England.  Change location

Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

The Open University is a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre. We offer the Cisco Certified Networking Associate version 7 curriculum, which provides the foundational knowledge, understanding and skills to configure small-scale LAN/WAN using Cisco equipment. As part of your studies, you’ll complete CCNA Introduction to Networks and CCNA Switching, Routing and Wireless Essentials and gain simulated hands-on experience configuring networks through online activities.

What you will study

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

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 (CCNA Routing and Switching certification).

Professional recognition

Those within the networking technician and engineering discipline consider Cisco certification professional recognition and personal accreditation. CCNA 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.

The TM257 module website will include a link to a free Linux Unhatched course. This short course is an optional preparation opportunity; it is not compulsory. The Cisco IOS (internetworking operating system) has many associations with the Linux family of operating systems.

What's included

You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access.

You’ll also have access to:

  • the Cisco NetAcad study materials forever (so long as you maintain your NetAcad profile
  • the Cisco Packet Tracer Network Simulator software (versions for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Monterey or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

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

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.

Assessment

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

Day school

This module has a compulsory1 day school.

There is no additional cost for this, but you must pay for travel.

Cisco instructors run the day schools (offered at a range of UK venues and on various dates), which provide practical experience with Cisco Networking technologies. Your work during the school will link to your end-of-module assessment.

Instructions for booking will be on the module website.

1 If you’re disabled, a carer, live outside the UK, or serving in a NATO armed forces-related role, you may apply for an exemption. If exempt, you’ll complete an online, remote lab-based activity instead.

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.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.

Course work includes:

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

Student Reviews

See what other students thought.