Computer Security - COMP8760

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Sanjay Bhattacherjee checkmark-circle


• Symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic principles and techniques.
• Authentication, authorisation and accountability (AAA) principles and techniques.
• Example applications of cryptography and AAA in real world systems e.g. centralised and decentralised trust-based systems.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 50
Private study hours: 100
Total hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Programming assessment (30%)
Practical report (20%)
Written examination (50%)

Re-assessment methods
Like for like.

Indicative reading

• Nigel P. Smart. "Cryptography Made Simple", 2016, Springer. Available at:
• Jonathan Katz and Yehuda Lindell. "Introduction to Modern Cryptography", 2nd edition, 2015, CRC Press.
• Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. van Oorschot and Scott A. Vanstone. Handbook of Applied Cryptography, 1997, CRC Press. Available at:
• Charles P. Pfleeger and Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, "Security in Computing", 5th ed., 2015,
Prentice Hall
• Dieter Gollmann, "Computer Security", 3rd Edition. 2011. John Wiley and Sons.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

8. The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1) demonstrate an understanding of some basic concepts of the state-of-the-art in symmetric and asymmetric key cryptography;
2) demonstrate a systematic understanding of the mathematical and computational principles used in cryptography and how they relate to real world applications;
3) demonstrate an understanding of the various techniques used in authentication, authorisation and accountability (AAA);
4) make informed choices of the appropriate cryptographic primitives and AAA security measures to put into place for a given application;
5) undertake an independent investigation into areas covered by this module and report on their findings;
6) undertake practical exercises related to this topic of this module.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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