Introduction to Blockchain

Short Course - 15 credits at SCQF level 9
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Blockchain technology is rapidly gaining in popularity and revolutionising the financial industry and beyond. However, it remains an elusive concept that is much talked about but little understood. This course can help demystify this technology and help participants from all backgrounds appreciate the potential of blockchain applications.

The aim of this course is to enable participants to explore the world of blockchain technology and its applications in industry and financial services.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date

TBC - Early 2023

Course Length

10 weeks


  • Introduction: Properties of money, history of digital currencies, distributed ledger, the origin of Bitcoin.
  • Mining: Proof of Work mining, hash functions, history of development of mining equipment, mining pools, fee markets, transactions priority.
  • Transactions: Gentle introduction to public key cryptography, inputs/outputs/UTXOs, address formats, block explorers, security/deanonymisation.
  • Wallets: Function of wallets as a keystore, hardware wallets, insecure and obsolete wallet types and their weaknesses (security issues), key backup, extended public key (xpub).
  • Altcoins: Types of forks, example alt coins (LTC, DOGE, XRP), privacy coins, smart contract platforms.
  • Ethereum: The Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), ‘gas’ model of fees, fungible tokens, wrapped tokens, non-fungible tokens/games, NFT art, decentralised autonomous organizations (DAO).
  • Markets: Centralized exchanges (CEXs), volatility market risk, DeFi - decentralized exchanges (DEXs), collateralised lending, liquidation risk, arbitrage.
  • Blockchain Applications: Private blockchains, supply chain tracking, blockchain in finance/remittance, electronic voting, crowdfunding ICOs.
  • Real World Issues: Regulatory compliance, income & capital gains tax, utility tokens vs securities and ICOs. Phishing and other scams. Environmental impact of Proof of Work, asset inheritance planning.
  • Future of Blockchain: Future of Bitcoin soft forks, Proof of Stake (PoS), second layer payment networks, privacy enhancements.

Upskilling Courses

In partnership with the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), our online upskilling short courses have been developed in response to feedback from businesses regarding their people and skills needs and are therefore helpful for individuals considering their employment options as well as organisations looking to upskill their employees. Find out more:




Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.


  • Recorded Lectures: approximately 2 hours/week in total, presented as short bite-sized (20-30 minute) lessons
  • Tutorial exercises: a range of guided exercises to help participants further explore the principles covered in lectures.


  • Regular formative quizzes to check your understanding and progress.
  • An essay on a chosen topic related to blockchain technology to bring together elements of the course, and presenting the findings in the form of a short report.

Independent Study

  • Materials and exercises are available online, allowing participants to study flexibly and independently at time and place to fit around existing work and life commitments.
  • Further reading resources.
  • Online tutor support.

Staff Delivering on This Course

Lee Christie, who is the member of staff delivering this course has an extensive experience in the domain of blockchain technology, including research publications. In addition, Rajesh Kumar, the founder of TrackGenesis, an award-winning blockchain-based software company, will be invited to deliver guest presentations.

Staff are recognised for their Teaching and Support, with a number of staff receiving STAR awards year on year.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All online learning students, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Academic Year 2022/23

  • Course fees will be met in full for students who qualify for Scottish Funding Council funding. To qualify for SFC funding, applicants must be resident in Scotland.
  • £350 entire course - Applicants who are not eligible for SFC funding or are currently receiving SAAS/SFC funding for other courses.

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with the team and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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