Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module COMP4217: Applied Cryptography

Department: Computer Science

COMP4217: Applied Cryptography

Type Open Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • (COMP3697 Cryptography OR MATH3401 Cryptography and Codes III) AND COMP2211 Networks and Systems


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To understand:
  • the design of cryptographic protocols;
  • the security notions for cryptographic protocols.


  • Hash functions: constructions and security
  • Application of hash functions: MACs, key derivation functions, MFA
  • Signature schemes: constructions, security and threshold signatures
  • Applications of signature schemes: SSL, certificates, key agreement
  • Construction of protocols and proving their security

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an understanding of the key features of cryptographic hash functions;
  • an understanding of the key features of digital signature schemes;
  • an understanding of the issues faced in designing and assessing the security of cryptographic protocols.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to evaluate the efficiency and security of protocols based on hash functions;
  • an ability to design various digital signature schemes and to assess their security
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to formally prove the security of hash functions and digital signatures;
  • an ability to assess the efficiency and security of protocols.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures enable the students to learn new material.
  • The examination assesses the knowledge and understanding of the material covered in the lectures.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Preparation and reading 80
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: %
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Example formative exercises are given during the course.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University