Course Outline

SEC601 Introduction to Cybersecurity

Course Coordinator:Dennis Desmond ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2024Trimester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

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?


In this online course you will be introduced to cybersecurity operations. You will develop the professional knowledge, qualities of thinking and digital collaboration skills needed to prepare you for future technical cyber security courses. You will explore 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 are 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 12 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Synchronous on campus workshop 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Seminar – On campus seminar 1hr Week 1 2 times
Learning materials – Asynchronous Learning material 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Synchronous Zoom workshop 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Seminar – Online seminar 1hr Week 1 2 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?

600 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

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 Describe basic network structures and technologies and how they can be exploited in an organisational context Knowledgeable
2 Examine the range of technical and human factors (threats and vulnerabilities) that impact networks and the governance and compliance requirements. Empowered
3 Communicate cyber-security incidents or potential incidents using technical and non-technical language and recommend timely and effective mitigation actions to a broad range of stakeholders. Engaged
4 Evaluate evolving technologies and the potential cybersecurity implications of their deployment and implementation. Creative and critical thinker

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”.


Enrolled in Program SC509 or SC517 or BU708 or SC705


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

Using marking rubrics, students will participate in continuous peer and self-assessment during tutorials

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 Essay Individual 40%
approx 1,000 words
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Case Study Individual and Group 30%
2,500 words
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Oral and Written Piece Individual 30%
2,500 words with online references
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Weekly Tasks in Aggregate
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: Essay
Students will complete quizzes and answer questions related to the Canvas material
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration of an understanding of cybersecurity terms and activities
1 2
Identification and rationalisation of the human and technical vulnerabilities exploited in cybercrime.
Expression of creativity, thoughtfulness, and insghtfulness based on an understanding of current information and computing technologies
1 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Cybersecurity Analysis Report
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
Analysis of the digital cybersecurity environment
Identification and explanation of technical and social engineering methodologies
1 2
Evidence of digital collaboration
Discussion of ethics as a function of cybersecurity policies and regulations
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: Oral and 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 4
Application of control management framework
Development of a business case for senior management
3 4
Communication of results
Make recommendations for a network security solution to be implemented by an organisation using the students training and expertise.
1 3 4

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 Graeme Edwards 2019 Cybercrime Investigators Handbook n/a John Wiley & Sons
Recommended Thomas J. Holt,Adam M. Bossler,Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar 0 Cybercrime and Digital Forensics n/a n/a
Required William Stallings,Lawrie Brown 2017 Computer Security Fourth Pearson Higher Education

Specific requirements

This is an online course therefore access to a computer and the internet for 10-12 hours per week is essential. Students should have a device with full administrative rights allowing for the installation of software, browsers, and the ability to navigate to darknet onion URLs.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all field activities and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risks concerns may include working in an unknown environment as well as slip and trip hazards. 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.


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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.

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  • Supplementary Assessment
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