Master's Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology: Cryptography
Become a cyber security expert with a deep understanding of the underlying mathematics!
The cryptography specialisation track provides a versatile and high-quality education building from the mathematical foundations of cyber security to a career as a security expert in protecting the constantly increasing information in the world.
The demand for new specialists in the field of cyber security is high as recent studies estimate a current workforce gap of 3.5 million cyber security experts globally and more than 300.000 in Europe with a growing trend. In ICT, cyber security is currently one of the fields where companies have most difficulties in finding qualified talent. With the carefully built expertise profile in your Master’s degree from the Cryptography track, you will become one of those most sought after talent in the field with the unique ability of deeply understanding the underlying mathematics! In addition to pursuing a career in the ICT industry, as a graduate of the Cryptography track, you are also eligible to apply for admission to Ph.D. studies in the field.
In the Cryptography track, we focus on the mathematical foundations of various cryptosystems applied in cyber security. In addition, we study cyber security technologies developed for networked systems and applications of the communication-intensive future. The technological topics covered include, among others, system and network security, security of Internet-of-Things (IoT) systems and applications, ethical hacking (penetration testing) and designing secure systems. You will explore both technological and theoretical scientific advances in the field and apply them to practice. As one of our graduates, you will have a strong technological, theoretical, and practical understanding of cyber security. With these new skills and knowledge, you can proceed in building a successful career in securing the ICT industry.
You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if
- you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
- your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
- your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the section on programme-specific admission requirements for detailed degree requirements.
Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests.
Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.
It is not possible to have more than one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the same Faculty. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science at the University of Turku.
Before you start preparing your application, always read the full admission requirements on the application portal Studyinfo.fi
The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology must be in a relevant field of study. For the Cryptography specialisation track, the previous degree is required to be in mathematics or other relevant fields of studies with a solid background in mathematics.
You may not apply to more than one specialization track within the same Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Turku. Therefore, you should carefully consider that your educational background is suitable enough for the track that you are applying to.
The decision of admission will be based on
- the relevance of the applicant’s awarded degree(s)
- the amount, relevance, and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
- the language test result (see Language requirements)
- the motivation letter and your answers to the optional questions included in the application
- possible relevant work experience
- possible interview
In addition to the education diploma and language certificate, you should include testimonials of any relevant work experience in your application.
The academic evaluation is made only for complete applications that are received during the application period. Any preliminary assessment of suitability or chances for admission will not be given.
Programme in brief
The study in the track varies from the traditional lectures and exercise lessons to various projects and to the Master’s Thesis (with possibilities to co-operate with the industry). The studies are structured as follows:
- Advanced-level studies in the major subject 50 ECTS
- Cryptography 20 ECTS
- Security of networked systems and security management 20 ECTS
- Supporting studies in mathematics 10 ECTS
- Thematic module or minor subject 20-25 ECTS
- Elective studies 15-20 ECTS
- Master of Science in Technology thesis 30 ECTS
In the multidisciplinary university, the possibilities for designing a personal study plan are diverse. For example, the thematic module (or minor subject) can be chosen from a huge variety of options including topics such as cyber security, data analytics, information technology management and discrete mathematics. Similarly, the choices for the elective studies are varied.
The Cryptography specialisation track offers a solid background on classical and modern aspects of mathematical cryptography. A deep understanding is developed on modern symmetric and asymmetric cryptosystems. Students are provided with strong academic education to proceed in the post-graduate studies as well as to work as cyber security experts in the IT sector.
The Master's thesis in the Cryptography specialisation track focuses on the mathematical aspects of cryptosystems and cyber security in general. In what follows, some possible topics for the Master's thesis are listed:
- public-key cryptosystems
- homomorphic encryption
- blockchains in cryptography and
- post-quantum cryptography
In the Cryptography specialisation track modern symmetric and asymmetric cryptography algorithms and protocols are studied and analysed from the mathematical point of view. The students learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of cryptographic solutions based on a deep understanding of the underlying theory. The students also gain the ability to pursue applying cryptographic algorithms and protocols for real-life environments. The topic is approached in a multidisciplinary fashion with obligatory studies also on security of networked systems and management aspects of information security.
The employment percentage of those holding an M.Sc.(Tech.) degree is very high in Finland. In addition, the 2022 (ISC) 2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study estimates that there is currently a global gap of 3.5 million cybersecurity professionals while in Europe the current workforce gap is more than 300.000 cybersecurity professionals with a growing trend. According to the 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report by Global Knowledge, cybersecurity is the field in which companies have most difficulties in finding qualified talent to join their workforce. Cybersecurity skills are in high demand: according to the report, for the sixth straight year, IT professionals in the field of cybersecurity were the most sought after experts.
The degrees from the Cryptography track provide a solid background on mathematical cryptography and also cover different topical areas of information security. The students also have an opportunity to co-operate with local companies; especially, through an optional Capstone project. Based on the personally planned expertise profile, successful careers in the IT sector as information security specialists and leaders are achievable in the Turku area as well as other regions in Finland and globally. The information intensive industry has become the most important business sector in Finland, and in the information society, information has become one of the most relevant products. Securing this business sector and the products is vital in the modern era. In Europe, ICT has a critical role in improving the profitability of the industry and in responding to the needs of the society. In addition to pursuing careers in the IT industry as information security specialists and experts, graduates of the programme are also eligible to apply for admission to PhD studies in the field.
A personal study plan made for each student yields a special individual expertise profile. The graduates of this specialisation track will benefit from the strong technological, theoretical and practical understanding and skills they have obtained in the programme upon building a successful career in securing the information and communication technology industry. The graduate’s unique expertise profile may, for example, lead to one of the following career titles:
- Chief Information Officer
- Chief Information Security Officer
- Cryptography Engineer
- Cryptography Security Analyst
- Cryptography Security and Research Consultant
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Cyber Security Consultant
- Cyber Security Manager
- Head of Information Security
- Information Security Specialist
- Network Security Specialist
- Penetration and Vulnerability Tester
- Security Engineer
Master's Degree (Technology) provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. Degrees can be completed within the University of Turku Graduate School.