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Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

As a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre, The Open University offers the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) version 6 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 Routing and Switching Essentials and gain hands-on experience of configuring networks at a compulsory day school.

What you will study

The full Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum consists of four parts, sometimes referred to as CCNA 1–4. 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: Routing and Switching 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 3–4.

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 (CCENT/CCNA certification).

Professional recognition

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

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.

If you’re returning to study, you might find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study website and to read The Good Study Guide by Northedge, (The Open University, 2005).

What's included

  • Access to the Cisco study materials, and additional supplementary material, via the module website
  • One practical day-school

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:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

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

To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work; 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 face-to-face and 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.

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

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.

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 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Course work includes:

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