Actuarial Science

MSc, PGDip, 2-3 years, by distance learning

This is for you if... you want to study actuarial science at an advanced level from home.

Course Description

Do you enjoy solving problems? Do you enjoy analysing and interpreting large amounts of data and applying this analysis to real business situations? Could you communicate complex financial and risk models to people at a range of levels? A career as an actuary is a highly rewarding one – both financially and intellectually.

Actuaries are problem-solvers, business analysts, consultants and risk assessors, all rolled into one. With this degree under your belt, the skills you have learned could be applied to the worlds of insurance, pensions, healthcare, banking, business management and risk assessment. You will be equipped with mathematical and statistical knowledge and problem-solving skills to help businesses and institutions evaluate the long-term financial implications of the decisions they make.

You may already be employed as a trainee actuary within a firm, or be a recent graduate looking to get into the industry, it could be that a career change is your reason for studying this course. Whichever it is, an Actuarial Science degree from the University of Leicester will provide you with a head start within this lucrative career.

By concentrating on both technical expertise and transferable skills (such as communication and problem solving) this postgraduate degree will prepare you for direct entry into the profession and a successful career. You will leave Leicester equipped with the skills and knowledge to evaluate and interpret different forms of data, analyse risk and present your results to a professional audience, and with an understanding of how to apply this knowledge to real problems using the fundamental techniques required by an actuary.

Studying by distance learning means you don’t need to take a career break to get ahead. You can study the course at a time that suits you in a location that suits you; it also means that you can start to apply your new knowledge and insights to your working life immediately.

What's the difference?

The first year (four modules) qualifies you for the PGCert. Two years (eight modules) qualifies you for the PGDip. Three years (eight modules plus dissertation) nets you the full Masters Degree.

Key Facts
Start date
May and October each year
Department
Mathematics
Contact

Actuarial Science Distance Learning Team
+44 (0)116 252 2612
sep-dl@le.ac.uk

Department of Mathematics website

Why Leicester?

We enjoy links with the financial and actuarial industry, ensuring that this course has been developed with the needs of key employers in mind - which means that graduates from this course are highly employable.

Mathematics at Leicester has a successful history of delivering quality actuarial education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

We have more than 50 postgraduate research students, over 80 postgraduate taught students and in excess of 100 students studying by distance learning.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

The modules on this course correlate with the eight-part Core Technical (CT) syllabus of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, as indicated.

  • Financial Mathematics (CT1)
  • Finance and Financial Reporting (CT2)
  • Statistics (CT3)
  • Models and Mortality (CT4)

NB. if you start the course in May, you will study the same modules across the course but in a slightly different order.

You can leave the course after one year with a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). However, this will not qualify you for any exemptions from the IFoA exams.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

The modules on this course correlate with the eight-part Core Technical (CT) syllabus of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, as indicated.

  • Contingencies (CT5)
  • Statistical Methods (CT6)
  • Business Economics (CT7)
  • Financial Economics (CT8)

NB. if you start the course in May, you will study the same modules across the course but in a slightly different order.

You can leave the course after two years with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip).

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3 is devoted to your individual project (MSc only).

You will have approximately 12 months to complete your dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. Your written dissertation will be assessed through a combination of final oral presentation and written thesis.

The Masters dissertation is an individual project and will require you to commit time to researching a topic in detail; many of our students choose to tackle work-related topics in their dissertations. This can be rewarding both personally and for your employer. Whilst this is an independent piece of work you should commit 600 hours of study to complete the research and present your findings over a period of up to 12 months.

Upon starting your dissertation you will be allocated a supervisor who will guide you on your choice of topic and support you through your research. They’ll offer regular virtual supervisory sessions, using telephone or web-based tools at suitable points in your studies.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

This is the only distance learning course accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). This MSc offers a fast track route to qualifying as an actuary: obtaining a good overall mark across your taught modules can lead to exemptions from the IFoA CT1-8 exams. Find out more about exemptions.

Start date: 2 May 2016
Application deadline: 25 April 2016

Start date: 17 October 2016
Application deadlines: 10 October 2016

Teaching and Assessment

This distance learning course is taught through the University of Leicester’s virtual learning environment Blackboard. This includes online discussion forums, online surgeries with the module tutors and regular homework to monitor your progress.

You should expect to spend about five to seven hours a week on each module. You will study two modules at a time, meaning an average commitment of about 10-14 hours each week will be required to fully engage with the course. 

Each year is split into two teaching sessions, each lasting approximately 22 weeks, during which time you’ll study two modules concurrently, completing four modules a year. At the end of each pair of modules (ie. April and October) you will be take a written exam before progressing into the next teaching session. For some modules there is also an assessed mini-project to be completed.

Exams usually take place on weekdays; exact dates will be confirmed about three months into the course. The exam venue will be local to you, usually within a two-hour commute from your home location. You can select your preferred exam venue from our list in the first few weeks of each teaching session.

You will be supported by a dedicated team of actuarial tutors and administrative staff. The course administrator will be your first point of contact and can provide you with most of your course information; any academic issues will be directed to your personal tutor or module tutor. Your personal tutor will be an academic member of staff who will be able to offer advice and guidance throughout your studies and will be assigned to you for the duration of your studies. 

Entry Requirements

2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. This will usually be Maths, Statistics or Physics as you will need a solid background in maths including knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, basics of probability and statistics. We will consider graduates from other subjects on an individual basis.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can take the Certificate in Financial Mathematics (effectively the first module on this degree) as a stand-alone short course. This can be studied with the University of Leicester by distance learning. Successful completion will enable you to transfer to the MSc/PGDip course.

Applicants from other academic disciplines will be considered on a case by case basis and may be subjected to mathematics assessment at the application stage. Please note that ACCA/CIMA qualification is not sufficient to meet the entry requirements. 

If you currently hold exemptions from the CT1-8 syllabus you can still complete the course and transfer in a maximum of four exemptions, subject to matching against the course modules. If you hold equivalent exemptions from overseas actuarial associations you may also be eligible for exemption from modules based on prior learning. Application for prior learning will be assessed at application stage and all certification should be submitted at this point. Any transfer in of credits would reduce the number of modules required for the completion of the course and may reduce your total period of study and your tuition fees. Any prior learning must have been obtained in the last five years; older exemptions will not be permitted for the purpose of reducing your study requirements. 

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • UK/EU fees: Your course fee covers the full cost of the whole course, including all study materials, tutor support and exams.

    Starting in May 2016

    • MSc: £13,500
    • PGDip: £10,800

    Starting in October 2016 and May 2017

    • MSc: £14,105
    • PGDip: £11,285

    Find out more about how to pay and fees and funding.

  • International (non-EU) fees: Your course fee covers the full cost of the whole course, including all study materials, tutor support and exams.

    Starting in May 2016

    • MSc: £13,500
    • PGDip: £10,800

    Starting in October 2016 and May 2017

    • MSc: £14,105
    • PGDip: £11,285

    Find out more about how to pay and fees and funding.

Career Opportunities

Careers

Our Career Development Service is here to support you – by email, phone or skype – with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience and more. From registration to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Actuarial Sciences MSc 3 years by distance learning May and October each year Apply Now
Actuarial Sciences PGDip 2 years by distance learning May and October each year Apply Now
Course
Actuarial Sciences
Qualification
MSc
Duration
3 years by distance learning
Start Dates
May and October each year
Availability
Course
Actuarial Sciences
Qualification
PGDip
Duration
2 years by distance learning
Start Dates
May and October each year
Availability