Skip to main content

Heriot-Watt University

Toggle navigation

Actuarial Science BSc

How to apply »
UCAS code
GG13
Qualification
BSc
Duration
Up to 4 years
Study location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Overview

If you enjoy maths and are looking for a degree that will prepare you for a rewarding career, both intellectually and financially, then this might be the programme for you. It's one of only a few to be accredited by the UK actuarial profession. Good performance means exemptions from professional examinations (CT1-CT8), giving prospective actuaries an advantage over those on other mathematics programmes. At the same time it opens doors to the wide range of careers available to maths graduates. Opportunities are available for a year out to participate in an industrial placement for students from the UK or EU. The opportunity to participate in an exchange year in Canada or Australia is open to all students. 

PwC Actuarial Flying Start programme

The opportunity of a lifetime! The PwC Actuarial Flying Start programme offers, uniquely to Heriot-Watt University's Actuarial Science students, two six-month, paid, PwC work placements during Years Three and Five. It's the perfect way to gain valuable industry experience during your time at university. As an Actuarial Science student at Heriot-Watt University, you will have the opportunity to apply for this programme in Year Two. If successful, you'll join PwC's actuarial team in London and work directly with their clients - helping them plan for uncertainty as well as identifying, quantifying and managing their risks. They are known for the outstanding training they provide to graduates and if you do well, you could also get a job offer for when you graduate. Don't miss out!

Teaching Excellence and Student Satisfaction

30% of our teaching staff are qualified actuaries, the others are leading Mathematicians, Financial Mathematicians and Statisticians, who are nationally and internationally recognised for their research.  This expertise ensures that what we teach you is current, applicable to the real workplace and current economy.  95% of our 2015 graduates reported in the National Student Survey that they were satisfied overall with their course.

Results from the latest  Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey reveal that 85% of our Mathematics and Statistics (including Actuarial Science) graduates are employed with a graduate position and/or undertaking further study.  Our graduates go on to work for companies such as Swiss Re, Standard Life, Towers Watson, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Capital, Scottish Widows, Ernst & Young and many more.  Graduates are employed locally in Edinburgh, London and throughout the world. 

Watch a video

Visit our YouTube channel to watch short videos from our students and graduates, and see an example of a lecture at Heriot-Watt.

Student Actuarial Society

Heriot-Watt has a very active Students' Actuarial Society which won several awards at a recent Heriot-Watt 'Oscars' ceremony. This body is completely managed, enthusiastically and professionally, by our students.

 
 

Programme content

Year 1

Introduction to Statistical Science; Calculus; Algebra; Professional Development Planning; Finance; Economics and practical work.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:29%
  • Independent study:71%
  • Placement:0%

Assessment

  • Written:56%
  • Practical:0%
  • Coursework:44%
Year 2

Probability and Statistics; Actuarial and Financial Mathematics; Linear Algebra; Real Analysis; Multivariate Calculus; Introduction to Numerical Methods and practical work.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:30%
  • Independent study:70%
  • Placement:0%

Assessment

  • Written:83%
  • Practical:0%
  • Coursework:17%
Year 3

Financial Mathematics; Survival Models; Portfolio Theory; Life Insurance Mathematics; Applied Statistics;Stochastic Processes and a project.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:30%
  • Independent study:70%
  • Placement:0%

Assessment

  • Written:72%
  • Practical:0%
  • Coursework:28%
Year 4

Risk Theory; Financial Risk Management; Pension Funds; Life Office Practice; Financial Economics; Further Stochastic Processes; Bayesian Inference and other statistical topics.

More in-depth information on the content of the courses listed above, how they are assessed and the learning outcomes can be accessed via our current student portal.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:30%
  • Independent study:70%
  • Placement:0%

Assessment

  • Written:88%
  • Practical:0%
  • Coursework:12%

Employability

85%
In professional/managerial position

Work and study

This is what our BScActuarial Science students are doing six months after graduating:

  • 75% are working
  • 5% are studying
  • 20% are working and studying.

Managerial/professional position

  • 85% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.

Salary

  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £22000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar programme: £21000

Jobs

These are the most common jobs students go into six months after graduating:

  • Business, research and administrative professionals 
  • Business and public service associate professionals 
  • Administrative occupations 
  • Information technology and telecommunications professionals 
  • Sales occupations 
  • Elementary occupations

Entry requirements

Year 1

  • Highers AAAB including Mathematics at A
  • A-Levels ABB including Mathematics at A
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points with higher level Mathematics at 6

Year 2

  • A-Levels AAB including Mathematics at A
  • Advanced Highers ABB Including Mathematics at A plus excellent Highers or Scottish Baccalaureate
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points with higher level Mathematics at 7
  • Additional information To find out about the difference between the 3 and 4 year honours programmes, please read our leaflet to help you decide which route is best for your qualifications and experience so far.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2016 entry (by residency status)
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£13,500

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree programmes in 2016

In addition to government maintenance loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships