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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP3911 Secure Computing

10 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Dr Nick Efford

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

COMP2931 Software Engineering or ELEC2645 Embedded Systems Project; COMP2221 Networks


COMP2931Software Engineering
ELEC2645Embedded Systems Project

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Security is an increasing problem for all computer systems. Users, administrators and developers all need to be aware of the risks and the need to develop systems that are resistant to attacks. It is the responsibility of a professional Computer Science practitioner to be aware of tools and techniques that can be used to mitigate the threats to systems security. This module focuses on these threats and how they can be mitigated by good design, implementation and testing of computer systems. In addition, the module will also cover intursion detection and analysis.This module considers case studies from industrial security breaches and contributes to commercial awareness.


This module will provide the fundamental skills and knowledge required to develop secure software. This modules contributes to developing responsible and commercially aware Computer Science practitioners.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module a student will have demonstrated the ability to:

- evaluate the risks inherent in a computer system and produce a scheme of mitigation to manage the risk to an appropriate level for the system.
- explain common vectors of attack in computer systems.
- identify a range of different vulnerabilities in software applications.
- use technical knowledge of cryptography to make a well reasoned selection of appropriate cryptographic techniques for a given situation.


This module covers the following 5 topic areas:

- Cryptography : the role of cryptography in security, modern cryptographic algorithms and their use in software development and encryption in computer networks.
- Risk management : threat modelling and risk assessment.
- Modes of attack : network protocols, malware and software vulnerabilities.
- Mitigation techniques : counter measures, authentication techniques (biometrics and two-factor authentication), penetration testing, secure systems design and intrusion detection.
- Ethical issues : ethics of security research, responsible disclosure and privacy.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours70.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Coursework and labs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/03/2022 16:12:19


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