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Unit information: Quantum Information Theory in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Quantum Information Theory
Unit code MATHM5610
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Professor. Linden
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

MATH10011 Analysis, MATH10012 ODEs, Curves and Dynamics, MATH10015 Linear Algebra or COMS12100 Introduction to Software Engineering or 1st year Physics units.

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Unit Information

Unit Aims

The course aims to give a self-contained introduction to quantum information theory accessible to students with backgrounds in mathematics, physics or computer science. Additionally, in conjunction with other units, it should provide suitably able and inclined students with the necessary background for further study and research at the postgraduate level.

Unit Description

In the past fifteen years the new subject of quantum information theory has emerged which both offers fundamentally new methods of processing information and also suggests deep links between the well-established disciplines of quantum theory and information theory and computer science. The unit aims to give a self-contained introduction to quantum information theory accessible to students with backgrounds in mathematics and physics; it is also suitable for mathematically inclined students from computer science. The course will begin with a brief overview of the relevant background from quantum mechanics and information theory. The main theme of the course, quantum information and entanglement, then follows. The subject will be illustrated by some of the remarkable recent ideas including quantum teleportation and quantum computation.

Relation to Other Units

The unit aims to be self-contained: it does not require knowledge of any particular course in previous years. It is a pre-requisite for MATHM0023 Quantum Computation.

Your learning on this unit

Learning Objectives

At the end of the unit the student should:

  • Understand the concept of the qubit as the fundamental unit of quantum information
  • Be familiar with the ideas of quantum entanglement and non-locality and understand examples of their use and characterisation.
  • Understand examples of quantum information processing, including quantum teleportation

Transferable Skills

The ability to assimilate and synthesize material from a wide variety of areas of science.

How you will learn

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including lectures
  • synchronous weekly problem/example classes (in person unless circumstances prevent this)
  • synchronous weekly office hours
  • guided asynchronous independent activities such as problem sheets and/or other exercises

How you will be assessed

100% Timed, open-book examination

Raw scores on the examinations will be determined according to the marking scheme written on the examination paper. The marking scheme, indicating the maximum score per question, is a guide to the relative weighting of the questions. Raw scores are moderated as described in the Undergraduate Handbook.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MATHM5610).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.