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Topics in Privacy & Security - COM00082M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Radu Calinescu
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

  • None

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

The aim of this module is to cover a selection of crucial topics in modern day security and privacy.

Background: Modern-day systems must satisfy more varied security and privacy goals than ever before. The module investigates such complexity. It is predominantly technical in content, but also considers the wider social, legal and ethical context within which modern computer-based systems operate. The module mixes the "hard" with the "soft" (both are important). The material has a strong technical and academic basis, but the teaching style varies between topics. The practical sessions are highly participatory and intense explorations both of topics introduced in lectures and of new topics. Security is a respectable subject, and can be exciting and controversial. A flexible mind is a great asset when working in this field, and students are encouraged to think freely around topics. The practical sessions may include: extracting new ideas from research papers and other sources of information; "brainstorming" and other group discussions; preparing and delivering informal group presentations; modelling, analysing and investigating the security of particular systems.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • understand the variety of modern-day security goals; the range of attacks that can be launched; and the security defence mechanisms that can be used to counter them.
  • appreciate the social, legal and ethical context in which these goals and attacks occur.
  • contribute to the security risk management of computer systems.
  • understand future issues in security, including those that arise from the advent of new and emerging technologies.
  • demonstrate skills in rapid assimilation, distillation and presentation of information to an informed audience.


Task Length % of module mark
Topics in Privacy & Security - Open Assessment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Topics in Privacy & Security - Open Assessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

The practical assignments represent formative assessments. They resemble scenarios that you may work in, and problems that you may encounter in your future profession. Also, they address questions similar to those in the summative (i.e., marked) open assessment.

Group and/or individual feedback will be provided on the practical assignments, to ensure that you understand how well you are progressing, and to help you prepare for the summative open assessment.

Indicative reading

*** Ros Anderson, Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems, Wiley, 2008

*** Charles P. Pfleeger and Shari L. Pfleeger, Security in Computing (4th edition), Prentice-Hall, 2006

** Matt Bishop, Introduction to Computer Security, Addison-Wesley, 2004

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students