Fundamentals of computer networks - face to face CP222

Learn how computers of all shapes and sizes are connected physically, or wireless, and how this arrangement affects how data is shared


Computer networks exist all around us. During the course, you will demystify the hardware and network topologies used for data transfer between computers, and help you make topic learning relevant and engaging to students.

Learn how computers of all shapes and sizes are connected physically, or wireless, and how this arrangement affects how data is shared. Switches, routers and other network components will be fully explained, helping you understand how data is moved around in packets.

Mapped closely to the specifications of GCSE computer science, the course will provide you with deepened knowledge and confidence that your students are equipped for their exams.

Prior knowledge:

You’ll need to know some basic concepts and terminology to access this GCSE-level subject knowledge enhancement. If you are entirely new to computer science, we recommend first participating in our one-day course: An introduction to computer systems, networking and security in GCSE computer science

Do you prefer to learn remotely? If so, take a look at: Fundamentals of computer networks

Recommended next steps:

This course forms part of the Computer Science Accelerator Programme. To more fully prepare you for teaching about networks at GCSE level, we also recommended the one-day course: The internet and cybersecurity delivered by your local Computing Hub or the online course: An introduction to computer networking for teachers

This course is delivered as part of the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who is it for?

This course is for current or prospective teachers of GCSE computer science with some understanding of computer science principles.

What topics are covered?

  • 01 | Types of network – step into networking and explore the reasons networks exist including the benefits are of using networked computers. Consider the different types of networks and their characteristics including personal, local and wide-area networks.
  • 02 | Hardware and topologies - the hardware that is required when building a network including routers, switches and hubs. You’ll also examine the different topologies required at GCSE level including ring, bus, star and mesh networks.
  • 03| Media types and Wi-Fi – explore how data is transferred using wired and wireless networks including understanding the use of data frequencies and Wi-Fi channels. Consider the importance of encryption when using Wi-Fi and the factors that can limit a Wi-Fi.

How will you learn?

Active learning in groups and expert teaching from an experienced subject specialist. Examination practice with guidance linked to the specific requirements of the main awarding bodies. The course will model teaching approaches that can be taken back to the classroom.

How long is this course?

This is a one-day course which consists of five hours of teaching time.


You will:

  • Understand the main reasons why computers are connected to share data

  • Know the layout and key hardware devices in networks for GCSE computer science.

  • Understand the different transmission methods used when networking, including the characteristics of different wired methods and Wi-Fi.

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