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Course Content

Course content

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.

Academic excellence

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Portfolio Risk Management 15 credits
  • Corporate Finance 15 credits
  • Professionalism & Ethics for Actuaries 15 credits
  • International Investment 15 credits
  • Economics for Business 15 credits
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis 15 credits
  • Applied Statistics and Probability 15 credits
  • Discrete Time Finance 15 credits
  • Models in Actuarial Science 15 credits
  • Continuous Time Finance 15 credits
  • Projects in Actuarial Finance 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Actuarial Finance MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Careers support

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.

Visit the Actuarial Finance MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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