Keeping the world cyber-secure: the role of computer science within cybersecurity

This is a Computer science Subject Spotlight with Terry Richards from Coventry University. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study Computer science.

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Join Terry Richards in this captivating Subject Spotlight as he explores the world of cybersecurity. He begins by explaining what cybersecurity is, why we need it, and the types of jobs involved in the field. He then considers how important it is to stay on the right side of the law when dealing with people’s data online. He explains key rules and regulations developers must follow to keep themselves and their users safe, as well as the role of cryptography in keeping data safe. Terry then takes a look at some prolific historic case studies of encryption breaking, considering how encryption remains ever-important today. Finally, Terry gets you to apply what you’ve learned about encryption by having a go at decrypting some secret messages! To reflect on the Spotlight, he emphasises how far encryption technologies have come, as well as the challenges we still face to keep everyone protected online. 

About Coventry University

Coventry University is a place where you can achieve your ambitions. Our Phoenix+ programme offers extra and co-curricular activities to help you build core life skills and prepare you for your future career. The university is home to students from over 150 different nationalities, you will be part of a truly international community. Coventry was ranked as a top 10 Student City in England ​for Affordability in the​ QS Best Student Cities Index Ranking Indicators 2024​. The city offers so much to do, see, and experience with affordable student living and accommodation, shops, entertainment venues and restaurants all within walking distance of the campus. Coventry University Group has received Gold for Student Experience and Silver for Student Outcomes in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework, demonstrating our capability to deliver excellence and positive student outcomes.

Meet the academics

Terry Richards

Terry Richards is a Coventry University graduate in Computer Science who returned to teach there soon after earning his degree. He played a pioneering role in designing one of the UK's first Cybersecurity Degree courses at Coventry University,  and has been instrumental in its delivery ever since. As the first-year tutor, he guides students through the transition from secondary education to university life, and helps prepare them for successful careers in the field. Terry’s current teaching focus is Cyber Security Law and Ethics, Cryptography, and Social Engineering. His dedication extends beyond the classroom, with a strong commitment to outreach, coaching, and mentoring students. He also actively pursues research interests in Social Engineering, Pedagogy, and the Ethical Uses of Technology.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Subject Spotlight?

Subject Spotlights fuse education and entertainment to bring you the new way of researching your university options.

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Who is this Spotlight for?

This subject spotlight is made for students aged 16 and above, that are considering applying to University, particularly to study the subject in the title, or similar areas.

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Completing a Subject Spotlight shows the university you're applying to that you've taken time outside of school to engage with relevant content.

The easiest way to include it would be to briefly mention one or two things you learned from it and how/why those learnings have furthered your desire to study the subject. We don't want to prescribe an answer because it's your personal statement but this is a good starting point!