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BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science

Develop mathematical models to manage the financial impact of risk and uncertainty

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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Successful actuaries use mathematical skill and business acumen to solve financial problems related to risk and uncertainty.

This degree combines the expertise of the York Management School and the Department of Mathematics, giving you access to world-class academics at the cutting edge of research in their fields.

You'll sharpen your mathematical skills and statistical reasoning, using advanced calculus, algebra, probability and statistics. In parallel you'll study economics, finance and accounting, developing your understanding of the wider context of actuarial work.

On successfully completing this course, you will be a multi-faceted and highly employable graduate with the financial and business skills required to qualify as a professional actuary.

This course is available as a four-year degree including a year in industry: Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry (BSc)


This course is professionally accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Our graduates can claim exemption from core professional exams CT1-CT8 and CAA modules 0-4.

I'm so happy that I chose York to pursue my ambition of becoming an actuary. My first year has been amazing with fantastic quality teaching, interesting modules, inspiring lecturers and excellent careers advice.
Rhiannon, BSc Actuarial Science

World-leading research

Our modules are taught by leading researchers in the field.

Bespoke employability training

Our dedicated support team will help you present yourself at your best for the next step of your career.

Course content

This course will equip you with knowledge and understanding of the concepts, theories and models of actuarial science.

You'll study mathematical concepts such as probability theory and statistics, as well as business economics, accounting and corporate finance.

You'll learn to use data to model uncertain future events and improve your analytical skills through rigorous mathematical reasoning.

Study abroad

Summer abroad

Immerse yourself in another culture for a few weeks or the whole summer on a short course, volunteering programme, or career-related summer school.

Year 1

Year 1 covers skills and knowledge which you'll use and build on throughout your degree. You'll learn about some key financial and economic concepts and develop your core mathematical skills.

Autumn modules

Financial Accounting will enable you to prepare and interpret financial statements and consider how these may be used in practice.

Mathematics for the Sciences I will consolidate and broaden your A level maths skills. You'll study algebra, differential calculus, integral calculus, differential equations and probability.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics explores the mathematical underpinning of today's data-driven society. You'll cover a range of techniques and theories providing a solid foundation for further study.

Spring/Summer modules

Mathematics for the Sciences II further strengthens your fundamental skills, in preparation for advanced mathematics modules later in your degree.

Business Economics covers economic principles as applied to the business environment. You'll study micro and macro economics, and the way in which these concepts improve our understanding of markets.

Finance and Financial Analysis introduces you to the sources of finance available to companies to fund their operations. You'll analyse and interpret financial statements and discuss their limitations.

Management Accounting will introduce you to the key concepts underpinning management accounting. You'll learn about the tools managers use to inform financial decisions, and how they are used in practice.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In your second year you'll continue to develop your mathematical skills in probability and statistics. We'll introduce you to some key actuarial concepts and a variety of actuarial modelling techniques.

Core modules

Corporate Finance explores how firms manage financial resources to achieve their objectives. You'll investigate financial theory and analyse the impact of financial practice.

Introduction to Actuarial Science will teach you about core concepts such as commonly-used financial instruments, investment project appraisal, compound interest and discounting and the time value of money.

Actuarial Modelling covers fundamental actuarial models for real-world risks, including survival models for lifetimes, compound models for insurance losses and models for reserving against future claims.

Portfolio and Investment Theory introduces mathematical frameworks for minimising investment risk. You'll learn to quantify risk using a variety of measures and to use portfolio selection and diversification techniques.

Probability & Statistics will equip you with a thorough grounding in statistical methodology, an awareness of the scope, achievements and possibilities of using statistics, and confidence in the use of appropriate statistical and computational tools, techniques and methodologies for solving and analysing a range of practical problems.

Optional modules

You'll also choose one of the following options:

Financial Reporting and Intermediate Management Accounting cover some of the problems and techniques associated with creating financial statements and developing accounting information systems.

Strategic Management explores the theories and practical approaches to strategic management. You'll focus on how organisations develop strategy and manage change in the context of a globalised economy.

Governance and Audit will introduce you to auditing, corporate governance and accountability processes.

You can also choose to add a placement in industry before your final year.

Year 3

In your final year you'll learn advanced methods of statistical analysis and explore more sophisticated mathematical approaches to modeling financial and actuarial processes. You'll also choose an optional module to ground your actuarial knowledge in a management context.

Core modules

Mathematical Finance I presents classical mathematical approaches to portfolio selection and asset pricing in discrete time.

Stochastic Processes covers a range of models and techniques that are used to describe random phenomena in the real world, and make predictions of future outcomes.

Stochastic Calculus is used to analyse the behaviour of stochastic processes. You'll explore the concepts of martingales and Brownian motion, delve into stochastic differentials and learn to apply Itô's lemma.

Generalised Linear Models introduces a powerful class of models which are widely used in practice to model relationships between diverse response and explanatory variables.

Decision Theory and Bayesian Analysis explores axiomatic approaches to utility, expected utility, and subjective expected utility. You'll use these approaches to formulate optimal decisions in the face of risk and uncertainty.

Mathematical Finance II applies some of the concepts covered in the Autumn term to the pricing and hedging of derivative securities.

Contingencies discusses mathematical techniques which can be used to model and value cash flows dependent on death, survival, and other risks.

Time Series introduces you to a variety of statistical models and analyses used to extract meaningful inferences from time series data.

Optional modules

Choose one of the following options:

Managing and Leading Change deconstructs the concept of change as it relates to management areas such as organisational behaviour, strategy and operations. You'll develop deeper and more challenging ways of understanding and critically evaluating organisational change.

Corporate Governance and Social Accountability examines corporate governance from a number of theoretical perspectives. You'll analyse the role of the corporation in modern society, critique the nature and process of socially responsible management, and evaluate the effectiveness of accountability structures.

Strategic Management of Risk will develop your understanding of the strategic role of risk management. You'll learn about the organisational and cultural aspects of risk perception, communication and assessment, and critically evaluate key approaches to the management of risk in a global context.

Company Law looks at some principles of English law which have an impact on business. You'll be introduced to the English legal system, consider different legal structures which business organisations can adopt, and examine aspects of employment law, contract law and negligence.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Formulate mathematical models to describe actuarial and financial risks, apply these models to problems in the real world and reflect critically on model assumptions and limitations.
  • Deploy the methods of logical reasoning and the techniques of mathematical problem solving to analyse the properties and consequences of models.
  • Apply economic, financial and accounting knowledge in an actuarial context to develop modelling solutions that are informed by financial theory and reflect business realities.
  • Use the techniques of mathematical statistics to draw inferences from the application of actuarial models to data and quantify the uncertainty in these inferences.
  • Apply advanced data-analytical, computational and programming skills to the implementation of actuarial and financial models.
  • Communicate the results and insights of actuarial analyses to stakeholders with differing levels of quantitative expertise.
  • Operate in the professional arena by maintaining awareness of key ethical and legal issues, continuing to deepen and expand their knowledge and recognising how actuarial practice impacts on stakeholders and society.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

Additional costs

You may find it useful to buy textbooks, and for some modules this may be required. Textbooks usually cost around £30 - £60 each.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Our modules are taught by leading academics from the Department of Mathematics and the York Management School. We use a wide range of teaching methods to suit different learning styles, including:

  • Lectures
  • Small-group seminars
  • Problem classes
  • Activity-based workshops
  • Directed independent study
  • Group projects
  • Individual projects

This course has a strong practical focus, allowing you to apply and develop your skills. Our courses are designed to encourage you to take responsibility for your own learning and development, but with all the support you need available from our academics.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars276 hours
240 hours
264 hours
Independent study924 hours
960 hours
936 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Management School on Campus East. Your teaching will take place in various locations around Campus East and Campus West.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed largely by closed examination, alongside a mixture of weekly problem sets, essays and projects.

In your second and final years you will have some scope to choose forms of assessment that you prefer through selection of optional modules. However, this course puts greater emphasis on examinations due to the requirements of accreditation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams88%97%97%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

I have really enjoyed my first year on the Actuarial Science course. York Management School is a great place to learn and have time to enjoy yourself which was made possible with the support, whether academic or personal, offered throughout the year.
Charles, BSc Actuarial Science

Careers and skills

This course provides a combination of high-level mathematical skills and cutting edge financial and business theory which is sought after by employers all over the world.

You'll be equipped to engage in high-level mathematical reasoning and open-ended problem solving, with analytical skills applicable to a wide range of management problems.

Career opportunities

Actuarial science graduates work in a wide range of roles related to finance, investment, risk, pensions and insurance. Many progress to actuarial trainee positions at firms such as Mercer, Tower and Watson, Deloitte and PwC.

Transferable skills

  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Numeracy and data analysis
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Time management
  • Communication, presentation and reporting to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

AAA including A in Mathematics

Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 in three principal subjects, including Mathematics
European Baccalaureate 80% average, including 85% in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate 36 points, including HL6 in Mathematics
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H3, including H2 in Mathematics
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB, including A in Mathematics

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • Pearson 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015) 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
  • TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III Merit in all components


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

If you have faced obstacles to higher education, or you are returning to education after a long absence, you may benefit from the York Access Scheme.

Next steps

Contact us

Contact our admissions team if you have any questions

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