Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

This is an archived syllabus from 2016-2017

COMP61411 Cryptography syllabus 2016-2017

COMP61411 Cryptography

Level 6
Credits: 15
Enrolled students: 76

Course leader: Richard Banach

Additional staff: view all staff

Assessment methods

  • 60% Written exam
  • 40% Coursework
Sem 1 P1 Lecture 2.19 Mon 09:00 - 13:00 -
Sem 1 P1 Lecture LF15 Mon 13:00 - 17:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Security


Cryptographic techniques today lie at the heart of the strategies used to protect users' data from unauthorised access. They come into their own particularly when data has to be transmitted across unreliable and unprotected networks.


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


  • 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.

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)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

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

Reading list

Cryptography and network security : principles and practice Stallings, William, author.9781292158587Pearson2017

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.