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Course content

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.

Modules

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

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.

Careers

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!

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