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MSc in Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications

The MSc in Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications is a highly focussed one year degree giving instruction into some of the mathematics behind modern secure information and communications systems. The programme of study specialises in mathematics relevant for public key cryptography, coding theory and information theory.

The Mathematics department at Royal Holloway is well known for its expertise in information security and cryptography. The academic staff who teach courses in the MSc include several leading researchers in these areas. Students on the programme have the opportunity to carry out their dissertation projects in cutting-edge research areas and to be supervised by experts.

Subjects of study

The four core courses, which you must normally take, are

  • Advanced Cipher Systems (MT5462) [Term 1]
  • Channels (MT5441) [Term 1]
  • Theory of Error-Correcting Codes (MT5461) [Term 2]
  • Public Key Cryptography (MT5466) [Term 2]

At the discretion of the Programme Director, a core course may be replaced by a suitable optional course, for example when you have already taken the equivalent of a core course in your first degree. In addition to the core courses, you choose four optional courses. The list of courses available in the current academic year is available here. (Note that this list is intended only as a guideline, and that not all courses may be available every year. In particular, some courses alternate with each other such as MT5445 (Quantum Information Theory) and MT5425 (Quantum Theory II), or MT5413 (Complexity Theory) and MT5414 (Principles of Algorithm Design).)

You may also, with the agreement of the Programme Director, choose one of your optional courses from the third or fourth year options of the undergraduate degree programme in Mathematics.

In addition to the taught courses, all students will prepare a main project. This project work is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff. The report on the main project must be submitted by the middle of September of the calendar year of completion of the written part of the examination.

Organisation of the teaching and teaching methods

Each half-unit course runs throughout either Term 1 or Term 2, and students are encouraged to divide their courses equally between the terms.

Teaching for each course is organized as formal lectures and informal seminars or guided reading. For each course (except the project-based course MT5464) the lecturer also provides regular examples for you to work through in your own time, and the feedback obtained from these is a valuable part of the learning process. Some of the optional courses require use of the Mathematica language, and you are given instruction in this in the first week.







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