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Introduction To Number Theory

Key information

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Module description


Review of divisibility, prime numbers and congruences. Residue class rings, Euler’s φ-function, primitive roots. Quadratic residues and quadratic reciprocity law. Irrational and transcendental numbers. Sums of squares. Some Diophantine equations. If time permits we will also learn about the ‘AKS’ algorithm for primality testing.


Introduction to Algebra (4CCM121A or 5CCM121B

Assessment details

Written examination and class test.

Exercises or quizzes will be set each week to be handed in the following week. These problems will be discussed in the tutorials and solutions will be available.


Semester 1 only students will be set an alternative assessment in lieu of in-person exams in January.

Full year students will complete the standard assessment.

Educational aims & objectives

The aim of this module is to give an introduction to elementary number theory and to further develop the algebraic techniques met in ‘Introduction to Abstract Algebra’. By introducing several new concepts in the concrete setting of rational integers, this module is a good preparation for more demanding modules in number theory and algebra.

Teaching pattern

Three hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week throughout the term

Suggested reading list

Indicative reading list - link to Leganto system where you can search with module code for lists

Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.