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Usable Security and Privacy USP


study semester
standard study semester
every summer semester
1 semester
teaching language


Dr. Katharina Krombholz
Dr. Katharina Krombholz

Assessment & Grades

entrance requirements

Foundations of Cybersecurity 1 and 2 or the core lecture Security and knowledge in statistics are highly recommended. A deep understanding of the topics covered in these lectures as well as a good understanding of statistics is necessary.

assessment / exams
  • Regular attendance of classes and tutorials & office hours.
  • Assignments during the semester
  • Final exam
  • A re-exam takes place before the start of lectures in the following semester for students who failed in the final exam or did not participate in the final exam

Will be determined from performance in the exam and the exercises. The exact modalities will be announced at the beginning of the module.


course type /weekly hours
  2 h lectures
+ 2 h tutorial or office hours
= 4 h (weekly)
total workload
   60 h of classes
+ 120 h private study
= 180 h (= 6 ECTS)

Aims / Competences to be developed

In this lecture, students will learn about human-centric aspects of IT security. Besides research and design methods, students will learn about hot topics in usable security such as authentication, confidentiality and privacy. In particular, they will learn to

  • design user studies to study how humans interact with security & privacy technology with respect to threat models,
  • collect, understand, evaluate qualitative & quantitative data,
  • interpret results and draw conclusions based on your data,
  • design new security and privacy technology that is better tied to the users' needs and values.


  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • User Study Design and Ethics
  • Design Methods
  • Surveillance
  • Privacy
  • Authentication
  • Encryption

Literature & Reading

Will be announced before the start of the course on the course page on the internet.

Additional Information

Occasionally, this course is offered as a three week block course before the lectures of the summer semester. In this case, lecture and tutorial distribution as well as examination will vary and be communicated with the students on the course page on the internet.


This module is part of the following study programmes:

Cybersecurity MSc: Vertiefungsvorlesungen Cybersecurity
study semester: 1-3 / standard study semester: 4
Cybersecurity BSc (English): Kernthemen der Cybersicherheit
study semester: 5-6 / standard study semester: 6
Cybersicherheit BSc: Vertiefungsvorlesungen der Cybersicherheit
study semester: 5-6 / standard study semester: 6