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CSC3631 : Cryptography

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Thomas Gross
  • Lecturer: Dr Changyu Dong
  • 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Lectures present in person
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials40:302:00Podcasts or ReCAPs of previous lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Coursework and coursework quizzes
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00final exam quiz
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study391:0039:00Background reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Online Q&A via Zoom or Teams
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion91:009:00Lecture follow-up via online discussion board sessions (asynch)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will be largely taught present-in-person and may include short podcasts or modified ReCAPs. They are to introduce the learning material, delivering content 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 will be aided by (1) scheduled online Q&A time via Zoom/Teams and (2) non-synchronized online discussion via Canvas.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading (recommended textbooks).
Students are expected to spend time on preparing and completing the coursework and associated quizzes.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A60Online quiz (timed, the maximum allowed timed is 24 hours)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M402 equally weighted online quizzes
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 exam can be 24 hour take home if needed. The coursework allows them to assess their knowledge and understanding as the module progresses.
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