Paper information

What COSC412 is all about

The overall aim is to provide students with an understanding of the role played by various aspects of cryptography in computer security, and to explore topics such as the modern theoretical bases of cryptography—a central aspect of contemporary computing both in theory and in practice.

Compared to COSC312, COSC412 includes an expectation of students engaging with research publications, and being able to present the results of their own research.

Learning objectives include:

  • an understanding of various cryptographic systems including stream ciphers, block ciphers, and public key encryption schemes;
  • an appreciation for the mechanisms by which a cryptographic system’s security is analysed, in particular the concepts of semantic security;
  • a basic understanding of the principles of quantum computing and their role in cryptography;
  • understand computer security fundamentals and the role of security engineering;
  • explain threats cryptography cannot protect against;
  • describe the different participants in single-sign-on systems and how they interact;
  • exploring emerging topics such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies;
  • critically analysing a cryptographic issue and related literature.

Lecture Times and Venue

Lectures are shared between COSC312 and COSC412.



  • Assignments = 40%
  • Final exam = 60%

Academic Integrity

In COSC412 we place high value on the principles of academic integrity, and view academic misconduct as a very serious matter.