Postgraduate Course

MSc Actuarial Science

MSc Actuarial Science

Overview

The details
Actuarial Science
October 2018
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms. Actuaries quantify the probability and manage the risk of future events in areas such as insurance, healthcare, pensions, investment, and banking and also in non-financial areas. This course is taught by the Department of Mathematical Sciences and is intended for students with a first degree in mathematics, statistics, economics or finance who would like to acquire knowledge in actuarial science.

Our MSc Actuarial Science course is based on the syllabus of the majority of the Core Technical subjects of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, so you’ll cover Core Technical subjects as part of your course (CT2 or CT3, depending on the optional module selected, CT4, CT5, CT6, and CT8). This focus on up-to-date research findings in actuarial methodologies and actuarial applications means that you gain a solid training in actuarial modelling and actuarial analysis.

It is also possible to specialise on a topic of choice, with options including :

  • Actuarial and Financial Modelling.
  • General Insurance
  • Life Insurance

You will also have the chance to study a problem in depth through a Masters thesis project on a subject chosen by you or your supervisor.

As part of our Department of Mathematical Sciences you’re a member of an inclusive and approachable research community with an international reputation in many areas including semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology.

Why we're great.
  • Study the majority of the Core Technical subjects of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
  • Work alongside expert academics and practicing actuaries.
  • We are Top 25 for Mathematics (TGUG 2018).

Our expert staff

As well as being world-class academics, many of our academics have won research awards and grants from some of the largest actuarial society’s worldwide, national or regional awards for lecturing, and many of them are qualified and accredited teachers.

Teaching on our course are expert academics and practising actuaries. The key departmental contacts for our MSc Actuarial Science are Keith Bannister, Dr Haslifah Hashim, and Dr Spyridon Vrontos.

  • Keith Bannister is a qualified actuary, and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and Faculty of Actuaries; he lectures part-time in Actuarial Science.
  • Dr Hashim specialises in life and general insurance, pensions, financial mathematics, enterprise risk management, forensic economics, and Islamic finance and takaful.
  • Dr Vrontos specialises in actuarial mathematics and modelling, asset-liability management and performance measurement for pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds, risk management and solvency, and risk theory.

Specialist facilities

  • Unique to Essex is our renowned Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students, staff and local businesses on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
  • We have our own computer labs for the exclusive use of students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences – in addition to your core maths modules, you gain computing knowledge of software including Matlab and Maple
  • We host regular events and seminars throughout the year

Your future

As a new course, we expect our graduates of MSc Actuarial Science to become actuaries in a range of industries. It is predicted by the US Department of Labor that the employment of actuaries is expected to grow faster than any other occupation, making it a great prospect for a graduate job.

Aside from a rewarding career as an actuary (actuaries are in the top ten jobs for 2016, careercast.com), clear thinkers are required in every profession, so the successful mathematician has an extensive choice of potential careers. The Council for Mathematical Sciences offers further information on careers in mathematics.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MSc by Dissertation. We have an international reputation in many areas such as semi-group theory, optimisation, probability; applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology, and our department is strongly committed to research and to the promotion of graduate activities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall mid 2.2 in one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Statistics, Operational research, Finance, Economics, Business Engineering, Computing, Biology, Physics or Chemistry.

Will consider applicants with a unrelated degree but which contained at least three modules is calculus, algebra, differential equations, probability & statistics, optimisation or other mathematical modules.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Survival Analysis

What are the principles of actuarial modelling? And what are survival models? Examine how calculations in clinical trials, pensions, and life and health insurance require reliable estimates of transition intensities/survival rates. Learn how to estimate these intensities. Build your understanding of estimation procedures for lifetime distributions.

View Survival Analysis on our Module Directory

Mathematics of Portfolios

How do you formulate financial decision problems mathematically? And how do you identify an appropriate method of solution? Understand the basic models and mathematical methods underlying modern portfolio management. Assess the limitations of these models and learn to correctly interpret your results from calculations.

View Mathematics of Portfolios on our Module Directory

Contingencies II

What methods are available to model cashflows that are contingent on competing risk? What techniques for discounted emerging costs can be used in pricing, reserving and assessing profitability? Study the methods and techniques used in pricing and evaluating insurance and pension products, and insurance companies.

View Contingencies II on our Module Directory

Statistical Methods

This module will enable you to expand your knowledge on multiple statistical methods. You will learn the concepts of decision theory and how to apply them, have the chance to explore “Monte Carlo” simulation, and develop an understanding of Bayesian inference, and the basic concepts of a generalised linear model.

View Statistical Methods on our Module Directory

Stochastic Processes

Ever considered becoming an Actuary? This module covers the required material for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries CT4 and CT6 syllabus. It explores the stochastic process and principles of actuarial modelling alongside time series models and analysis.

View Stochastic Processes on our Module Directory

Financial Derivatives

Why are arbitrage arguments important in modern finance? How can a binomial model evaluate derivatives? What are the main models for interest rates? Understand the mathematical techniques underlying the modelling of derivative pricing. Acquire skills in the development of pricing and risk management. Explore stochastic methods and credit risk.

View Financial Derivatives on our Module Directory

Research Methods

Looking to build your research capabilities? This module will equip you with the principal research tools for your postgraduate course in Mathematical Sciences, including practice in the mathematical word-processing language LaTeX.

View Research Methods on our Module Directory

Dissertation

This is a dissertation module for MSc students. Student will be provided with a list of dissertation titles or your own, provided a member of staff agrees it is of suitable standard and is able to supervise it.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Finance and Financial Reporting (optional)

What instruments are used by companies to raise finance and manage financial risk? What is the role of financial institutions operating in financial markets? What are the techniques of financial accounting? How do you use spreadsheets in financial analysis? Examine and develop the concepts and elements of corporate finance.

View Finance and Financial Reporting (optional) on our Module Directory

Mathematics Careers and Employability

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

View Mathematics Careers and Employability on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Core components can be combined with optional modules, to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding
  • Learn to use LATEX to produce a document as close as possible to what professional mathematicians produce in terms of organisation, layout and type-setting
  • Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars on a Thursday afternoon

Assessment

  • Courses are assessed on the results of your written examinations, together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework

Dissertation

  • You will be provided with a list of dissertation titles or topics proposed by staff and it may be possible to propose a project of your own
  • Most dissertations are between 10,000 and 30,000 words in length. However, these are guidelines, not mandatory word counts
  • Close supervision by academic staff

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,560

International fee

£16,225

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Related courses

Two women looking at a PC screen
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.