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.
If you want to study for a mathematics-related MSc course but don’t meet the full academic entry requirements, this programme will equip you with the mathematical knowledge and skills you need, specialising in financial and actuarial mathematics.
You’ll choose from a range of undergraduate modules offered in the School of Mathematics and Leeds University Business School, building a programme which fills the gaps in your knowledge and prepares you for postgraduate study in actuarial and financial mathematics. If you complete the GradDip and meet the required performance standard, you’ll be eligible to apply for a number of related MSc courses in the next academic year.
You could develop your understanding of corporate finance, survival analysis, financial statistics and many others in a supportive and stimulating research environment.
The programme is highly flexible and there are no compulsory modules, meaning you can build your own programme of study that suits your interests as well as the MSc programme you want to study after the GradDip. Your choices will be checked and approved by the Programme Leader, who might also suggest different choices according to your background.
Around half of the total number of credits you study should come from level 3 modules, including no more than one project module. You’ll need to pass at least 100 credits – including at least 60 credits at level 3 – and have an overall average of at least 40 to graduate with the GradDip.
The flexibility of this programme means that you can choose from modules that use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. These could include example classes, practicals, lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials among many others.
However, independent study is another vital element of the programme which allows you to develop your skills and prepare for taught sessions.
You’ll also come across a variety of assessment methods which could include exams as well as problem sheets, essays, practicals, class tests and other forms of coursework.
The GradDip is a stepping stone to a postgraduate qualification. If you complete the programme successfully, you’ll be eligible for entry onto a number of related MSc programmes in the following academic year.
Mathematicians can choose from a wide range of career options in diverse employment sectors, from software development and system modelling to finance, risk management and general and management positions in sectors such as manufacturing and retail.
Once you’ve completed a postgraduate qualification, you may be able to benefit from new opportunities at more senior levels, or even prepare for further research at PhD level.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.