• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics

In Sem 2 2022, this course is on campus with remote adjustments only for participants with unavoidable travel restrictions/visa delays.

The need to protect information being transmitted electronically, such as the widespread use of electronic payment, has transformed the importance of cryptography. Most of the modern types of cryptosystems rely on number theory for their theoretical background. This course introduces elementary number theory, with an emphasis on those parts that have applications to cryptography, and shows how the theory can be applied to cryptography.

Number theory topics will be chosen from: the Euclidean algorithm, greatest common divisor, prime numbers, prime factorisation, primality testing, modular arithmetic, the Chinese remainder theorem, diophantine equations, sums of squares, Euler's function, Fermat's little theorem, primitive roots, quadratic residues, quadratic reciprocity, Pell's equation, continued fractions, Diophantine approximation.

Cryptography topics will be chosen from: symmetric key cryptosystems, including classical examples and a brief discussion of modern systems such as DES and AES, public key systems such as RSA and discrete logarithm systems, cryptanalysis (code breaking) using some of the number theory developed.

Honours Pathway Option (HPO):

Students who take the HPO will complete extra work of a more theoretical nature. The assignments will be replaced by alternative assignments requiring deeper conceptual understanding and/or a project, and the final exam will contain alternative questions requiring deeper conceptual understanding.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Solve problems in elementary number theory.
  2. Apply elementary number theory to cryptography.
  3. (HPO only) Develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the theoretical basis of number theory and cryptography.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Five assignments (50) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Final examination (50) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component, which may consist of 3 lectures per week and regular workshops
  • Approximately 84 hours of self directed study, which will include preparation for lectures, workshops, and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

No course-specific inherent requirements.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed either: *MATH1014 with a mark of at least 80, or *MATH1116 with a mark of at least 60, or At least 1x 2000-level MATH course with a mark of at least 60, or At least 1x 3000-level MATH course. *In addition to this 1000 level MATH course, students must also complete 24 units of MATH courses, or 72 units of tertiary courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MATH6114.

Prescribed Texts

Not required

Preliminary Reading

"Elementary Number Theory", by Kenneth Rosen


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6045 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person View

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