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

Current postgraduate taught students

COMP61411: Cryptography (2011-2012)

This is an archived syllabus from 2011-2012

Level: 6
Credit rating: 15
Pre-requisites: No Pre-requisites
Co-requisites: No Co-requisites
Lecturers: Richard Banach
Course lecturer: Richard Banach

Additional staff: view all staff
Sem 1 P1 Lecture 2.19 Wed 09:00 - 17:00 -
Assessment Breakdown
Exam: 50%
Coursework: 50%
Lab: 0%

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.

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A1have an appreciation of the origins of cryptography;
  • Examination
  • Individual coursework
A1 B2 B3have an appreciation of modern cryptographic techniques.
  • Examination
  • Individual coursework


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.

Reading List

See the course web site for more reading recommendations.

Core Text
Title: Cryptography and network security: principles and practice (7th edition)
Author: Stallings, William
ISBN: 9781292158587
Publisher: Pearson
Edition: 7th
Year: 2017
Core text for this course and also for COMP61421