Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

As a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre, The Open University offers the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) version 6 curriculum that provides the foundational knowledge, understanding and skills needed to configure a small scale LAN/WAN using Cisco equipment. As part of your studies, you'll complete CCNA 1 Introduction to Networks and CCNA 2 Routing and Switching Essentials and gain hands-on experience of configuring networks at a compulsory day school.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TM257
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
Includes residential school

What you will study

The full Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum consists of four parts, sometimes referred to as CCNA 1–4. 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: Routing and Switching 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 3-4.

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 (CCENT/CCNA certification).

Vocational relevance

You'll learn both theory and practical elements of network addressing and management, router configuration, switch management and securing a local area network.

In addition, this module will thoroughly prepare you for the industry-standard ICND1 examination.

You must make your own arrangements to sit ICND1 – there are exam centres all over the world.

Residential school

The day school is a practical experience with Cisco Networking technologies and a Cisco assessment at the end. Your work during the day school will be linked to the end-of-module assessment. You must satisfactorily attend a day school to pass this course and gain the completion certificates from Cisco.

We'll hold the day schools at specific venues on Saturdays (and some Sundays) near the end of the module. We'll offer a choice of dates – usually over two different weekends at each venue.

The cost of day schools is included in the module fee, but you must make your own travel arrangements.

In exceptional circumstances, we can provide an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE). Exceptional circumstances include students who are registered disabled; the carer of a registered disabled person; members of HM Forces (or their dependants) serving abroad; or HM Government employees (or their dependants) working abroad. We will consider other applications for the ALE on an individual basis.

Entry

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

Outside the UK

This module is available outside the UK; however, unless you must study this course as part of your OU qualification, do not choose it if you will be unable to travel to the day schools. Students resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland might prefer to study for Cisco certification at a local academy.

Synchronous tutorials and communications could be difficult to deliver to students outside UK due to time differences. If you can't attend the synchronous tutorials or make synchronous communications, you'll have to use asynchronous alternative methods, such as watching recorded tutorials and emailing questions.

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.

When you register on TM257, we'll send you details of a free course – Packet Tracer 101. This short (2-hour) course offers you:

  • some familiarisation with the Packet Tracer network simulation software used on the module
  • exposure to some basic networking principles and practices
  • the opportunity to reflect on networking as a potential pathway and career choice; and the opportunity to consider the demands of the Cisco modules.

If you're returning to study, you might find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study website and to read The Good Study Guide by Northedge, (The Open University, 2005).

Study materials

What's included

  • Access to the Cisco study materials, and additional supplementary material, via the module website
  • One practical day-school

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You'll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work; you can also seek academic advice and guidance from them. Your tutor will offer support through email, telephone and online forum discussions. Additionally, there will be face-to-face and online tutorials. We will advertise tutorials before the module starts; TM257 tutors will take them, but depending on the tutorial, not necessarily your own named tutor. We recommend you book online to attend these tutorials.

Assessment

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

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

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone. The Accessibility Statement below outlines what studying this module involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Mode of study

All of this module's study materials are online. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images; audio/video clips of 3–10 minutes (all with transcripts/subtitles); diagrams; interactive media; animations; and multiple-choice self-assessed quizzes. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms.

Tuition strategy

This module provides two online tutorials and a compulsory face-to-face day school/workshop. The face-to-face day school offers an online (or other) alternative (see Practical work section). Although not compulsory, tutorials will help you consolidate your learning.

Working with others

You will be required to work with other students and we assess this. This includes looking at, and commenting on, others' work; reflecting on others' comments on your work; and/or working together with fellow learners on a project/task.

Practical work

TM257 includes a compulsory face-to-face day school. Day schools are held at a range of venues around the United Kingdom and Ireland and all meet OU physical and educational accessibility requirements. Day school laboratory-based practical work forms a required component of assessment. This includes some collaborative group work. Students who are disabled or who are the carers of disabled persons may choose to take the Alternative Learning Experience (ALE), which is based on the same experience as the face-to-face day school. Students should contact Residential Schools (phone 01908 653235 or email residential-schools@open.ac.uk) for more information and also to register for the ALE.

Diagrams and other visual content

The study materials contain a significant number of diagrams. Producing your own version of one of these of these is an important part of the module assessment. Figure descriptions are provided for all figures by Cisco as part of their content – there is a 'switch' to access these within the online content context menu.

Finding information

You will be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online, and we assess this. We can provide alternatives for required/assessed research material to enable you to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Assessment

This module has two Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs), which you must submit online via the OU electronic TMA system, and an end-of-module assessment submitted online. There are also two Cisco self-assessment exams: one taken at the day school, and the other online.

Feedback

You'll receive feedback from your tutor on your submitted Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs). This will help you to reflect on your TMA performance. You should refer to it to help you prepare for your next assignment.

Schedule

We structure all University modules to a set timetable and you'll need time-management skills to keep your studies on track. We'll support you in developing these skills.

Specialist software

The module materials and assessment ask you to use the following specialist software: Packet Tracer network simulator, and may not be fully accessible as a result. The curriculum has been adapted to enable students to complete the content; however, the type of screen reader that works with the content and the network simulator is very specific and requires pre-configuration.

Future availability

Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1 (TM257) starts once a year in October (places are limited and in high demand, so enrol early). This page describes the module that will start in October 2019 We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

Professional recognition

Those within the networking technician and engineering discipline consider Cisco certification professional recognition and personal accreditation. CCENT certification is an invaluable entry accreditation for the network engineering profession.