This module is offered in 2020-21.


The aims of this module are:

  • To explain the techniques used to encode data, emphasising in turn the ideas of: security and secrecy, error correcting capabilities, data compression.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should:

  • Be familiar with the distinction between public and private key encryption systems, and some of the more notable encryption schemes.
  • Be familiar with classical error correcting codes.
  • Be familiar with the elements of Shannon’s theory of Information and some methods for data compression.


  • The weakness of early encryption schemes; the Data Encryption Standard and Advanced Encryption Standard; public key schemes including RSA; attacks on RSA by integer factorisation; Hamming distance, linear codes, Hamming codes, syndrome decoding, turbo codes; information and uncertainty, channel capacity and Shannon’s theorems (without proof), Huffman encoding, arithmetic encoding, basic ideas of audio, image and video encoding.

Compulsory Elements

This module has the following compulsory elements in addition to those common to all modules (mark of 4 in each assessment component):

  • There will be a series of short quizzes, probably delivered via Microsoft Teams. These will open during the class hour and remain open for 24 hours. Completing the quizzes within this period is a compulsory element of the course.

Module Delivery

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Last Published: 19 Oct 2020.