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Actuarial Science (Including Foundation Year)

Course overview

(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Actuarial Science (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.
Honours Degree
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

All applicants must also hold GCSE Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above.

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 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.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.

External Examiners

Prof Fionn Murtagh
Professor of Data Science

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


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
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
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 0 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 IA112-3-PS Essential Mathematics Core 30
02 IA115-3-PS Mathematical Methods and Statistics Core 30
03 IA160-3-PS Computer Programming Core 30
04 IA193-3-PS Research and Academic Development Skills Core 30

Year 1 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 MA101-4-FY Calculus Core 30
02 MA114-4-AU Linear Mathematics Core 15
03 MA108-4-SP Statistics I Core 15
04 MA126-4-SP Financial Mathematics Core 15
05 BE302-4-SP Introduction to Finance Core 15
06 EC111-4-FY Introduction to Economics Core 30
07 MA199-4-FY Mathematics Careers and Employability Compulsory 0

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 MA202-5-SP Ordinary Differential Equations Compulsory 15
02 MA211-5-SP Finance and Financial Reporting Core 15
03 BE311-5-SP Corporate Finance Core 15
04 MA200-5-AU Statistics II Core 15
05 MA216-5-SP Survival Analysis Core 15
06 MA212-5-AU Contingencies I Core 15
07 EC201-5-FY Macroeconomics (Intermediate) Core 30
08 MA199-5-FY Mathematics Careers and Employability Compulsory 0

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 MA319-6-AU Stochastic Processes Compulsory 15
02 MA312-6-AU Contingencies II Compulsory 15
03 MA318-6-AU Statistical Methods Core 15
04 EC202-6-FY Microeconomics (Intermediate) Core 30
05 MA311-6-SP Mathematics of Portfolios Core 15
06 MA830-6-SP Capstone Project: Mathematics Compulsory 15
07 MA320-6-SP Financial Derivatives Core 15
08 MA199-6-FY Mathematics Careers and Employability Compulsory 0

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.

The aims of the BSc in Actuarial Science are:

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 eight of the Core Technical Subjects (CT1 to CT8) of the professional examinations 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.

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

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: