Master's Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology: Cryptography
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.
In the academic year 2023-2024, the programme offers the following tracks:
The cryptography specialisation track provides a thorough and profound understanding of the mathematical aspects of cryptography and cyber security. The theoretical studies on mathematics are complemented by courses on the security of networked systems and security management. Hence, the graduates will be able to carry on a successful career, for example, as security experts in the information and communication technology industry.
In addition to a career in industry, the graduates also acquire the required abilities to further proceed with their academic career in post-graduate studies and achieve a Ph.D. degree.
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.
In addition to the education and language certificates, you should include certificates of any relevant work experience in your application. Here you can see the programme-specific questions on the application form.
You may apply to one specialisation track offered in the Master’s Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology.
Annually 55 students are admitted to the Master's Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology. 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
- possible answers to the optional questions included in the application
- possible relevant work experience
- possible interview
Please tell in the motivation letter why you are applying to the Master's Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology at the University of Turku, and especially why you are applying to the chosen track.
It is possible to have only one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the Faculty of Science. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the same faculty.
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:
A. Advanced-level studies in the major subject 50 ECTS
B. Thematic module or minor subject 20-25 ECTS
C. Elective studies 15-20 ECTS
D. Master of Science in Technology thesis 30 ECTS
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
• 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 multi-disciplinary fashion with obligatory studies also on security of networked systems and management aspects of information security.
After completing the programme you will have:
- Good command of the mathematical foundations of cryptography.
- Knowledge, understanding and application skills of modern cryptography in the digital world, including symmetric and asymmetric cryptosystems, cryptographic hash functions and digital signatures.
- Advanced understanding and expertise of the various mathematical structures that make modern and future cryptography possible.
- Ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of cryptographic solutions based on a deep understanding of the underlying theory.
- Ability to pursue application of cryptographic algorithms and protocols for real-life environments.
- Understanding the importance of information security in a wider setting such as a major corporation or a large university, the basic knowledge needed in working in such environments as an information security manager.
- Completing an individual information security expertise profile relying on the major subject and strengthened further by individually planned optional studies (minor subject). The resulting expertise profile can be for example cryptography engineer, network security engineer, software safety and security engineer, online gaming security specialist or information security manager/consultant.
In addition to technical content, the degree content also pays attention to other working life skills needed for example in a career as an expert, and an entrepreneur or a researcher. Special attention is given to the following skills and abilities:
- Ability to identify different potential solutions and to choose the one that seems most feasible based on the available information.
- Development of own expertise (life-long learning), ability to consider the field from a broad perspective.
- Ability to control the different sub-parts of a project, ability to take a responsible role in project work as a group member in an international multi-cultural setting.
- Good communication skills including oral communication and oral presentation skills, written reports and written presentation, all taking into account the target audience in question and their ability to understand the communication from their technological and cultural background.
- Ability to comprehensively and widely obtain information while taking a critical attitude towards the information sources and the discovered information.
- People networking skills for building functional working life networks.
The employment percentage of those holding an M.Sc.(Tech.) degree is high in Finland. The degrees from the Cryptography track provides 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 experts are achievable in the Turku area as well as other regions in Finland and abroad. 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 programmes 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 information security 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.
Examples of relevant job titles:
- Network Security Specialist
- Information Security Specialist
- Cryptography Engineer
- Security Manager
- Chief Information Officer
- Head of Information Security
- Head of Corporate IT
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.