    Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112) would be ideal preparation for this module.

    When you register on TM257, we’ll send you details of a free course – Packet Tracer 101. This short (2-hour) course offers you:

    • some familiarisation with the Packet Tracer network simulation software used on the module
    • exposure to some basic networking principles and practices
    • the opportunity to reflect on networking as a potential pathway and career choice; and the opportunity to consider the demands of the Cisco modules.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    03 Oct 2020 Jun 2021 £1548.00

    New to OU? Registration closed. Already an OU Student? If you can pay in full by card you can register here until 02/10/20

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 21/09/2020.

    What's included

    You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific module materials
    • assessment details and submission section
    • online tutorial access.

    You'll also have access to:

    • the Cisco NetAcad study materials forever (so long as you maintain your NetAcad profile
    • the Cisco Packet Tracer Network Simulator software (versions for Windows, Linux and Mac.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM257 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find out more about what we offer.