What Actuarial Science Is and Where You Should Study an Actuarial Degree

What Actuarial Science Is and Where You Should Study an Actuarial Degree

11/03/2021

Interested in studying actuarial science? Looking for more details on what your options may be? Learning about what actuarial science is for the first time? Whatever the case may be, EDUopinions is here to help. In this article, we will provide an overview of everything you need to know about studying actuarial science as well as spotlight some top bachelor and master degrees in the field. Read on to find out where you should study an actuarial degree!

What is Actuarial Science?

Finance studies

Actuarial science is a field that makes use of statistics and mathematics to calculate financial risk. Some of the most common industries in which actuarial science is applied include insurance, banking and trading. For example, actuaries may analyse the occurrence of certain diseases or condition in a country in order to design insurance policies, reimbursement schemes or government benefits.

What jobs can you get with an actuarial Science degree?

A degree in actuarial science can lead to degrees in a number of finance-related industries. Graduates of this course often go on to work in investment banking, commercial banking, insurance, financial analysis and management, just to name a few. In many countries, actuaries are required to pass a national actuarial exam. This of course takes extra time and training, but having formally studied actuarial science at university is a huge advantage.

Is a degree in actuarial science worth it?

Whether or not a degree in actuarial science is worth it depends on your career goals. For those who have their eyes set on being an top-earning actuary, studying the subject at university is a great way to get a head start on your career by training to pass the actuary certification exams in your country. Certified actuaries can make starting salaries of £55,000. That said, studying actuarial science at university is not the only way to enter the field; graduates of mathematics, statistics and finance degrees can also pursue a career in actuarial science. It all depends on what how specialised you want your university education to be and how specific your career goals are.

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Which are the requirements for an actuarial Science degree?

The requirements for degrees in actuarial science are fairly straightforward. For undergraduate programmes, applicants should provide previous transcripts, letters of reference, English language certification and a motivation statement. As well, many courses prefer students have a strong background in mathematics. Masters programmes in actuarial science have very similar admissions requirements but additionally require GRE test scores.

Where you should study an actuarial degree-bachelors

BSc in Actuarial Science at City University of London

The first on our list of schools where you should study an actuarial degree is the City University of London. This prestigious business school offers a three-year bachelor degree in actuarial science which is ranked second in the world. This BSc programme equips students with the essential skills needed to become an actuary. Further, during each year of this course, students take modules specifically geared to help them pass the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries professional exams. 90% of graduates of this degree at the City University of London have secured further education or employment with six months of finishing their degree, meaning you can be sure this programme is a great investment in your future.

BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Science at Swansea University

Next up, Swansea University in Wales offers an honours BSc in actuarial science. Considering its accreditation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), this programme at Swansea is another excellent option to consider for where you should study an actuarial degree. What this means in practice is that many of the modules students take in this degree are aligned with the IFoA exam curriculum, helping them to get a head start on their actuarial certification. What’s more, Swansea University provides students with opportunites to embark on international learning exchanges, either as an additional year abroad or a two to six week-long summer programme. In either case these global experience are valuable opportunities to broaden your horizons and learn inter-cultural skills, helping you to grow both professionally and personally.

BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Science at the University of York

University of York also offers an honours BSc in actuarial science, which is another top-notch programme. What sets this degree apart from others is the parallel focus on business education, equipping students with both actuarial knowledge and business skills. Modules like strategy, management and organisational change as well as business economics help to produce highly-qualified actuaries with a broader contextual knowledge of the industries they work in. Providing such a well-designed degree, it is no wonder why students at the University of York have such great things to say about their experiences there. For more first-hand insights, check out what this current student had to say about the “homely feeling” of the campus:

Business and ...
Management
2020-07-10 09:16:57
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Anonymous student
Campus

It has a beautiful campus and the town is very lovely too. The university is split into two campuses and the commute between them is a 15-minute walk. The east campus has a homely feeling to it and is very close to the campus gym. The west campus hosts most of the student events and also right next to the university library. Would definetely recommend for both undergrad and postgrad degree.

Programme: Business and Management
Degree: Bachelor's
Graduation: 2022
Campus: York
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BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management at Queen’s University Belfast

Another high-quality bachelor degree to consider is the BSc in actuarial science and risk management at Queen’s University Belfast. Something unique about this programme is that students undertake a nine to 12-month salaried work placement with an actuarial firm during their third year. Thanks to a dedicated team of placement advisors, every student receives assistance in finding an internship. This aspect of the degree is immensely valuable to students, as they graduate with months of industry experience. Providing students with both an academically and experientially impactful education, this course at Queen’s University Belfast is truly an excellent option—it is no wonder why EDUopinions have selected it as a place where you should study an actuarial degree.

Where you should study an actuarial degree-masters programmes

MSc in Quantitative Finance and Actuarial Science at Tilburg University

For those looking for a master programme, the MSc in quantitative finance and actuarial science at Tilburg University in the Netherlands is an excellent option. This one-year programme is ranked first in the Netherlands and 26th in the world for masters in finance by by the Shanghai Rankings. Students in this degree can expect to gain the skills necessary to take their careers to the next level by specialising in an area of interest. With many electives on offer, this programme allows for students to tailor their degree to their needs, a great way to advance your work in the finance industry. Finally, this is one of the most affordable degrees on this list, with tuition fees for EU/EEA nationals set at €2,168.

MSc in Actuarial Science at the University of Manchester

Next up, the University of Manchester is another fantastic option for where you should study an actuarial degree. Their MSc in actuarial science lasts 12 months and provides students with a strong base in the mathematical tools and risk management skills essential to being a highly-qualified actuary through two terms of interactive classroom learning. In their final term, students undertake a research project, either based on actuarial literature or a student’s work placement experience. By engaging with real-world actuarial data, students gain a specialised focus, an essential part of what it takes to further your career in the field. What’s more, studying this course at the University of Manchester means joining the UK’s largest department of mathematics where you can be sure to find everything you need, including seasoned research experts, academic support and state of the art facilities.

MSc in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance at the University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam offers another excellent programme where you should study an actuarial degree. The MSc in actuarial science and mathematical finance lasts 12 months and offers two different specialisation tracks. The first focuses on actuarial science and allows for students to be certified actuaries in the Netherlands upon graduation. The second offers a slightly broader approach to actuarial science, focusing on quantitative risk management with some additional required modules. Learning in this degree takes place through a mix traditional methods like lectures and discussion groups and non-traditional methods like guest speakers from the field and interactive online challenges. Without a doubt, this programme at the University of Amsterdam is a great option for anyone looking to advance their career in actuarial science.

MSc in Actuarial Science at University of Lausanne

Last but certainly not least, the University of Lausanne in Switzerland provides an MSc in actuarial science which is definitely worth checking out. Lasting four semesters, this master degree provides students with a solid foundation in the mathematical and statistical methods essential to actuarial science in addition to a strong base in business skills like management, economics and informational technology to ensure students graduate are ready for professional life. Employability is no question for graduates of this programme, as actuaries are highly sought after in Switzerland, with an astonishing 0% unemployment rate in the sector. Another advantage of this course is its customizability, with plenty of optional modules which allow students to deepen their knowledge in a specific area. For these reasons and many more, EDUopinions believe the University of Lausanne is an excellent option for where you should study an actuarial degree.

Conclusions on where you should study an actuarial degree

We at EDUopinions hope this article on actuarial science programmes has been helpful. With plenty of options available, you may find yourself overwhelmed or wondering where to start your search for the perfect programme. No matter your situation, feel free to reach out to EDUopinions’ specialised team of advisors for free individualised advice on all things university-related!

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Check out these related articles on the 10 best masters in risk management and the best masters in quantitative finance.

 

Written by
Drew
Drew HARPER is a final-year student at University College London, where he studies history, politics and economics. Having worked and studied across the US and Europe, he is passionate about broadening access to international learning opportunities.
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