Taught course

Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of Mathematics

Entry requirements

UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in Mathematics.

Exceptionally, at the discretion of the course director, qualifications in other subjects (for example, physics or computer science) or degrees of lower classification may be considered.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall and no subscore below 5.5

Months of entry


Course content

Excited by the role of mathematics in securing the modern electronics and communications that we all rely on? This intensive MSc programme explores the mathematics behind secure information and communications systems, in a department that is world renowned for research in the field.

You will learn to apply advanced mathematical ideas to cryptography, coding theory and information theory, by studying the relevant functions of algebra, number theory and combinatorial complexity theory and algorithms. In the process you will develop a critical appreciation of the challenges that mathematicians face in facilitating secure information transmission, data compression and encryption. You will learn to use advanced cypher systems, correcting codes and modern public key crypto-systems. As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to complete a supervised dissertation in an area of your choice, under the guidance of experts in the field who regularly publish in internationally competitive journals and work closely with partners in industry.

We are a lively, collaborative and supportive community of mathematicians and information security specialists, and thanks to our relatively compact scale we will take the time to get to know you as an individual. You will be assigned a personal advisor to guide you through your studies.

Mathematicians who can push the boundaries and stay ahead when it comes to cryptography and information security are in demand, and the skills you gain will open up a range of career options and provide a solid foundation if you wish to progress to a PhD. These include transferable skills such as familiarity with a computer-based algebra package, experience of carrying out independent research and managing the writing of a dissertation.

  • Learn from internationally renowned mathematicians, cryptographers and communications specialists.
  • Complete a cutting-edge research project under the supervision of cryptography and communications experts.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to tailor your degree to your interests and specialisms.
  • Join a mathematics department that ranks second in the UK for research impact and fourth for world leading or internationally excellent research output (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Feel at home in a friendly department where you will be known as an individual.

Information for international students

International students are welcome and supported.

Fees and funding

Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations75
Dissertation25 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Ms Jenny Lee
01784 443091