Admissions Officer (MACS)
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If you want to start your career with a year's work experience in hand, then you should consider this course. It combines the rigorous studies of the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science with a year-long work placement in level 4. The work placement gives you experience of working in an organisation such as a life insurance company, a pension consultancy, an investment management firm or a bank. The Diploma in Industrial Training is gained through successful completion of this work placement. The work placement helps you to develop specific work-related skills, giving you the opportunity to apply and build upon the theory you learn in your studies. It allows you to take on real responsibilities, enhance your interpersonal skills through teamwork and communication and experience workplace culture.
The Diploma is available to all students, including those from overseas, as it does not require a work visa. If you are planning to come to the UK using a student visa you should check the Tier 4 Student Visa Policy Guidance to confirm you are permitted to undertake a work placement as part of your studies. It is your responsibility to find a suitable work placement; acceptance onto the course does not guarantee you a placement. If you are registered on the course and are unable to find a suitable work placement before the end of level 3 then you can transfer to the standard BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science degree. Organisations that recent students have secured placements with include Prudential, Aegon and Mercer.
Teaching excellence and student satisfaction
92% of our 2018 graduates reported in the National Student Survey that they were satisfied overall with their course.
2019/20: Our BSc in Actuarial Science and Diploma in Industrial Training is fully accredited for IFoA subjects CS1 and 2, CM1 and 2 and CB1 and 2.
The degree is accredited by the Royal Statistical Society.
Center of Actuarial Excellence
Heriot-Watt University is recognised as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), North America. We are the only Center of Actuarial Excellence in Europe and one of only 30 other schools worldwide with this designation. With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world's largest actuarial professional organisation with more than 28,000 actuaries as members.
Industry Prize Sponsors
A number of annual prizes, sponsored by employers, for overall student performance in each year, are available to our Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics students. These include:
Standard Life Prize
- Worshipful Company of Actuaries Prize
- Scottish Widows Prize
- Longevitas Prize for Survival Models
- IMA Prize
A range of external speakers from industry present to our students throughout the year. These talks are organised by academics within the Department, who have close links to the actuarial profession and the financial sector. Recent participants have included Standard Life, Munich Re, Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group and Hymans Robertson. The talks allow students to learn first-hand about what they can expect in their work in the future. They also raise awareness of graduate and internship roles available within these companies.
Students will have many opportunities to develop their skills in specialist mathematical and statistical software throughout their degree to solve real-world problems, learn programming and mathematical modelling skills and handle large, complex data sets. This software includes:
Practical, computer-based project work is an integral part of many of our courses, to help students prepare for the modern workplace.
Students' Actuarial Society (SAS)
With over 250 members, our Students' Actuarial Society (SAS) is one of the largest societies dedicated to actuarial studies in the UK. SAS holds an Annual Actuarial Conference which brings together students and financial sector professionals, including many qualified actuaries, providing presentations and debates on topical actuarial issues. Last year's conference was attended by over 200 delegates, and included sessions on insurance investment strategy, insurance of terrorism risk, risk management in climate change, and the rising profile of pensions. The conference is also sponsored by the Scottish Board of the IFoA, which presents prizes for the best questions asked by student attendees.