CS808 – Computer Security Fundamentals

Credits 10
Level 11
Semester 1
Prerequisites N/A
Availability No elective
Learning Activities Breakdown Lecture content: 15 | Tutorials: 11 | Labs: 2
Coursework: 20 | Other Self Study: 52
Assessment Students will complete one coursework assignment (totalling 30% of the marks) and sit a 2-hour examination (70% of the marks).
Resit The resit assessment will be an Exam (70%) plus previously submitted coursework.
Lecturer Dr Rosanne English

General Aims

The aim of the class is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a security mind-set by introducing them to core material in the area of computer security. This foundation should enable students to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities for a range of situations, and propose appropriate actions to mitigate these issues.

Concretely, specific aims of the class are that students:

  • are familiar with the main concepts and issues in computer, information and network security;
  • understand the nature, variety and sources of security risks and vulnerabilities;
  • gain experience of the tools and techniques used in security exploits:

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this class students will be able to:

  • understand and explain the algorithms behind a number of different cryptographic and communication solutions;
  • understand and explain a range of different security protocols;
  • evaluate and existing or proposed system in terms of potential vulnerabilities and recommend the most appropriate security solution to apply;
  • summarise the key vulnerabilities, threats and attacks with regards to network security and propose suitable approaches to mitigate these issues.


The following syllabus is reflective of the types of topics which will be covered: cryptography, network security, authentication and access control and other topics.

Recommended Text/Reading*

* This list is indicative only – the class lecturer may recommend alternative reading material. Please do not purchase any of the reading material listed below until you have confirmed with the class lecturer that it will be used for this class.