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Network security

With organisations increasingly dependent on their information systems, there is a greater need to ensure that the underlying network infrastructure being used by these systems is secure. We are a leading Cisco Academy and this Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Security module will give you a foundation to prepare for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualification. It will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and practical experience of managing secure communication across a large-scale internetwork using Cisco equipment. You will also be expected to undertake individual research to contextualise your Cisco study in the broader security management environment.


Start End Fee Register
07 Nov 2015 Apr 2016 Not yet available

Registration closes 30/09/15 (places subject to availability)

Click to register
This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2016.

What you will study

Cisco Systems is a worldwide market leader supplying networking equipment for the Internet to large, medium and small organisations, as well as the home user. It also has a long-established international networking academy programme aimed at educating networking professionals. Cisco certifications are highly regarded in the networking industry, offering certification holders and their employers a commercial and technical advantage.

In this module you will study the latest version of the CCNA Security curriculum using an online virtual learning environment provided by Cisco through its academy programme. Additionally, you will be guided through material that covers different parts of the CISSP core body of knowledge.

Once you have completed this module, you will be equipped to take the CCNA Security certification and have a foundation upon which to complete your preparation for taking the CISSP certification examination. Both the CCNA Security and CISSP examinations can be taken at many test centres internationally, by your own arrangement. You do not need CCNA certification to successfully complete this Open University module. However, there is a Cisco requirement that to become fully CCNA Security or CCNP certified, you must already have CCNA certification. The CCNA curriculum is taught on Cisco networking (CCNA) (T216).

This module focuses on advanced practical and skills development: you will be expected to configure routers, firewalls and other network security devices with a range of addressing, routing and security technologies. The hands on practical lab experience will be available via the Packet Tracer network simulator. Additionally, you will attend a compulsory day school, run at an accredited Cisco CCNP academy, that will give you further opportunities to develop practical skills.

You will cover network security threats; operations, physical and environmental security; network infrastructure and devices; security architecture and design; authentication, authorisation and auditing; firewalls and, intrusion prevention; cryptography and virtual private networks; and information security risk management.

This 30-credit module is studied over six months and you will need to spend at least 12 hours a week studying over this period.

This is the recommended second module for the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking (E51). See the qualification description for full details of study order.

For queries on module content, you may contact the module team directly by sending an email.

For full details of the Cisco academy programme see the academy website. Additional information about the CISSP certification programme can be found on the (ISC)2 website.

Compulsory day school

Satisfactory attendance at the compulsory day school is required if you want to gain credit for this module and gain the completion certificates from Cisco. There will be a choice of dates for the day school and we currently expect these to be on Saturdays. The cost of attendance at the day school is included in the module fee but you will be expected to make your own travel and any accommodation arrangements.

In exceptional circumstances an alternative learning experience (ALE) can be provided according to specific learner needs. Venues for the day schools will depend on student numbers.

Vocational relevance

Upon completion of the Cisco CCNA Security® curriculum you’ll be in a position to take the associated CCNA Security certification, an internationally recognised advanced work-based qualification.


This is a postgraduate module, where we assume you have relevant academic, employment or commercial certification experience. The module provides additional Cisco-specific access material based on CCNA. However, learners who have completed Cisco networking (CCNA) (T216), or have experience of the CCNA as a commercial certification or at another Cisco academy will be at an advantage.

Although some of the main study material is provided as a printed book, additional key material is online and so you should be confident in the use of a computer to access the internet and be prepared to spend much of your study time online. Broadband access is essential. The study material contains active content, which means that you will need to set up your firewall to allow pop-ups from the Cisco and OU sites.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


T828 is a compulsory module in our:

T828 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards C02, F05 and F37, which are no longer available to new students.

Some postgraduate qualifications allow study to be chosen from other subject areas. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this module can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change.


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

If you have a disability

The module is delivered through the Cisco and OU virtual learning environments, and some of the materials are available online.

Some components may not be fully accessible using a screen reader. If you use specialist software or hardware to access the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material, it is recommended that you contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service before you register for the module to discuss it further.

You should visit the Cisco accessibility pages on the Cisco website for further information on accessibility and using ‘JAWS for Windows’ screen reading software.

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. Find out more about our services for disabled students.

Study materials

What's included

Access to the Cisco online networking material and additional supplementary material supplied via the dedicated website, a textbook covering the CISSP core body of knowledge (including CISSP exam practice software) and access to the University’s extensive collection of online journals.

You will need

You must have a broadband connection to the internet as there is a large quantity of study material which has to be accessed online.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your written work and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Your tutor is the first point of contact for any queries on the module. 

The Postgraduate Technology and Computing Office (PTC Office) (telephone +44 (0)115 971 5566, or email us) will provide you with help during your study of the module. Contact the PTC Office if you need to know more before you decide to register.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

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

Professional recognition

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) recognises the CCNP as a membership criterion and a milestone towards Chartered Engineer status. For further information about the IET, visit their website.

Students also studied

Students who studied this course also studied at some time:

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in November 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information about distance learning at the OU read Study explained.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code T828
Credits 30
OU Level Postgraduate
SCQF level 11
FHEQ level 7
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No residential school

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