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Cisco networking (CCNA) part 2

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As a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre, The Open University offers the Cisco Certified Networking Associate – Routing and Switching version 7 curriculum that provides the foundational knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to configure a larger scale LAN/WAN using Cisco equipment. As part of your studies, you’ll complete CCNA 3 Enterprise Networking, Security and Automation and IoT (Internet of Things) Security and gain simulated hands-on experience of configuring networks through online activities.

What you will study

The full Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum consists of four parts, sometimes referred to as CCNA 1–3. This module covers CCNA 3–along with IoT Security.1

Part 1: Enterprise Networks, Security and Automation (CCNA 3)
This part describes the architecture, components and operations of routers and switches in a small network. You’ll learn how to configure a router and a switch for basic functionality. By the end of this part, you’ll be able to configure and troubleshoot routers and switches and resolve common issues with RIPv1 and RIPv2; single-area and multi-area OSPF; virtual LANs; and inter-VLAN routing in both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.

Part 2: Networking for the Internet of Things
This part introduces you to the main concepts of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it puts software as a main component of a networking infrastructure. Completing this unit will allow you to configure a small network with IoT devices (e.g. in a smart home) and to implement some rules of interaction between those devices.

Part 3: IoT Security
Following on from Part 2 and linked to Part 1 of this module. IoT security explores the challenges and opportunities faced by Network Engineers when deploying and managing smart technologies. You will explore challenges with home automation, smart cities and industrial automation solutions within the context of the Internet of Things. Topics will include a range of IoT security solutions and how blockchain supports the deployment of secure devices.

Each part consists of a number of chapters. Most chapters have an online exam, and Part 1 and 3 have online final exams.

You will learn

This module will:

  • make you understand to a greater level of detail, the concepts and algorithms underlying switching and routing protocols
  • provide you with further practical skills for implementing switching and routing protocols in real-world scenarios
  • make you aware of best practices for securing LAN (Local Area Networks) and WAN (Wide Area Networks)
  • teach you the fundamental and systematic processes for troubleshooting larger networks
  • introduce you to the main concepts of the Internet of Things (IoT) and their associated security challenges and practices
  • provide you with an opportunity to go on and gain an industry-recognised qualification (CCNA Routing and Switching 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 3 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
  • Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1 (TM257) or Cisco networking (CCNA) (T216) – discontinued
  • Cisco NetAcad Introduction to Networks (CCNA 1) and Routing and Switching Essentials (CCNA 2).

Preparatory work

Introduction to computing and information technology 1  (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2  (TM112) would give you the required familiarity with the basic computing.

We will assume you’ve studied Cisco Introduction to Networks (CCNA 1) and Routing and Switching Essentials (CCNA 2), so strongly recommend you’ve passed one of the following:

  • OU module Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1 (TM257)
  • discontinued OU module Cisco networking (CCNA) (T216)
  • Cisco Introduction to Networks (CCNA 1) and Routing and Switching Essentials (CCNA 2) from somewhere else.

When you register on TM357, 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 being a potential pathway and career choice; and the opportunity to consider the demands of the Cisco modules.

What's included

  • Access to the Cisco study materials, and additional supplementary material, via the website.

Computing requirements

You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

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; TM357 tutors will take them, but depending on the tutorial, not necessarily your own named tutor.


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

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

Residential school

This module normally includes a compulsory day school designed to offer you a practical experience with Cisco Networking technologies and a Cisco assessment at the end. Additionally, your work during the day school is linked to the end-of-module assessment. Due to the continued uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to plan far in advance, we won’t be running face-to-face day schools for the module starting in October 2021. Instead, you’ll take part in an online alternative activity designed to achieve the module learning outcomes and which will be linked to the end-of-module assessment. We plan to resume face-to-face day schools for the module starting in October 2022.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM357 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 2 (TM357) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2021.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024.

Course work includes:

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