Most of the teaching is by lectures and examples classes. At Stage 1, you can go to regular supervised classes where you can get help and advice on the way you approach problems. Modules that include programming or working with computer software packages usually involve practical sessions.
Each year, there are a number of special lectures by visiting actuaries from external organisations, to which all students are invited. These lectures help to bridge the gap between actuarial theory and its practical applications.
The course provides practical experience of working with PROPHET, a market-leading actuarial software package used by commercial companies worldwide for profit testing, valuation and model office work.
Modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations, or by a combination of coursework and examinations.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the principles of specific actuarial mathematics techniques including calculus, algebra, mathematical methods, discrete mathematics, analysis and linear algebra
- probability and inference and time series modelling, plus specialist statistics applications in insurance
- IT skills relevant to actuaries
- methods and techniques appropriate to the mathematics of finance, finance and financial reporting, and financial economics
- the principles of economics as relevant to actuaries
- methods and techniques appropriate to survival models
- the core areas of actuarial practice.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- a reasonable understanding of the programme's main body of knowledge
- skills in calculation and manipulation of the material in the programme
- the ability to apply a range of concepts and principles in various contexts
- how to present a logical argument
- solving problems using various appropriate methods
- IT skills
- research, presentation and report-writing skills
- an aptitude to work independently with relatively little guidance.
You gain actuarial science skills in the following:
- specific mathematical and statistical techniques and their application to solving actuarial problems
- use of industry-specific IT skills and software
- an understanding of the practical applications of the subject material in insurance
- the ability to develop simple actuarial computer models to solve actuarial problems and to interpret and communicate the results.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- problem-solving in relation to qualitative and quantitative information
- written and oral communication skills
- numeracy and computation
- information retrieval, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including online computer searches
- word-processing and other IT skills, including spreadsheets and internet communication
- interpersonal skills such as the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team-working
- time-management and organisation, and the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working
- study skills required for continuing professional development.
We aim to help students develop:
- skills and knowledge appropriate to graduates in mathematical subjects
- the ability to use rigorous reasoning and precise expression
- the capabilities to formulate and solve problems
- an appreciation of recent actuarial developments, and the links between the theory and its practical application in industry
- the ability to formulate a logical, mathematical approach to solving problems
- an enhanced capacity for independent thought and work
- competence in the use of IT and the relevant software
- opportunities to study advanced topics, engage in research and develop communication and personal skills
- eligibility for up to eight exemptions from examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.