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Module ICE-3401:
Computer & Network Security

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to:

  • Develop an understanding of the issues surrounding security in computing, networks, within the context of the interconnected modern world.
  • Provide practical experience of defending systems and networks against attacks.
  • Expose students to the comment themes and activities with computer and network security.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Types of actors within the security field.
  • The '3As' of security.
  • Types and methods of attack and defence.
  • Network segmentation and firewalling
  • The Layered Protection Model
  • Encryption, and the guarantees it can provide.
  • Data Protection and Social Engineering.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the key principles behind encryption and apply them to enhance security.

  2. Apply relevant security theory to design a system for security.

  3. Analyse common vulnerabilities in computers, networks and systems.

  4. Identify common threat vectors and the layered responses to them.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Exam 40
Laboratory Reflection 25
Red/Blue Team Exercise 35

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Traditional Lecture (2 hrs x 12 weeks)


Laboratory exercises and access for group work. (2 hours x 12 weeks.)

Private study

Revision, and completing individual assignments.

Group Project

Red/Blue Team security exercise.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Agree objectives and work plans with individuals;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Deploy tools effectively
  • Knowledge of information security issues
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Work as a member of a development team
  • Methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security
  • Knowledge of systems architecture
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines


Talis Reading list

Reading list


  • Introduction to computer security, Matt Bishop, ISBN 9780321247445.
  • Introduction to computer security, Michael Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia, ISBN 9780133575477.
  • Rtfm: Red Team Field Manual, Ben Clark, ISBN 9781494295509
  • Blue Team Field Manual (BTFM) (RTFM), Alan White and Ben Clark, ISBN 9781541016361

Courses including this module