Unit 1: Network Fundamentals

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Unit 1: Network Fundamentals

This unit forms part of the Course in MCAST Award in Network Design and Infrastructure. Once a learner complete all the units in this course satisfactorily; that is has obtained a pass mark in the assessment and respected the 80% attendance s/he will achieve an award pegged at MQF Level 4, 12 ECVET Credits.

The goal of this course is to offer an introduction to fundamental networking concepts and technologies. The course will assist in developing the skills necessary to plan and implement small networks across a range of applications.

In this course, both the practical and conceptual skills that build the foundation for understanding basic networking will be explored.

This is a 60 hr guided learning course.  Students need to invest further hours in the course, which will include private study and home assignments.

 Lessons are held as indicated on the prospectus and website.

The unit will help learners to gain an in depth understanding of networking concepts and uses language that allows for integration with engineering con­cepts, while providing a deep, theoretical understanding of networking concepts for experienced learners with advanced problem-solving and analytical skills. The unit emphasize on critical thinking, problem solving, collabora­tion, and the practical application of skills.

Learning Outcome 1: Use network protocol models to explain the layers of communications in data networks.

Unit Content

  • OSI model
  • TCP/IP model
  • Data encapsulation

Learning Outcome 2: Utilise basic cabling and network design to connect devices

Unit Content

  • Signaling and transmission
  • Networking Devices
  • Network Cabling types
  • Topologies

Learning Outcome 3: Design, calculate and apply subnet masks and addresses

Unit Content

  • Structure of an IP address
  • Classes of IP addresses
  • Network address
  • Broadcast address
  • Subnet masks
  • Subnetting a network

Learning Outcome 4: Design a simple Ethernet network using various network devices and media

Unit Content

  • Analysing user requirements and justifying topology chosen
  • Using network simulation software to design and test a network infrastructure concept
  • Testing network infrastructure connectivity

Learning Outcome 5: Demonstrate understanding and be able to apply the operations and features of the transport and network layer protocols and services

Unit Content

  • Client/Servers and their interaction
  • Role of protocols
  • TCP and UDP transport protocols
  • Application protocols and services

      The following are the suggested pre-requisites and/or entry requirements needed:


  • Completed Level 3 education with computer science component

Entry requirements:

  • Functional skills in the English Language

Course participants may be awarded either an MCAST Certificate of Attendance or an MCAST Certificate of Achievement.

MCAST Certificate of Attendance

  • An MCAST Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those candidates who attend at least 80% of the lessons.

MCAST Certificate of Achievement

  • An MCAST Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to those candidates who satisfy the 80% attendance criteria and also choose to sit and pass the course assessment/s.

  • Students who opt not to sit for the assessment or fail (the assessment/s) will however be awarded the MCAST Certificate of Attendance provided that they fulfill the minimum attendance criteria as stated above.

If the student intends to obtain a Certificate of Achievement, she/he is required to sit for an assessment/s. Assessment/s may take various forms such as home assignment, class assignment, practical test and time constrained test. However, the assessment/s is not compulsory and an applicant may choose not to sit for it. 

There are no additional costs or special materials/equipment to bring.

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