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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 Technical 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.

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:
-Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the key skills required by a trainee actuary, including data collection methods, statistical method development, analysis of statistical output.
-Model real-world problems in using the appropriate framework and on that basis, make forecasts and analyse risk
-Demonstrate strong proficiency in appropriate computational methods
-Use the language of logic to reason correctly and make deductions
-Approach problems in an analytical, precise and rigorous way
-Give oral presentations of technical material at a level appropriate for the audience
- Prepare written reports on technical subjects in statistics, actuarial science, and finance in clear and precise language

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

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.

- 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.


1 year full-time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Tel: +353 (0)1 716 2452

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Option
Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics I

Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics II

Actuarial Statistics I

Actuarial Mathematics 1

Actuarial Mathematics 2

Survival Models

Ethics, Professionalism, Risk and Regulation

Actuarial Risk Management II

Actuarial Risk Management III

Actuarial Risk Management IV

Actuarial Reporting I

Actuarial Reporting II

Actuarial Dissertation I

Stat. Methods for Actuaries

Actuarial Dissertation II

Probability & Statistics

Stochastic Models

Actuarial Dissertation III

Financial & Actuarial Maths I

Financial & Actuarial Maths II

Actuarial Dissertation IV


Professional Accreditation
The MSc Actuarial Science offers potential exemptions from the Core Technical subjects 1 to 8 (CT1-8) of the examinations of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (UK). If you have prior actuarial exemptions you may choose to study all or part of the syllabus for examination Core Applications 1 (CA1) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK).** The programme is therefore suitable for students with no prior exemptions and for students who wish to add to any exemptions they already have.

** No exemptions are offered from the examinations of the Institute and Faulty of Actuaries in respect of CA1.

Application date

Deadline Rolling *

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

UCD's graduate taught courses can be applied for online. With some exceptions, courses open for application on 1 October each year and generally remain open to applications until all places are filled. Some courses have specific closing dates please check with your course co-ordinator for more details.

Course fee

MSc Actuarial Science (F034) Full Time
EU fee per year - €12500
Non EU fee per year - €21800

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!