module specification

CC3101 - Cyber Security Fundamentals (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Cyber Security Fundamentals
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 10%   In class test [One hour unseen]
Coursework 50%   Coursework [1500 words]
Unseen Examination 40%   Unseen Exam [One hour]
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Thursday Afternoon
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

On this module students will learn the fundamental knowledge concerning computer security, basic cyber threats and the corresponding detection and defence techniques. Core security concepts, terminology, technologies and professional cyber security skills will be introduced via case studies and laboratory experiments.

Module aims

This module aims to equip students with the ability to recognise, understand and counter vulnerabilities in computer systems. Students will have exposure to terminology and concepts through evaluating case studies in current media and practical experiments in the laboratory.


Introduction to cyberspace and cyber security: computer security, web security, operating system security, wireless/network security, mobile security, programming security.

Concepts and terminology of cyber security: basics of encryption and cryptography, virtual platform, cloud, protocols, hacking, malware, virus, botnets, pentest, information security practice/standards.

Basic coverage of security software: anti-virus software, packet sniffers, anti-spyware, intrusion detection/protection software, digital forensics software, pentest software.

Introductory overview of network security: types of networks, network protocols, network security and protection, VPNs, firewall configuration/maintenance, network intrusion and detection systems.

Basics of digital forensics: computer crime investigation and its legal issues, use of digital forensic tools and applications.

The human factor in security: authorisation mechanisms, usability issues, risk analysis and control, cyber-ethics, cyber bullying, social media attacks.

Learning and teaching

Students will develop understanding and practical investigative skills based on weekly lectures, tutorials and supervised workshops.  The teaching sessions will utilise examples/case studies as a platform for understanding security threats and how to counter them. The workshops, in particular, are provided to support students in gaining practical experience in computer security anddigital forensic investigations, within a dedicated laboratory.
Appropriate blended learning approaches and technologies, such as, the University’s VLE and computer security tools, will be used to facilitate and support student learning, in particular, to:

  • deliver content;
  • encourage active learning;
  • provide formative and summative assessments, and prompt feedback;
  • enhance student engagement and learning experience.

Students will be expected and encouraged to produce reflective commentaries on the learning activities and tasks that they carry out to complete their work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

LO1:   understand the basic concepts, terminology and technologies of cyber security;
LO2:   develop a basic knowledge of cyber threats and the corresponding detection and defence techniques;
LO3:   consider the human factor in computer security;
LO4:   acquire an appreciation of  different types and use of available security software;
LO5:   understand at an introductory level the forensic and investigative aspects of countering cyber-attacks.
LO6:   reflect on their learning and development within the context of cyber security.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed by three compulsory assessments [LO1-6].
The first compulsory assessment [LO1, LO6] is a 1-hour class test aimed at the student’s capability to understand material covered to date and also to receive feedback.
The second compulsory assessment [LO1-3, LO6] is an assignment based on the successful completion of a series of workshop tasks. It will allow students to demonstrate their awareness of the contexts in the detection and prevention of digital crimes. Students will produce a report (about 1500 words in total) detailing their findings of an investigation into an area relating to new technology crimes and their detection and prevention.
The third compulsory assessment [LO1-5], 1-hour exam, is designed to assess the understanding of fundamental concepts and their practical application.


Gee, G., (2014), Cyber Security Principles, 1st Edition, Paper Street Publishing. [CORE]

Gollmann, D., (2011), Computer Security, 3rd Edition, John Wiley.

Goodrich, M. and Tamassia, R., (2013), Introduction to Computer Security, [paperback], 1st edition, Pearson.

Easttom, W., (2013), Computer Security Fundamentals, 2nd edition, Pearson.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. (2014). CyberSecurity.Available: Last accessed 16/05/2016

Web Editor. (2016). All. Available: Last accessed 16/05/2016.

Web Editor. (2016). All. Available: Last accessed 16/05/2016.

Web Editor. (2016). All. Available: Last accessed 16/05/2016.

Web Editor. (2016). All. Available: Last accessed 16/05/2016.
Regular cyber security related articles from the BCS, Chartered Institute of IT, publication ITNOW will be made available to students.