Actuarial Science (1 year) [MSc]

The workfield of an actuary has undergone a rapid development in recent years. A few decades ago the main tools for an actuary in life insurance were their table book containing mortality data and formulae for discounting with a constant deterministic interest rate. With unit linked and universal life a new generation of much more complex products are making up most of the business nowadays. The recent introduction of new regulatory frameworks such as Solvency II radically changed the principles underlying valuation and risk capital towards a market consistent setting. These changes require an actuary to work with and possibly develop complex mathematical models and techniques for analysing and managing business.

A modern actuary is an intensely trained, highly skilled financial risk manager with a strong background in mathematics in general and more in particular in the fields of Probability and Statistics. Besides in life, general and health insurance, actuaries find employment in sectors such as financial consultancy, investment management, corporate finance and banking. An actuarial career is financially very rewarding (see while typically offering a good work/life balance.

If you would like to read more about what actuarial science is and what an actuary does, a good starting point is

Our MSc Actuarial Science programme was established in 2011 with the current demands in mind. It gives students a thorough training in the mathematics that makes up the core of the skill set of a modern actuary, including topics such as:

  • Markovian models and pricing techniques relevant to life insurance
  • Risk models, ruin theory, risk measures, premium principles and further techniques relevant to general insurance
  • Modern theory of market consistent pricing (mathematical finance), such as the Black and Scholes asset pricing model, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), interest rate models, credit risk models, option pricing etc.
  • Risk management techniques
  • Relevant topics from Statistics such as time series and their applications, generalised linear models, survival analysis etc.
  • Relevant software suites such as R and Excel.

This course provides excellent training for those who seek a career as actuary or more generally a career in financial risk management. It is also very well suited for those who wish to pursue an academic career or study at doctoral level in Actuarial Science or related fields.


Accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, contingent on satisfactory performance a student obtains the following exemptions after graduation from this programme: CT3, CT4, CT6 and CT8. If you are not familiar with the concept of exemptions a brief explanation is as follows. The IFoA offers an educational programme for gaining a professional qualification, ultimately you can become a Fellow i.e. a fully qualified actuary. This normally requires several years of study next to your job. Their programme consists of the Core Technical (CT), Core Applications (CA), Specialist Technical (ST) and Specialist Applications (SA) stages. If you hold one or more of the exemptions our programme offers then after joining the IFoA you will be exempted from the corresponding exam(s). More information about the educational programme of the IFoA can be found on the Students page of their website, and more in particular you can read more about exemptions on their Exemptions from exams page.

Course structure

There are eight course units to study over two academic terms (all compulsory), and a dissertation/project in the summer term. The course teaching is delivered through lectures, case studies, seminars and project-based work.

View current course units

Summer term

In the summer term students will carry out an original piece of research on a subject relating to the course under direct supervision of one of our members of staff. 

This can be either an academic project based on relevant actuarial research literature, or a project/paid internship in collaboration with the insurance industry.

For the industrial projects and paid internships we work with insurance companies such as Mercer, Police Mutual, Willis Towers Watson and Royal London. 

The student will write a report of their work in the form of a dissertation.


Contact us:

Tel: +44(0)161 275 5826


Did you know?

This programme is accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the UK's only chartered professional body for Actuaries.

Did you know?

The Course Director offers weekly drop-in sessions during which prospective students can find out more about this course.

Did you know?

MSc Funding is available. We offer a number of scholarships and bursaries each year. Check out our funding page for more information.
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