Actuarial science is responsible for the application of mathematical skills to the social sciences to solve problems for insurance, commerce and government, among others. You will be expected to apply mathematical formulas, as well as assessing risks for insurance plans.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Actuarial Science
An undergraduate degree in actuarial science will provide you with a foundation level of knowledge in the areas of finance and probabilities, before exploring the more complex ideas and concepts. You will study modules on economics, statistics and stochastic processes, as well as many other topics.
Your degree will be delivered mainly through lectures and seminars. You may be required to participate in a placement module, but this is not guaranteed.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence your career choices once you have graduated. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the opportunity to further research a favoured area of actuarial science.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries can have their own accreditation systems. Generally, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc).
It is possible that your degree will be accredited by a professional body of actuarial science, depending on where you study. For example, in the UK, some degree courses are accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Typically, an undergraduate degree in actuarial science will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a degree in actuarial science will depend on your institution. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities might prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their actuarial science programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
The most common destination of graduates is to work as an actuary. The work of an actuary is very specialised, and can only be done by certified actuaries, meaning you will have to gain extra accreditation before entering the workplace.
Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of skills that will be useful in a variety of career paths. Alternative roles include financier, economist, risk manager and investor.
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