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Cisco networking (CCNA) part 1

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As a Cisco Networking Academy Support Centre, The Open University offers the Cisco CCNA R+S version 7 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 Switching, Wireless and Routing Essentials and gain simulated hands-on experience of 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 IoT Security.

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.

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.

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 a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

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 above.

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

Residential school

This module normally includes a compulsory day school designed to offer you a practical experience with Cisco Networking technologies and a Cisco assessment at the end. Additionally, your work during the day school is linked to the end-of-module assessment. Due to the continued uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to plan far in advance, we won’t be running face-to-face day schools for the module starting in October 2021. Instead, you’ll take part in an online alternative activity designed to achieve the module learning outcomes and which will be linked to the end-of-module assessment. We plan to resume face-to-face day schools for the module starting in October 2022.

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 (places are limited and in high demand, so enrol early).

This page describes the module that will start in October 2021.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Course work includes:

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

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