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Actuarial Science Diploma/MSc

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  • Academic Title
    Actuarial Science Diploma/MSc
  • Course description
    An actuary is a professional who applies mathematical and statistical techniques to financial problems. Actuaries manage financial risk and make financial sense of the future for their clients.

    The actuarial profession is a small but highly respected profession, whose members are among the highest paid in the UK. There are around 4,000 qualified actuaries in the country, working in a variety of fields, including:

        * Insurance companies
        * Investment and retail banks
        * Lloyds
        * Consultancies who advise corporate clients and individuals on any decisions carrying long-term financial risk, e.g. pension plans
        * Universities/business schools (like Cass) where qualified actuaries are involved in both teaching and research
        * Other government and non-government organisations

    Nearly all actuaries who practise in the UK belong to either the Institute of Actuaries (based in London) or the Faculty of Actuaries (based in Edinburgh, Scotland). To qualify as an actuary, professional examinations must be passed and experience requirements satisfied.

    Why study the Diploma in Actuarial Science?

        * It covers the core actuarial subjects within one year
        * It can lead to exemptions from over half of the professional examinations
        * It is an ideal start to an actuarial career
        * It has a part-time option
        * It has a successful record dating back to 1985.

    Course Content - Ahead of the game

    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:

        * nine core courses
        * five electives
        * two electives and a Business Research Project

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

        * an introduction to careers in the actuarial profession and the opportunity to speak to representatives from over 75 companies during a number of different industry specific fairs.
        * a refresher course of advanced financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases.

    Term 1

    Four core modules (30 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) continued in term 2

    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

    Four core modules (30 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 from the list below (18 hours each)
    Two electives and a Business Research project


    You may choose from a wide variety of electives. For example:

        * Health Insurance
        * Pension Finance
        * Liability Insurance
        * Life Insurance & Pensions Management
        * Longevity Risk in Insurance and Pension Products
        * Behavioural Finance
        * Econometric Modelling
        * Equity Investment
        * Financial Modelling: Matlab
        * Marketing Financial Services
        * Modelling & Data Analysis
        * Reinsurance
        * Stochastic Asset Models
        * Stochastic Claims Reversing in General Insurance
        * Topics in Quantitative Risk Management

    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

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