The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date


MACS Postgraduate Scholarship

Some scholarships of £3,500 will be awarded to outstanding applicants to our MSc in Actuarial Science. Find out more.


The programme is designed to kick-start your career as an actuary, preparing you to take a leading role in managing risk in financial institutions worldwide.  Ranked top job in 2015 (as reported by TIME Magazine), actuaries are in high demand in light of the need for sound decision making in the ever-changing financial markets.  The rewards in terms of job satisfaction and earning potential make this an excellent career choice.

Reputation for Excellence

Established in 1972, we were the first UK university to introduce a dedicated programme in Actuarial Science, and have since evolved to become highly renowned as a world-leading centre in actuarial and financial teaching and research.

Our Expertise

Our expert staff, many of whom are qualified actuaries, will guide and support you throughout your studies.  You will benefit from their extensive business knowledge and research expertise, whilst gaining hands-on experience of solving real-life financial problems through interactive lectures, tutorial sessions and practical coursework. The MSc summer project gives you the opportunity to explore in greater depth the hot topics currently facing business, such as Solvency II and pensions autoenrolment.  Our close links to industry through the Scottish Financial Risk Academy also creates the potential for undertaking a summer placement within Edinburgh's thriving financial sector.

Highly Rated

We have an excellent record of preparing students for successful careers - recent statistics show that around 90% of our postgraduate students were either in full-time employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.  Our students consistently rate us highly - the Sunday Times University Guide 2013 named us "UK University of the Year for Student Experience" as well as "Scottish University of the Year" for the second year running.

Students' Actuarial Society

We are very proud of our award-winning Students' Actuarial Society which is entirely managed, enthusiastically and professionally, by our students.  As well as arranging a series of topical presentations by industry professionals, and popular social events, the Society's highly anticipated Annual Actuarial Conference attracts speakers and attendees from around the world.

Programme duration

The MSc programme is taught over 12-months and covers the CT1-CT8 professional syllabus, examined over 2 semesters, followed by a 3-month summer project.

For those students who wish to gain exemptions from CT1 to CT8 without undertaking the MSc project, it is also possible to enrol on the 9-month PG Diploma.

It is also possible to study part-time, over a maximum of 4 years.  This option is available to students who do not require a visa to study in the UK.  Please contact us if you would like more information.

Professional recognition

The programme is fully accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, offering a valuable opportunity to gain exemptions from the Core Technical (CT1-CT8) examinations

Watch a video

Visit our YouTube channel to see videos from our students and graduates, as well as an example of a lecture in Life Insurance Mathematics.


The programme is fully accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, offering a valuable opportunity to gain exemptions from the Core Technical (CT1-CT8) examinations.

Course content

   Detailed course guide

There are 12 courses available which correspond in total to CT1-CT8 of the actuarial professional syllabus.  To meet university award requirements you must pass at least 8 of the 12 listed below.  To achieve exemption from all of CT1-CT8 you must pass all 12 courses.

Course Professional Subject Semester
Financial Mathematics CT1 1
Finance and Financial Reporting CT2 1
Economics CT7 1
Statistical Methods CT3 1
Life Insurance Maths 1& 2 CT5 1 & 2
Stochastic Modelling/Survival Models CT4 1 & 2
Risk Theory/Time Series Analysis CT6 2
Financial Economics  1 & 2 CT8 2

For more detailed course descriptions, please visit our current student website.