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BSc Computer Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Cyber Security

Course unit fact file
Unit code COMP38412
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course will provide an introduction to cyber security concepts, components, threats landscape and procedures as well as countermeasures, defences and challenges in tackling cyber threats. It will discuss systematic approaches to the identification and classification of system vulnerabilities, threats and attacks in the context. It will describe cryptographic methods and protocols, which are used to protect data, applications and systems. It will introduce cyber security solutions and defence measures, such as user identity, privilege and trust management, enterprise network defence and wireless security standards, application level security packages and software security issues and best practices.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Fundamentals of Computer Architecture COMP15111 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Distributed Systems COMP28112 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


This Course Unit introduces students to the landscape of cyber security and knowledge and skills to identify and address cyber threats at multiple levels. Particular attention is focussed on exploring security methods, protocols and other techniques to protect data and networked and distributed systems against cyber threats.

Learning outcomes

ILO1: Analyse, identify and classify vulnerabilities and security threats and attacks in a given setting.

ILO2: Describe and design system security solutions such as those for user identity, access and trust managements.

ILO3: Describe and design network security solutions such as those for protecting networked systems and devices.

ILO4: Describe, design and apply application security solutions such as those for protecting Internet-based services.

ILO5: Analyse, identify and describe software security issues, countermeasures and best practices.


Introduction to Cybersecurity


Notion of Cybersecurity and domains, security threat analysis and classifications, Cybersecurity framework


Cryptographic Tools and Protocols


Confidentiality with symmetric encryption, message authentication and hash functions, public-key encryption, digital signatures, key management, security protocol design


Identity and Privilege Management


User identification and authentication, single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, access control mechanisms


Network and Distributed System Security


Enterprise network security, web security, email security, e-transaction security, Cloud and IoT security


Software Security


Malicious software, software vulnerabilities and exploitations, countermeasures and best practices.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and workshops: 22 in total, 2 per week



Employability skills

Analytical skills
Problem solving

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Exercises and in-class feedback

Recommended reading

Computer Security: Principles and Practice, 4th edition, by W. Stallings and Lawrie Brown, ISBN-13: 978-0-13479410-5, Pearson, 2018.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ning Zhang Unit coordinator

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