The course

UCAS code
5G5B
Duration
Up to 4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Contact

Overview

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.

Accreditation

The School is currently in discussion with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries to secure reaccreditation and exemptions under the new Curriculum 2019 education strategy.

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.

Center of ACtuarial Excellence

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

External Speakers

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.

Facilities

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:

  • R
  • Excel
  • Matlab
  • SPSS

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.


Course content

Detailed course guide

Year 1

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

Year 2

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

Year 3

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

Year 4

12 month work placement.

Year 5

Risk Theory; Risk Management; Pension Funds; Life Office Practice; Financial Economics; Time Series; 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.

Unistats course data

Employability

Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science and Diploma in Industrial Training students are doing six months after graduating:

  • 75% are working
  • 5% are studying
  • 15% are working and studying.

Managerial/professional position

  • 90% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.

Salary

  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £29000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £25000

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
  • Information technology and telecommunications professionals
  • Administrative occupations

Entry requirements

Year 1

  • Highers AAAB including Mathematics at A
  • A-Levels AAB including Mathematics at A
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points with higher level Mathematics at 6
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) Level 3 at DDD including sufficient Mathematics

Year 2

  • A-Levels AAA including Mathematics
  • Advanced Highers AAB Including Mathematics at A plus excellent Highers or Scottish Baccalaureate
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points with higher level Mathematics at 7
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) Level 3 at DDD including sufficient Mathematics 

Additional information

  • To find out about the difference between the 3 and 4 year honours courses, please watch our video to help you decide which route is best for your qualifications and experience so far.
  • We also accept the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) at D in place of one A-Level, however it cannot replace a subject specific requirement unless relevant.
  • English language requirements - If your first language is not English, it is important that you gain an acceptable language qualification before joining our undergraduate courses. The minimum requirement for English language for all our undergraduate Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics courses is IELTS 6.5. We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your undergraduate course.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £14,640

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

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

*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

Additional fee information

BSc in Actuarial Science with Diploma in Industrial Training 

Students with Scotland or Non-UK EU fee status pay £910 for the placement year instead of the standard fees. Students with England, Northern Ireland, Wales or Overseas fee status pay £1300 for the placement year instead of the standard fees.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2018

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.