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Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking

Please note that the final enrolment date for this qualification will be 11 April 2019 after which it will no longer be available to new students. You must complete your study by 31 December 2021. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our advisers, please contact us.

This postgraduate diploma course will provide you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to install, configure and maintain local and wide area networks. On completion of this diploma you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examinations.

Key features of the course

  • Develops your skill set with the largest Cisco Networking academy in the UK
  • Draws on the latest CCNP, CISSP and CCNA-S curriculum
  • The chance to upgrade to our MSc in Advanced Networking
  • Provides the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to install, configure and maintain local and wide area networks
  • Includes hands-on experience of using online tools and configuring networks.


Course code


  • 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.
How long it takes
2 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Advanced routing – CCNP 1 (T824)

This module provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy and manage internal and external routing protocols for large scale inter-networks using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Network security (T828)

This module will give you the knowledge, understanding and practical experience of managing a secure communication across a large-scale inter-network using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2019
Multilayer switching – CCNP 3 (T826)

This module will give you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy reliable, scalable and secure multilayer-switched campus LANs using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 01 May 2019
Optimising networks – CCNP 4 (T827)

This module will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills to optimise communication on large-scale data networks using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2019

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T825.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Networking, entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Adv Net (Open) after your name.

If you obtain 60 credits or more at distinction grade, you will qualify for the award of the diploma with Distinction.

Once you have completed the postgraduate diploma, you can gain the MSc in Advanced Networking Engineering (F56) by taking either a 60-credit research project and dissertation module or a 30-credit professional project combined with a 30-credit module on digital forensics.


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

Entry requirements

You must be suitably prepared for study at professional postgraduate level. You are expected to have studied to at least HNC/HND level, or to have had equivalent practical experience. Individual module descriptions will tell you more about the requirements.

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.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.

How long it takes

This qualification is studied over two years: four 30-credits modules (T824, T828, T826 and T827) studied consecutively and in order.

Unless you’ve already started this qualification, you won’t be able to take any breaks between modules.

Career relevance

As a Cisco Academy, The Open University can offer you the opportunity to study the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) programme using the latest CCNP curriculum. Cisco systems are the market leader in the supply of networking equipment for the internet. They also have a well-established Academy programme aimed at educating network professionals. Cisco qualifications are highly regarded in the networking industry and their position at the leading edge of network development means that their academy programme is up to date. On completion of this diploma course you will be able to go on and gain the industry recognised certification by taking the CCNP examination.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.