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I have a decade of experience as a network engineer. At this point I'm consulting large ISP in a network design role.

I am thinking about applying for a Master's in computer networking without a Bachelor's degree.

Any recommendations on how to approach admission?

  • Where is this? US? EU? Elsewhere? I'll guess it is harder in EU/UK. – Buffy Jan 21 at 14:12
  • I primarily consider EU + UK +Swiss – doubleA Jan 21 at 14:13
  • @Buffy why would you say it's harder in EU/UK? – doubleA Jan 22 at 7:11
  • Because the bachelor's degree is much more specialized than in the US. So a masters student starts with more knowledge expected. – Buffy Jan 22 at 11:14
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Within the UK all degrees will have entry requirements for a course, and I expect this is the same throughout Europe although I suggest you check for yourself. As I dont know the exact situation for the entry, ie university or country, I will answer in general terms.

Typical entry requrements are based on a progressive points system, where your previous qualification accrues you a certain number of points and these points can be used as validation of your suitability to be on the higher level course. Within the UK, we use UCAS Tarrif Points to acheive progress through the undergraduate (UG) phase and the UG degree award for suitability of Postgraduate progression. Note: Some UK Universities also offer access through the UCAS Postgraduate scheme, although this is not widely used by all institutions.

In non-typical situations as yours where you do not have the preceding qualification level, so therefore, do not have the correct number of points or potentially the preceding degree award, you can demonstrate your suitability by evidencing that you have professinally worked at a very high level. Then usually, the university will conduct their own assessment of the qualifications you do have, the level of your subject knowledge, the relevance of your work experience and your academic potential. It might also be that you have to submit a pre-entry assessment of some sort, so a demonstration that you can perform to the epected academic level. This non-typical route is more common in situations where the applicant is considered a "Mature Student" ie has had time in the workplace and is returning to education.

So, to answer your question directly, I would contact the admissions office of the relevant universities you are interested in and be clear that you would have to take a non-typical admission route, and enquire directly as to what their requirements would be in this regard. It might help to have examples of your work already in mind, case studies perhaps, that you can discuss with admissions, but bear in mind they will be non-specialists and will have to refer your query on to the course managers or similar.

HTH.

  • I thought UCAS points were only for undergraduate admissions? The OP seems to be interested in a postgraduate Master's degree. Otherwise, I agree with your suggestions. – Emma Jan 21 at 16:23
  • @Emma You are absolutely right and the access to the PG courses is via the attainment made at UG level. Although there is also the UCAS Postgraduate access route, administered through UCAS and a small number of UK universities. I have made an edit to make that point clearer. Many thanks. – 10B Jan 22 at 15:22
  • Thanks for clarifying! – Emma Jan 22 at 16:16
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Adding to the 'where are you' question - in many universities in Australia what you would do is apply for entry to a lesser postgraduate degree (eg Graduate Diploma) and, if you got sufficiently high marks, you could switch to the masters program after a year. Are you wanting to do a research masters or a coursework masters? Since it's network engineering, I am guessing it is coursework. If so, this type of conversion is fairly common.

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