Hardware & Networking

All full time courses for home students aged 16 - 18 inclusive are free. For 19+ full time course fees please contact us on 0161 785 4000.

In year 1 there will be a focus on the computers, looking at what’s inside the box by stripping down and building back up. Troubleshooting any naturally occurring faults during the installation. This will go along side project management and software development which will involve building a program or web based application. They will learn about all the components that make up a modern computer system and how the interact within the computer, this will then expand onto how to set up, configure and administer a network. Students will also learn how to repair and carryout routine maintenance on computer systems using industry wide techniques..

In year 2 there will be a bigger focus on networking practicals where students will study the full Cisco curriculum
in addition to the vocational study. This will include studying towards the full CCNA curriculum including all 4 semesters. students are encouraged to continue to strengthen their maths and English qualifications by studying core maths and AS level English.

This course includes the opportunity to achieve additional vendor qualifications in CISCO security on top of the City and Guilds competence based qualification and also the CISCO CCNA curriculum. Private training providers often charge £1000 + for these courses.

Level 3 – 4 x GCSE grades A-C or level 4-9 ( including English and Maths)

Explanation of entry requirements
A variety of assessment methods are used on this course. Including exams, practical assessment, and industry involved project work. There will be formal report writing, including citations and referencing alongside formal and informal presentations, video and audio evidence and wikis and blogs. There are formal exams at the end of year 1 and year 2 and assignment deadlines must be adhered to.
  • University
  • Full time employment
  • Apprenticeships

A passion and real ambition to delve deeper into the area of hardware and networking are essential in order to be successful on this course. It is expected students will be able to explain a good grasp of computer components upon enrolment. We would expect our students to have studied a computing type GCSE at school or to have completed a level 2 hardware and networking course to merit standard.

The course will cover:

Project management to include how to develop and initiate a project.
Information security to look in cyber security and ethical hacking
Networking fundamentals building maintaining and configuring different networks
Digital business communication including the use of social media and the importance of self branding
Software development fundamentals to including programming and web based applications
Collection and analysis of data using spreadsheet modelling
Enterprise technologies to communicate over the internet

We run employer master classes where North West businesses come into college to work with students on live projects including Linux. This is where you will showcase your talents and begin to network with potential employers. 

Level 3 Software Development.


Earnings for experienced Network Engineers or Administrators is £30K to £50K per year. The average salary for Certified Cisco Network Professionals in the UK is £45,000.

National Careers Advice

Study Programme

All students at Oldham College will participate in a personalised study programme that will maximise your potential and enable you to progress onto employment, apprenticeships or higher education.

This means you will:

  • Study a core qualification in a vocational discipline and continue to develop your English and Maths skills through functional skills, GCSE resits and the option of Level 3 qualifications
  • Participate in meaningful work experience
  • Enjoy a range of enrichment opportunities e.g. basketball, archery, skiing and sign language
  • Take part in dedicated tutorial sessions to review your progress and development