Hardware & Networking

The course will cover:

  • Information systems used in business
  • Network design and administration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Problem solving and supporting end users
  • Computer hardware
  • Software installation and upgrading
  • Software design and development
  • Project planning
  • Developing employability skills in ICT

In year 1 there will be a focus on the computer, looking at what’s inside the box. They will learn about all the components that make up a modern computer system and how the interact within the computer. Students will also learn how to repair and carryout routine maintenance on computer systems.

In year 2 there will be a bigger focus on networking when the students will studying the Cisco curriculum
In addition to the vocational study, 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. Private training providers often charge £1000 + for these courses.

A variety of assessment methods are used on this course. 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 in the end of year 2 and assignment deadlines must be adhered to.

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

  • University
  • Full time employment
  • Apprenticeships
Level 3 – 4 x GCSE grades A-C or level 4-9 ( including English and Maths)

Explanation of entry requirements

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.

Level 3 Software Development.

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.

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