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CS939 Quantum Computing

CS939-15 Quantum Computing

Academic year
Computer Science
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Nicholas Spooner
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Quantum computing is an interdisciplinary field that lies at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, and physics. This computational paradigm relies on principles of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, to obtain powerful algorithms.

Module aims

This module aims to provide a self-contained, comprehensive introduction to quantum computing, focusing on the design and analysis of quantum algorithms, as well as covering topics in quantum information and quantum cryptography, such as: quantum teleportation, quantum money, and post-quantum cryptography.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Quantum computing — motivation, foundations, and prominent applications.
Review of linear algebra in the context of quantum information, Dirac’s bracket notation, limitation of classical algorithms.
The four postulates of quantum mechanics, qubits, quantum gates and circuits.
Basic quantum algorithms I — Deutsch’s algorithm, analysing quantum algorithms, and implementing quantum circuits via QISKIT.
Basic quantum algorithms II — Simon’s problem and the Bernstein -V-azirani algorithm.
Grover’s quantum search algorithm, the BBBV Theorem, and applications of Grover’s algorithm.
RSA, and Shor’s integer factorisation algorithm.
Introduction to quantum cryptography (post-quantum security, quantum key distribution).
Introduction to quantum information (superdense coding, nocloning theorem, quantum teleportation) Applications (quantum money, the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the quantum computing paradigm:- Have an overview of a range of project management techniques- Understand how failure to correctly manage a project can lead to failure.- Understand how project management techniques provide quantifiable metrics for project progress
  • Understand the power and limitation of quantum computers:- Understand the underlying power of quantum mechanics for computation.- Identify problems for which a quantum speedup is possible.- Understand the fundamental limitations of quantum algorithms.
  • State the four postulates of quantum mechanics and their application to computation:- Design and analyse quantum algorithms.- Grasp the notions of quantum states, unitary evolution, measurements, andcomposite systems.- Restate the postulates in terms of density matrices.
  • Analyse fundamental quantum algorithms:- Shor’s algorithm.- Grover’s search.- The Berstein-Vazirani algorithm.- Simon’s problem.- The Deutsch-Jozsa paradigm.
  • Understand the principles of quantum information andquantum communication:- Understand quantum teleportation and its limits.- Describe the framework of quantum error-correcting codes.- Discuss Everett’s many worlds interpretation.
  • Understand the implications of quantum computing on cryptography and security:- Understand the foundations of post-quantum cryptography.- Hack the RSA cryptosystem via a quantum computer.- Use quantum mechanics to obtain a monetary scheme.
Indicative reading list

Please see Talis Aspire link for most up to date list.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Designing and analysing quantum algorithms.

Transferable skills

Understanding quantum mechanics and the power of quantum computing.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 30 sessions of 1 hour (20%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 110 hours (73%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Revising linear algebra, the postulates of quantum mechanics, the principles of superposition, measurement, and entanglement. Analysing the algorithm discussed in class, including: Deutsch’s algorithm, the Deutsch-Josza algorithm, the Berstein-Vazirani algorithm, Grover’s algorithm, Simon’s algorithm, and Shor’s algorithm.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group D1
Weighting Study time
Problem Set 1 10%
Problem Set 2 10%
Problem Set 3 10%
In-person Examination 70%

CS939 Examination

  • Answerbook Pink (12 page)
Assessment group R1
Weighting Study time
In-person Examination - Resit 100%

CS939 MSc resit Examination

  • Answerbook Gold (24 page)
Feedback on assessment

Comments on assignments alongside a mark will be provided, solutions will be discussed in the seminars.

Past exam papers for CS939


This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of TCSA-G5PD Postgraduate Taught Computer Science
  • Year 1 of TMAA-G1PF Postgraduate Taught Mathematics of Systems

Further Information

Term 2

15 CATS (7.5 ECTS)

Online Material