module specification

CT7155 - Switched Networks (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Switched Networks
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
140 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Case Study Report (2500 Words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Practical Exam (3-Hours)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module develops in depth analytical and practical knowledge and skills for configuring and managing Internetworking devices in Local Area Networks using both basic and advanced Switching protocols.

Student are able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of concepts, principles and technologies that underpin computer networking practice, design and application; as well as knowledge of the principal features of the computer Networking industry, its role, structure and organisation; The student would be able to draw independent conclusions based on a rigorous, analytical and critical assessment of argument, opinion and data.

The module introduces the student to current best practice in the design, deployment and maintenance of complex local area networks. It focuses on the delivery of high availability networks and the deployment of voice within the scalable campus network with a close attention to switch security.

Upon successfully completion of this module student should be able to sit for CCNP Switch industry certification subject to satisfying relevant pre-requisite (CCNA).

Module aims

At initial stage the course focuses on the operation of Local Area Network (LAN) protocols and their benefits. It describes the types of LAN switching and protocols and basic concept and configuration of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). It discusses the concept of virtual LANs and its benefit and the benefit of scaling IP addresses.

At the next stage it provides an understanding of the advanced Switching protocols. The module then focuses on the selection and implementation of the advanced switching techniques to build reliable, scalable multilayer-switched LANs. It ensures students can apply their knowledge by using series of hands-on, lab-oriented sessions which stresses the design, implementation, operation, and troubleshooting of advanced switching technologies.

Through series of in depth lab activities using real hardware, students would gain adequate knowledge to design a basic network which meets a small business network requirement.    Students are required to provide evidence (through logbooks) how they have completed each phase and demonstrate that their design and configuration meets the initial user's requirement.

Students also use a number of simulator/emulator (depending on type and the complexity of network configurations) to carry out the initial analysis on the network performance.


Introduction to LAN Switching, switching concepts, switch configuration and Switch Operation, LAN Design, Switch Configuration, Redundant Topologies, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP),802.1w Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol, Ether Channel, VLAN Trunking and Dynamic Trunking Protocol (DTP), Configuring VLANs and VMPS,VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP), VTP Configuration and , Inter-VLAN Routing , Wireless LANs,  Scaling Networks with DHCP, NAT and PAT.
The Enterprise Composite Network Model, Pruning, Multi-layer switching. Configuring Layer 3 Redundancy with HSRP, VRRP and GLBP. (VoIP) Converged Network Benefits, Switch Security Issues.

Learning and teaching

A variety of approaches will be adopted. The recommended text books in bibliography, covers the detailed syllabus of this module. In addition to this, students also have access to course material from a local server which will enable them to further enhance their learning. Formal lecture classes will further emphasis the key features of each syllabus and provide opportunities for interactive discussion on some of the more important issues of switching protocols. Through series of in depth lab activities students would gain adequate knowledge to design a basic network which meets a small business network requirement.    Students are required to provide evidence (logbooks) how they have completed each phase and demonstrate that their design and configuration meets the initial user's requirement.
The aim of the laboratory programs are to help students to gain knowledge and skill of designing and implementing Switching protocols as well as configuring the network infrastructure, such as configuring switches and creating VLANs, HSRP, etc in a Local Area Networks. The module is supported by tutor’s website.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

LO1. Describe the concept of LAN segmentation using bridges, routers and switches and their benefits;
LO2. Development  of analytical and practical knowledge and skills for configuring and managing   Internetworking devices in Local Area Networks;
LO3. To understand the benefit of scaling IP addresses;
LO4. Evaluate  the characteristics of Layer 2 and 3 networks in identifying the reasons for using a multilayer switch.
LO5. To understand the Enterprise Composite Network Model (ECNM), the features and benefits.
LO6.Understand and use VLAN management tools such as the VLAN Trunking Protocol       (VTP).
LO7. To be able to configure  a campus switches to support voice.
LO8. Work effectively to design and demonstrate a simple LANs structure using advanced  switching protocols.
LO9. Plan, execute and report on individual or group programmes of work.

Assessment strategy

The assessment is designed to cover all the learning outcomes.
The module is assessed by a case study (2500 Words, formative and summative) on a complex network topology using basic and advanced switching protocols. This covers and assesses LO1-9. The student will be given a detailed brief and will be required to provide an efficient, scalable and innovative solution. A typical case study would comprise a large converged campus network comprising multiple core, distribution and access layer switches. The student would be required to develop an efficient, scalable and Secure solution and deploy their solution in the lab. Students are required to record any activities towards the completion of their case study in a separate logbook (not the laboratory logbook). The weekly progress of their case study will be monitored and signed by their supervisor. The final mark of the case study is based on the presence of the case study logbook and successfully completion and submission of the case study report. The final mark will take into consideration the marks achieved through several in class tests that covers the topics in their case study. The case study requires individual work and is assessed by written reports and possible demonstration.
Final practical examination (summative) covering LO1-6 and 9 and consists of configuring a switched LAN topology using Internet Operating System (IOS) command line. All assessments will take place in the laboratories.


1. Scaling Networks Course Booklet (Cisco Networking Academy), 2013, 1ST Ed, ISBN-10: 1587133245 (Core) 
2.  Hucaby, D., (2010), CCNP SWITCH Official Certification Guide. 1st edition. Cisco Press
3. .Olifer, N. &Olifer, V., (2006), Computer Networks: Principles, Technologies and Protocols for Network Design. 1st edition. John Wiley & Sons,
4. Lewis W.,Cisco Systems Inc, (2004) Multilayer Switching Companion Guide (Cisco Networking  Academy Program) , Cisco Press,ISBN: 1587131439
5. Lewis W.,Cisco Systems Inc,(2004) Multilayer Switching Lab Companion (Cisco Networking  Academy Program), isco Press, ISBN: 1587131447