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Optimising networks - CCNP 4

As a Cisco Academy, we can offer you the opportunity to study this Cisco Certified Network Professional course, ‘Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks’ (TSHOOT). Cisco Systems are worldwide leaders in networking technologies, for telecommunication, corporate and private networking. You will be provided with the knowledge, understanding and skills to troubleshoot communication on large-scale data networks using Cisco equipment and extend your research skills. You will be provided with hands-on lab experience via NETLABS™.


T827 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards E22, F46 and M03, which are no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module 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.
Study level
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

Cisco Systems are worldwide market leaders, supplying networking equipment for the internet, large, medium and small organisations, as well as the home user. They also have a long-established international networking academy programme aimed at educating networking professionals. Cisco qualifications 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 CCNP curriculum, using an online virtual learning environment provided by Cisco through its academy programme, supported by the Cisco Press TSHOOT ebook. Once you have completed this module, you will be well prepared to take the CCNP TSHOOT certification examination. This can be taken at many examination 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 CCNP certified, you must already have CCNA certification. The CCNA curriculum is taught on {Cisco networking (CCNA) [T216]}.

You will cover network maintenance tools, diagnostic commands switch and VLAN troubleshooting, EIGRP, OSPF and BGP troubleshooting, IPv4 and IPV6 addressing and routing issues, troubleshooting of wireless and unified communications, and the troubleshooting of security.

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.

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

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.

Contact us 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 criteria and a milestone towards Chartered Engineer status. For further information about the IET, visit their website.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No residential school

Future availability

Optimising networks - CCNP 4 (T827) starts once a year – in November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2020.

It will start for the last time in November 2020.


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

    Entry requirements

    Normally, you cannot participate in the Cisco component of this module (TSHOOT) unless you have successfully completed both ROUTE and SWITCH (or their predecessors BSCI and BCMSN) via Advanced routing – CCNP 1 (T824) and Multilayer switching – CCNP 3 (T826) at The Open University (OU) or at any other Cisco recognised CCNP academy.

    For OU students, the relevant Cisco final examinations are taken as part of the T824 and T826 continuous assessment, but as long as you have passed the examinations at any Cisco recognised CCNP academy, this would fulfil the requirement.

    The main study material is provided as an ebook and the supplementary material is online. Therefore you should be confident in the use of a computer to access the internet and be prepared to spend much of your study time using online labs. 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 speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2020 Apr 2021 £1440.00

    Registration closes 08/10/20 (places subject to availability)

    November 2020 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    Optimising networks - CCNP 4 (T827) starts once a year – in November.

    This page describes the module that will start in November 2020.

    It will start for the last time in November 2020.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Study materials

    What's included

    Access to the Cisco online networking material and additional supplementary material supplied via a dedicated website, an ebook containing the main study material and access to the University’s extensive collection of online journals. The ebook is downloadable on up to four devices.

    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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

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

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    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.

    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 us by email 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. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.