• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr James Borger
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course MATH6114
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

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 (increasingly more sophisticated) 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, highest common factor, prime numbers, prime factorisation, primality testing, congruences, the Chinese remainder theorem, diophantine equations, sums of squares, Euler's function, Fermat's little theorem, quadratic residues, quadratic reciprocity, Pell's equation, continued fractions.

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 and the final exam will contain alternative questions requiring deeper conceptual understanding.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, 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

Assessment will be based on:

  • Three assignments (10%; LO 1, 2, & 3 for HPO)
  • Final examination (70%; LO 1, 2, & 3 for HPO)

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.


Three lectures per week and regular tutorials.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed either MATH2301 or MATH1116 or MATH1014 with a mark of 60 and above. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MATH6114.


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

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and 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). You can find your student contribution amount for each course 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
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
7646 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person

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