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CSC8209 : Project and Dissertation in Cyber Security

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Essam Ghadafi
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0
European Credit Transfer System


The individual project is a substantial piece of independent work involving the technical and research skills developed in the taught part of the degree. Learners will have the opportunity to contribute directly to research or development activities, develop their own specialist expertise in the project topic, and further improve planning and communication skills. The project will be conducted closely with a member of staff from one of the School's research groups, and might involve working with an industrial partner (possibly in an industry laboratory).

The aims of this module are:
- To deepen the knowledge and skills acquired in the first half of the programme through practice.
- To develop an awareness of the range and limitations of technologies available for the assessment and design
of secure systems.
- To enhance research skills and awareness of the professional literature.
- To develop an awareness of open problems in the subject.

Outline Of Syllabus

Learners will select a topic among those made available by members of staff working on Cyber Security topics, and with the approval of the DPD. The project will include a clear research component on cyber security topic, and a strong design, programming and/or analytic element, aiming at the production and validation of an artefact.

1. Project Definition and Planning: Bounding and clarifying a problem for research. Planning background
research, identifying relevant information sources. Decomposing a problem and forming a project outline in
terms of goals and criteria for success. Identifying resources and tooling required.
2. Supervision Arrangements: Each project has a lead supervisor and second supervisor, both staff from the
School. Additional supervision support may be provided by an industrial partner. The student and lead
supervisor will meet regularly throughout the period of the project.
3. Research: Background research will be undertaken in the selected topic using the skills developed in earlier
modules with access to library and online resources. The supervisor will advise on quality of sources and
standards in the topic area.
4. Development and Analytic Skills: The core of the project will involve carrying out the project plan largely
independently, but with guidance form the supervisors.
5. Dissertation: A dissertation will be prepared, describing the technical background, the work undertaken, the
analysis of results and directions for further work. Guidance on the style and content of an academic
dissertation will be provided.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion504:00200:00Report, presentation and dissertation preparation inc Ethics Form
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Introduction & explanation for presentation
Guided Independent StudyProject work656:00390:00Undertaking project - writing dissertation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision160:308:00Supervisor meetings (PIP or online synchronous/nonsynchronous)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The project is undertaken with an academic supervisor, working in association with one of the research groups of the School.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M75Max 16,000 words.
Oral Examination3M2030-minute viva (20-min presentation by student +10-minute Q&A).
Report2M5Interim report, with aim, objectives and plan.
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmntMEthics form
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The interim report provides a means of assessing the project aims, methodology and planning. The viva gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate the functionality/features/benefits of their artefact/findings and show-off their understanding of the chosen topic. It will also assess their presentation skills and how they communicate their work to a broader audience. The viva will be administered by the allocated marking team and can be arranged either online or in person. The dissertation provides for an assessment of professional skills in research and development, analysis, and detailed technical communication. The default submission mode for the dissertation is as a single digital document in either PDF or MS Word format.

Reading Lists