SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MMI122916
Module Leader Richard Holden
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Cyber Security and Networks
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module seeks to develop a clear understanding of underlying architectures and systems used to support computer system functionality; introducing the fundamental aspects of networking technologies and the Internet. It will introduce students to the foundations of computer networks, including: Internet architecture, network technologies and protocols (e.g., 802.*, TCP/IP, HTTP), some routing algorithms and policies, network applications, emerging network technologies, virtual private networks (VPN), geographic information system (GIS), and network security. It uses the OSI and TCP layered model to examine the principles and interactions of protocols and services at the application, presentation, transport, network, data-link and physical layers with an emphasis on Ethernet LAN technology. Students will gain practical experience in the investigation of Internetworks in a programme of laboratory work and tutorial study, including exposure to relevant case studies.


Computer Systems Architecture Introduction to computer systems architecture. Data representation and manipulation. The architectural building blocks of a CPU. Organisation and performance of the memory/storage hierarchy. Operating Systems Organisation, structure and basic operation. Computer networks Principles of communications and how networks have changed our lives. Introduction to the concepts of networks, data, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), quality of service (QoS), and security issues. Focus on how networks are modelled using the OSI and TCP/IP models and the process of data encapsulation. The Application layer: Explore the interaction of protocols, services and applications with a focus on HTTP, DNS, SMTP/POP, Telnet and FTP. The Transport layer: Focus on how TCP and UDP protocols apply to the common applications. The Network layer: through the examination of concepts related to network addressing, routing, path determination, data packets and the IP protocol. The Data link layer and the protocols associated with it. The Physical layer as well as the standards and protocols that manage the transmission of data across local media. Examine the characteristics and operation of Ethernet as it has evolved from a shared media, contention-based data communications technology to today's high bandwidth, full-duplex technology. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) Principles of communication security and how to secure communications links. Introduction to IPsec and VPN: Explore basic concept and technologies. VPN architectures, topologies and solutions. Mobile Connectivity Architectures, technologies and basic operation associated with Mobile connectivity. Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Investigate basic concept to CDN architectures and technologies. Study various content networking techniques and basic operation. Discuss CDN trends. Network Security Study the principles of Cryptography. Symmetric-Key and Public-Key algorithms: Focus on implementation and basic operation. Management of Public Keys: Certificates Authorities, Digital Certificates, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Introduction to Firewall technologies: Explore the different types of firewalls, architectures and basic operation. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems: Focus on architectures and real-world implementation. Geographic Information System (GIS) Introduction to GIS fundamentals and spatial analysis. Introduction to Remote Sensing. Introduction to Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Case Study System Introduction to the case study system Case study requirements Demonstration of fully operational case study system

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:Discuss the key architectures used to provide computer system functionality.Discuss the operation of the main features making up a modern operating system.Describe the importance of data networks, how communication works in data networks and the Internet in supporting business communications and everyday activities.Describe the devices and services that are used to support communications in data networks.Compare and evaluate network protocol models to explain the layers of communication in data networks.Evaluate the operations and features of application and transport layer protocols and services.Evaluate the operations and features of network layer protocols and services and explain the fundamental concepts of routing.Evaluate the operation of protocols at the data link and physical layers and explain how they support communication.Describe fundamental Ethernet concepts such as media, services and operation.Understand the international standards and protocols required to achieve network interconnection and interoperability.Demonstrate familiarity with Virtual Private Networks (VPN) technologies.Discuss the key components of Mobile Connectivity.Discuss the key components of Content Delivery Networks (CDN).Demonstrate familiarity with network security issues.Discuss the key components of GIS technologies.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The course material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. The practical work and coursework will be based around the integrating case study.

Indicative Reading

Clements, Alan. Principles of Computer Hardware. (4th Ed.), Oxford University Press. 09 February 2006. Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-19-927313-3 Brookshear, J. Glenn. Computer Science: An Overview. (7th Ed.), Addison Wesley. 2002. ISBN: 978-0321524034. Williams, Rob. Computer Systems Architecture: A Networking Approach (Paperback) Prentice Hall; 2nd Edition (30 Aug 2006) # ISBN: 978-0321340795 Stallings, W (2011) Operating Systems - Internals and Design Principles (7th Ed.), Pearson Tanenbaum , A (2010) Computer Networks (5th Ed.), Pearson CCNA Exploration 4. Cisco Networking Academy Program Online. Networking Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion Guide. Dye, Mark, McDonald, Rick Rufi, Antoon. (1st Ed.), Published Oct 29th 2007. ISBN: 978-1-58713-208-7. McQuerry, Steven. Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, Part 1 (ICND1): CCNA Exam 640-802 and ICND1 Exam 640-822, (2nd Ed.), Published December 2007. ISBN: 13: 978-1-58705-462-4. Additional Reading: Stevens, W. Richard. TCP/IP Illustrated: the Protocols, Volume One, Addison Wesley 29th Printing, May 2007.

Transferrable Skills

D1 Critical thinking and problem solving D2 Cognitive/intellectual skills D3 Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject D4 Learning style and orientation to learning D5 Time management: organising and planning work D6 Independent working D7 Planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development D8 Presentation skills D9 Information Retrieval Skills D10 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D13 Numeracy Skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 162.00
Practicals (FT) 72.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Lab Based Assignmentor 4000 word essay
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Official Examination