Module Catalogue 2016/17

CSC3621 : Cryptography

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Thomas Gross
  • Lecturer: Dr Feng Hao
  • Owning School: Computing Science
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To introduce students to the theory and practice of block ciphers, cryptographic hash functions, public key cryptography and cryptographic protocols.

Outline Of Syllabus

Algorithms – cryptographic algorithms
- Historical overview of cryptography
- Private-key cryptography and the key-exchange problem
- Public-key cryptography
- Digital signatures
- Security protocols
- Applications (zero-knowledge proofs, authentication, and so on)
Net-Centric Computing – network security
- Fundamentals of cryptography
- Secret-key algorithms
- Public-key algorithms
- Authentication protocols
- Digital signatures

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

To be able to:
- list and describe the major cryptographic algorithms and protocols

Intended Skill Outcomes

To be able to:
- apply simple crypographic algorithms to encode messages
- produce programs to apply more complex cryptographic algorithms

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Numeracy : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Written Other : Assessed
  • Application
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Market Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion221:0022:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:3011:00Revision for end of semester exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study231:0023:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M40approx 8 weekly exercises (16 hours)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination tests the students' possession of knowledge as well as their understanding of the concepts and techniques that are relevant to cryprographic systems. The coursework allows them to apply this knowledge in a realistic setting.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 16/17. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.