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The course

UCAS code
GG13
Duration
Up to 4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Contact

Overview

Our Actuarial Science degree is ideal if you’re interested in maths and looking for a course that offers a rewarding career – both intellectually and financially. As 30% of teaching staff are qualified actuaries, this degree also offers current teaching that’s always applicable to the real workplace and current economy. There are also opportunities for industry placements and an exchange year in Canada or Australia.

Results from the latest Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey show that 85% of our Mathematics and Statistics (including Actuarial Science) graduates are employed with a graduate position, or continuing further studies.

Student satisfaction

95% of our 2017 graduates reported in the National Student Survey that they were satisfied overall with their Actuarial degree.

Accreditation

Our Actuarial Science degree is one of only a few to be accredited by the UK actuarial profession. A good performance can mean exemptions from a number of professional examinations too, giving you an advantage over students on other mathematics courses.

Graduates who go on to qualify as actuaries with the Society of Actuaries in North America can get credit from some of the SOA examinations on the basis of exemptions from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IfoA) examinations. 

Center of ACtuarial ExcellenceHeriot-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 organization with more than 28,000 actuaries as members.

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. With over 250 members, it is one of the largest societies dedicated to actuarial studies in the UK. Regular conferences, professional development and networking events with leading actuaries keep students up-to-date with the profession and in a prime position to begin their careers.

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

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.

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.


Course content

Detailed course guide
Year 1

Introduction to Statistical Science; Calculus; Introduction to University Mathematics; Professional Development Planning; Finance; Economics, Professional Development Planning 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

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

Employability

Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science students are doing six months after graduating:

  • 85% are working
  • 0% 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: £23000

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
  • Elementary 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 2018 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £14,200

* 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).

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.