Cryptography - ZEIT8106

Faculty: UNSW Canberra at ADFA

School: School of Engineering & Information Technology @ UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Course Outline:

Campus: UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Career: Postgraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Restricted to students enrolled in Graduate Diploma or Masters programs.

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


This course provides details of the history, theoretical foundations, and current state of cryptographic algorithms. Topics may include classical cipher design and analysis; modern private key block cipher design, details, modes of use and analysis; stream ciphers; an introduction to number theory; public key encryption algorithms; digital signatures and hash functions; key management, X.509 certificates and certificate authorities; quantum computing and quantum cryptography.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you should:
1. Have a broad understanding of the history and development of cryptographic algorithms from classical substitution, transposition and product ciphers to modern private-key block ciphers and public key encryption, digital signature and hash algorithms.
2. Be able to use and analyse classical substitution and transposition ciphers.
3. Be able to compute by hand an en/decryption round of the DES, IDEA and AES block ciphers.
4. Be able to solve simple number theory problems and compute trivial examples of public key algorithms.
5. Appreciate the uses, limitations, and appropriate selection of the various categories of cryptographic algorithms

Delivery Mode

Distance and Intensive Delivery Mode


  • Introduction and History
  • Classical Substitution ciphers
  • Classical transposition & product ciphers
  • Modern block ciphers
  • Number theory
  • Block cipher design & usage
  • Block cipher cryptanalysis
  • Modern stream ciphers
  • Public key encryption algorithms
  • Digital signature and hash algorithms
  • Key certificates & management
  • Quantum cryptography and future issues


There are 6 assessment items in this course: 4 practical assignments, a reading project report and a final exam.
4 x Assignments (50%)
Reading Project (25%)
Final Exam (25%)

Course Texts/Software

Prescribed Text:
W Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security, 5/e, Prentice-Hall, 2010.

This textbook also has a website of support material that you can access at:


UNSW Canberra will supply you with (this) course Outline. Resources for this course are primarily provided to you electronically through the UNSW Canberra Moodle server. These resources include:
  • lecture notes and slides
  • audio recordings of lectures
  • assessment details and instructions
  • useful programs for you to install and use
  • additional background resource material
  • links to web resources
  • model answers for exercises and projects.
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Study Levels

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