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CSC3621 : Cryptography

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Changyu Dong
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Chris Napier
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Coursework
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
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.

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 report1M402 equally weighted coursework deliverables (15 hours total)
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 cryptographic 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%.

Reading Lists