- Course content
- Teaching staff
- Entry requirements
- Tuition fees and term dates
- Career opportunities
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 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 opportunity to gain exemptions from up to eight of the Core Technical examinations (Subjects CT1-CT8) 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.
The MSc Diaries
Follow Jiin Siang Lim, one of the Class of 2014/15 through her studies in the MSc Diaries.
See episodes two and three here.
If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email: Hugh Fairclough
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 (Terms 1 and 2) and the Research Methods module (Term 1)
- five electives in Term 3
- one elective and a Business Research Project in Term 3
- three electives and an Applied Research Project in Term 3
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 more than 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.
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.
Business 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.
Research Methods module
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.
Modules (50 - 60 hours each)
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 graduations of mortality data.
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 able 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.
Five electives* (18 hours each)
One elective and a Business Research Project
Three electives and an Applied Research Project
You may choose from a wide variety of electives:
- Stochastic Claims Reserving in General Insurance
- Topics in Quantitative Risk Management
- Introduction to Copula Modelling
- Modelling and Data Analysis
- Social Insurance in Emerging Markets
- Alternative Risk Transfer and Risk Securitisation
- Risk Strategy and Decision Making
- Hedge Funds
- Financial Derivatives
- Credit Risk Management
- Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Claims Management
- Liability Insurance
- Marine, Aviation and Transport Insurance
- Operational Risk Management
*If you are a Tier 4 student visa holder and wish to follow the five electives route in Term 3, your formal course end-date will be moved forward to 31 July 2017. City University has a legal obligation to report the change in your circumstances to UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration). Consequently, your Tier 4 student visa will be curtailed (shortened) to 60 days after the new course end date (to the end of September). The University cannot continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa after the completion of the electives, as continued engagement with the course is no longer required.
If you choose to undertake the Business or Applied Research Project as part of your Masters course, then your visa will run for the full length of the programme.
If you want any advice about the implications of taking the elective modules on your Tier 4 visa, please contact the University’s International Student Advice team.
MSc Research Project
Students have the option of studying five specialised electives in Term 3 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 either taking one elective and completing a Business Research Project (BRP), which in some cases may be completed in partnership with a sponsoring organisation, or three electives and completing an Applied Research Project (ARP).
The BRP will be of approximately 10,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary topic in actuarial science or finance related to students’ future careers. The BRP should be based on independent research. Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their BRP. A member of academic staff, allocated on the basis of the student’s project proposal, supervises the BRP. Alternatively, the ARP will be of approximately 3,000-5,000 words. In this case, the topic is supplied by Cass faculty and initial guidance is offered but no formal supervision. BRP or ARP must be completed and submitted by the end of August.
Students on the MSc in Actuarial Science and MSc in Actuarial Management have frequently won with their dissertations the prestigious SCOR UK actuarial prize.
Recent BRP topics:
- Generalised linear modelling of claim amounts data in life insurance
- Quantification of the effects of longevity risk
- Microinsurance for natural disaster risks in Asia: Risk protection for the poor
- Comparison of claim reserving models in general insurance
- Infrastructure as an institutional investment asset
- The impact of gender-neutral pricing on the life insurance industry
- Graduation of mortality rates in two dimensions
- A study of the long-term care system in England together with case studies from the USA and Hong Kong
- Efficient Market Hypothesis and behavioural finance: An investigation of the UK and US market
- Insurance-linked securitisation: Alternative Risk Transfer for insurance risks
- Price optimisation in general insurance
- Cyber insurance: Assessing the need, risk and complications of implementation
- The private healthcare expenditure in Brazil: A demographical and regional analysis
- The impact of China’s one child policy on its pension industry
Recent offered ARP topics:
- An international comparison of long-term care systems in different countries
- Catastrophe bonds and reinsurance
- Gender-neutral pricing
- House prices in the UK and the roles played by demographic change and supply-side issues
- Hybrid pension schemes
- Longevity risk and longevity transfer solutions
- Managing risk in retirement within a personal pension plan
- Markov models for credit risk
- Natural catastrophe insurance
- Pricing of option contracts
- Quantitative methods in calculating solvency capital requirements
- Reserving: the estimation of outstanding liabilities in non-life insurance
- The effect of obesity on mortality and morbidity rates in the UK
- Use of regression analysis to fit run-off triangle data to a model for general insurance claims frequency, reporting delay and size
The teaching staff on the MSc in Actuarial Science have many years of practical experience working in the insurance, pensions and financial services sectors 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.
Ioannis worked for Lloyd's Treasury and Investment Management on Lloyd's Investment Risk Model for measuring the market and credit risks under the Solvency II Directive. He joined Cass Business School in 2011. He has a PhD in Finance and his research agenda currently encompasses stochastic asset modelling and development of efficient methodologies for valuation of exotic derivatives in freight and energy commodity markets. He holds the Diploma in Actuarial Techniques, act as an assistant examiner for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and is an executive advisor of The Actuarial Network at Cass since 2013. He was the Admissions Tutor for the MSc Actuarial Science until September 2016, and subsequently, the Course Director.
MSc Actuarial Science Teaching Staff
Vali worked as a non-life actuary for Allianz Insurance and Vienna Insurance for several years. He has a PhD in Statistics focusing on rare/catastrophic event with a special interest in non-life insurance. He has been the Course Director of the MSc Actuarial Management since August 2015 and the module leader for Subject CT6.
David is the Director of the Pensions Institute and Chairman of Square Mile Consultants, a training and research consultancy.
He is also the Co-Founder with JPMorgan and Towers Watson of the LifeMetrics Indices. David Blake gained his PhD on UK pension fund investment behaviour in 1986. David Blake established the Pensions Institute (www.pensions-institute.org) in 1996. He teaches the 'Pension Finance' elective.
David started his career in financial services at PwC, which he joined in 1999 aged 30 after careers as a Police Officer in Birmingham and a School Teacher at Rugby School. After qualifying as an Actuary at PwC, David also worked at Hewitt Bacon Woodrow and PensionsFirst before attempting to solve the pension crisis by the mass production of personalised financial planning advice, which led to his book "How to Mend Capitalism".
On the MSc Actuarial Science, David is the module leader for Subject CT2. Outside of the actuarial world, he has researched artificial intelligence having written a computer program which can successfully play online Poker against human opponents.
Zaki qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1991. After six years’ work experience in pensions consultancy, he joined City University London’s Department of Actuarial Science and Statistics in 1992 and was the editor of The Actuary magazine in the period 1997-1999. He completed his PhD on pension scheme modelling in 1999. He coordinates the Business / Applied Research Project process.
Pietro has a degree in Actuarial Science and a PhD in Mathematics applied to economics and finance from the University of Trieste, and a master in probability and finance from the University of Paris VI. He has spent most of his academic career at the University of Trieste before joining the Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance at Cass Business School in 2012.
His current research interests involve the modelling and forecasting of mortality rates and the analysis of risk measures. He has been recently been involved in the development of a methodology for the assessment of basis risk in longevity transactions. He is the module leader for the 'Topics in Quantitative Risk Management' elective.
Jens has more than 20 years of experience working as a practitioner in life and pensions as well as in non-life insurance. He has worked in an IT-department, in a finance department, as a regular appointed actuary, in a product development department and in the research department he created himself. Nowadays, most of his practical work is direct implementation of his research on pension-products, digital financial advice, non-life reserving or non-life pricing. This implementation is either direct consultancy or indirect co-operation via the start-up companies that he has co-founded. He is the module leader for the 'Stochastic Claims Reserving' elective.
Iqbal has published several papers on portfolio optimization, long-term savings and investment, and pensions. He has worked on a project for the Bank of England using novel algorithms from data science to investigate the stability of non-life insurance markets. He has been at City University as a researcher, lecturer and course director since graduating from Cambridge University, and has done consulting work for a number of pensions and investment consultancy firms. Iqbal is the module leader for Subject CT8.
Chris began his career with the Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance (now AXA) Group and joined City University London in 1989. He has held positions as an officer, senior examiner and textbook auhor for the Chartered Insurance Institute. He teaches the 'Liability Insurance' elective.
Keith is a Professor of International Economics and Finance at City University London. He obtained his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, has worked for NatWest Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland and has done extensive consultancy work for a number of City financial institutions. He also advises the UK Foreign Office on international economic issues. He is the President of the International Economics and Finance Society and Treasurer to the European Economics and Finance Society. His research relates mainly to foreign exchange and financial markets. He is the author of two well-known textbooks, International Finance and Finance and Financial Markets, both published by Palgrave. On the MSc Actuarial Science, he teaches Subject CT7.
Ben qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1990. From university, he joined the actuarial consultants, Bacon & Woodrow. He worked in their pensions consultancy until 1994 when he joined the Department of Actuarial Science and Statistics at City University.
His research interests include health insurance, and long term care of the elderly in particular. He has been Head of Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance since January 2008. He acts as an Independent Examiner for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries at several accredited universities and is an Examiner for the IFoA. Ben is the module leader for Subject CT5.
Nick Silver is an actuary and economist whose specialities include risk management, social insurance and economic development. Nick is managing director of Callund Consulting Limited, a specialist consultancy which advises developing country governments on social insurance. Nick is on Council (the governing body) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He has also worked extensively in developing mechanisms to finance and risk management approaches to deal with both mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Nick is a founder and director of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), an NGO focused on mobilising the bond market for climate change solutions. Nick has an MSc in Public Financial Policy from the London School of Economics. He teaches the 'Social Insurance in Emerging Markets' elective.
Jaap studied actuarial science in the Netherlands where he also did an internship at a reinsurance company and was involved in an IT project with a life insurer. In addition he worked for some time as an assistant pension consultant. He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries since 2005 and a full member of the AG (Dutch Actuarial Association) since 1993.
One of his main research interests concerns modelling risk dependencies. He is the module leader for Subject CT4 as well as the 'An Introduction to Copula Modelling' elective.
Douglas joined Scottish Provident in Edinburgh on leaving university. He worked in both the group pensions and life insurance product development departments before starting a PhD at Heriot-Watt University in 1994.
On completion, he joined the Department of Actuarial Science and Statistics at City University London in 1997 and was Course Director on the MSc in Actuarial Management from inception in 1999 until 2015. He is the module leader for Subject CT1.
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- At least one reference
Documents which may follow at a later date
- IELTS result, if reports available
- A Levels/University entry exam results
- Second reference
- For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK
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.
The entry requirements for the MSc Actuarial Science are as follows:
- 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
Applicants will need to submit two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference.
- 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.
The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing section and no less than 6.0 in any other section.
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 2016/7
Application fee: Nil
Tuition fees: £20,000 Currency Converter
Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First instalment: Half fees less deposit (to be paid at registration)
Second instalment: Half fees (paid in January following start of programme)
Term dates 2016/7
In-Person Registration (all students must attend): Commences 12 September 2016
Compulsory Induction: 12 - 23 September 2016
26 September 2016 - 2 December 2016
Term I exams
9 January 2017 - 20 January 2017
23 January 2017 - 31st March 2017
Term II exams
24 April 2017 - 5 May 2017
8 May 2017 - 23 June 2017
Term III exams
26 June 2017 - 7 July 2017
Submission deadline for Business Research Project
1 September 2017
Official Course End Date
30 September 2017
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), consulting firms, government departments, banks and investment firms, teaching and research.
MSc in Actuarial Science employability
Our Graduate Destination Survey of the MSc in Actuarial Science class of 2014 shows that 75.7% of graduates are now either in work (70.3%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (5.4%)
Some examples of where graduates from the MSc in Actuarial Science class of 2014 are working are:
- Generali - Actuarial Analyst
- Mirae Asset - Researcher
- Willis - Graduate Actuarial Analyst
- Towers Watson - Consultant
You can also view data from our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) from 2012.
'We have been recruiting actuarial trainees from Cass Business School for the past two years. The quality of the candidates has been high and the careers team have been extremely helpful and proactive. For us, Cass Business School is a treasure trove of talent ready to enter the business world.'
Sean Quinn, Director, Cambridge Guarantee Group, 2016
'This year at Cass Business School has been one of the most challenging and fascinating experiences of my life. My high expectations were fulfilled: exceptional professors, incredible people from all over the world, an amazing city and, to top it all, a desirable job offer, obtained with a massive support from our careers professionals. Thank you, Cass! Thank you, London!'
Daria Prychantovska, MSc in Actuarial Science, Class of 2016