Advanced Computer Science: Advanced Web Technologies [MSc]


Unit code: COMP61411
Credit Rating: 15
Unit level: Level 6
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit?: Y




The course aims to give students a good appreciation of cryptographic techniques, as they have arisen historically, and as they are used today.


Cryptography is a vital component of modern electronic security technologies.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are detailed on the COMP61411 course unit syllabus page on the School of Computer Science's website for current students.

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 60%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 40%


  • Early cryptography: permutations and substitutions, Vignere, Vernam, one time pads, etc.
  • Rotor machines: Enigma and its relatives.
  • Case study: Marian Rejewski and the breaking of the German Enigma.
  • Modern cryptography, secret key: block cyphers, DES, AES, etc.
  • Modern cryptography, public key: Diffie-Hellman, RSA, elliptic curves.
  • Message authentication, hash functions.
  • Quantum cryptography: quantum key distribution in practice.

Recommended reading

COMP61411 reading list can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Feedback methods

Feedback is provided face to face in the lab, and online for uploaded assessed materials.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 20 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 15 hours
  • Independent study hours - 113 hours

Teaching staff

Richard Banach - Unit coordinator

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