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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Research Methods in Security, Privacy, and Trust (INFR11188)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary*This course is only available to students enrolled on the MSc in Security, Privacy and Trust*

To be a professional or researcher in the area, it is necessary to understand fundamental issues in connection with Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Trust.

This course aims to develop a deep understanding of current computer security and privacy research and will prepare students for conducting research in this area.

The course will focus on the main aspects of Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Trust, including topics like Cryptography, Software vulnerabilities, Web security, Access control, Mobile security, Differential privacy, Hardware protection, Side channel attacks, Block-chain, Network security, Usable security, and Passwords.
Course description The goal of this course is to introduce students to fundamental security, privacy, and trust concepts and offer them working knowledge of threats and counter-measures in order for them to undertake research in these areas.

The topics to be covered in the course will include a sampling of the following:

Introduction: fundamental concepts: confidentiality, integrity, and availability, Threat modelling and Human Factors.

Security: OS security, secure (through cryptographic primitives) networking protocols, Malware, Network intrusion and DoS mitigation, integrity and authentication scheme.

Privacy: Privacy enhancing technologies: Anonymous communication systems, Censorship resistance systems, Database privacy, Regulation compliant data processing and storage.

Trust: Centralised and decentralised systems, Distributed trust, block chains and ledgers.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Only available to students enrolled on the MSc in Security, Privacy, and Trust.

Some familiarity with computers and mathematics will be helpful.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 45 %, Coursework 55 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Final Exam (45%)
Students will complete a written examination at the end of the course which covers the breadth of topics.

Course work (55%)
Paper reviews
Student will be expected to review two papers over the course of the semester. Reviews will be marked on a combination of technical accuracy, presentation, and critical thinking and argumentation.

Literature Review
Similar to the 'Informatics Research Review' course (INFR11136) students will conduct a literature review including reading papers and writing a final document which may require several editing rounds informed by their Tutor and peers.
Feedback Students will be provided with formative feedback on their paper and literature review drafts such as peer-review on their literature surveys throughout the course during tutorials, as well as from the Tutor running the tutorial. There will be a number of self-tests spread over the semester, with model answers, to allow students to gauge their understanding of the material.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate detailed understanding of the fundamental aspects of cyber security, privacy and trust.
  2. Develop ability to critically evaluate the literature related to their chosen topic, and to formulate academically-informed views on a range of security issues.
  3. Demonstrate ability to approach an open-ended topic, to research new ideas and experiment with new techniques.
  4. Write a thorough literature survey of a self-selected area of security, privacy, or trust (seeded by one or more of reading list papers).
Reading List
The text book will be Introduction to Computer Security (First Edition), Michael Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia, Pearson.

Students will also be provided with lecture slides, a set of mandatory readings, and an optional set of further readings for those interested in specific topics. Students will also be provided with seed papers to assist with starting the literature review, but students will need to use their learned skills to find further readings on the specific literature review topic.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Develop skills reading research papers and critically analysing the methodology, technical contributions, and evaluation.

2. Be able to synthesise knowledge from academic papers to create a systematisation of knowledge.

3. Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues that are informed by forefront developments in the subject/discipline/sector.
KeywordsSPT,Security,Privacy,Trust,Secure Systems,Privacy enhancing technologies
Course organiserDr Mohammad Tariq Elahi
Tel: (0131 6)51 3257
Course secretaryMs Lindsay Seal
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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