Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Cryptography and Secure Development (M) COMPSCI5079

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

A course on cryptographic algorithms and how to develop code for secure systems.


Four days over two weeks (2 days/week).

It is not known yet which two weeks or which days this will be.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





The class test will assess ILOs 1, 2, 4

One piece of assessed coursework will assess ILOs 1, 3, 4

(we note that there is no option above for class test)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Students can resit the class test


The coursework cannot be redone because the nature of the coursework is such that it takes a significant number of days to produce it and this effort is infeasible for supporting the re-doing of such coursework over the summer.

Course Aims

To develop student's knowledge of cryptographic algorithms, how they can be attacked and how to evaluate how secure they are.

To develop student's practical skills in developing secure systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Explain basic cryptographic algorithms, how they can be attacked and evaluate how secure they are.

2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a range of specialist algorithms, explaining when they are useful.

3. Produce a program that uses a standard cryptographic library to solve a security problem.

4. Critically compare and contrast a number of ways of developing secure systems.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.