Heriot-Watt's Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics was the first of its kind in the UK and is one of the world's leading centres for teaching and research in these areas.
Thirty per cent of our teaching staff are professionally qualified actuaries so teaching is always relevant and practical. Our BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Science is accredited by the UK Actuarial Profession, one of only a handful of courses in the UK to have this accolade. We have many experts in the fields of probability, statistics and financial mathematics, the latter of which is much in demand in banks and investment companies. The lecturers in this area are recognised across the globe for the high quality of their work.
Our courses offer the chance of an industrial placement or a year studying abroad in Canada or Australia.
Transfer between our degrees in Actuarial Science and in Financial Mathematics, and between Statistical Data Science and Mathematics, are possible up to the end of Year 2.
Actuarial Science students at Heriot-Watt can take advantage of our international campuses by taking part in an Inter-Campus Transfer. This gives you the opportunity to study at our Malaysia campus for a semester or a year, while still benefitting from the same accreditation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries as in Edinburgh, with the chance to gain the same professional exemptions.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment is by examination and some project work based on practical statistical, financial and actuarial problems solved in the computer labs.
Professional recognition and exemptions
The Actuarial Science degree is fully accredited by the UK actuarial profession and offers potential exemptions from core technical subjects 1-8 of the professional examinations of the Faculty and the Institute of Actuaries.
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
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.