Overview

Applications to this course for September 2014 entry are now closed.

Applications for September 2015 entry will open in early November 2014.

Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: TBC (full-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions

The MSc in Actuarial Science offers students a firm grounding in the fundamentals of actuarial science, including detailed study of the mathematical and statistical techniques used in the insurance, pensions, and financial services industries.

The MSc in Actuarial Science course is accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Cass Business School was the first institution in the UK to have both undergraduate and postgraduate actuarial programmes fully accredited and is also recognised by other actuarial professional bodies around the world. Consequently, students have an excellent opportunity to gain exemptions from the Core Technical examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

The programme is delivered via face-to-face lectures from qualified actuaries, academics and other subject-specialists, complemented by dedicated online support, easy access to faculty members, and advice on study and exam techniques. Lecturers use their commercial experience and research expertise to deliver a challenging, relevant and intellectually stimulating course. 

Successful candidates on the MSc in Actuarial Science may also proceed to the MSc in Actuarial Management.

Individual Appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email: eva.matiaskova.1@city.ac.uk

Course content

We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice. Consequently, there may be some change to the detailed content of the modules and occasionally to module titles.

To satisfy the requirements of the degree programme students must complete:

  • at least five out of eight core courses and Research Methods module

and

  • five electives

or

  • one elective and a Business Research Project

Induction

During the Induction period, which is compulsory, a variety of activities are offered to students, to support them in their learning and professional development. Cass Careers offers workshops with a focus on the key skills that employers are looking for, as well as preparing students for the application process. The annual MSc Careers Fair at this time provides the opportunity to meet over 60 companies who are recruiting across many sectors including insurance, pensions, finance, energy, and other fields. Furthermore, innovative workshops are run on advanced study skills and obtaining practical insight to actuarial work.

Term 1

Modules (40 hours each)

Financial Mathematics (CT1)

Students will learn how to apply compound interest theory to find the present value or the accumulation of a cash flow, and apply financial mathematics to solve a broad range of practical problems. This module will also demonstrate how loan repayments can be determined once interest rate assumptions have been made. Students will also analyse and compare alternative capital projects and value fixed-interest stock.

Finance & Financial Reporting (CT2)

This module will give students an understanding of the structure of joint stock companies, and of principal forms of financial instruments and the ability to discuss characteristics of different financial statements. Students will also master the principles underlying the construction of financial statements and be able to apply and evaluate alternative approaches in interpreting the financial statements of companies and financial institutions. They will also be able to construct financial statements in a form suitable for publication.

Probability & Mathematical Statistics (CT3)

This module will enable students to master the axioms of probability and conditional probability, the concept of a random variable and also the theory of underlying statistical techniques. Students will become proficient in the use of random variables in a broad range of applications. They will also construct statistical displays of data, solve problems with more than one random variable, find moments of distributions, carry out and interpret analysis of variance, simple and multiple regression, and test hypotheses and derive confidence intervals.

Economics (CT7)

This module will give students the ability to understand the key aspects of the operation of markets, consumer demand, the production decisions of a firm, the determinants of market structure, and the effects of market structure on a firm's supply and pricing decisions. Students will discuss the economic analysis of risk and the motivations for insurance as well as the implications of changes in relevant variables on the equilibrium operation of markets. Students will also develop an understanding of macroeconomic analysis and interpret the economic environment with regard to inflation, investment returns, stock market behaviour, exchange rates and economic growth.

Term 2

Modules (50 - 60 hours each)

Modelling (CT4)

Students will develop an understanding of modelling principles, Stochastic processes and the Markov property and processes. They will construct mathematical models for business problems involving uncertainty, design and calibrate stochastic models and analyse univariate time series. Students will also master the theory of survival models and multiple state transfer models, including transition intensities and conditional probabilities, and be able to estimate mortality and hazard rates and carry out test graduations of mortality data.

Contingencies (CT5)

Students will gain an understanding of a broad range of life insurance products and of their pricing and reserving, and mastery of life insurance mathematics. Students will also develop an understanding of the problems caused by heterogeneity and selection in risk models and be ale to evaluate means and variances of present values of cash flows for complex insurance contracts, and calculate gross premiums and reserves using the equivalence principle, profit testing and related ideas.

Statistical Methods (CT6)

Students will develop proficiency in the application of models used for insurance losses and show how these models are used to assess insurance premiums. They will also be able to solve specialised insurance problems and explain the assumptions underlying different statistical models.

Financial Economics (CT8)

Students will develop a proficiency in the application of models used in financial economics and understand how these models are used. They will be able to explain the assumptions and ideas underlying different financial models, and to apply finance theory to assess risk, make portfolio decisions, model asset prices and interest rates and value derivatives.

Term 3

Five electives (18 hours each)

OR

One elective and a Business Research Project

Electives

You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Some of the electives offered in the past years included:

  • Introduction to Copula Modelling
  • Introduction to Model Office Building in Life Insurance
  • Longevity Risk Pensions Products
  • Modelling and Data Analysis
  • Social Insurance in Emerging Markets
  • Stochastic Asset Models
  • Topics in Quantitative Risk Management
  • Hedge Funds
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Credit Risk Management
  • Ethics Society and the Financial Sector
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Energy Markets (Taught in a block format in Dubai)
  • Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
  • Alternative Risk Transfer and Risk Securitisation
  • Claims Management
  • Liability Insurance
  • Marine, Aviation and Transport Insurance
  • Operational Risk Management
  • Reinsurance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Technical Analysis and Trading Systems
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Introduction to C
  • Matlab

Research Methods module (Term 1)

As part of the compulsory module on Research Methods, students receive hands-on training in practice oriented research skills, such as database research and financial modelling. Through the module, students gain experience in carrying out desk based research that can be used in constructing reports and business plans across core and elective modules.

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Actuarial Science have many years of practical experience working in the financial services sector and are also active researchers in their fields

This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up the MSc in Actuarial Science.

Course Director

Dr Andreas Tsanakas 

Other Module Leaders include:

MSc Research Project

Students have the option of studying five specialised electives in term three to give them a breadth of subject matter. Alternatively if students would like to study one particular area of interest in depth they have the option of taking one elective and completing a Business Research Project, which in some cases may be completed in partnership with a sponsoring organisation.

The Project will be of approximately 10,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary finance topic related to students' future careers. The Project should be based on independent research either in the context of a single organisation or using third-party sources.

Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their Project. A member of academic staff supervises the project, and the student may choose whom they would like to work with. The Project must be submitted by the end of August. Company sponsored projects are encouraged and a number of such projects may be available.

Many students use this opportunity to complete a project in conjunction with an organisation they might want to work for. This gets their foot in the door and can lead to permanent employment post programme, whilst earning course credit. Student research projects are processed and managed jointly by the MSc Course Office team and the student's Course Director.

Some recent projects:

  • An empirical measure of optimal risk transfer when capital performance is maximised
  • Alternative methods for longevity risk hedging
  • Brazilian long term care plan: an evaluation based on the Singaporean model
  • Generalised linear modelling of claim amounts data in life insurance
  • Infrastructure as an institutional investment asset
  • Microinsurance for natural disaster risks in Asia: risk protection for the poor
  • Periodic Payment Orders: shifting the focus of a General Insurer's balance sheet
  • Quantifying reinsurer default risk
  • Reviewing the double chain ladder claims reserving model and its further extensions
  • Risk management in pension schemes
  • Sovereign bonds and credit default swap
  • Stochastic claims reserving under the double chain ladder framework and its extended method to model the accident year impact
  • The impact of China's one child policy on its pension industry
  • The impact of gender-neutral pricing on the life insurance industry
  • The private healthcare expenditure in Brazil: a demographical and regional analysis of the variation of health costs of medical cooperatives from 2001 to 2012
  • Underinsurance in the UK

Entry requirements

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Current module list if still studying
  • CV
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)

Documents which may follow at a later date

  • IELTS result, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
  • Two references

We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.    

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Degree Level

  • A UK 2.1 or above (or the equivalent from an overseas institution) in a highly quantitative programme such as mathematics or statistics is required to enter this course

Read more

References

Applicants will need to submit two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference.

Read more 

English Requirements

  • If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the test
  • If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.

IELTS

The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing.

Read more

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2015/16

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fees: £18,000 Currency Converter

Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer)

First instalment: Half fees less deposit (paid at registration)
Second instalment: Half fees (paid in January following start of programme)

Term dates 2015/6

In-Person Registration (all students must attend): 16th - 18th September 2015

Induction: 21 - 25 September 2015

Term I
28 September 2015 - 4 December 2015
Term I exams
11 January 2016 - 22 January 2016

Term II
25 January 2016 - 8 April 2016
Term II exams
25 April 2016 - 6 May 2016

Term III
16 May 2016 - 24 June 2016
Term III exams
27 June 2016 - 8 July 2016

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2016

Official Course End Date
30 September 2016

Career opportunities

There is a continuous demand for capable postgraduate level executives in the actuarial profession, whose members are among the highest paid in the UK. They work in fields such as; Insurance companies (life/non life departments), consulting firms, government departments, banks and investment firms, teaching and research.

MSc in Actuarial Science employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of 2011/12's MSc in Actuarial Science cohort shows that 60% of graduates are now either in work (50%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (10%)*

*Based on 2012 survey respondents

'I have already secured a job with a large actuarial firm thanks to the help and connections of the careers office at Cass. I really owe them a lot; I didn't anticipate I'd have a job offer just a few months into my course.'
Stephanos Hadjistyllis, from  Cyprus
MSc in Actuarial Science

Cass Careers Service