Hardware and Networking

Faculty of Digital Technologies

Attendance Options: Full Time, Full Time


What will I study?

You will be able to study the following qualifications in this subject:

Our courses prepare you for an exciting career in the Digital, IT and Creative industry.

 BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, recognises that these qualifications are fit for purpose towards a professional career in IT or towards continuing education in Computing and Information Technology.

After Level 3 you can progress to degree courses and IT apprenticeships, preparing you to enter this lucrative and rewarding industry.

During your course, you will learn skills that will give you a broad base of knowledge whilst developing specialist skills in the pathway of your choice.

Building computers, installing operating systems, developing software and creating applications, websites and programs are just some of the elements you will cover.

 You will develop your skills on your Level 3 Computer Systems and Network Support Pathway in our CISCO Academy workshop and in our programming labs. You will learn to implement and design network and cyber security, network maintenance and how to set up operational systems, devices and cloud computing systems.

For practical work on computers, we have our specialist lab with a CISCO Academy to develop your skills across networking and cyber security. In addition to your Diploma, you will have the opportunity to complete core maths, and you will complete an Extended Project Qualification and/or CISCO certifications.

Modules and Topics

Level 1 Units:

Level 2 Units:

Level 3 Units - Computer Systems and Network Support


Developing your experience within your industry through work placements is important. We will support you with this - our tutors have brilliant industry links with many relevant employers.

We also invite employers and organisations to College, offering opportunities to complete projects and tasks with them. We also offer industry masterclasses and guest speakers from your industry specialism, which will broaden your understanding of different career routes available to you.

Our industry links ensure you are equipped with the best and most relevant knowledge. For example, Microsoft has visited College to give a presentation on Artificial Intelligence. Oldham College also has links with Sopra Steria, UK Fast, CISCO, AX Paris and other IT individuals who deliver masterclasses and lectures about their roles.

How will I be assessed?

Level 1: Portfolio-based assignments

Levels 2 : Assignments, Exams & Synoptic Projects

Level 3: Four examined units, rest are assignments and Synoptic Projects

How will I be assessed (Apprenticeship)?

Technical knowledge and understanding are assessed on this programme through a combination of Ofqual-regulated modules, and specified vendor and professional qualifications. These must be passed before the end point assessment (EPA) can take place.

The EPA is completed in the last few months of the Apprenticeship. It is based on:

What will this lead to?

Our Levels 1 and 2 courses are designed as a pathway onto our Level 3 Diploma in Computer Systems and Network Support. After completion of Level 3, progression options include university, full time employment or IT Apprenticeship. Possible roles include IT Technician, Network Engineer, Cyber Security Specialist and Computer Forensics.

Learners who choose to continue their studies at university generally choose higher education courses such as Computer Science, Cyber Security, and Computer Forensics.

What will this lead to (Apprenticeship)?

Apprenticeships are a key entry point to the significant career opportunities within the Digital industry. The Register of IT Technicians, managed by BCS, provides independent recognition that completing an Apprenticeship is the beginning of a career in IT.

Once completing this Apprenticeship, learners will be eligible to apply for a place on the independent Register of IT Technicians, showing their competence in applying technical skills in a business environment whilst signing up to a professional code of conduct and behaviours. This confirms Skill Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) professional competence. A place on the Register acknowledges that those achieving these standards have joined the professional community, and opens the door to the continued support, career development and guidance that professional bodies provide.

Professional body involvement and recognition in the development of the standards and the approach to assessment is a further independent check on quality assurance both for the individual and the Apprenticeship itself.

Entry requirements

Entry Level Courses : 
Skills for Life & Work 
No formal qualifications are required for this course, although evidence of personal progression from previous education establishments would be beneficial.  
These courses are specifically designed for learners with a special educational need (SEND). 

Skills & Employability  
English & maths GCSE Grades G-U / 1 or English & maths Functional Skills Entry Level 3  

Full Time GCSE Re-sit Study Course
You will receive an offer of a place on the course subject to passing an English & Maths assessment. 

Full Time Level 1 Course 
English & Maths GCSE Grades E-G/1- 2 or English & Maths Functional Skills Entry Level 3. 

Full Time Level 2 Course 
Minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade D/3 including English and Maths or a vocational qualification Level 1, plus GCSE grade D/3 in both English and Maths. 
English & Maths Functional Skills Level 1 will be accepted as an alternative to GCSEs.  

Full time Level 3 Course
Minimum of 4 GCSEs at grades A-C/4-9 (including English and Maths) or a vocational qualification Level 2, plus GCSE grade C/4 in both English and Maths

T Level 
Minimum of 5 GCSE passes but English and Maths GCSE must be Grade 5 or above. 
T levels in Science and Healthcare Science will also require a minimum of a grade 5 in a GCSE Science subject.


How to apply

You can apply for all our courses by choosing the Apply Now button, which appears once you have chosen the area you are interested in.

You can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies or register your interest in an Apprenticeship sector as follows -

To register your interest - http://www.oldham.ac.uk/apprenticeships-traineeships/apprenticeships/

To apply for a vacancy - http://www.oldham.ac.uk/apprenticeships-traineeships/apprenticeship-vacancies/





Full Time

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your course and are taking a course leading to a qualification, the tuition and exam fees are free. However, there may be some additional costs for optional trips, recommended text books and professional start up kits. We have a bursary scheme to assist with these costs.

Part Time

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your course and are taking a course leading to a qualification, the tuition and exam fees are free. However, there may be some additional costs for optional trips, recommended text books and professional start up kits.

Please note that fees may be charged to students ages 19 and over on certain courses. For more information about course fees and whether you may be eligible for fee remission please ring 0161 785 4039 or email admissions@oldham.ac.uk

What happens next?

It is important that you come along and speak to one of our staff about your choice/s.

Once we receive your application, you will be invited in to speak to a tutor or a member of the Apprenticeship team to discuss your application.

This will provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the course/Apprenticeship and to see our facilities.