• raspberry pi
  • National Centre for Computing Education logo

Introduction to Encryption and Cryptography

Learn how encryption keeps information safe, and teach your students how it's used in the world today. Supported by Google.

11,566 enrolled on this course

A collage of key illustrations that appear throughout the course representing the topic of Encryption - keys, boxes, envelopes, laptops
  • Get access to 1,000's of courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Digital certificate when eligible
  • Long term access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Printed and digital certificates when eligible - great for career learners
  • Course access expires 2 Sep 2022
  • Limited learning time
  • Excludes certificates and tests

Find out more about how to join this course

The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Discover the history of encryption and learn how it's used in the modern world

On this course, you will learn about what encryption is and understand its use in the past by using the Caesar and Vigenère ciphers.

You will also look at the present and future of encryption and investigate both symmetric and asymmetric encryption schemes.

The course includes several practical encryption activities which you can complete and use in your own classroom.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds How can you prevent your online messages from being read by hackers? How did German spies decipher British secrets during World War II? How can you break the Caesar cipher? What is quantum cryptography? This free course will teach you about the basic principles of encryption, the importance of secure keys, and the future of data security. We’ll take part in practical activities to generate your own cipher texts and perform some code breaking yourself. This three-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and feedback on your knowledge as you progress. You can learn whenever and wherever you want.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds So whether you’re a teacher with students of your own or simply curious about cryptography, this course will help you to understand the importance of encryption in the modern world. Sign up now at rpf.io/encryption.

What topics will you cover?

  • A brief look at the history of encryption
  • The encryption and decryption process, and the importance of keys
  • The Caesar and Vigenère Ciphers
  • Symmetric and asymmetric encryption schemes
  • Public key encryption in the real world
  • An introduction to quantum cryptography

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the general process of encryption and decryption
  • Apply a Caesar Cipher and a Vigenère Cipher
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different encryption algorithms
  • Compare symmetric and asymmetric encryption
  • Demonstrate methods of breaking simple encryption schemes
  • Describe how encryption is used in the modern world, and some of the possible ethical implications of this

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers delivering computer science lessons in the classroom, at GCSE level or equivalent.

What software or tools do you need?

There are several optional steps involving using Python to implement some forms of encryption. To complete these you will need a Python IDE, either on your computer, or an online one like Trinket

What do people say about this course?

Very interesting and very helpful in giving me ideas for teaching.

"This has been (a) very interesting, and (b) very helpful in giving me ideas for how I could improve my own teaching in this area, and my school's current scheme of work for this topic."

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

This course is part of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). Funded by the Department for Education and partners, we aim to change the way computing is taught in schools across England, and enable more young people to benefit from studying this important subject.

If you are a teacher in England you can get free upgraded access to this course, and use it towards NCCE certification. To do this, you must join the course through the Teach Computing website

Endorsers and supporters

supported by

Google logo
Recommended

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe to Unlimited

Join with limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$44

One-off payment

$27.99/month

Automatically renews

Free

Unlock your expertiseAccess thousands of coursesTry this course - with limits
Access to this courseticktickLimited to 2 weeks
Access to ALL eligible coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Buy this course

Ways to learn

Subscribe to Unlimited to access this course and thousands of other short courses or buy just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with limited access.

Subscribe to Unlimited

$27.99/month

Automatically renews

Access thousands of courses

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course

$44

One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 2 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...