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CSC8209 : Project and Dissertation in Cyber Security

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Essam Ghadafi
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
Semester 3 Credit Value: 50
ECTS Credits: 30.0


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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Introduction & explanation for presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion504:00200:00Report, presentation and dissertation preparation
Guided Independent StudyProject work656:00390:00Undertaking project
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
Report2M6Interim report, with aim, objectives and plan.
Dissertation3M88Max 20,000 words.
Prof skill assessmnt3M6Presentation slides
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmntMEthics form
Design/Creative projMDemonstration of artefact.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The interim report provides a means of assessing the project aims, methodology and planning. The presentation and demonstration provide for an assessment of student’s skills at communicating work to a broader audience. 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 (e.g., PDF), but other formats will be encouraged and accepted, such as online, publicly accessible text.

Reading Lists