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Cryptography Theory & Applications - COM00093M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Siamak Shahandashti
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

The module looks at the major techniques, algorithms, and protocols in modern cryptography from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

The module co-ordinator will be changing for the 2022/23 academic year and we will update this information as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this module, please contact Ian Gray

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module provides a broad overview of types of cryptography, the fundamental security goals achieved through cryptographic algorithms and protocols, major cryptanalysis techniques, and possible countermeasures. The module pays significant attention to how algorithms are attacked, characterising the properties that allow such attacks to be effective, and so also identifying properties that an algorithm must have to resist attacks.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student will:

  • understand what cryptography is, what it is used for, and what are the fundamental types of cryptographic algorithms.
  • understand the main techniques used in cryptographic algorithm and protocol design and their security requirements.
  • be able to apply fundamental and widely researched cryptanalysis techniques to specific cipher types.
  • be able to assess whether cryptographic components and algorithms meet identified security criteria that must be satisfied for effective resilience to attacks.
  • be familiar with the wider ethical, societal, and legal issues of relevance to cryptography.


Task Length % of module mark
Set Task Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Set Task Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive oral feedback during the classroom week, and written feedback on their assessment submission.

Indicative reading

Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C (2nd Edition). Bruce Schneier. Wiley. 1996.

Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice (7th Edition). William Stallings. Pearson. 2017.

Handbook of Applied Cryptography. Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. van Oorschot, and Scott A. Vanstone. CRC press. 1997.

A Tutorial on Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis. Howard Heys. Cryptologia 26(3): 189-221. 2002.

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.