Actuaries are highly skilled quantitative professionals who are primarily concerned with the identification, quantification, analysis, and management of various types of risk, particularly those with long-term financial consequences. Their expertise is essential to the proper management of life, general, and health insurance companies, pension funds, and investment firms, their skills are very highly regarded and valued throughout the financial services industry, and their opportunities to practise worldwide are strong and growing.
On satisfactory completion of the PgDip, students may elect to continue to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by undertaking an appropriate supervised programme of actuarial science research over a period of three months and submitting a corresponding Dissertation.
The University of Southampton is one of only three universities in England to offer such a professionally approved full-time postgraduate actuarial science programme, and is one of only two such within the Russell Group of elite UK universities.
This postgraduate degree programme provides quantitative graduates with an intensive and coherent programme of specialist education in actuarial science. MSc students also undertake a summer research project in actuarial science or a related discipline.
All of our actuarial science programmes provide students with a professionally recognised education. By doing sufficiently well in corresponding modules, you will kick-start your graduate career with exemption from Subjects CT1-CT8 of the Core Technical professional exams of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which are internationally recognised. On graduation you’ll be well equipped to begin your actuarial career with advanced professional standing, or to follow many other careers that require high-level quantitative skills, including within the wider financial services industry.
This postgraduate degree programme is designed to provide quantitative graduates with the opportunity to undertake an intensive and coherent programme of specialist education in actuarial science, to gain exemptions from certain of the professional examinations of the Faculty and Institute of Actuaries, the UK professional actuarial body, and to thereby enable graduates of the programme to subsequently enter employment as actuarial analysts with advanced professional standing.
The Master of Financial and Actuarial Engineering programme provides students with up-to-date, sound and advanced financial, actuarial and statistical skills. It is an intensive, advanced, one-year programme for university graduates interested in a career in risk management, financial and/or actuarial engineering within financial institutions. The discipline focuses on the application of quantitative methods to problems involving risk or uncertainty. You will gain an understanding of current and future problems and solutions in insurance and banking and be equipped with fundamental and conceptual knowledge of the mathematical and economic aspects of financial theory and insurance techniques.
The programme provides advanced insights into the actuarial aspects of life insurance, general insurance and risk theory as well as financial mathematics and the inter-relationship and integration of actuarial sciences and finance. The programme draws on over sixty years of experience and international recognition. The research team for risk theory, finance and statistics has a strong research profile and is ranked among the world top in terms of actuarial research productivity. The programme is jointly offered by the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Science at KU Leuven, in collaboration with Université Catholique de Louvain.
The main goal of the programme is to provide the students with an sound knowledge of finance and actuarial science. They develop the capabilities to understand current and future problems and solutions in the actuarial and financial context. They will be equipped with fundamental and conceptual knowledge of the mathematical and economic aspects of financial theory and insurance techniques. Graduates holding both the degree of Master of Financial and Actuarial Engineering and 'Master in de verzekeringen' (Dutch-language initial master at KU Leuven) are eligible for membership in the professional body of actuaries in Belgium (IA|BE), and the international actuarial professional body (IAA).
At the end of the programme students will:
The programme addresses the rapidly-changing needs resulting from the accelerating globalisation of the banking and insurance sector. As such, it provides a sound basis for a career in various areas of risk management, financial and actuarial engineering and insurance. Most graduates find employment in insurance companies, whose financial stability depends on actuarial calculations (e.g. premiums, provisions, capital requirements, reinsurance policy).
As an expert in the field of risk and uncertainty, you can also play an important role in banking and finance. The increasing convergence between the insurance and financial markets as well as the use of mathematically based instruments, such as options and futures, offers excellent career prospects. Graduates are well placed to find employment in banks, pension funds, reinsurance companies, consulting and audit companies.
Some graduates go to work in government, for instance in social security or economic affairs departments. Graduates holding both the degree of Master of Financial and Actuarial Engineering and 'Master in de verzekeringen' (Dutch-language initial Master's programme at KU Leuven) are eligible for membership in the professional body of actuaries in Belgium (IA|BE).
Actuaries evaluate and manage financial risk. They apply advanced mathematical and statistical techniques to solve financial problems, assess the likelihood of a particular event and the possible financial costs. The role of the actuary is increasingly important in the current economic climate, where volatile markets are contributing to financial uncertainty.
Our MSc Actuarial Finance will introduce you to essential business topics and enable you to apply your quantitative skills to solve complex business problems, such as risk management, insurance and derivatives. You’ll gain comprehensive knowledge in business areas such as accountancy, corporate finance and economics, as well as key analytical techniques, processes and models that have significant applications in actuarial finance.
The Business School has strong links with the actuarial profession and the insurance and pensions industry, giving you the opportunity to interact with practising actuaries and industry experts.
This course is delivered in partnership with the University’s School of Mathematics. You’ll learn from leading academics based in both schools, giving you access to world-class expertise in both areas.
As a student, you will be able to access the knowledge of our advanced specialist research units, which also have strong links with leading institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. These include the Centre for Advanced Study in Finance (CASIF), the Institute of Banking and Investment (IBI) and the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC).
You will also benefit from our strong relationships with the actuarial profession. This provides a connection to the latest developments in the industry and gives you a masters degree that is relevant to the contemporary environment.
You’ll take compulsory modules in corporate finance and economics allowing you to put your work into context and understand the importance of the role played by actuaries. At the same time, you’ll build your mathematical skills with classes in applied statistics and probability, as well as discrete time finance.
Building on this, you’ll study continuous time finance and gain an understanding of how different stochastic processes and survival models are applied to actuarial science. This will compliment your studies in topics such as accounting, professionalism and ethics, international investment and portfolio risk management.
Throughout the year you’ll build your professional skills with a core module focussing on critical practical skills that will prepare you for the workplace. At the end of the course, you’ll bring together your business, mathematical and professional knowledge to complete an independent project on a topic of your choice, which will demonstrate your ability to apply the skills you’ve gained.
Our tutors come from highly respected professional and academic backgrounds. We use a range of teaching methods so you can benefit from their expertise including lectures, workshops, seminars, computer simulations and tutorials.
In addition to the assessed modules and research dissertation, you benefit from professional training activities and employability workshops.
Independent study is also an important part of the course, allowing you to prepare for taught classes and sharpen your own research and critical thinking skills.
Assessment methods emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. They include formal exams, group projects, reports, computer simulation exercises, essays and written assignments, presentations and reflective logs. This diversity enables you to develop a broad range of skills as preparation for professional life.
As a graduate of this course you will be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of core actuarial principles, and the numerical and analytical skills to succeed in this rapidly changing complex environment.
Graduates have entered successful careers in insurance, pensions, accountancy, risk management and consultancy. Job prospects are wide ranging and include careers as accountants, consultants, scheme and insurance actuaries, and employment in investment banking and risk management.
As a result of the high level of quantitative skills developed, you also gain an excellent grounding for PhD study in accounting, finance and economics.
We help you to achieve your career ambitions by providing professional development support and training as part of the Masters programme. You benefit from the support of a Professional Development Tutor, who will work with you to develop the important professional skills that employers value.
We’re committed to offering a wide range of development and training opportunities. Recent activities have included CV building and interview sessions, professional risk management workshops and commercial awareness networking events.
Read more about our careers and professional development support.
The University of Leeds Careers Centre also provides a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.