Actuaries use mathematical, statistical, financial and economic theory to solve real business problems, typically involving risk, uncertainty and the financial impact of undesirable events. There is an increasing demand for actuaries in both the private and public sectors, working within a variety of areas such as banking, investment management, consultancy, manufacturing, transport, insurance and pensions.
On this course, you'll be taught jointly by the School of Mathematics and Leeds University Business School, exploring key topics in mathematics, finance, economics and accounting. You'll be intellectually stimulated whilst preparing for a potential career that is highly financially-rewarding.
This programme covers most of the content of The Actuarial Profession's (Institute/Faculty of Actuaries) core technical subjects CT 1-8. On graduation, you will be able to apply for exemptions from some of The Actuarial Profession's exams.
Enhancing your degree
This course offers you the opportunity to spend a year working in industry or studying at a university abroad, both of which provide valuable experience and help your personal development. Both of these schemes add an additional year to your course, taking the total course length to 4 years.
Our industrial placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in an industry relevant to your degree and interests. Our students often describe this industrial experience as an invaluable part of their degree and one which stands them in good stead for their future careers.
The study abroad year enables you to gain insight into the study of actuarial mathematics at one of our partner universities overseas. Many students have found this to be extremely worthwhile in helping broaden their horizons in terms of learning about a new culture and improving their foreign language skills.
In 2015, the School of Mathematics went through a major refurbishment to provide our students with a variety of new study environments. The School now offers social areas, group study areas, a library and a seminar room, where you can interact with other students, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.
This course provides detailed knowledge and understanding of the mathematical and statistical tools relevant to all areas of financial and actuarial mathematics, including stochastic processes, statistics of insurance, survival and risk theory, as well as the mathematical theories underlying these areas. You will gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science and develop a high level of analytical and problem solving skills, in statistical analysis, numerical techniques, and computer applications.
In the first year of the course you will study key topics in mathematics, finance, economics and accounting, including probability, statistics, and the mathematics of financial and insurance markets. You'll be provided with a solid foundation in actuarial mathematics.
In the second year, you'll study core modules in financial mathematics, statistical methods, and business finance. At this stage, you'll be also able to choose some optional modules.
In the final year of the course, you'll have further core modules in actuarial mathematics, financial modelling and statistics. You'll also be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules in mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics, allowing you to explore the topics in actuarial mathematics that really interest you.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAA - A*BB
AAA/A*AB including Mathematics
AAB/A*BB including Further Mathematics
AAB/A*BB including Mathematics and A in AS Further Mathematics
We always require at least grade A in A-level mathematics. If you are taking further mathematics at A-level or AS-level, we usually make an additional alternative offer. In all cases, the first grade quoted is the Mathematics A-level.
We don't accept general studies or critical thinking but may take account of these at the confirmation stage.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
GCSE: You must also have GCSE English at grade C or above (or equivalent).
An actuarial mathematics degree can take you down many career paths into some of the highest paid and most satisfying roles in employment. Leeds actuarial mathematics graduates are extremely well placed for employment after their degree. The University of Leeds is the 5th most targeted University in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2017 report.
Traditionally, actuaries have been employed in the insurance and pensions industry, but there is increasing demand for their analytical skills in other areas of the private and public sector, for example, financial services such as banking and investment management, consultancy, manufacturing, transport, and energy.
In virtually all areas of life, mathematical skills are highly valued. The numerical, analytical and problem solving skills you will develop, as well as your specialist subject knowledge and your ability to think logically, are highly valued across sectors, including financial services, IT, software design, engineering, and teaching. This course also allows you to develop the transferable skills that employers seek.
Throughout your degree course we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience you'll need to make the most of your career choices.
Our industrial placement scheme allows you to gain valuable work experience that can help you stand out from the crowd. You could also secure a part-time job that you can feature on your CV through the students' union's Joblink.
Our study abroad scheme allows you to experience another culture and develop life skills, which many employers value. The students' union also provides volunteering opportunities which can help you in your personal development.
We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. We also provide modules that are specifically designed to boost your employability. The second year module 'maths at work' engages you in group-based project. At the start of the module, you'll undertake a skills audit, then prepare a CV, research a company for a mock interview, and participate in an interview workshop. Depending on the nature of your specific project, you may produce a report for a client or a webpage. Throughout the module, you'll develop team work, communication, and presentation skills.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Spending a year living and studying in another country is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories that you will draw upon in your working and personal life for years to come. In addition to this, the proven ability to live and work in an international context is an asset that many employers actively seek.
On this course, your year abroad adds an additional year to your studies. During your year abroad, you will study actuarial mathematics at your host institution.
Students who spend a year in Europe through the ERASMUS programme also receive a maintenance grant for their year away and pay a reduced tuition fee for the year abroad.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Read more about some of the companies our students completed their industrial placement with.
The industrial placement ('Year in Industry') scheme provides you with the opportunity to experience salaried work before you graduate. Employers actively seek graduates who already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews.
On this course, your industrial placement adds an additional year to your studies.
An industrial placement will boost your self-confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. You will be able to choose from a range of actuarial mathematics-related organisations in which to work. In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious companies.
During your industrial placement you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.
If you are not sure right now whether or not an industrial placement is right for you, don't worry - you will not have to start applying for placements until the beginning of your second year.
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