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Applied Actuarial Science - MSc

Course Description

Actuaries evaluate and manage financial risk. They make financial sense of the future for their clients by applying advanced mathematical and statistical techniques to solve complex financial problems.

Qualifying as an actuary is a passport to a wide variety of careers in insurance companies, investments, pensions, health care and banking – not just in the UK, but throughout the world. Kent is one of a very few universities in the UK to teach the subject.

Our MSc in Applied Actuarial Science is fully accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries; it also provides a fast-track route to qualifying as an actuary, because students who achieve a high enough overall mark in this programme can obtain exemptions from the professional examinations included within their studies.

The MSc is available as a full-time (one-year) or part-time (two-year) programme and is suitable for those who have completed a first degree or postgraduate diploma in Actuarial Science, or those who have studied the majority of the earlier subjects in the Core Technical Stage subjects.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/174/applied-actuarial-science

About the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS)

The School has a strong reputation for world-class research and a well-established system of support and training, with a high level of contact between staff and research students. Postgraduate students develop analytical, communication and research skills.

In 2010, the Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment (CASRI) was set up within SMSAS to reflect the widening scope of the teaching and research of the staff. Areas of research interest include economic capital and risk management for financial services firms, mortality and longevity modelling, longevity indices and markets. Other research topics include genetics and insurance, insurance economics, pensions and corporate reporting.

The Centre includes 13 professionally qualified actuaries with many years’ practical experience in insurance and pensions, and who maintain excellent links with the actuarial profession.

Course structure

The course is based on a ‘core modules plus options’ structure and exemptions can be gained from the following professional examinations in the Core Applications Stage and Specialist Technical Stage: CA1, CA3, ST2, ST4 to ST9. You can also choose the optional Financial Modelling modules, which prepare you for subject CA2 in the Core Applications Stage. Find out more about accreditation for this programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/casri/Accreditation/index.html) and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries examinations (http://www.actuaries.org.uk/students/pages/our-exams-explained).

You must take 180 credits in order to pass the MSc. If you take fewer than 180 credits, you may be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Actuarial Science.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

MA909 - Enterprise Risk Management (30 credits)
MA912 - Life Insurance (30 credits)
MA914 - Pensions and Other Benefits (30 credits)
MA915 - Finance and Investment (30 credits)
MA916 - Derivative Securities (30 credits)
MA917 - General Insurance - Reserving and Capital Modelling (30 credits)
MA918 - General Insurance - Premium Rating (30 credits)
MA950 - Prophet (15 credits)
MA951 - Prophet 2 (15 credits)
MA952 - Financial Modelling (15 credits)
MA953 - Communications (15 credits)
MA921 - Actuarial Risk Management 1 (30 credits)
MA922 - Actuarial Risk Management 2 (30 credits)


Assessment is usually by a mixture of coursework and examination; exact weightings vary from module to module.

- Accreditation
Students who are considered to have performed sufficiently well in the programme (both in examinations and coursework), as determined by an examiner appointed by the UK Actuarial Profession, will be exempt from subjects CA1, CA3 and the Specialist Technical subjects studied within the programme.

If you fail to achieve a suitable overall standard, you might still be awarded individual module exemptions as recommended by the Profession’s examiner. Please note that individual exemptions are granted based on the final written examinations only.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide successful students with eligibility for subject exemptions from the Core Application and Specialist Technical series of examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. This means obtaining a thorough knowledge of core actuarial applications, developing the ability to apply this knowledge in a practical situation and gaining current knowledge and understanding of the practice of major areas in which actuaries are involved.

- develop your understanding, knowledge and awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of current professional practice.

- ensure you are competent in the use of information technology, and are familiar with computers, together with the relevant software.


The UK Actuarial Profession

The UK Actuarial Profession is small, but influential and well rewarded. There are more than 6,500 actuaries currently employed in the UK, the majority of whom work in insurance companies and consultancy practices.

Survey results published by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (http://www.actuaries.org.uk/becoming-actuary/pages/what-can-actuary-earn) suggest that the average basic salary for a student actuary is £36,842 with pay and bonuses increasingly sharply as you become more experienced. The average basic salary of a Chief Actuary is £209,292.

As an actuary, your work is extremely varied and can include: advising companies on the amount of funds to set aside for employee pension payments; designing new insurance policies and setting premium rates; pricing financial derivatives and working in fund management and quantitative investment research; advising life insurance companies on he distribution of surplus funds; and estimating the effects of possible major disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, and setting premium rates for insurance against such disasters. For more information about the actuarial profession, see http://www.actuaries.org.uk

- Employability support

Helping our students to develop strong employability skills is a key objective within the School and the University. We provide a wide range of services and support to equip you with transferable vocational skills that enable you to secure appropriate professional positions within industry. Within the School we run specialist seminars and provide advice on creating a strong CV, making job applications and successfully attending interviews and assessment centres.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in the actuarial, finance, insurance and risk sectors.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the Applied Actuarial Science - MSc page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Neha Agarwal

The University of Kent provides an excellent environment for a student to not only build their academic abilities but also helps in all round development of a student. It provides students with a challenging yet friendly environment which instills confidence to face the future.

(Student Profile)

Ivar Billfalk-Kelly

I chose to do a postgraduate course rather than to start my professional career straight after my undergraduate degree because I felt it would give me a big advantage when looking for a job.

The MSc in Applied Actuarial Science at Kent gives you the opportunity to gain additional exemptions from the professional examinations set by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Although it is possible to sit these exams while working, I thought it would be easier to pass them while still at university as I would be taught the subjects rather than having to learn them on my own. I also thought it would be a lot of fun to live abroad for a year and doing this course has given me an opportunity to do that – I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!

I visited Canterbury for a postgraduate open day and received a great impression of both the University and the city itself. The staff were welcoming and helpful in answering any questions I had about the course and the University. After my visit, I decided I really wanted to study here.

All the lecturers are fantastic and I’m really enjoying the course. Although it’s in the same field as my undergraduate degree, the MSc is far more specialised. I’ve chosen to take classes in finance and derivative securities and, while we did cover these in my undergraduate course, we didn’t go into the same level of detail as we do here. There are also modules that are completely new to me, such as the one in which we learn how to use the actuarial modelling program called PROPHET.

What are the advantages of postgraduate study?
Although I could have got a job straight after my first degree, the benefits associated with further study far outweigh the costs in terms of tuition fees and possible lost earnings.

The biggest advantage I’ve found is that it has given me the chance to learn more about subjects that I started during my undergraduate course. I have an interest in finance and I’m now learning many more specific things that I had never touched on before. I firmly believe that you can never learn enough and a postgraduate degree is a great way to keep learning. You also give yourself a big advantage when looking for a job – you will have a more detailed knowledge than most other graduates.


SMSAS Bursaries for Taught Postgraduate Students - 10 Awards

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science has established a bursary scheme to support taught postgraduate students who wish to study for one of the following courses:Postgraduate Diploma in Actuarial Science
MSc in Applied Actuarial Science
MSc in Finance, Investment and Risk
MSc in Mathematics and its Applications
MSc in StatisticsThe school will award up to 35 bursaries of between £500 and £1500. All applicants who have accepted a place on one of the above courses will automatically be considered for a bursary. There is no need to make a separate application. Overseas/home/EU fee paying students are all eligible.There is no formal closing date but we recommend you apply for your chosen course before the end of July 2011. The selection process continues until all bursaries are awarded.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Between £500 and £1500 each


Overseas/home/EU fee paying students are all eligible.

Application Procedure

There is no need to make a separate application

Further Information



Kent Bursaries - 20+ Awards

Bursaries are £10,000 each for study on a taught Master's degree programme at the University of Kent. It does not need to be repaid. Bursaries can be for full or part-time study (over a maximum of two years);
The bursary will contribute to the cost of tuition fees for the Master’s degree and any associated University charges (ie accommodation fees) with any balance awarded as a maintenance grant;Students must register for a taught Master’s degree programme at Kent (i.e. for an LLM, MA, MSc) in September 2015.Bursaries will be distributed in accordance with the following priorit:-
- students satisfy the eligibility criteria (below);
- student have a First or 2.1 undergraduate degree classification;
- the date that all conditions of the offer are satisfiedIt is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all necessary data has been submitted and conditions of offer are satisfied as soon as possible;The bursary cannot be held in conjunction with other funding except in exceptional circumstances and will not be awarded with any other funding from the University of Kent, for example the Alumni Loyalty Discount or Graduate School Scholarship.The University will aim to make allocations by mid-July 2015. Eligibility criteria

If you qualified for support under the Kent Financial Support Package then it is likely that you may be eligible for the Postgraduate Support Scheme. This criteria will be refined once further information is published by HEFCE:

Applicants must:
•Be a “Home” fee paying and a UK permanent resident;
•Have completed a three-year undergraduate degree, started in 2012 and finished in 2015;
•Have paid, or be responsible for repaying to Student Loans Company, the higher rate tuition fees in full;
•Have achieved a First or a 2.1;
•Have satisfied and demonstrated certain socio-economic criteria, to include either 1 or 2 below: 1. a household income of £42,620 or lower, andeithera) a family home postcode in an area of low participation in higher education (ie likely to have satisfied the current criteria for Kent’s Financial Support Scheme),
b) currently be in receipt of a Disabled Students’ Allowance,2. be a care leaver; •Have made an application and been admitted for a taught Master’s degree programme at Kent’s Medway or Canterbury campuses or for a split-site programme at one of our European sites at Brussels, Paris or Rome
•Register for a taught Master’s degree programme at the University of Kent in September 2015.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Details of eligibility are not yet finalised, but the information below provides key details about the scheme, an indication of who may be eligible and how the bursaries will be allocated. Further information will be published as it becomes available from HEFCE.

Application Procedure

Application process is online:
•Before you can be considered for a bursary you must make an application for an eligible taught postgraduate programme at the University of Kent, and be offered a place
•Consideration for a bursary will be dependent on the degree application and you are urged to make an application for a place to study as soon as possible. Further information about the scheme and the selection processes will be made available as they are agreed and it is recommended that you check this page regularly for updates. Please note: When making an application, please note you must use your family/parental address and postcode in order for us to confirm your eligibility

The information given on these web pages is correct at the time of publishing. The University reserves the right to modify or cancel any statements and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of any such changes.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A good first degree in Actuarial Science, or a degree that covers all or most of the Core Technical Stage subjects of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ examinations. We may also accept applicants who have a good first degree in another subject and who have passed most of the Core Technical Stage subjects. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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