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The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 months

Domestic course fees
GBP 20000 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Actuarial Science at City, University of London

Overview

Who is it for?

If you have strong technical ability and an interest in solving business problems, becoming an actuary is one of the most rewarding career choices you can make. The MSc in Actuarial Science will propel you into the profession. It offers you a firm grounding in the fundamentals of actuarial science in insurance, finance and investment. You'll undertake a detailed study of the mathematical and statistical techniques for measuring the probability and risk of future events and their financial impact on a business and/or their clients.

Objectives

On this course, you will study statistics, probability, stochastic processes, survival models, economics, finance and investment, insurance, pensions and financial contracts valuation. This broad and varied syllabus is equivalent to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' Core Technical professional examinations (Subjects CT1-CT8), and enables you to gain exemptions from them.

The course is delivered via face-to-face lectures from qualified actuaries, academics and other subject-specialists, complemented by dedicated online support, easy access to faculty members, and advice on study and exam techniques. Lecturers use their commercial experience and research expertise to deliver a challenging, relevant and intellectually stimulating course.

Successful candidates on the MSc in Actuarial Science may also proceed to the MSc in Actuarial Management

Exemptions

From early 2019 there will be significant changes to the curriculum of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries professional exams. (Curriculum 2019)

Students on the 2018/9 MSc Actuarial Science and MSc Actuarial Management courses will not be affected by these changes. Institutions offering exemptions from Institute and Faculty of Actuaries exams will be permitted to offer these under the existing system for the 2018/9 academic year and these will be accepted by the Institute.

Exam passes and exemptions achieved under the existing system will also be eligible for conversion to the Curriculum 2019 structure by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Structure

What will you learn

  • Demonstrate mastery of mathematical problem-solving skills and fundamental concepts in statistics, probability modelling, economics, finance and investment.
  • Develop your mastery of actuarial theory used in insurance and investment.
  • Evaluate research papers from journals and professional texts to produce an independent synthesis of knowledge and ideas.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of actuarial and statistical methods to solve problems in insurance and investment.
  • Evaluate and apply alternative approaches in the analysis of financial reports.
  • Develop and communicate effectively reasoned arguments on current issues relating to actuarial theory and practice.
  • Use appropriate software tools for data analysis and modelling.

Terms 1 and 2

The eight subjects corresponding to the actuarial professional subjects CT1-CT8 are taught over terms one and two.

Term 1

  • Financial Mathematics (CT1) compulsory subject unless you hold a prior exemption

    • 20 credits
    • 30 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, in online lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, of exercise classes
    • 150 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will learn how to apply compound interest theory to find the present value or the accumulation of a cash flow, and apply financial mathematics to solve a broad range of practical problems. This module will also demonstrate how loan repayments can be determined once interest rate assumptions have been made. Students will also analyse and compare alternative capital projects and value fixed-interest stock.

  • Finance and Financial Reporting (CT2)

    • 20 credits
    • 35 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 155 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will gain an understanding of the structure of joint stock companies, and of principal forms of financial instruments and the ability to discuss characteristics of different financial statements. They will also master the principles underlying the construction of financial statements and be able to apply and evaluate alternative approaches in interpreting the financial statements of companies and financial institutions. They will also be able to construct financial statements in a form suitable for publication.

  • Probability and Mathematical Statistics (CT3) compulsory subject unless you hold a prior exemption

    • 20 credits
    • 40 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 150 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    This module will enable students to master the axioms of probability and conditional probability, the concept of a random variable and also the theory of underlying statistical techniques. Students will become proficient in the use of random variables in a broad range of applications. They will also construct statistical displays of data, solve problems with more than one random variable, find moments of distributions, carry out and interpret analysis of variance, simple and multiple regression, and test hypotheses and derive confidence intervals.

  • Business Economics (CT7)

    • 20 credits
    • 30 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 160 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    This module will give students the ability to understand the key aspects of the operation of markets, consumer demand, the production decisions of a firm, the determinants of market structure, and the effects of market structure on a firm's supply and pricing decisions. Students will discuss the economic analysis of risk and the motivations for insurance as well as the implications of changes in relevant variables on the equilibrium operation of markets. They will also develop an understanding of macroeconomic analysis and interpret the economic environment with regard to inflation, investment returns, stock market behaviour, exchange rates and economic growth.

  • Research Methods for Actuarial Professionals

    • 10 credits
    • 18 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures and lab sessions
    • 82 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Strong research is a key element of development strategy for companies and institutions, large and small. This module aims to provide a grounding in financial research, particularly financial modelling and information gathering, which students will be able to use to support their learning on the rest of the course. The content is specifically tailored to support actuarial students and help them to develop their research and financial modelling skills with hands-on training.

Term 2

  • Modelling (CT4)

    • 30 credits
    • 40 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, of exercise classes
    • 240 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will develop an understanding of modelling principles, stochastic processes and the Markov property and processes. They will construct mathematical models for business problems involving uncertainty, design and calibrate stochastic models and analyse univariate time series. They will also master the theory of survival models and multiple state transfer models, including transition intensities and conditional probabilities, and be able to estimate mortality and hazard rates and carry out graduations of mortality data.

  • Contingencies (CT5) compulsory subject unless you hold a prior exemption

    • 30 credits
    • 40 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, of exercise classes
    • 240 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will gain an understanding of a broad range of life insurance products, their pricing and reserving, and a mastery of life insurance mathematics. They will also develop an understanding of the problems caused by heterogeneity and selection in risk models and be able to evaluate means and variances of present values of cash flows for complex insurance contracts, and calculate gross premiums and reserves using the equivalence principle, profit testing and related ideas.

  • Statistical Methods (CT6)

    • 30 credits
    • 40 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, of exercise classes
    • 240 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will develop proficiency in the application of models used for insurance losses and show how these models are used to assess insurance premiums. They will also be able to solve specialised insurance problems and explain the assumptions underlying different statistical models.

  • Financial Economics (CT8)

    • 30 credits
    • 40 hours, over ten weeks, in lectures
    • 10 hours, over ten weeks, online lectures
    • 250 hours, over ten weeks, self directed study

    Students will develop a proficiency in the application of models used in financial economics and understand how these models are used. They will be able to explain the assumptions and ideas underlying different financial models, and apply finance theory to assess risk, make portfolio decisions, model asset prices and interest rates, and value derivatives.

Term 3

Students have the option of studying five specialised electives in Term 3 to give them a breadth of subject matter. Alternatively, if students would like to study one particular area of interest in depth, they have the option of either taking one elective and completing a Business Research Project (BRP), which in some cases may be completed in partnership with a sponsoring organisation, or three electives and completing an Applied Research Project (ARP).

The BRP will be of approximately 10,000 words. The BRP offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary topic in actuarial science or finance related to students' future careers. The BRP should be based on independent research. Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their BRP. A member of academic staff, allocated on the basis of the student's project proposal, supervises the BRP. Alternatively, the ARP will be of approximately 3,000-5,000 words. In this case, the topic is supplied by Cass faculty and initial guidance is offered but no formal supervision. BRP or ARP must be completed and submitted by the end of August.

Students on the MSc in Actuarial Science and MSc in Actuarial Management have frequently won with their dissertations the prestigious SCOR UK actuarial prize.

In summary:

  • Option one: Five elective modules to be taken

  • Option two: Three elective modules to be taken and the Applied Research Project

  • Option three: One elective module to be taken and the Business Research Project

Please see the MSc Actuarial Science programme specification

Assessment methodsTerm datesAssessment methods

Assessment methods

Assessment

Assessment of modules on the MSc in Actuarial Science, in most cases, is by means of coursework and unseen examination. Coursework may consist of standard essays, individual and group presentations, group reports, classwork, unseen tests and problem sets. Please note that any group work may include an element of peer assessment.

Course content

We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice.
To satisfy the requirements of the degree students must complete:

  • at least five out of eight core courses (including at least two from Term 2) and the Research Methods module (Term 1)

and either

  • five electives in Term 3
  • one elective and a Business Research Project in Term 3
  • three electives and an Applied Research Project in Term 3

Induction

During the induction period, which is compulsory, a variety of activities are offered to students, to support them in their learning and professional development. Cass Careers offers workshops with a focus on the key skills that employers are looking for, as well as preparing students for the application process. The annual MSc Careers Fair at this time provides the opportunity to meet more than 60 companies who are recruiting across many sectors including insurance, pensions, finance, energy, and other fields. Furthermore, innovative workshops are run on advanced study skills and obtaining practical insight to actuarial work.

Term dates

Term dates

Term dates 2018/19

In-person ID-Checks (all students must attend): Commences 17 September 2018

Compulsory Induction: 18 - 29 September 2018

Term I
1 October 2018 - 7 December 2018
Term I exams
7 January 2019 - 18 January 2019

Term II
21 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Term II exams
22 April 2019 - 3 May 2019

Term III
6 May 2019 - 28 June 2019
Term III exams
1 July 2019 - 12 July 2019

Resit period
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test  will do so in the period:
12 - 30 August 2019

Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project 
1 September 2019

Official Course End Date
30 September 2019

Application

How to apply

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Current module list if still studying
  • CV
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes
  • At least one reference

Documents which may follow at a later date

    • IELTS result
    • Second reference
    • For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK

We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.

Individual Appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this course please email: Hugh Fairclough

Entry requirementsEnglish language requirementsEntry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A UK upper second class degree or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution, in a highly quantitative programme such as mathematics or statistics is required to enter this course

English language requirements

English language requirements

If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the IELTS test

If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.

IELTS

The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing section and no less than 6.0 in any other section.

Read more about English requirements

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Career pathways

Actuaries are experts in risk management. They mainly work for insurance companies, consultancy firms, banks and investment managers. They work in the areas of:

  • General Insurance
  • Health and Care
  • Investment
  • Life Insurance
  • Pensions
  • Financial Risk Management.

An actuarial career is a global professional passport. Our graduates from the MSc in Actuarial Science are well prepared to tackle actuarial and risk analyst, consultancy and underwriting roles in leading firms such as EY, PwC, KPMG, Willis Towers Watson, Munich Re, to name a few, that are as challenging as they are rewarding with starting salaries that far outstrip their peers in other industries.

A career as an actuary has been consistenly ranked within the top 10 best jobs for five years running (CareerCast)

The MSc in Actuarial Management serves as a continuation of the MSc in Actuarial Science allowing successful candidates to focus on the application of concepts learned, study the key areas of actuarial practice and choose from the various actuarial specialist subjects and attain further technical knowledge. Students taking that MSc get an opportunity to obtain further exemptions from the later Core Applications and Specialist Technical subjects of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

You can also view data from our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) from 2015.

Graduate testimonials

Shriya Gupta,Pensions Graduate Offer, Aon, Class of 2017

Shriya Gupta,Pensions Graduate Offer, Aon, Class of 2017

'Using the experience and relevant knowledge of the career team helped me greatly through the job application process and also gave me the confidence to be successful in them'Sean Quinn, Director, Cambridge Guarantee Group, 2016

Sean Quinn, Director, Cambridge Guarantee Group, 2016

'We have been recruiting actuarial trainees from Cass Business School for the past two years. The quality of the candidates has been high and the careers team have been extremely helpful and proactive. For us, Cass Business School is a treasure trove of talent ready to enter the business world.'Daria Prychantovska, MSc in Actuarial Science, Class of 2016

Daria Prychantovska, MSc in Actuarial Science, Class of 2016

'This year at Cass Business School has been one of the most challenging and fascinating experiences of my life. My high expectations were fulfilled: exceptional professors, incredible people from all over the world, an amazing city and, to top it all, a desirable job offer, obtained with a massive support from our careers professionals. Thank you, Cass! Thank you, London!'

Cass Careers Service

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 20000 per yearInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

UK/EU/International

£20,000 Tuition fees are subject to annual change

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)

First installment: Half fees less deposit (payable during on-line registration which should be completed at least 5 days before the in-person ID–checks)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)

Information about Scholarships

Entry requirements

Contact City, University of London to find course entry requirements.

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