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Our Masters in Actuarial Science is designed as the starting point to a career as an actuary – preparing you for a leading role managing risk in financial institutions worldwide. Many of our staff are qualified actuaries, meaning you’ll be able to benefit from their extensive business knowledge and research expertise.

The course offers hands-on experience solving real-life financial problems through interactive lectures, tutorials and practical coursework. What’s more, our close links to industry means you’ll have the chance of a summer placement within Edinburgh's financial sector.

Course length

The MSc Actuarial Science course lasts one year. From 2019, it covers six subjects from the professional syllabus: CB1,CB2,CM1.CM2,CS1, CS2. It is  examined over two semesters, followed by a three month summer project. A nine month Postgraduate Diploma can be studied for the same six subjects. You can also study part-time over a maximum of four years (The diploma, and the part-time option are only available to students who don’t need a visa to study in the UK).

Accreditation

The School is currently in discussion with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries to secure the equivalent accreditation and exemptions under the new Curriculum 2019 education strategy.

Center of Actuarial Excellence

Heriot-Watt University is recognised as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), North America. We are the only Center of Actuarial Excellence in Europe and one of only 30 other schools worldwide with this designation. With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world's largest actuarial professional organisation with more than 28,000 actuaries as members.

Reputation for excellence

Established in 1972, we were the first UK university to introduce a dedicated programme in Actuarial Science, and have since evolved to become highly renowned as a world-leading centre in actuarial and financial teaching and research.

Our expertise

Our expert staff, many of whom are qualified actuaries, will guide and support you throughout your studies. You will benefit from their extensive business knowledge and research expertise, whilst gaining hands-on experience of solving real-life financial problems through interactive lectures, tutorial sessions and practical coursework. The MSc summer project gives you the opportunity to explore in greater depth the hot topics currently facing business, such as Solvency II and pensions autoenrolment.  Our close links to industry through the Scottish Financial Risk Academy also creates the potential for undertaking a summer placement within Edinburgh's thriving financial sector.

Students' Actuarial Society

We are very proud of our award-winning Students' Actuarial Society which is entirely managed, enthusiastically and professionally, by our students. As well as arranging a series of topical presentations by industry professionals, and popular social events, the Society's highly anticipated Annual Actuarial Conference attracts speakers and attendees from around the world.

Watch a video

Visit our YouTube channel to see videos from our students and graduates, as well as an example of a lecture in Life Insurance Mathematics.

Career

We have an excellent record of preparing students for successful careers - recent statistics show that around 90% of our postgraduate students were either in full-time employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.  Our students consistently rate us highly - the Sunday Times University Guide 2013 named us "UK University of the Year for Student Experience" as well as "Scottish University of the Year" for the second year running.


Visit the Actuarial Science - MSc/PGDip page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

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