MSc Computer Networks and Network Design
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    MSc Computer Networks and Network Design (CNND)

    Computer networks have revolutionised every aspect of our lives. They are the basis on which tools and technologies are built. Hence, it is therefore not surprising to see that computer networks specialists are highly sought after by the industry. This programme is designed to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and intensive practical skills required to conceive, implement and operate computer networks in the business world, and support its ever-changing needs.

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    • Overview - Why Sign Up?

      The programme enables students to engineer new networking technologies, thus shaping the future of the industry. You will learn how to model, monitor and analyse networks, and simulate performance and availability for optimum usage. More generally, the degree looks at network design and construction, programming and operating systems, network troubleshooting and security of networks in a business environment. In addition to the expertise you build up in the subject, the course will improve your mathematical, problem solving, teamwork, communication, time management and critical thinking skills.

      Because we consider practical work to be an important part of every module, our laboratories are equipped with the latest industry-standard software, including Wireshark, MATLAB, Simulink, OMNeT++, Openstack, Syslog and Cisco technology such as Packet Tracer, Hadoop and Windows Azure platform. While studying for this qualification you will also work Cisco hardware, considered the gold standard in the industry. There are also PCs, internetworking units such as hubs, switches, routers and servers, and operating systems including Microsoft Windows, and various Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora and Kali.

    • Course Highlights

      • The Virtualisation and Cloud Computing module provides students the opportunity to learn how to set up and deploy  live cloud services as part of their coursework.
      • The Enterprise Network Troubleshooting module provide students with vital hands-on experience by allowing them to configure, deploy and troubleshoot network scenarios on real-life equipment such 1941 series routers, 2960 series Layer 2 switches and 3560 Layer 3 switches. The syllabus make use the CCNP troubleshooting course materials.
      • As part of their end-of-programme project module, students can choose projects from a range of network-related fields and can incorporate things like AI, virtualisation, Software-defined networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain…etc.
      • The programme will provide opportunities to initiate and conduct state-of-the-art research in a variety of fields.
      • Students will be able to develop the ability to create and publish scientific and research publications in internationally recognised IEEE conferences and journals.

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    What will you study on the MSc CNND Programme?

    The programme is comprised of eight compulsory modules over two semesters. Amongst these, you will have the opportunity to undertake an individual project with a supervisor with specialist knowledge of their field. The programme has two 30 credit modules, four 15 credit modules and one zero credit module. Students must pass all taught modules in order to progress to the dissertation stage. Each module will have 3 contact hours per week, usually with 12 workshops/seminars and 12 laboratory sessions timetabled over 24 weeks for full-time students.

    • Associated Modules

      • Computer Networks and Internetworking (15 credits) - Compulsory

        This module provides students with a systematic understanding of the concepts, protocols and standards for computer networks and internetworking, used in current and future communication infrastructures. It is essential in today’s market of networking to provide students with critical insights and practical experiences of essential tools used for monitoring, managing and evaluating computer networks for them to be better network managers, network administrators or network engineers with both problem solving and practical skills (such as selecting and configuring appropriate protocols).

      • Network Design and Performance Evaluation (30 credits) - Compulsory

        This module aims at teaching students how to evaluate a network situation and to help them to identify the most important network aspects that need to be monitored and analysed. This is done through the introduction of a methodological approach to network design. The module also introduces the concepts of network modelling, analysis, and simulation, and examines the techniques facilitating such work. It provides students with the appreciation of the design and development simulation software as appropriate models to evaluate the pure performance and availability, as well as performability of computer networks.

      • Operating Systems and Application Environment (15 credits) - Compulsory

        This module looks at the design and implementation of Modern Operating Systems and Application Environments that are used to build commercial, online applications. The module examines key operating concepts including: processes and threads, memory management, scheduling, inter-process communication (IPC), device drivers, storage systems, multiprocessor systems, micro-kernels, networking interfaces. This module will concentrate on Linux, Windows, Apple iOS and Android operating systems. The module then focuses on a detailed study of key application environments including the Eclipse IDE, XCode, and Android SDK. Finally, we look at the concept of virtual machines and building applications for the Cloud using the Google GAE SDK.

      • Network Security and Services Environment (15 credits) - Compulsory

        This module looks at network services that are deployed using the Internet and the security mechanisms that make them secure. The module then examines security mechanisms including Firewalls, the Secure Socket Layer (SSL), Network Address Translation (NAT), IPSec Framework and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). It then explores new security mechanisms such as the Security Layers of the Y-Comm framework, Proxy Certificates and Certificate Authorities used in Grid and Cloud Computing.

      • Virtualisation and Cloud Computing (30 credits) - Compulsory

        This module covers various issues relating to the virtualisation and could computing. it focuses on exploring and understanding modern data centres, virtualization, distributed storage, MapReduce, NoSQL, platform services, web services, and caching.

      • Enterprise Network Troubleshooting (15 credits) - Compulsory

        This module provides an in-depth, theoretical and practical overview of troubleshooting complex enterprise networks. It enables students to communicate advanced network concepts to both networking experts and non-experts and apply the techniques the students have learned to carry out projects. It focuses on producing qualified network managers, network administrators and network engineers with both problem solving and practical skills (such as selecting and configuring appropriate protocols).

      • Project Research and Communication Skills (0 credit) - Compulsory

        The aims of this module are to facilitate students’ understanding of designing, planning and conducting applied research. The module encourages students to apply and test theory and to contribute to applications, through enhancing students’ ability to handle data for problem solving and evaluation; to test theory using analysis and simulations, integrating the learning from other modules. Ultimately, the module aims to prepare and “tool up” MSc students for their CCE4910 Postgraduate Project in Computer Communications.

      • Postgraduate Project in Computer and Communications Engineering (30 credits) - Compulsory

        This project would give the student the opportunity to use a combination of general and specialist computer and communications engineering knowledge and understanding to apply an existing or emerging technology to the solution of a practical problem, or to contribute and extend the theoretical understanding of new and advancing technology and its application. The project will also give students the opportunity to demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards, recognising obligations to society, the profession and the environment.

    What will you gain?

    • A rigorous theoretical knowledge and understanding of current research issues as well as detailed practical experience of network design, development, implementation, operations, applications, systems and services. Skills that will enable students to contribute to future developments in the field of Network design and implementation
    • The ability to make a critical evaluation of the theories, techniques and systems used in planning, design, implementation, security and disaster discovery of modern communication networks as well as the services they support
    • Skills required in developing research as well problem-solving techniques through practical project experience. By extending students’ knowledge and skills in a specialized area they will be prepared for careers in advanced research and/or industry
    • The ability to involve both management and user in the process of awareness, decision and implementation with regard to Computer Networks and Network Design  as well as evaluating the security risks
    • The ability to evaluate the performance of wired and wireless computer networks using analytical and/or simulation tools and manage the implementation of a complete communication design project
    • Knowledge and understanding of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues related to network design and development.

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    About the MDX Mauritius Campus

    Our new campus demonstrates what can be achieved when all stakeholders share a clear vision. The concept was developed by a London architect, Graham Wilson, who also is credited for developing many of Middlesex buildings in Hendon.

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    Fees and Funding

    Course fees are subject to annual inflation. An international Admin Fee is also applicable for international students. For more details, see link to respective fees and payment plans below.

    Payment Plans

    • Teaching and Learning

      You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of Computer Networks and Network Design Programme.  As well as developing your practical skills in laboratory sessions, you'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, where you'll deepen your theoretical knowledge, work on activities and case studies, and develop your analytical and problem-solving skills.

      You will do research, produce written reports, give presentations and take part in group discussions and group work, supplementing all this with your own independent study. Such active approaches aim to put you at the centre of your learning so you are involved and engaged in all aspects of your assessment and learning. Your programme will require your active participation in learning activities and engagement with your fellow students both individually and collaboratively, working and learning with other students as part of a small group.  Learning activities may also occur both within and outside the classroom.

      Independent Learning

      When not attending your teaching, sessions mentioned above, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework, presentations and examinations. Your independent learning is supported by the facilities available including the library, Study Rooms and online materials accessible via MyUniHub.

      Overall Workload

      Each 30cps module involves approximately 180 hours of study and each 15 cps involves approximately 90 hours of study. There is a notional number of approximately 1,800 hours learning hours per year on the MSc CNND Programme. This includes attendance at lectures, tutorials, laboratory activities and study at home or in industry.  All modules on the programme are compulsory.

      Teaching Staff

      You will be taught by an experienced teaching team who possess the expertise, knowledge and experience closely aligned to the content of the modules on offer. The team includes academics, professional practitioners, and technical staff. The programme involves extensive team teaching drawing on the collective knowledge and expertise of the entire department. Most staff teaching on the programme have PhDs. Those without, besides their experience, have  the relevant professional qualifications (CCNA, LPI, CISSP…) to guide students through the programme.

    • Assessment

      The programme will provide you with opportunities to test your knowledge and understanding informally through ‘formative’ assessment. This will be completed before your formal ‘summative’ assessment which will count towards your final marks. Each module normally contains at least one piece of formative assessment from which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any grade you receive from formative assessment does not count towards your final marks.

      There is formal ‘summative’ assessment as part of the programme, usually in-between or towards the end of the module. The grades from the summative assessments count towards your final marks. Assessments are reviewed annually and may be updated based on student feedback, to suit content or based on feedback from an external examiner.

      Percentage of course assessed by coursework

      The balance of assessment will depend on the modules. The varies per module from 100% coursework on some modules, to a percentage mix of unseen exams, lab assessments and coursework on others.


      You will receive feedback on formative assessment and written summative assessments. Feedback on examination performance can be requested from the module coordinator.  Feedback is intended to help you learn and progress, and you are encouraged to review and discuss your feedback with your module or personal tutor.

      We will aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days  of submission.

      Details of progression and pass marks for assessment can be found in the university regulations.

      Academic Support

      You will have access to academic support services that you assist you in the following areas;

      • Study Skills, including academic writing, reading and numeracy skills.
      • Employability, with workshops and tutorials on CV writing, interview and presentation skills.
      • Library Support, including sessions on finding, and choosing the right resources and software and tutorials on referencing and plagiarism.
      • Progression and Support Advisors to assist you with if you experience difficulties with your studies.

      More information on how to access these services would be provided to you at your induction.

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    How can the MSc CNND Programme support your career?

    Equipped with a hybrid skill set, you will be able to pursue several different career pathways in a promising field of industry where business operations merge with information technologies.

    • Your career options may include:

      • Network Designer/Engineer

        Network designers (IT) create detailed design documentation for the development and integration of computer network systems to meet the needs of businesses. Network designers work in a range of occupational environments. They may work in IT-specific industries, which can be large or small, as well as other industries requiring their expertise.

      • IT Manager

        IT Managers specialise in overseeing the process of planning, executing and delegating responsibilities around an organization's information technology (IT) pursuits and goals. As networks are becoming more ubiquitous, the IT manager needs to be conversant with the latest networking technologies in order to ensure that projects are delivered smoothly on-time and on-budget with minimal unexpected stoppages in work.

      • Information Systems Manager

        An Information Systems Manager installs computer systems, ensures that backup systems operate effectively, buys hardware and software, provides the ICT technology infrastructures for an organisation, and contributes to organisational policy regarding quality standards and strategic planning. A sound knowledge and experience in networking is a must.

    You’ll learn in a hands-on way. You’ll solve real-life problems, get real-world experience on work placements and using our industry standard facilities.

    Muzzammil Sheik Mohammud Nabybaccus, MSc CNND

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