Free Online Course on Quantum Cryptography

The Delft University of Technology and Caltech are offering free online course on Quantum Cryptography. This course assumes a solid knowledge of linear algebra and probability at the level of an advanced undergraduate.

In this ten-week course, applicants will learn how quantum communication provides security that is guaranteed by the laws of nature. The course will start on October 10, 2016.

Course At A Glance

Length: 10 weeks
Effort: 6 to 8 hours per week
Subject: Computer Science
Institution: Delft University of Technology, Caltech and edX
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes. Add a Verified Certificate for $50
Session: Starts on October 10, 2016


Providers’ Details

Delft University of Technology is the largest and oldest technological university in the Netherlands. Our research is inspired by the desire to increase fundamental understanding, as well as by societal challenges.

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary people seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future. Caltech’s mission is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education.

About this course

How can one tell a secret when everyone is able to listen in? In this course, applicants will learn how to use quantum effects, such as quantum entanglement and uncertainty, to implement cryptographic tasks with levels of security that are impossible to achieve classically.

This interdisciplinary course is an introduction to the exciting field of quantum cryptography, developed in collaboration between QuTech at Delft University of Technology and the California Institute of Technology.

This course assumes a solid knowledge of linear algebra and probability at the level of an advanced undergraduate. Basic knowledge of elementary quantum information (qubits and simple measurements) is also assumed, but if you are completely new to quantum information additional videos are provided for you to fill in any gaps.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. Applicants can pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills they gain. By the end of the course students will

  • Be armed with a fundamental toolbox for understanding, designing and analyzing quantum protocols.
  • Understand quantum key distribution protocols.
  • Understand how untrusted quantum devices can be tested.
  • Be familiar with modern quantum cryptography – beyond quantum key distribution.

Learning Outcomes

  • Fundamental ideas of quantum cryptography
  • Cryptographic concepts and tools: security definitions, the min-entropy, privacy amplification
  • Protocols and proofs of security for quantum key distribution
  • The basics of device-independent quantum cryptography
  • Modern quantum cryptographic tasks and protocols


Thomas Vidick

Thomas Vidick is Assistant Professor in the department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also a member of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter.

Stephanie Wehner

Stephanie Wehner is an Associate Professor at QuTech, Delft University of Technology. Her research advances quantum information theory and its applications to both computer science and physics.

Guest Lecturers

Ronald Hanson (QuTech, TU Delft): Experimental loophole free Bell test
Nicolas Gisin (University of Geneva): Practical quantum key distribution
David Elkouss (QuTech, TU Delft): Practical error-correction in Quantum Key Distribution


  • Undergraduate linear algebra
  • Undergraduate probability and statistics
  • Basic quantum information theory, including qubits, unitaries and measurements (optional videos will provide additional support for those new to quantum information)

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the home page and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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