I'm sitting in my CO487 class at the moment. CO487, for those of you I haven't mentioned this to already, is Applied Cryptography.
This class is basically taught in the following way. This is a cool encryption scheme. This is how it works, and how secure it was designed to be. And here's how secure we think it is. Oh, and here's the most efficient way we know of to date to break it. (This method may or may not be computationally feasible.)
By and large, the course is simply theory of the actual algorithms themselves. We don't typically talk about other ways that a specific scheme can be broken. (eg. through social engineering, or discovering information about the encryption keys through analysing the implementation of the algorithm.)
I think its the chance to build something with new toys, and then knock it down that really appeals to me.