Overview

Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: £18,000 (full-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions

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 programmes fully accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It 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 (and other experts in the field) complemented by dedicated online support, easy access to faculty members, and advice on exam techniques.

Faculty members include a significant number of qualified actuaries and other experts in range of wider fields, who use their commercial experience and current research interests to inform their teaching.

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

The one-year MSc in Actuarial Management course offers modules leading to exemption from most of the later professional actuarial examinations, and it has its own MSc dissertation option.

GAAPS Prize

GAAPS, a leading actuarial recruitment consultancy, will award £500 prizes to two Cass actuarial students for their achievements during the academic year.

Read more.

Information Sessions

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

Two Induction Weeks

The Actuarial Science programme starts with two compulsory induction weeks, mainly dedicated to:

  • An introduction to the Cass Careers offering with a focus on key skills and attributes that employers are looking for.  The annual MSc Careers Fair at this time also provides the opportunity to meet over 60 companies who are recruiting across many sectors including finance, energy, insurance, real estate, shipping, strategic management and internal auditing.
  • a refresher course of advanced financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases.

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. Electives that were offered in 2013 were:

  • 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

This compulsory module trains students to undertake independent research either in the context of a single organisation or by using third-party sources. It provides the necessary tools and skills to initiate, research and write up a business project and includes training in research methodology, availability of data sources, project writing, time-management and presentation skills. These skills will be invaluable to students in their future career whether or not they choose to complete a project.

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 Tsanakis (on sabbatical leave)

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 8,000 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:

  • A review of the endowment mortgage crisis: causes and industry response
  • Modelling Utility under Uncertainty
  • Annuity design for the private pension system in Turkey: cash flow model and mortality analysis
  • Do alcohol, obesity and smoking related diseases explain overall mortality? A study of causes of death
  • Occupational Pension schemes and risk
  • Statistical Models for Claim amounts data in General Insurance in Uganda: A case study of Motor third party claims
  • The Profitability of companies selling individual pensions in Turkey
  • Application of Lee-Carter methodology in China: longevity discussion
  • Evaluation of Economic Costs of Executive Share Options
  • Pension reform in China and a worldwide comparison
  • The effect of obesity on mortality rates in the UK
  • Modelling Mortality trends by social classes
  • Applying generalised linear models for premium rating in personal motor insurance
  • Two methods to estimate ultimate ruin probability and their applications
  • Bayesian networks and their applications in general insurance

Entry requirements

Degree Level

A good Bachelors degree in a highly quantitative programme such as mathematics or statistics is required to enter this course, usually a UK 2.1 or above or the equivalent from an overseas institution.

If your Bachelors degree is not sufficiently quantitative you may be eligible on the basis of excellent grades in A-level Mathematics combined with good performance in your degree.

If you have not yet completed your current course of study, your university should be able to provide an interim transcript showing your marks achieved to date. If you are still undertaking your Bachelors degree studies, you should provide a separate list of the modules that you are undertaking in your final year of study when you submit your application (if these are not listed on your degree transcripts).

English Requirements

Every year we welcome students from around 100 different countries. It is essential that all students have an excellent command of English in order to participate fully in our collaborative learning process. If you are not a native English speaker but have been studying in English at a degree level for the last three years, please submit a copy of your most recent English language test scores/qualification along with your application and a decision will be made by the Admissions Panel. If you have done a 2+2 degree with two years in the UK you WILL be required to provide IELTS or TOEFL scores and possibly to resit the test to meet our academic entry requirements.

Please note that we assess each application on its own merit and you can help us to make decision by providing all relevant documents at the time of application.

We require all Cass MSc students who are not nationals of a majority English-speaking country OR have not successfully completed an academic qualification, at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UK Border Agency, to have an overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in writing). For TOEFL we require, 107 (internet based test) / 263 (computer based test) / 627 (paper based test). Our TOEFL code is 7650.

We do not offer nor accept a pre-sessional English class as an alternative to the listed English tests. Any pre-sessional course should be viewed as an aid to living and studying in the UK and not as a way of topping up an IELTS or TOEFL score.

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • A-Levels or University entry exams results
  • Two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference
  • Detailed statement of purpose
  • IELTS/TOEFL/GMAT, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2014/15

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 2014/15

The programme starts with:

Compulsory Induction Period: 15 September 2014 - 26 September 2014

Term I
29 September 2014 - 5 December 2014
Term I exams
12 January 2015 - 23 January 2015

Term II
26 January 2015 - 3 April 2015
Term II exams
27 April 2015 - 8 May 2015

Term III
11 May 2015 - 26 June 2015
Term III exams
29 June 2015 - 10 July 2015

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2015

Official Course End Date
30 September 2015

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 2010/11's MSc in Actuarial Science cohort shows that 80% of graduates are now either in work (73%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (7%)*

Some examples of where graduates from the 2010/11 MSc in Actuarial Science are working are:  

  • Legal & General - Solvency II Group Protection, Actuarial Trainee - UK
  • RSA - Commercial Pricing, Graduate Actuarial Trainee - UK
  • Government Actuary's Department - Pensions, Junior Trainee Actuary - UK
  • Brunei Investment Agency - Internal Fund Management, Rates Strategist - Brunei
  • KPMG - Actuarial Life, Actuarial Analyst - India

*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