Course Outline

SEC301 Cybersecurity

Course Coordinator:Judith Watson ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Securing data and cyber networks remains one of the most important aspects of modern computing. You will explore key cyber and information security theories, tools and practices including the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and how cyber criminals target individuals and businesses, unlawfully seizing data and identities. You will also identify the dark markets where stolen data, identities and Intellectual Property is traded and how international law enforcement agencies operate to locate and prosecute cyber criminals.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning material 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning material 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to Cybersecurity
  2. Networks and networking
  3. Ports, protocols and services
  4. The Internet
  5. Network vulnerabilities
  6. Technical cyber attacks
  7. Non-technical & human factors attacks
  8. Malicious software
  9. Assessing Threats to the Network
  10. Cybersecurity governance
  11. Responding to a cybersecurity incident
  12. Cybersecurity Challenges of the Future

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Analyse the digital cybersecurity environment from the attacker's and defender's perspectives. Knowledgeable
2 Explain the range of technical and human-based threats impacting individuals and organisations, and the controls and policies needed to secure against or mitigate them. Knowledgeable
3 Rationalise the human and technical vulnerabilities in cyber and information security to understand human reasoning and prevent further attacks. Creative and critical thinker
4 Justify cyber security and governance practices to manage key cyber scurity risks to an organisation Empowered
5 Communicate cyber security principles and applications to a variety of technical and non-technical audiences. Engaged

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.




Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

On-going formative feedback will be provided in workshops throughout the course.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Portfolio Individual 40%
Approximately 1,500 words (5 tasks each worth 8 points)
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Case Study Group 30%
2,000 word
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Written Piece Individual or Group 30%
2,500 words equivalent
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Weekly Canvas Evaluation
The goal of this assessment is measure your understanding and comprehension of the Canvas material presented during the week.  The tasks may also measure your basic network security knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity principles.
Product: Portfolio
Students will complete quizzes and answer questions related to the Canvas material
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Mastery of Cyber security theory and standards
2 3 5
Understand basic network structures, protocols, ports and services
1 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Force on Force Attack and Defend Network Scenario
This task will enable the student to identify and articulate technical and human factors attack strategies and methodologies in written format given a scenario of how a notional company operates.
Product: Case Study
You will prepare a written report which will identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the protected network of a notional company and how those weaknesses may be exploited by an attacker.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identification and explanation of a range of technical and social engineering methodologies
1 2
Identification and rationalisation of the human and technical vulnerabilities exploited in
Communication of investigation results
Collaborate and coordinate as a group to identify and present network vulnerabilities and potential attack methodologies to exploit those vulnerabilities.
1 2 5
All - Assessment Task 3:Capture the Flag and Castle Defence
Students will design a defensive or attack strategy for a notional company and present their plan in both a written report and present as a group.
Product: Written Piece
Given a scenario describing the cybersecurity posture of a notional company, and building on the report they submitted in task 2, students will submit a written plan to attack or defend a protected network. Students will then present their plan to instructors.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identification and explanation of a range of technical and social engineering threats, their
likelihood and impact on the case study organisation
2 3 4 5
Application of control management framework
2 3
Development of a business case for senior management
Professional communication

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Recommended Christopher Hadnagy 2018 Social Engineering n/a John Wiley & Sons
Required William Stallings,Lawrie Brown 2017 Computer Security n/a Pearson Higher Education

Specific requirements

This course requires access to computers and specialised software which is provided at USC campuses for student use. If you elect to do this course online, you may either; attend a campus at which it is available, discuss alternative solutions with your course coordinator that would enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes, or if you prefer you may acquire this software (if necessary at your own expense). Some software providers may offer discounted or free academic licensing.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 
To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890