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MSc Actuarial Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

MSc Actuarial Science
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


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: