Cryptography - MSc

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Entry requirements Modular structure Where this course can take you How to apply

Why study this course?

Our Cryptography MSc course will give you the opportunity to explore a specialist area of study relating to information security that is based on mathematical theory and computer science.

The high demand for cryptography specialists in the business and technology industries offers defined and fulfilling career opportunities and facilitates entry into roles that require a master’s specialism.

More about this course

Whether you want to understand the potential of blockchain or examine how your identity and data is protected online, our Cryptography MSc course will give you the tools to examine and learn about information security in the digital age.

Cryptography is based on mathematical theory and computer science. It is the construction and analysis of protocols that prevent third parties or the public from reading private messages. Information security underpinned by cryptographic techniques is key to life in the digital age, with social media and e-commerce increasingly reliant on strong algorithms to protect sensitive personal data. This course is, therefore, an excellent starting point if you want to have a career in developing and applying information security algorithms.

The skills you’ll gain on this course will be applicable to the wider information security area, including:

  • digital communication platforms (protecting calls and texts)
  • banking (card technology and account protection)
  • internet protocols (protecting transaction details using SSL, SSH)
  • corporate computer security and the delivery of integrity confidentiality and authenticity


You’ll be assessed by a combination of coursework and short answer tests to evaluate your skills in using cryptography methods and tools. Exams will also assess your level of understanding of analysing and designing crypto systems and implementing algorithms.

Your final project will be a dissertation, which aims to assess your theoretical knowledge, analytical and technological skills, and decision-making potential.

Fees and key information

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Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in mathematics, computer science, data science, software engineering, computing, ICT, physics or economics. Please note your undergraduate degree must have included at least basic training in maths and computing.

Programming skills with one of the popular languages, such as Java or Python, would also be a great advantage.

Applicants with a 2.2 at undergraduate level may also be considered and will be required to attend an interview.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2020/21 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    Aims of the module: what key skills and knowledge will it enable students to develop?

    This module aims to introduce students to applications of cryptography in the 21st century connected, digital world. Its content and delivery is closely connected to CS7064 Information Security that students will also be studying at the same time. This companion module, taken by students on other pathways, contains a section of c4 weeks that describes key aspects of modern cryptography (focussed on asymmetric/public key algorithms). In these weeks the students taking MA7011 will encounter key concepts and definitions and the broad structure of algorithms in CS7064 but will study them in more depth and with a stronger mathematical underpinning in the corresponding sessions that form part of this module. This approach has the advantage of allowing consolidation of knowledge across two sessions in a single week for key topics of the syllabus allowing sufficient time for students to explore techniques in a lab session using MAPLE and other software.

    Beyond these 4 weeks there are two other principal themes for this module:

    • To give students a historical perspective on the development of cryptography and the way the subject has evolved;
    • To appreciate the changing landscape that cryptography inhabits and how nascent technologies may influence its future development.

    Additionally, the module aims to provide students with the background and familiarity with key concepts to enable them to make an informed selection of a topic for their major project/dissertation.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    Aims of the module: what key skills and knowledge will it enable students to develop?
    This module, together with MA7010, Number Theory for Cryptography provides the essential grounding needed to complement the algorithms and techniques encountered in spring semester modules in cryptography and information security. It aims to demonstrate the theoretical underpinning that delivers security, particularly of asymmetric public key algorithms while also allowing students to appreciate the limitations and potential vulnerabilities of systems encountered elsewhere in their course. It is designed to complement, in particular, MA7011 -Applications in Cryptography and Cryptanalysis and can be taken either before or after this module depending on a student’s start point without disadvantaging them.

    Techniques in discrete mathematics that have application in cryptography will be explored in a thorough way with emphasis on getting students to a level where the mathematics of cryptography and the language used is accessible to them irrespective of their background and prior study.

    Beginning with a brief review of topics normally encountered in undergraduate mathematics and computer science courses, new topics will then be introduced ab initio with an emphasis on supported learning via problem classes, worked examples and formative assessment.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    Aims of the module: what key skills and knowledge will it enable students to develop?

    The module is concerned with the study and application of tools and techniques that enable the protection of information and other resources of enterprise information systems. Increases in storage, manipulation, and transfer of data across computer networks requires effective encryption techniques. This module will provide insight into some of those techniques, algorithms and their development through history. Part of the course is dedicated to the mathematics (number theory, finite fields and elliptic curves) relevant to cryptography with techniques developed using software such as Maple. The focus will also be on the analysis, design and implementation of tools and techniques that achieve the three goals of confidentiality, integrity and authenticity in security computing. Particular focus will be on the management framework that facilitate the accomplishment of the above three goals. Importantly the module will address the ethical framework of information security, the issues around privacy and data protection and the rights of private citizens to access strong encryption. Throughout the module connections with other aspects of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will be emphasised through the examples and case studies chosen.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies - Wednesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The module provides students with the experience of planning and bringing to fruition a major piece of individual work. Also, the module aims to encourage and reward individual inventiveness and application of effort through working on research or company/local government projects. The project is an exercise that may take a variety of forms depending on the nature of the project and the subject area. Particular students will be encouraged to carry out their projects for local companies or government departments.
    Semester: Autumn/Spring/Summer
    Prerequisites: all course specific core modules
    Assessment: 100% coursework (project viva is compulsory for all students)

    The module aims to encourage and reward individual inventiveness and application of effort. It also aims to allow students:
    - To have an opportunity to assimilate the knowledge they gained in their course and extend this knowledge to new area of application.
    - To apply newly acquired knowledge and techniques to a specific problem using established research techniques and methods.
    - To determine the framework of the project according to a set of specifications relevant to the subject of study.
    - To manage an extended piece of work by confining the problem within the constraints of time and available resources.
    - To research effectively the background material on the topic using a variety of sources and to develop ability to conduct critical analysis and draw conclusions.
    - To develop the ability to produce detailed specifications and design frameworks relevant to the problem of investigation in the subject related to the industry.
    - To demonstrate the originality in the application of new knowledge and skills.
    - To effectively communicate the work to others by means of verbal and appropriate documentation techniques.
    - To raise awareness in potential business development opportunities in an area pertinent to the topic.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    Aims of the module: what key skills and knowledge will it enable students to develop?

    This module, together with MA7009, Discrete Mathematical Structures provides the essential grounding needed to complement the algorithms and techniques encountered in spring semester modules in cryptography and information security. It aims to describe relevant topics in the theory of the natural numbers that underpin much of 21st century cryptographic security. It is designed to complement, in particular, MA7011 -Applications in Cryptography and Cryptanalysis and can be taken either before or after this module depending on a student’s start point without disadvantaging them.

    Additionally, this module will support a series of mini investigations designed to develop students’ ability to take the ideas they encounter, apply them with realistic datasets and draw appropriate conclusions. These will principally be delivered via procedures written in the mathematical programming language MAPLE in which students will be supported as they gain fluency but the module will also encourage students to use other languages such as Python where these are applicable to the problems being investigated.

    The module will principally introduce topics in number theory but their application to cryptography will be stressed as they are introduced and in the initial weeks the module will also provide a brief overview of the subject of cryptography and its historical context.

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  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most important sub-fields of Computer Science and has a high profile with respect to popular recognition of activities associated with Computer Science. This module introduces the essential principles, knowledge and methods in AI. It also looks into several major application domains of AI. These application domains include expert systems, neural networks, and mobile robot systems. Each lesson introduces the important concepts, explains the principle and techniques of the related topics, and provides practice workshops to help students to understand the contents of the lectures.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module provides a broad introduction to cybercrime and cyber security evolution. The module examines the relationship between advances in Internet-based and digital technologies, and their criminal exploitation within cyberspace. It examines a wide range of cyber threats, attacks and risks, and the strategies employed to mitigate these, including the laws that are in place to protect and prevent online crimes/cybercrimes.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday evening

    This module provides the theoretical foundations, the technologies and the corresponding tools for constructing intelligent model-driven software systems with explicit representation of knowledge. It will enable the students to model, design and implement software systems, which demonstrate “artificial intelligence” similar to the intelligence of the human behaviour. At the same time, it will help the students understand better the rationality behind the human intelligence.

    The module follows one of the two main methodologies for dealing with the phenomena of Artificial Intelligence in computer science, known as “semiotic”, “symbolic” or “logical” paradigm. In this approach, the intelligent behaviour is achieved by incorporating common sense, heuristic and expert rules of behaviour which control the programmed algorithms for information processing during their execution in real time. For this purpose the module introduces a number of formal languages, such as FOL, DL and HCL, used for modelling the rational behaviour by logical methods, the corresponding mark-up languages, such as RDF, OWL and SWRL, which provide the necessary technology for representing the logical models in XML format alongside the respective software tools.

    The module relies on some basic knowledge of discrete mathematics and formal logics typically taught in most of the undergraduate courses in engineering and science. Although it does not require extensive programming experience beyond the first introductory course in programing, working skills in programming using general-purpose programming languages such as Java can be greatly beneficial.

    After completing this module, the students can enhance further their skills by studying the methods for automated deduction, semantic disambiguation and language translation.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to modern statistical modelling techniques and how those techniques can be used for prediction and forecasting. Throughout the statistical environment and software R will be used in conjunction with relevant statistical libraries.
    The module will, introduce modern regression techniques (including smoothing), discuss different model selection techniques (including the classical statistical hypothesis) and how those techniques can be used for prediction purpose.

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Where this course can take you

Cryptography applies in many areas of industry where extensive data processing, electronic communications or software development takes place. As a result, this cryptography qualification will provide wider employment opportunities than a traditional computer, software or network engineering degree.

Knowledge of cryptographic solutions will enhance your employment opportunities with large businesses, including online retailers, banks and companies in the financial technology industry, corporate enterprises, electronic entertainment vendors and network service providers.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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