Module code: COM3009

Module provider

Computer Science

Module Leader

SCHNEIDER SA Prof (Computer Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 22

Laboratory Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR UNSEEN EXAM 70%

Alternative Assessment

Not Applicable

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The rapid development of the Internet, and its increased use for business critical and financial transactions, have made understanding of security issues more important than ever before. This module covers the basic principles behind computer security.

Module aims

develop the students understanding of computer security and its fundamental principles

focus on the details of cryptographic mechanisms and how they are used to achieve security

develop an understanding of the difficulties involved in achieving security and the approaches taken in analysing security solutions

Introduce tools for exploring cryptography and for protocol analysis

Introduce aspects of access control for information protection

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Explain and demonstrate an understanding of the main cryptographic primitives and algorithms KCT
Analyse and model cryptographic protocols KC
Explain the basic principles of security KT
Describe current trends in security threats and countermeasures P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The module is divided into the following areas:

Introduction to security issues and security evaluation
Introduction to cryptography
Symmetric and Public Key schemes
Modern symmetric cryptographic algorithms, e.g., Block Cipher Primitives, AES
Asymmetric encryption
Public Key Algorithms, e.g., RSA/ElGamal
Attacking protocols
Introduction to Access Control
Introduction to Authentication in Distributed Systems
Current Technologies in Security, e.g., VPN, firewalls

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students with the knowledge, skills and practical experience covering the module aims and learning outcomes

The learning and teaching methods include:

For each teaching week there will be

2 hours of lectures, including use of electronic voting
2 hour of labs
There will also be a revision session to support the module.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.


Learning outcomes 1 and 2 are assessed by the coursework, and also by the examination.  Learning outcomes 3 and 4 are assessed by the examination.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Grades for the coursework item against previously published assessment criteria

·         Coursework is 20 hours work

·         Two hour examination.


Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback is given in lab sessions on the students attempts at the lab exercises and theoretical questions.  Written formative feedback is also given on the coursework.  Use of the electronic voting handsets in lectures also provides formative feedback for the students.

Reading list

Reading list for COMPUTER SECURITY :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.