Mathematics & Statistics - Actuarial Science

The programme provides a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, economics and finance for future actuarial studies.

• Designed specifically for those seeking to enter the actuarial profession.
• Fully accredited by the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (UK)
• Students who perform well in the programme may obtain block exemptions from the Core Technical examinations of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (UK).
• Paid research placements for some students with actuarial companies (subject to successful selection process)

MSc Actuarial Science won the Science Postgraduate Course of the Year at the gradireland Higher Education Awards in 2016.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSc Actuarial Science (MSc Act. Sci.) is designed for students from quantitative disciplines who ultimately wish to train as an actuary upon completion of the programme. The MSc can help fast-track your career as an actuary by supporting you through the initial examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK).

Course Description
The programme provides a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, economics and finance for future actuarial studies. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation in a topical area of actuarial science under the supervision of a member of the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics. The dissertation will allow you to develop an understanding of how the theory and principles covered in the Core Subjects are applied in practice. Some students will have an opportunity to avail of paid research placements with actuarial companies as a means of completing their thesis (interviews with the relevant companies will be required). The programme is suitable for students with no prior exemptions and for students who wish to add to any exemptions they already have. In addition you may also be able to take advanced courses in finance at the world class UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. You can learn more about the MSc Actuarial Science by watching Dr Adrian O'Hagan's Google Hangout on Air on UCD Graduate Courses in Actuarial Science.

Vision & Values Statement
This programme is aimed at students from numerate disciplines who ultimately wish to train as an actuary upon completion of the programme. Students will be supported through the initial examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK), thereby placing the graduates on a fast track to a career as a qualified actuary. Our students will be in demand by employers in the pensions and insurance industries, but also in financial services more generally. They will be well positioned to transition to careers in data analytics, financial engineering, stock and options trading and fund management if they so desire, such is the extent of the transferable skills conferred by their programme of study.

Our students will be able to use the tools they have learned to explain, describe and predict complex financial trends and manage risk accordingly. We aim to provide a teaching and learning environment that develops confidence and independence through a wide variety of interactive formats, both inside and outside the classroom, in industrial and academic settings. In addition to traditional terminal written examinations, the programme includes individual continuous assessment and group assignments involving oral and written presentation, improving the communication skills of students for their future careers. Several subjects will feature software-based analysis and develop computer-programming skills in languages such as R and Excel that will position students well in the new age of analytically driven decision making in insurance and finance.

In addition to the core actuarial subjects that predominantly make up the MSc Actuarial Science programme of study, students will additionally have access to relevant subjects from the wider discipline of statistics and actuarial science where appropriate, broadening their education to meet the growing demands of big data that are set to shape the actuarial landscape in the years ahead. They will also be provided with CV preparation and interview skills workshops in cooperation with UCD Careers in preparation for transition to the professional workplace environment.

MSc Actuarial Science students will have the opportunity to complete a research thesis in the third semester of their course, a clear differentiating feature versus the Graduate Diploma Actuarial Science. This will be undertaken either as a research project implementing material from their academic courses in a focussed piece of actuarial or financial research; or as a research placement in collaboration with an actuarial or financial company. The latter option allows students who are successful in securing a research placement position to enhance their subsequent employability prospects via their workplace experience; the former option provides students with the capacity to demonstrate their ability to approach a complex, long-term task in a systematic manner and successfully tackle it using material mastered in the classroom.

Programme Outcomes
Approach problems in an analytical, precise and rigorous way

Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the key skills required by a trainee actuary, including data collection methods, statistical method development, analysis of statistical output.

Demonstrate strong proficiency in appropriate computational methods

Give oral presentations of technical material at a level appropriate for the audience

Model real-world problems in using the appropriate framework and on that basis, make forecasts and analyse risk

Prepare written reports on technical subjects in statistics, actuarial science, and finance in clear and precise language

Use the language of logic to reason correctly and make deductions

Related Programmes
MSc Data Analytics PT
MSc Mathematics FT
MSc Statistics FT

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Option
Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics I MATH20130
Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics II MATH20210
Bayesian Analysis STAT20180
Prof & Classical Ethics STAT20190
Actuarial Statistics I STAT40020
Actuarial Mathematics 1 STAT40060
Actuarial Mathematics 2 STAT40100
Survival Models STAT40250
Actuarial Reporting I STAT40600
Actuarial Reporting II STAT40610
Actuarial Dissertation I STAT40630
Stat. Methods for Actuaries STAT40640
Actuarial Dissertation II STAT40650
Probability & Statistics STAT40660
Stochastic Models STAT40680
Actuarial Dissertation III STAT40870
Financial & Actuarial Maths I STAT40920
Financial & Actuarial Maths II STAT40930
Actuarial Dissertation IV STAT40940
Core Actuarial Principles 3 STAT40980
Core Actuarial Principles 2 STAT40990
Core Actuarial Principles 1 STAT41000

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for applicants with degree in a quantitative area such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering or economics and/or finance. An upper second class honours or international equivalent is required. Degrees in Commerce or Accounting do not generally carry sufficient mathematics and statistics content to make students eligible for the MSc in Actuarial Science.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes.

Application dates

Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.




1 year full-time.


MSc Actuarial Science (F034) Full Time
EU - fee per year: €12,955
Non EU - fee per year: €22,505

***Fees are subject to change.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
As a graduate of the MSc Actuarial Science you can look forward to a career ranging from the traditional areas of insurance and pension consultancy to the rapidly expanding areas of investment and risk management. Successful graduates can expect early responsibility in their chosen career and the opportunity to work in a variety of challenging roles. Often students who undertake summer research placement with an Actuarial company progress into full employment. Throughout your actuarial career you can rely on the support and guidance of the Actuarial Profession and upon qualification you can expect a rewarding career that will continue to offer opportunities for further development. The Actuarial Profession is a global profession with actuaries in demand in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider