Actuarial Science (Including Year Abroad)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Actuarial Science (Including Year Abroad)
Current
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (School of)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Full-time
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
Economics
Finance
BSC N324
08/05/2024

Details

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

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.

Admission criteria

  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels, including B in Mathematics or Further Mathematics. Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels and only in conjunction with A-level Maths. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554. Either must include 5 in Higher level Mathematics.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

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

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).

None

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

None

External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Yinghui Wei

University of Plymouth

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.

Key

Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA101-4-FY-CO  Calculus  Core  30  30 
02  MA114-4-AU-CO  Matrices and Complex Numbers  Core  15  15 
03  MA108-4-SP-CO  Statistics I  Core  15  15 
04  BE304-4-SP-CO  Introduction to Finance  Core  15  15 
05  MA127-4-FY-CO  Economics for Actuaries  Core  30  30 
06  MA185-4-AU-CO  Mathematical and Computational Modelling  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA199-4-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA211-5-SP-CO  Finance and Financial Reporting  Core  15  15 
02  MA226-5-AU-CO  Financial Mathematics  Core  15  15 
03  MA200-5-AU-CO  Statistics II  Core  15  15 
04  MA216-5-SP-CO  Survival Analysis  Core  15  15 
05  MA212-5-AU-CO  Contingencies I  Core  15  15 
06  MA205-5-SP-CO  Optimisation (Linear Programming)  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA202-5-SP-CO  Ordinary Differential Equations  Compulsory  15  15 
08  MA201-5-AU-CO  Linear Algebra  Compulsory  15  15 
09  MA199-5-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA318-6-AU-CO  Statistical Methods  Core  15  15 
02  MA311-6-AU-CO  Mathematics of Portfolios  Core  15  15 
03  MA320-6-SP-CO  Financial Derivatives  Core  15  15 
04  MA317-6-AU-CO  Linear Regression Analysis  Compulsory  15  15 
05  MA312-6-SP-CO  Contingencies II  Compulsory  15  15 
06  MA319-6-AU-CO  Stochastic Processes  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA830-6-SP-CO  Capstone Project: Mathematics  Compulsory  15  15 
08  MA322-6-SP-CO  Bayesian and Computational Statistics  Compulsory  15  15 
09  MA199-6-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

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 abroad, typically at a US University such as Utah State University (Salt Lake City, Utah) or California State University, Chico but students can choose from a wide variety of countries provided that there is a suitable programme on offer and that any language requirements are met.

The purpose of this year is to broaden the students' University experience through undertaking a year of study at the associated campus.

The purpose of the formal study would be to add variety to the student's mathematical and actuarial study experience.


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: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of specific actuarial mathematics techniques

A3: Knowledge and understanding of the subjects of probability and inference and specialist statistics applications in insurance

A4: Knowlede and understanding of information technology skills as relevant to an actuary

A5: A range of ideas concerning Mathematics and Finance, including methods appropriate in specialized applications and some knowledge of relevant probabilistic/statistical/computing ideas.

A6: Knowledge and understanding of the application of reasoning in financial analysis to applied topics.

A7: Knowledge and understanding of the debate on the performance of national and international financial markets

A8: 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.

A9: Knowledge and understanding of the power and potential pitfalls of computer use and mathematical computer packages, and experience in their use.

A10: 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.

A11: Appreciation of one or more specialist areas of economics in depth

A12: Understanding of the application of economic reasoning to the study of relevant problems and policies.

A13: Understanding of contemporary theories relating to portfolio analysis, asset allocation and the market efficiency debate

A14: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of finance relevant to Actuarial Science.

A15: Knowledge and understanding of the principles of economics relevant to Actuarial Science.

A101: Experience of education in actuarial science in the year abroad

Learning methods

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 scheme is spent abroad (A101).

Assessment methods

Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen 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 abroad.

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;

Learning methods

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.



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.

Assessment methods

Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen 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.

Learning methods

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.


Assessment methods

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.

Learning methods

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.


Assessment methods

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.



Note

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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 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.

Contact

If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.