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Hardware Systems & Architecture

Hardware systems & Architecture is a key part of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. IT professionals who can manage a business’s information resources, and understand the technologies and systems that enable this are key to a modern enterprise’s success.

This degree prepares you for a professional career in information systems and the business services they provide. It takes a broad view of how organisations use information to maintain competitive advantage using City’s expertise in both computing and information management.

This programme is specifically aimed at students who are looking to break into the ever-present IT industry with real world skills. A major complaint that echoes throughout the IT industry is the lack of practical skill evident in graduates seeking work. This programme is the perfect marriage of theory and practical skills needed to succeed in the IT industry.

This course, like all CSBM courses has been designed with the outcome in mind, namely a job. The IT Industry is still booming, and as companies grow, so does their IT Architecture and Infrastructure. Staying up to date with practical courses in this industry is imperative, that’s why this course has been written by the industry, for the industry.

Modules Covered

(Click on the name for more information)



E-Commerce has become a vital part of an organisation’s ability to reach out to the marketplace and position itself to maximise commercial returns on investment. Poor choices of technology and processes will result in poorly managed opportunities which could lose business, market position and profitability. In this unit, you will investigate the values of business skills by exploring current, topical examples of e-Commerce practices and you will consider how to design an e-Commerce solution to the best advantage of the organisation and its stakeholders (for example employees, suppliers and customers).


Most IT professionals will at some stage have to set up, use, customise and maintain computer systems. In order to do so effectively they will need to understand how computer systems work. This unit explores the hardware, software and peripheral components that make up a computer system. You will then apply your theoretical knowledge to practical application by building, configuring and testing a functional computer system which will meet a given specification.


All computer systems share the same underlying computer architecture principles. This unit examines these principles and explores the fundamentals of how computer systems work. You will focus on the technical detail including how the components function at an electronic level. You will explore how various types of data can be represented and then stored within computer systems. This is followed by a study of the low-level system components. It includes the processor, buses and memory incorporating an analysis of how these components interact to manipulate data using the fetch-execute cycle.


Everyone requires employability skills as a prerequisite to entering the job market. This unit gives you an opportunity to assess and develop an understanding of your own responsibilities and performance in or when entering the workplace. The unit considers the skills required for general employment such as interpersonal and transferable skills, and the dynamics of working with others in teams or groups including leadership and communication skills.


This unit provides opportunities to develop skills in decision making, problem solving and communication integrated with the skills and knowledge developed in many of the other units within the programme to complete a realistic project. It requires you to select, plan, implement and evaluate a project and finally present the outcomes, in terms of the process and the product of the project.


Technology managers have to deal with change and participate effectively with management at all levels, including senior management, in the development and implementation of strategies. The unit will investigate and provide you with the skills, understanding and knowledge required by a manager in the information technology environment, thus enabling you to play an active role within an organisation or in the management of a project.


Research involves the exploration of a range of primary and secondary sources of information. From these sources, conclusions can be drawn regarding a particular question or theory that may need to be investigated and tested. In this unit, you will gain the knowledge and research skills needed to select a research question, and design a research proposal for a chosen topic of interest. This will equip you with a higher level of knowledge and skills that will allow you to be self-directed and focused in a specific field of expertise. This will be of great benefit throughout this course and in your third year.


The systems life cycle provides a comprehensive framework for initially capturing data and information through a feasibility study and the use of recognised fact-finding techniques. You will be encouraged to identify and consider a full set of stakeholder interests to be sure that the wider implications of any development are considered. Theoretical understanding will be translated into practical skills through actual systems investigations and you will become confident in the use of particular tools and techniques relevant to the methodology chosen.


Understanding of the underlying principles of networking is of vital importance to all IT professionals in an environment that is increasingly complex and under continuous development. The aim of this unit is to provide a background to the basic components of networked systems from which all networking operations derive. It also includes the evaluation of networks and network applications. You will explore a range of hardware and technologies, culminating in the design and deployment of a networked system.


Networks such as the internet have become a part of everyday life with many commercial, educational and governmental organisations having ownership or access to a routed network infrastructure. Where any system has to endure segmentation, for security, traffic management or distance communication, a routed infrastructure ensures the persistence of communication and the management of data transfer. You will understand that consideration must be given to not only the physical network but the organisational culture as well. Additionally, you will also understand how routing affects network communication and how routers utilise protocols to ‘learn’ about the changing topology in a network infrastructure in order to offer reliable data transfer.


You will be provided with the knowledge, skills and techniques necessary to install, configure, troubleshoot and maintain a reliable network operating systems service. Modern enterprise organisations rely on the use of a range of network operating systems (NOS), to establish the networking services necessary to run their IT infrastructure. Supporting a NOS is considered one of the primary roles of a professional network administrator. This unit will allow you to install, configure, support and maintain complex NOS and servers.


Network infrastructure systems such as Active Directory (from Microsoft) or eDirectory (from Novell) amongst many others, are systems used to manage resources, naming of devices, allocation of rights, privileges and security polices. Each can be used to deploy software as well as control the behaviour of the network infrastructure. In this unit, you will explore the principles supporting any network infrastructure system, design a solution for a given networked environment as well as implement and test the solution.


Local Area Networks (LANs) have become common in all but the smallest of enterprises and their implementation has become the realm of skilled designers if the best advantage is to be made of available technology. Whist it is now the case that simple networks can often been installed by users with little previous knowledge, the design, implementation, testing and management of extended LANs requires considerable technical knowledge. You will study the impact of LANs across an organisation and this can include upskilling of staff as well as changes to: the physical environment; commercial procedures and the access, security and ownership of the data which passes across the LAN.


Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies such as the internet have become a part of everyday life with many commercial, educational and governmental organisations having ownership or access to a WAN infrastructure. In this unit, you will understand the importance of considering how WAN devices communicate and ‘learn’ about other devices and the changing topology. They will also explore communication speed and traffic management issues relating to the Quality of Service (QoS) of data delivery.


ICT professionals managing a complex network infrastructure for a large corporate entity, as well as individuals maintaining small systems or personal access, all have to contemplate and implement a variety of network security intrusion prevention and detection methods. Attacks evolve and threats change as systems increase in speed, capacity and use and as technologies change. You will research, design and implement secure environments protecting IT systems and therefore individuals from attack. The protection will include intrusion detection and prevention, user and resource access management and the maintenance of malware defence.


Projects play a large role in the development of Information Systems and Technology. This unit provides you with an understanding of, and experience in, project management principles, methodologies, tools and techniques that may be used in industry and the public sector. You will examine the criteria for the success or failure of a project, evaluate project management systems and review the elements involved in project termination and appraisal.


This unit aims to enable you to experience the scope and depth of learning which may take place in a work-based context by planning, monitoring and evaluating the work experience. A significant amount of learning can be achieved by carrying out practical activities in a workplace. Learning may be enhanced by taking a more formal approach to work-based activities – by planning, carrying out the activities and reflecting on the benefits of the activities to you and the business. You will have the opportunity, supported by your supervisors, to negotiate and perform activities which will allow you to fulfil the assessment criteria for this unit.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age, 18 years old
  • Full secondary education. NQF 3
  • Minimum of 2 A levels (no less than grade D) or equivalent (contact for more info) for UK applicants
  • English proficiency: PTE 51 (minimum: Listening 51, Reading 51, Speaking 51, Writing 51) or equivalent, IELTS 5.5 (minimum: Listening 5.5, Reading 5.5, Speaking 5.5, Writing 5.5) or equivalent, TOEFL 87 (minimum: Reading 22, Writing 21, Listening 21, Speaking 23) or equivalent
  • Mature students (over 21) are accepted, subject to professional references

Course Structure

  • Pathways: Management and Business
  • Work Experience Element – (optional 3 months Full-time or 6 months Part-time)
  • Option of Overseas work experience.
  • Enter the Bachelor Degree of your choice upon completion of all 4 Terms.

Course Outcomes

Students that take up all optional extras in this course, including work experience and the degree year will come out of the course with Dual Qualifications; an academic degree and a professional qualification, 6 months work experience, and be finished before their counterparts in University. What more can you ask for?

University Year

Students who complete all of the above units become eligible to enter direct into the third year of university. Some options are presented below, however, if you seek a university programme that is not listed below, then please get in contact with CSBM to discuss the possibilities.

Bournemouth University

BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology Systems

Middlesex University

BSc (Hons) Information Technology BSc (Hons) Information Technology and Networking BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems and Management BSc (Hons) Information Technology and Business Information Systems BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology

University of Gloustershire

BSc (Hons) Information and Communications Technology

University of Greenwich

BSc (Hons) Information Systems

University of Hertfordshire

BSc (Hons) Computer Science / Information Systems

University of Portsmouth

BSc (Hons) Computing & Information Systems

Universty of Worcester

BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology


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