31 July 2014
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Actuarial science degree

This is an ideal subject to study for anyone who enjoys maths, modelling and probability. It will equip them to become an actuary, a professional who is able to deal with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty by using their mathematical skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events.

The field itself is very highly regarded, diverse, exciting to study and financially rewarding. Upon leaving university graduates will have various employment options like; working in specialist areas for any large organisation where risk management is vital, or for consultancies that offer advice on various financial projects. There are many job opportunities in industries where a single decision can have a major financial impact i.e. pension’s, healthcare, insurance, banking and investments.

Actuaries themselves work at the macro level, and set the high-level parameters that can guide industry professionals like insurance underwriters. They can have an important influence on a company’s policy, and play a key role in setting the terms and conditions of insurance policies, including premium rates.
An actuarial science degree will teach you how to apply mathematics and statistics to assess risk in areas like insurance.

 

Actuarial science degree course overview

Modules are a mixture of lectures, seminars and group work, with subject material regularly devised and updated so that it is relevant and specific to market realities.

Degrees will have been developed with the needs of key employers in mind, and will instil in student’s the latest research techniques and methodology. They will have strong vocational elements and use case studies to give students a comprehensive understanding of financial studies, as well as in mathematics, statistics and information technology.

The degree will provide you with in-depth technical knowledge ranging from IT skills to complex financial modelling techniques. It allows you to build your communication and technical skills and to bring them all together. Good communication skills are essential as an actuarial will regularly be in contact with their clients either by phone, email or at meetings.

Although you do not need prior knowledge of statistics for this course, you should ideally have enthusiasm for mathematics.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a Actuarial Science Degree 

  • Business Finance
  • Risk Management
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Introduction to Actuarial Methods
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Stochastic Models
  • Actuarial Planning and Control
  • Calculus and Linear Algebra
  • Contingencies
  • Alternative Investment Management
  • Asset Liability Management
  • Business and Financial Forecasting
  • Derivatives, Trading and Hedging
  • Elementary Statistical Theory

Students will learn about

  • Investigating, analysing and explaining statistical information.
  • Financial theory to solve business problems.
  • Advanced modelling techniques to forecast future probabilities.
  • Controlling risk.

Students will learn how to

  • Mathematically evaluate the likely hood of events.
  • Minimise financial exposure when unfortunate events occur.
  • Operate, design and manage programs that control risk.
  • Calculate premiums for insurance policies.
  • Financially report a companies’ assets and liabilities.
  • Analyse financial data


Actuarial science personal statement

Below is a actuarial science personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.

Actuarial science personal statement example

"The use of mathematics to solve problems is right up my street and something that greatly appeals to me. I want a career that allows me to use my strong mathematical skills in real life situations, as well as one where I will have a high level of responsibility and also have close interaction with business people. Although these are the main reasons why I am attracted to actuarial science, I also like the fact that it will give me opportunities in lots of different areas by opening doors for me career wise and therefore make the world my oyster.

As someone who has a natural awareness for statistical, mathematical and economical facts and figures, I will have no problem doing repetitive work with numbers. I am a strategic thinker with a comprehensive understanding of financial systems, and possess high moral standards which compel me to work to a strict code of ethics.

Even though I look forward to the variety of work I will be exposed to in this field, I would like to eventually work in traditional financial areas like life insurance. To me being a actuary is more than just being a highly trained statistician with expertise in evaluating various types of risks. The work is very varied as each organisation requires different investment solutions to their individual circumstances. This appeals to me as no two days are likely to be the same, as each client will have different needs and problems to solve. A career as an actuary is a highly rewarding one, both financially and intellectually, they are business analysts, problem solvers, consultants and financial risk assessors all rolled into one. I like the responsibility of the role, where I will be at the core of helping businesses and institutions evaluate the long term financial implications of decisions that they make.

The experience of working for a leading institution can be invaluable in terms of any future career, and it is for this reason that I have taken a part time job as a accounts assistant with a accountancy firm. I feel that apart from giving me an edge in any future job applications, this work experience has also helped me to become an independent thinker who is now confident enough to be able to come to my own opinions. Thanks to this work experience I now possess a clear understanding of how businesses operate, how legislation can affect them, and have learnt the skills that I need to survive in the real world of work. During the course of my employment I have also become highly computer literate and now have extensive knowledge of software packages commonly used for database and statistical analysis.

At college my most favourite subjects were maths and business and in my opinion a actuarial science  degree is combination of both of them. I excelled at maths A level and obtained top grades for all my coursework. It was a steep learning curve for me, as I threw myself into my studies, but it was worth it in the end as I left with high level quantitative and numerical skills, and a burning desire to learn more.

On a personal level I am a very organised person who tries to participate as much as possible in anything I do. I have superb communication skills which allow me to explain complex ideas in a simple way, and to communicate financial concepts to non specialists or clients who may not share my technical expertise, or depth of subject knowledge. I also have soft skills which will be very useful in the future to build relationships with clients.

Right now I am looking to enrol on a suitable actuarial science degree course, and after much research I have come to the conclusion that your university it the best choice for me. I was won over by your institutions quality of teaching and the high level of support and advice available to undergraduates. Your quality of education is excellent, with your course going beyond the standard actuarial curriculum. Its superb content reflects cutting-edge developments in the profession and the wider world of finance."


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