(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Actuarial Science (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught masters degrees.
A-levels: ABB, including Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 665. Either must include Higher Level Mathematics grade 5. We will accept 5 in either Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Higher Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
T-levels: Distinction, only in conjunction with A-level Maths.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
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.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Yinghui Wei
Dr Murray Pollock
Director of Statistics / Senior Lecturer Newcastle University
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
The course aims to provide an advanced understanding of the theoretical, practical and technological developments that affect the whole of the actuarial discipline.
- To offer an innovative, dynamic and flexible programme that considers developments in the academic study of actuarial science.
- To develop students' ability to formulate and solve problems.
- To develop in students appreciation of actuarial methods, and of the links between the theory of the subjects and their practical application in industry.
- To develop in students a logical, formal and quantitative approach to solving problems.
- To provide a foundation of knowledge about the financial sector and risk management.
- To equip and develop tools and skills to tackle issues and problems in financial analysis.
- To provide students with a knowledge and skills base from which to develop further abilities to understand and analyse financial markets and institutions.
- To form all rounded actuarial professionals with good grounding in the mathematical and statistical approach.
- To provide a favourable teaching and learning environment for students to evolve, thrive and achieve their potential.
The course also provides the foundation for a career in many areas of finance and risk.
It also offers the opportunity to prepare for six of the professional examinations (CB1, CB2, CM1, CM2, CS1 and CS2) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
The course will produce specialists who will help meet the demand for actuaries to support the local, and national economy, and beyond.
- The third year is spent in industry. It is expected that a typical placement would be at companies in the insurance sector such as AXA, Aviva or Buck Consultants.
- Students will be assisted in finding suitable placements but it will be up to the student to secure a placement before a given timeline. The placement is also contingent on satisfactory student performance.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Knowledge and understanding of the basic mathematical methods and techniques of linear mathematics, calculus and statistics that underpin the study of more advanced mathematical ideas.
A2: Knowlede and understanding of information technology skills as relevant to an actuary
A3: A range of ideas concerning Mathematics and Finance, including methods appropriate in specialized applications and some knowledge of relevant probabilistic/statistical/computing ideas.
A4: Knowledge and understanding of the application of reasoning in financial analysis to applied topics.
A5: Knowledge and understanding of the debate on the performance of national and international financial markets
A6: Knowledge and understanding of some of the ideas and methods used in mathematical proof of results in algebra, analysis, and discrete mathematics and familiarity with some specific examples.
A7: Knowledge and understanding of the power and potential pitfalls of computer use and mathematical computer packages, and experience in their use.
A8: Knowledge and understanding of the use of mathematics for modelling and as an investigative tool for the solution of practical problems. An appreciation of the importance of assumptions.
A9: Appreciation of one or more specialist areas of economics in depth
A10: Understanding of the application of economic reasoning to the study of relevant problems and policies.
A11: Understanding of contemporary theories relating to portfolio analysis, asset allocation and the market efficiency debate
A12: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of finance relevant to Actuarial Science.
A13: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of economics relevant to Actuarial Science.
A14: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of specific actuarial mathematics techniques
A15: Knowledge and understanding of the subjects of probability and inference and specialist statistics applications in insurance
A101: Experience of actuarial science in industry
Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1-A15.
Students are also directed to reading from textbooks and material available online.
In some modules, understanding is enhanced through the production of a written report.
Understanding is reinforced by means of classes (A1-A15), laboratories (A3, A4) and assignments (A1-A15).
The 3rd year of this 4-year course is spent in industry (A101).
Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations and also, in some modules, through marked coursework, laboratory reports, statistical assignments, project reports and oral examinations.
Regular problem sheets provide formative assessment in most modules.
A101 is demonstrated by successful completion of the year spent in industry.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Analyse a specified problem and choose the most suitable methods and tools for its solution.
B2: Assess the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed for a problem's solution or to articulate arguments and policies.
B3: Synthesise and interpret information from a range of sources (lectures, classes, journals, books, etc.) developing a critical evaluation of the importance and relevance of the sources to an area of study.
B4: Construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of accounting or finance ideas.
B5: Critically evaluate contemporary theories and empirical evidence, marshal evidence, develop an argument (in writing) and present ideas in a coherent and effective manner;
B6: Manipulate and analyse numerical (including financial) data and appreciate the nature and limitations of basic statistical concepts;
The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and the skills are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and independent study, assignments and project work.
B1-B6 are developed through exercises supported by classes.
B1-B6 are all important aspects of the projects which constitute a part of some modules.
Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked assignments and project work.
C: Practical skills
C1: Use computational tools and packages.
C2: The ability to apply a rigorous, analytic, highly numerate approach to a problem.
C3: Identify, select and gather information, using the relevant sources.
C4: Organise ideas in a systematic way.
C5: Present financial ideas and arguments coherently in writing.
C6: Use and apply the terminology and concepts of finance.
The practical skills of actuarial science including mathematics, finance and economics are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments and project work.
C1 is acquired through the learning of at least one programming language and the use of a number of computer packages, as a part of the teaching of module for which they are relevant.
C2-C6 are acquired and enhanced throughout the programme.
Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework and project reports.
D: Key skills
D1: Communicate effectively, both mathematical arguments and textual accounts of ideas.
D2: Use appropriate IT facilities as a tool in the analysis of mathematical problems.
D3: Use mathematical techniques correctly.
D4: Analyse complex problems and find effective solutions.
D5: Organise activity and manage time in the course of study.
D6: Capacity to organise and implement a plan of independent study.
D1 is practised throughout the course in the writing of solutions to mathematical problems, both for assessment and as exercises, and (in some modules) writing reports or projects.
D1 and D2 are developed in group and individual project work.
D2 is developed through the use of computer packages in a number of modules.
D3 - D6 are developed in exercises and assignments throughout the course.
D1 is assessed through examinations, coursework and oral examinations.
D2 is assessed primarily through coursework.
Assessment of the key skills D3 - D6 is intrinsic to subject based assessment.