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MSc Actuarial Science

Year of entry: 2022

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Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
12 Months. [Full-Time]
Entry requirements

The entry requirement to the programme is normally a good upper second class honours degree in Mathematics/Statistics, a Science degree with a strong quantitative component, a subject with a substantial mathematical content, or an equivalent overseas qualification in a mathematical subject.  In particular, knowledge of probability and statistics equivalent to good second year undergraduate Mathematics degree level is required for entry to the programme.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

As there is high demand for this course we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year. Due to the competition for places, we give preference to students with grades above our minimum entry requirements. If we make you an offer, you will have 6 weeks in which to accept. Any offers not accepted within 6 weeks will be withdrawn so that an offer can be made to another candidate. 

Stage 1 :  Application received by 12 November 2021; Decision by  14 January 2022 .

Stage 2 :  Application received by 7 January 2022; Decision by  11 March 2022 .

Stage 3 :  Application received by 4 March 2022; Decision by  22 April 2022 .

Stage 4 :  Application received by 27 May 2022; Decision by  24 June 2022 .

You need to ensure that you submit your supporting documents with your application as it may delay us processing your application before the decision deadline.

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date. If this is the case we will let you know after the deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

Please note: All places are subject to availability and if you apply at one of the later stages, some courses may already be closed. We therefore recommend that you apply early in the cycle to secure your place with us.

Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place must demonstrate that they have met all the conditions of their offer by 31 July 2022.  

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Graduate into an actuarial career consistently rated as one of the very best , opening doors to sectors such as insurance, finance and risk management.
  • An actuarial graduate scheme starts with a salary of around £30k with great upwards potential throughout your career.
  • Study in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in mathematics, including Alan Turing and Sydney Goldstein.
  • Take advantage of our outstanding facilities, including the purpose-built, £43m Alan Turing Building.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £13,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £23,500
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,750
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £11,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and awards to outstanding UK and international students each year.

If you're a current or recent student at The University of Manchester and plan to start a master's course in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, you may be eligible for our  Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes .

The University of Manchester is committed to widening participation in master's study, and allocates £300,000 in funding each year. Our  Manchester Master's Bursaries  are aimed at widening access to master's courses by removing barriers to postgraduate education for students from underrepresented groups.

For more information, see the Department of Mathematics Fees and funding  page or visit the University of Manchester  funding for master's courses website for more information.

Contact details

Department
Department of Mathematics
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
0161 543 4020
Email
Website
https://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk
School/Faculty

Our internationally-renowned expertise across the School of Natural Sciences informs research led teaching with strong collaboration across disciplines, unlocking new and exciting fields and translating science into reality.  Our multidisciplinary learning and research activities advance the boundaries of science for the wider benefit of society, inspiring students to promote positive change through educating future leaders in the true fundamentals of science. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

The entry requirement to the programme is normally a good upper second class honours degree in Mathematics/Statistics, a Science degree with a strong quantitative component, a subject with a substantial mathematical content, or an equivalent overseas qualification in a mathematical subject.  In particular, knowledge of probability and statistics equivalent to good second year undergraduate Mathematics degree level is required for entry to the programme.

English language

All applicants will need to demonstrate competency in English language. Applicants who do not already possess an acceptable English Language qualification will need to take a recognised test and attain the required English Language score:

  • IELTS:  at least 6.5 overall with no sub-test below 6.0.
  • TOFEL iBT:  at least 90 overall with no sub-test below 20. We do not accept 'MyBestScore'.
  • Pearson PTE: at least 70 overall with no sub-test below 65.

Further information on language requirements can be found on our website .

Pre-sessional English

We will consider applicants who do not meet these scores but you may be required to complete a pre-sessional English language course at the University of Manchester prior to the start of the course.

To be considered for a pre-sessional English language course for this programme we require the following minimum IELTS (Academic) scores:

  • 6 Week Pre-Sessional Course:  Minimum 6.0 overall with no sub-test below 5.5.

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, you must hold an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test certificate.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

As there is high demand for this course we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year. Due to the competition for places, we give preference to students with grades above our minimum entry requirements. If we make you an offer, you will have 6 weeks in which to accept. Any offers not accepted within 6 weeks will be withdrawn so that an offer can be made to another candidate. 

Stage 1 :  Application received by 12 November 2021; Decision by  14 January 2022 .

Stage 2 :  Application received by 7 January 2022; Decision by  11 March 2022 .

Stage 3 :  Application received by 4 March 2022; Decision by  22 April 2022 .

Stage 4 :  Application received by 27 May 2022; Decision by  24 June 2022 .

You need to ensure that you submit your supporting documents with your application as it may delay us processing your application before the decision deadline.

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date. If this is the case we will let you know after the deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

Please note: All places are subject to availability and if you apply at one of the later stages, some courses may already be closed. We therefore recommend that you apply early in the cycle to secure your place with us.

Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place must demonstrate that they have met all the conditions of their offer by 31 July 2022.  

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • Latest transcripts of study showing all modules completed including credit weighting and grades achieved (and English translation if applicable).
  • If you have not yet graduated, a list of the modules that you will be completing in the final year of your degree together with their credit weighting.

  • An official document from your university verifying your current weighted average mark if this information is not included in your transcript of study. Please note : this must be recorded as a percentage, not as a GPA grade, and must give the weighted average mark, not an arithmetic average mark.

  • We require references from two people who have knowledge of your academic ability in support of your application, although we can process your application with one academic reference. In most cases, these should be academic references, from a lecturer or professor at your last university. In some cases (for example, if your academic studies occurred some time ago), it might be more appropriate to submit recommendations from those familiar with your professional experience. If you have difficulty in identifying suitable referees you should ask for advice from the admissions team for your course. We will contact your referees directly after you submit your application and direct them to complete our online reference form. 

  • Degree certificate if you have already graduated (and English translation if applicable).

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) if you graduated more than three years ago.

  • Personal Statement.
  • If English is not your first language, we also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

You must submit all these supporting documents with your application. If any of the above information is missing, we will not be able to consider your application and it may be rolled forward to the next stage or withdrawn.

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which course units you have taken and the marks obtained. Even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant course units in our final decision making.

If you graduated more than three years ago, we will also consider the information contained on your CV and any relevant work experience you have to assess if you are still able to fulfil the entry criteria.

Interview requirements

No interview is required for this course.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

If you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, please send a copy of your previous CAS statement to us as it will assist with the issue of your new CAS statement. This includes study in the UK on study abroad programmes and any study that you did not complete.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. The Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are not accepted for this course. If you receive an offer for 2022 entry and decide not to accept it, should you subsequently wish to be considered for 2023 entry you would be required to reapply.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

The MSc in Actuarial Science provides a strong grounding in the mathematics of actuarial science and addresses both the current and future needs of the industry. The programme incorporates all mathematical techniques, in particular from the fields of probability and statistics, a modern actuary could not do without. Our programme offers the following exemptions under the IFoA's new Curriculum 2019: CS1, CS2 (Actuarial Statistics) and CM2 (Actuarial Mathematics). If you are interested in developing a career as an actuary, this programme of study will provide the ideal entry platform into a broad range of employment sectors, such as Insurance, Finance and Risk Management.

Special features

Our MSc Actuarial Science programme

Our MSc Actuarial Science programme was established in 2011 with the aim of providing a thorough training in the mathematical tools and skills an actuary needs. This includes topics such as

  • Markovian models and pricing techniques relevant to life insurance
  • Risk models, ruin theory, risk measures, premium principles and further techniques relevant to general insurance
  • Modern theory of market consistent pricing (mathematical finance), such as the Black and Scholes asset pricing model, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), interest rate models, credit risk models, option pricing etc.
  • Risk management techniques
  • Relevant topics from Statistics such as Time Series and their applications, Generalised Linear Models, Survival Analysis etc.
  • Relevant software suites such as R and Excel.

Coursework and assessment

There are two teaching semesters of 12 weeks each and approximately 15 weeks of project work. Assessment for the taught part is by exams and coursework.

Dissertations, industrial links and internships

After two semesters with taught courses, in the final three months of the MSc year (June, July, August) students do a piece of independent research type work under direct supervision of a member of staff. The findings are written up in a report called a dissertation. Plenty of support is provided throughout this process (for most students this is a new activity).

The research can be based on relevant actuarial research literature, but a special feature of our programme is that it can also be based on a collaboration with an industrial partner on a problem of particular interest to them. These collaborations allow students to apply their skills to a very relevant 'real world' problem, and to have an ongoing conversation with the industrial partner about their progress. Previous partners for such collaborations include Mercer, Police Mutual, Willis Towers Watson, JLT Group and Aegon.

Furthermore we have a special relationship with the company Royal London. Every year they offer a number of paid internships of a special form to our students, which are awarded on a competitive basis. During such an internship, a student spends part of their time working on a project towards their dissertation (like all other students, also still under our supervision) but they also get to experience daily actuarial work in the Royal London offices (in Wilmslow). These internships provide a unique opportunity to combine researching a 'real world' problem with obtaining valuable work experience. About half of the students who have taken part in this scheme in the past were offered a job at Royal London after their internship. Availability of internships is subject to Covid developments.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Martingale Theory for Finance MATH67201 15 Mandatory
Time Series Analysis and Forecasting in Finance MATH68032 15 Mandatory
Generalised Linear Models and Survival Analysis MATH68052 15 Mandatory
Stochastic Modelling in Finance MATH69102 15 Mandatory
Actuarial Models MATH69511 15 Mandatory
General Insurance MATH69531 15 Mandatory
Risk Theory MATH69542 15 Mandatory
Quantitative Risk Management MATH69551 15 Mandatory

Facilities

The Department of Mathematics is the largest in the UK with an outstanding research reputation and facilities .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

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Department of Mathematics Alumnus Joshua Fox - MSc Actuarial Science

If you are interested in developing a career as an actuary, this programme of study will provide the ideal entry platform into a broad range of employment sectors, such as Insurance, Financial and Risk Management.

Why a career as an actuary?

Actuarial careers often appear in lists of best rated jobs due to excellent job satisfaction, status, career prospects etc. (for an example, see here ).

  • An actuarial career is financially rewarding. The average graduate salary in the recruitment market is about £33,000, with senior leading roles paying in excess of £100k (in excess of £200k for senior partners for instance).
  • Actuaries enjoy a good work/life balance. Compared to other financial professions such as banking, an actuarial role enables you to balance a rewarding career with your other interests in life.
  • An actuarial career can take you anywhere in the world. An actuarial qualification is internationally recognised and even standardised between many countries, allowing for great opportunities to travel and explore.

Where do actuaries work and what do they do on a daily basis?

About a third of the UK actuaries work for insurance companies (life, health and general insurance, and pensions). They typically work in areas such as product development, developing pricing strategies, asset and liability management, reserving, capital modelling and (financial) risk management. Another about a third work for financial consultancy firms, and in that role an actuary typically provides services in the above areas to their clients. The final third of UK actuaries work in a large variety of other sectors, including investment management, corporate finance and banking. Generally you find actuaries in any sector where (financial) risk management plays a role!