Current students

COMP0054 Computer Security I

This database contains the 2018-19 versions of syllabuses.

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

Academic session



Computer Security I



Module delivery

1819/A7P/T1/COMP0054 Postgraduate

Related deliveries

1819/A7U/T1/COMP0054 Masters (MEng)

Prior deliveries




FHEQ Level


FHEQ credits



Term 1

Module leader

Courtois, Nicolas


Courtois, Nicolas

Module administrator

Bottomley, Samantha


This module provides an introduction to computer security concepts and techniques. It covers core security principles to engineer systems that provide properties like confidentiality, integrity or availability, despite the efforts of malicious entities to subvert them.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn how to recognise security properties of systems, as well as formulate security policies, and model the threats they may face. Through exposure to a number of established industry and government security mechanisms and design patterns, they will be able to select appropriate controls to guarantee that the security policies are implemented robustly and may resist efforts to subvert them. Conversely, students will gain skills in analysing computer systems, and developing strategies to bypass security controls. 

Availability and prerequisites

This module delivery is available for selection on the below-listed programmes. The relevant programme structure will specify whether the module is core, optional, or elective.

In order to be eligible to select this module as optional or elective, where available, students must meet all prerequisite conditions to the satisfaction of the module leader. Places for students taking the module as optional or elective are limited and will be allocated according to the department’s module selection policy.

Programmes on which available:

  • MSc Financial Systems Engineering
  • MSc Information Security
  • MSc Information Security (Part time) (Year 1)
  • MSc Information Security (Part time) (Year 2)
  • MSc Software Systems Engineering
  • MRes Security Science (and PGDip and Cert)


The equivalent of the core courses of a 3-year BSc in Computer Science or equivalent (and in particular, operating systems, networking, computer architecture, discrete mathematics, and logic).


The module is organized in 10 topics. The first half of the course covers basic principles; access control; Linux and Android security; high-confidentiality government systems; high-integrity commercial systems. The second half dives into the details of technical protection mechanisms and computer attacks including hardware, network and operating system security mechanisms; web security and web attacks; authentication & identification; and applied cryptography.

The module provides strong foundations in security engineering, and enables students to easily follow further modules in Security and Cryptography. 

An indicative reading list is available via


The module is delivered through lectures, including interactive questions and answer sessions.


This module delivery is assessed as below:



Weight (%)



Written examination (2hrs 30mins)







In order to pass this module delivery, students must achieve an overall weighted module mark of 50%.