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Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This postgraduate diploma enables you to gain multiple competencies in computing, networking and  telecommunications at the level required by the Qualifications and Credit Framework for Postgraduate Diplomas. It forms a basis for further study leading to an MSc within the Postgraduate Computing Programme and provides the required skills to further a career in computing.

This qualification is aimed at computer professionals, technical managers and other professionals in IT related jobs and aims to update, broaden and provide a coherent overview of the field to serve as a firm foundation for your career developments.

It aims to:

  • equip you with knowledge, understanding and professional skills, to enable them to participate in the design, building, troubleshooting, assessment or management of advanced data communications networks.
  • develop your ability to analyse and evaluate problems and draw on the theoretical and technical knowledge to develop solutions and systems.

When you have completed the programme you will have the opportunity to go on and gain the industry-recognised Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification by taking the associated Cisco examinations.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and understanding to:

  • routing protocols and their implementation in enterprise networks
  • switching protocols and VLAN design
  • network security
  • broadband network architectures
  • quality of service
  • voice over IP
  • wireless networks
  • internet protocols including V6.

Cognitive skills

To enable you to:

  • integrate knowledge and skills from various sources into a coherent whole, making the appropriate abstractions
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making informed judgements in the absence of complete data
  • critically evaluate and reflect upon your own work
  • solve problems using network modelling tools and real equipment.

Practical and/or professional skills

  • able to prepare cases advocating the appropriate use of advanced network technologies
  • prepared to gain industry-recognised certification.

Key skills

To enable you to:

  • able to develop your problem-solving skills and apply them independently to professional or equivalent level tasks/projects/functions
  • competent to build and maintain advanced networks using Cisco equipment
  • able to work with others to refine your ideas, leading to an improved understanding of key concepts within the computing systems context.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire knowledge and understanding mainly from the online Cisco study materials, with supporting material provided via reference texts, resources on The Open University website, and online discussion forums. Formal assessment of the modules is by way of continuous assessment in the form of the tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) (submitted at fixed points in the module) and an examination for each module.

Cognitive skills are also assessed in the TMAs and examinations of the various modules. You will be provided with practical activities to develop technical and cognitive skills. TMAs are carefully designed, complex pieces of work which require the skills of analysis, evaluation and integration.

Professional skills are covered specifically in all four modules, and implicitly as part of the continuous assessment on each taught module. All teaching and assessment strategies will help you develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to your workplace, and the programme encourages a problem-solving approach to professional tasks in the TMAs.

Key skills (some of which you will may already have gained in your workplace) can be further demonstrated and developed by this programme through the TMAs.

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