Actuarial Mathematics BSc

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
NG31
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA/A*AB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Two students discussing an assignment in the maths reading room

Actuaries are strategic thinkers who use their mathematical skills to analyse the financial consequences of risk. By applying mathematical, statistical, financial and economic theory to real business problems, they measure probability and calculate the financial impact of undesirable events.

The next generation of actuaries are in demand across both the private and public sectors. In addition to the traditional insurance and pensions industry, actuarial roles are now found in other areas where uncertainty needs to be closely managed – such as banking, investment management, consultancy, manufacturing and transport. The career options available across these sectors are both varied and financially rewarding.

Studying an actuarial mathematics degree at Leeds will enable you to develop a range of core mathematical and actuarial science skills. You’ll enhance your analytical and problem-solving abilities and learn advanced skills in statistical analysis, numerical techniques and computer applications. These, along with your logical thinking and problem-solving capabilities, will mean you will not only be intellectually stimulated, you’ll also be desirable to potential employers and well-equipped to begin your career.

Here at Leeds, we understand the importance mathematics has in everyday life, which is why we have one of the largest mathematics research departments in the UK which shapes the curriculum. This will equip you with the relevant knowledge, skills and experience you need to begin your career in this highly valued specialism. This course is delivered jointly by the School of Mathematics and the Leeds University Business School, equipping you with the relevant knowledge, skills and experience you need to begin your career in finance.

Why study at Leeds:

  • The programme covers much of the first-level exams for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, enabling you to take steps towards qualifying as an actuary.
  • Our School’s globally-renowned research feeds into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking in areas such as probability and financial mathematics, modern applied statistics and analysis.
  • Learn from expert academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of mathematical areas.
  • Academic staff provide you with regular feedback and advice throughout your degree, with small tutorial groups supporting the teaching in the first year.
  • Access excellent facilities and computing equipment, complemented by social areas, communal problem-solving spaces and quiet study rooms.
  • Broaden your experience and enhance your career prospects with our industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
  • Our Actuarial Mathematics BSc and Financial Mathematics BSc degrees share a common first year, allowing you to move from one programme to the other until the end of your first year.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society MathSoc where you can meet more of your peers, enjoy social events and join the MathSoc football or netball team.

View this video on YouKu.

Accreditation

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

The School of Mathematics at Leeds has a successful history of delivering courses accredited by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA). This means our mathematics courses have consistently met the quality standards set by the RSS and the IFoA.

As we are reviewing our curriculum, we are working with the accrediting bodies to retain our accreditation.

Course details

This course will give you in-depth knowledge of the mathematical and statistical tools used by actuarial professionals. These include financial account and reporting, stochastic processes, microeconomics, statistics of insurance and risk theory.

You’ll gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science and develop a high level of analytical and problem-solving skills in statistical analysis, numerical techniques and computer applications.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Course Structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Actuarial Mathematics BSc in the course catalogue.

Year 1

In the first year, you’ll study key topics in mathematics, finance, economics and accounting. You’ll gain a solid foundation in actuarial mathematics, on which you’ll build more specialist knowledge in subsequent years. In particular topics in mathematics will include calculus, linear algebra, modelling, statistics and probability.

Compulsory modules

Core Mathematics – 40 credits

You’ll learn the foundational concepts of function, number and proof, equipping you with the language and skills to tackle your mathematical studies. The module also consolidates basic calculus, extending it to more advanced techniques, such as functions of several variables. These techniques lead to methods for solving ordinary differential equations. Linear algebra provides a basis for wide areas of mathematics and this module provides the essential foundation.

Probability and Statistics – 20 credits

'Probability is basically common sense reduced to calculation; it makes us appreciate with exactitude what reasonable minds feel by a sort of instinct.' So said Laplace. In the modern scientific and technological world, it is even more important to understand probabilistic and statistical arguments. This module will introduce you to key ideas in both areas, with probability forming the theoretical basis for statistical tests and inference.

Computational Mathematics and Modelling – 20 credits

You'll be introduced to computational techniques, algorithms and numerical solutions, as well as the mathematics of discrete systems. You'll learn basic programming using the language Python and apply computational techniques to the solution of mathematical problems.

Introductory Financial Accounting – 10 credits

You’ll cover the basic concepts of financial accounting and interpretation of financial statements in a business context. You’ll also gain an insight into how financial information is used and reported in business, learning how to recognise and explain how financial transactions are recorded in the context of the current technical standards, language and practices of accounting.

Introductory Management Accounting – 10 credits

This module gives you a broad introduction to management accounting as a discipline and the commercial use of management accounting information. You’ll learn the fundamental concepts and techniques of management accounting and the role it plays in planning, decision making and control within organisations. You’ll also gain an understanding of how to apply these techniques to making a variety of business decisions and performance evaluation.

Economic Theory and Applications for Finance – 20 credits

You’ll assess the concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics and explore the application of these theories to issues and problems of consumption, production, exchange as well as output, employment, inflation and investment and finance.

Year 2

In the second year, you’ll study core modules in financial mathematics, statistical methods, business finance and further economics. At this stage, you’ll be also able to choose some optional modules. Typical topics covered at this level include financial risk, statistical modelling, macro and microeconomics and financial accounting.

Compulsory modules

Statistical Methods – 20 credits

Statistical models are important in many applications. They contain two main elements: a set of parameters with information of scientific interest and an "error distribution" representing random variation. This module lays the foundations for the analysis of such models. We’ll use practical examples from a variety of statistical applications to illustrate the ideas.

Stochastic Processes – 10 credits

A stochastic process refers to any quantity which changes randomly in time. The capacity of a reservoir, an individual’s level of no claims discount and the size of a population are all examples from the real world. The linking model for all these examples is the Markov process. With appropriate modifications, the Markov process can be extended to model stochastic processes which change over continuous time, not just at regularly spaced time points. You’ll explore the key features of stochastic processes and develop your understanding in areas like state, space and time, the Poisson process and the Markov property.

Time Series – 10 credits

In time series, measurements are made at a succession of times, and it is the dependence between measurements taken at different times which is important. This module will concentrate on techniques for model identification, parameter estimation, diagnostic checking and forecasting within the autoregressive moving average family of models and their extensions.

Financial Mathematics – 20 credits

The module provides an introduction to diverse financial applications of mathematics. The different applications are considered within the three broad categories of risk management, insurance and financial liabilities and pricing of financial assets.

Intermediate Microeconomics – 10 credits

Explore a number of microeconomic problems and the approach that microeconomists take when attempting to solve these problems. You’ll develop insight into how mathematical modelling is used to understand problems of consumer theory and producer theory. The aim of this module is to give you a grounding in the tools, techniques, and theory of microeconomics theory and the application of microeconomics.

Financial Accounting and Reporting – 20 credits

Learn the theoretical underpinnings which drive the current regulations and corporate guidance for UK companies. In addition, you’ll cover the practical aspects of financial accounting and reporting required of companies following the International Financial Reporting Standards in the UK. You'll explore the technical accounting for a wide range of issues and build on existing technical knowledge to a standard that allows you to apply and critically evaluate the rules and principles being applied under IFRS. By the end of this module, you should be able to analyse the key aspects in a set of financial statements and be able to critically assess the accounting methods adopted.

Intermediate Macroeconomics – 10 credits

The module will consider a number of macroeconomic problems and explain the approach that macroeconomists take to tackle them. You’ll critically discuss and evaluate a range of macroeconomic models and macroeconomic concepts that are used to understand macroeconomic problems.

Optional modules

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options and some of these options may not be available, depending on other modules you have selected already.

Vector Calculus and Partial Differential Equations – 20 credits

Vector calculus is the extension of ordinary one-dimensional differential and integral calculus to higher dimensions and provides the mathematical framework for the study of a wide variety of physical systems, such as fluid mechanics and electromagnetism.

These systems give rise to partial differential equations (PDEs), which can be solved and analysed. You’ll learn to use, among others, techniques introduced in earlier modules as well as being introduced to Fourier methods for PDEs.

Further Linear Algebra and Discrete Mathematics – 20 credits

Explore the more abstract ideas of vector spaces and linear transformations, together with introducing the area of discrete mathematics.

Optimisation – 10 credits

Optimisation, “the quest for the best”, plays a major role in financial and economic theory, such as maximising a company's profits or minimising its production costs. This module develops the theory and practice of maximising or minimising a function of many variables, and thus lays a solid foundation for progression onto more advanced topics, such as dynamic optimisation, which are central to the understanding of realistic economic and financial scenarios.

Introduction to Logic – 10 credits

This module is an introduction to mathematical logic introducing formal languages that can be used to express mathematical ideas and arguments. It throws light on mathematics itself, because it can be applied to problems in philosophy, linguistics, computer science and other areas.

Investigations in Mathematics – 10 credits

You’ll be introduced to ideas and methods of mathematical research. Examples and applications will be drawn from across the spectrum of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics.

Year 3

In the final year of the course, you’ll have specialist modules in actuarial mathematics, financial modelling and advanced statistics.

Topics taught may include survival analysis, life insurance, interest rate modelling and advanced statistics applicable to actuarial science such as generalised linear models.

You’ll also undertake a substantial project, which gives you the opportunity to investigate a topic at the cutting edge of mathematics in some depth. You’ll work collaboratively with your supervisors throughout the project, who’ll be experts in your particular research area.

Compulsory modules

Project in Mathematics – 40 credits

This project is a chance for you to build invaluable research skills and develop and implement a personal training plan by conducting your own independent research project in a topic in mathematics. You’ll meet in groups to discuss the project topic, with each group member researching a specific aspect of the topic and producing an individual project report. You’ll then come together as a group to present your results, with each person contributing their own findings.

Actuarial Mathematics 1 – 20 credits

The module introduces the theory of interest rates and the time value of money in the context of financial transactions such as loans, mortgages, bonds and insurance. The module also introduces the basic theory of life insurance where policy payments are subject to mortality probabilities.

Actuarial Mathematics 2 – 20 credits

The module expands on the theory of life insurance introduced in Actuarial Mathematics 1. Instead of considering a single life and single decrement, we will consider policies with multiple lives and multiple decrements. In addition, the module includes profit testing for different types of insurance policies.

Stochastic Calculus and Derivative Pricing – 20 credits

Stochastic calculus is one of the main mathematical tools to model physical, biological and financial phenomena (among other things). This module provides a rigorous introduction to this topic. You’ll develop a solid mathematical background in stochastic calculus that will allow you to understand key results from modern mathematical finance. This knowledge will be used to derive expressions for prices of derivatives in financial markets under uncertainty.

Statistical Modelling – 20 credits

The standard linear statistical model is powerful but has limitations. In this module, we study several extensions to the linear model which overcome some of these limitations. Generalised linear models allow for different error distributions; additive models allow for nonlinear relationships between predictors and the response variable; and survival models are needed to study data where the response variable is the time taken for an event to occur.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

Learning outcomes

By the end of your degree, you’ll have a high level of understanding of the technical background required for practice as an actuary or related areas. You’ll have developed the following skills which are valued by a wide variety of employers:

  • The ability to solve complex problems.
  • Using logical thinking in theoretical and practical contexts.
  • An appreciation of economics and accountancy principles most relevant to actuarial practice.
  • The ability to use statistical models and use data to estimate parameters for these models.
  • The ability to carry out project work independently and effectively report the outcomes of your work in a variety of ways.
  • Familiarity with commonly-used software in actuarial applications.

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught through lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. You’ll enjoy extensive tutorial support and have freedom in your workload and options.

We offer a variety of welcoming spaces to study and socialise with your fellow students. There are social and group study areas, a library with a café and a seminar room, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.

Taster lectures

Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

You’re assessed through a range of methods, including formal exams and in-course assessment.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA/A*AB including a minimum of grade A in Mathematics

AAA/A*AB including a minimum of grade A in Mathematics, AAB/A*BB including a minimum of grade A in Mathematics plus Further Mathematics, or AAB/A*BB including a minimum of grade A in Mathematics, plus A in AS Further Mathematics.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: You must also have GCSE English at grade C (4) or above (or equivalent). We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Other course specific tests:

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers the EPQ, IPQ or ASCC we may make an offer of AAB/A*BB including a minimum of grade A in Mathematics, plus A in EPQ/IPQ/Welsh Bacc ASCC.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Normally only accepted in combination with grade A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent.

BTEC

BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with other qualifications, including grade A in A-level mathematics, or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U

D3 D3 M2 or D2 M1 M1 where the first grade quoted is in Mathematics OR D3 M1 M2 or D2 M2 M2 including Further Maths where the first grade quoted is Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

17 points at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Mathematics (Mathematics: Analytics and Approaches is preferred).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 including Mathematics.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though mathematics must be presented at Advanced Higher level. Typically AAAABB Including grade A in Advanced Higher Mathematics.

Other Qualifications

We also welcome applications from students on the Northern Consortium UK International Foundation Year programme, the University of Leeds International Foundation Year, and other foundation years with a high mathematical content.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB including A in Mathematics and pass Access to Leeds OR A in Mathematics, B in Further Mathematics and C in a 3rd subject and pass Access to Leeds.

Foundation years

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year.

We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you will be able to progress onto your chosen course.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one component, or IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any one component, depending on other qualifications present. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Mathematics
Leeds University Business School

Contact us

School of Mathematics Undergraduate Admissions

Email: maths.admiss@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

Mathematical skills are highly valued in virtually all walks of life, which means that the employment opportunities for mathematics graduates are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after.

Qualifying with a degree in actuarial mathematics from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations needed to pursue an exciting career. Traditionally, actuaries have been employed in the insurance and pensions industry, but there is increasing demand for their analytical skills in other areas of the private and public sector including:

  • Banking and finance
  • Asset management and investment
  • Consultancy
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Energy

The numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills you will develop, as well as your specialist subject knowledge and your ability to think logically, are highly valued by employers. This course also allows you to develop the transferable skills that employers seek.

Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent graduates have obtained:

  • Actuarial Analyst, Aon Hewitt
  • Actuarial Consultant, Barnett Waddingham
  • Corporate Tax Associate, Deloitte LLP
  • Business Analyst, Energy Alloys
  • Consultant, EY (Leeds)
  • Actuary, First Actuarial
  • Actuarial Analyst, Lockton Re
  • Actuarial Trainee, Mercer
  • Pricing Analyst, NFU Mutual
  • Junior Analyst, Osool Asset Management
  • Master Data Analyst, PPG Coatings
  • Actuarial Analyst, ReAssure
  • Trainee Management Account, Shackletons Ltd
  • Actuarial Analyst, The Co Operative Group
  • Investment Analyst, Towers Watson

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title upon completion which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • Actuarial Consultant for Pensions, Aon Plc
  • Industrial Placement Student, Deloitte LLP
  • Corporate Assistant, Moore & Smalley
  • Risk Analyst Intern, Lloyds Banking Group
  • M&A Executive, Mazars LLP

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Student profile: Jonathan Khabusi

I enjoyed the Project in Mathematics module, simply because of the tangible skills I have built like programming and research.
Find out more about Jonathan Khabusi's time at Leeds