COMPGA99 - Thesis

This database contains 2016-17 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

Year MSc
Prerequisites Successful completion of core and option modules within the MSc Information Security
Term 3
Taught By Various supervisors (organiser = Jens Groth) (100%)
Aims Students will get the experience of undertaking and completing a piece of research, applying techniques learned throughout the programme, including the technical skills of analysis, design and implementation
Learning Outcomes Students will learn to: work individually developing a major project, plan and coordinate development activities, make realistic work commitments, present the research done effectively to a deadline


Students work individually or in groups on a research topic together with a supervisor. Frequently, the supervisor is one of UCL's lecturers on the MSc in Information Security, but students can also work with other academic staff at UCL or with an external supervisor from industry. The workload of the thesis corresponds to four modules.
The project runs from immediately after the examination period (May) with the students responsible for organising themselves and their work, with advice from their supervisor. Students are expected to meet with their supervisor on a regular basis, as agreed with the supervisor. The main report documents the results of the project. The deadline for submission is normally the last week of August. The dissertation text (defined as everything except title page, table of contents, references and appendices) should not exceed 50 pages in 12 point type and 1.5 or double spacing for an individual report. The total dissertation length (main text together with appendices) should under no circumstances exceed 100 pages for an individual report. For group projects, each extra group member increases the allowance by 30 pages in the main body, and 30 pages in the appendices.
Examples of recent project titles
Algebraic Attack On Smart Cards
Algebraic Cryptanalysis Of Ciphers
Anti-Phishing: Secure, Usable and Low Cost Authentication For Secure and Convenient Online Banking Security and Payment Systems
Comparing Authentication Methods
Computer Security By Strip Searching
Cryptanalysis Of Keeloq
Defence Against Profile Injection Attacks
Fuzzy Private Matching and Privacy Preserving
Implementing Default Capabilities To Fight Computer Malware
Integration Of Biometrics In Identity Management
Maliciously Created Routing Loops In Mobility Protocols
Mobile Phone Security
Model Checking Security Protocols
Modelling The Information Content Of Rumour Propagation
Perfectly Secure Communication Over General Adversary Structures In Arbitrary Networks With Feedback Channels
Privacy: Dataveillance As Differential Pricing and Social Sorting
Private Information Retrieval
Topological Characterisation of Email Communications
Trusted Computing
Verification of TESLA (or Variant Dining Cryptographers) Protocol Using MCMAS

Method of Instruction:

Individual research, with support from the project supervisor


The module has the following assessments:

  • Thesis (75%) (approx 550 work hours)
  • Viva (25%) (approx 50 work hours)

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain a mark of at least 50% for the module overall.





Books, papers, manuals etc. relevant to the project.