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Actuarial Mathematics BSc (Full time) 2017 start

Course information for 2018 start

  • Overview

    The Actuarial Mathematics programme is designed to prepare you for a career as an actuary, combining financial and actuarial mathematics with statistical techniques and business topics.

    Actuaries use mathematical, statistical, financial and economic theory to solve real business problems, typically involving risk, uncertainty and the financial impact of undesirable events. There is an increasing demand for actuaries in both the private and public sector, working within a variety of areas such as banking, investment management, consultancy, manufacturing, transport, insurance and pensions.

    You will be taught jointly by the School of Mathematics and Leeds University Business School. The programme covers most of the content of The Actuarial Profession’s (Institute/Faculty of Actuaries) core technical subjects CT 1-8. On graduation, you will be able to apply for exemptions from some of The Actuarial Profession’s exams.

    Enhancing your degree

    This course is available with either the Industrial Placement or the Study Abroad scheme as a 4 year degree.

    In 2015, the School of Mathematics went through a major refurbishment to provide our students with a variety of new study environments. The School of Mathematics now has social areas, group study areas, a library and seminar room which encourages student interaction, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.

    See what the School looks like and hear about it from students in this series of short videos

  • Course content

    This course provides detailed knowledge and understanding of the mathematical and statistical tools relevant to all areas of financial and actuarial mathematics, including stochastic processes, statistics of insurance, survival and risk theory, as well as the mathematical theories underlying these areas. You will 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.

    In the first year of the course you will study key topics in mathematics, finance, economics and accounting, including probability, statistics, and the mathematics of financial and insurance markets. In the second year there are core modules in financial mathematics, statistical methods, and business finance. In the final year there are further core modules in actuarial mathematics, financial modelling and statistics, and a wide range of optional modules in mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Introductory Financial Accounting 10 credits
    • Introductory Management Accounting 10 credits
    • Economic Theory and Applications 1 20 credits
    • Calculus and Mathematical Analysis 10 credits
    • Numbers and Vectors 10 credits
    • Linear Algebra with Applications 15 credits
    • Modelling with Differential Equations 10 credits
    • Financial Mathematics 1 15 credits
    • Probability and Statistics I 10 credits
    • Probability and Statistics II 10 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Intermediate Microeconomics 10 credits
    • Intermediate Financial Accounting 20 credits
    • Intermediate Macroeconomics 10 credits
    • Financial Mathematics 2 10 credits
    • Financial Mathematics 3 10 credits
    • Statistical Methods 10 credits
    • Introduction to Markov Processes 10 credits
    • Survival Analysis 10 credits

    Optional modules

    • Real Analysis 15 credits
    • Further Linear Algebra 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics with Computation 15 credits
    • Vector Calculus 15 credits
    • Nonlinear Differential Equations 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis with Computation 15 credits
    • Introduction to Optimisation 10 credits
    • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
    • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
    • Maths at Work 10 credits
    • Computational Mathematics 10 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Project in Mathematics 20 credits
    • Actuarial Mathematics 1 15 credits
    • Actuarial Mathematics 2 15 credits
    • Stochastic Financial Modelling 15 credits
    • Time Series 10 credits

    Optional modules

    • Introduction to Clinical Trials 15 credits
    • Intermediate Management Accounting 20 credits
    • Advanced Microeconomics 10 credits
    • International Banking and Finance 10 credits
    • Transnational Corporations in the World Economy 10 credits
    • Economic Development 20 credits
    • Economics of Famines 20 credits
    • Environmental Economics 10 credits
    • Public Enterprise and Regulation 10 credits
    • Advanced Macroeconomics 10 credits
    • Auditing and Information Systems 10 credits
    • Auditing and Assurance Services 20 credits
    • Advanced Accounting Theory 20 credits
    • Principles of Taxation 20 credits
    • The Economics of Unions 10 credits
    • Corporate Governance 10 credits
    • Economics of Business and Corporate Strategy 20 credits
    • Real Analysis 15 credits
    • Further Linear Algebra 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics with Computation 15 credits
    • Vector Calculus 15 credits
    • Linear Differential Equations and Transforms 15 credits
    • Nonlinear Differential Equations 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis with Computation 15 credits
    • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
    • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
    • Computational Mathematics 10 credits
    • Analytic Solutions of Partial Differential Equations 15 credits
    • Numerical Methods 10 credits
    • Modern Numerical Methods 15 credits
    • Linear Regression and Robustness 15 credits
    • Statistical Theory 15 credits
    • Multivariate Analysis 10 credits
    • Bayesian Statistics 10 credits
    • Generalised Linear Models 10 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Actuarial Mathematics BSc in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    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.

    Read more about teaching and assessment on the School website.


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

    Read more about teaching and assessment on the School website.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAA - A*AB including mathematics

    AAB or A*BB, including further mathematics.

    AAB or A*BB, PLUS grade A in AS-level further mathematics.

    We always require at least grade A in A-level mathematics. If you are taking further mathematics at A-level or AS-level, we usually make an additional alternative offer. In all cases, the first grade quoted is the Mathematics A-level.

    We don’t accept general studies or critical thinking but may take account of these at the confirmation stage.

    Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

    GCSE: You must also have GCSE english at grade C or above (or equivalent).

    • Access to HE Diploma

      Normally only acceptable 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

      Either D3/M1/M1 or D2/M1/M2. If further mathematics is being taken we ask for D3/M1/M2 or D2/M2/M2. In all cases, the first grade quoted is in mathematics.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 points overall (17 at higher level including 6 points in Mathematics).

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      Grades AAAAAB at Higher Level overall (including grade A1 in Mathematics).

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though mathematics must be presented at Advanced Higher level. A typical offer is AAAAB including grade A in Advanced Higher Mathematics.

    • Welsh Baccalaureate

      Where students are offering three A-levels plus the Welsh Baccalaureate, they will receive an alternative offer of Grades AAB or A*BB in three A-levels (the first grade quoted is A-level mathematics) PLUS a C grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Core Certificate.

    • 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 on the School Foundation year programmes page.

    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 an alternative 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 alternative admissions.


    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Read our overseas entry requirements.

    Foundation year

    If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

    - University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

    - Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

    - Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

    If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    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 component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £16,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2018 will be confirmed in September 2017.

    The fee is likely to increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

    The UK government has also confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Additional cost information

    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 about additional costs

    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.

  • Career opportunities

    An actuarial mathematics degree can take you down many career paths into some of the highest paid and most satisfying roles in employment.

    Traditionally, actuaries have been employed in the insurance and pensions industry, but there is increasing demand for their analytical skills in other parts of the private and public sector, for example, financial services such as banking and investment management, consultancy, manufacturing, transport, and energy.

    We offer the opportunity for you to be in full-time employment in year three of the programme through our industrial placement scheme. Most employers look favourably upon a year spent in industry when you are looking to secure a graduate role. Click here to read more about some of the companies our students completed their industrial placement with. This academic year a new module was introduced for second year students, called 'Maths at Work'. The module focuses on improving skills used in a work environment. This is done through a group project, which involves team work, communication and presentation skills. Also, throughout the course, employers and careers advisers deliver talks.

    We take your employment prospects seriously. Read more about how the School and the University help you with employability. We can even help you to start your own business through our Enterprise Scholars scheme.

    Careers support

    Throughout your degree course we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience required to make the most of your career choices. We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    You can get some great work experience which can be featured on your CV via our Industrial Placement scheme or by securing a part-time job through the Student Union's Joblink. You could also look at the volunteering opportunities available through the Student Union which will help you in your personal development.

    All of these opportunities can really help you stand out from the crowd.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Study abroad

    On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

    Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

    The Study Abroad scheme offers you the opportunity to spend your third year at a host institution overseas, returning to complete your degree after four years. Spending a year, living and studying in another country, is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories, together with the development of practical language skills and new contacts. These are benefits you will draw upon in your business and personal life for years to come.

    Work placements

    Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

    Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

    The Year in Industry scheme gives you the opportunity to spend your third year working for a company, returning to complete your degree after four years. The extra experience you will gain from a year in industry will go a long way to boosting your self confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. Employers love the fact that graduates already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews when you are competing with other graduates.

    During your year in industry you will have an industrial supervisor who will be someone employed in your chosen company, plus an academic supervisor from the School of Mathematics who will keep in touch, visit you at work, and take responsibility for your progress.

    Please note that placements must be obtained through a job application process.

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