Year of entry 2024
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.
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.
We are currently reviewing our curriculum as part of a university-wide process. As a result, we are unable to publish module information for this course at this time. The information below provides an overview of what you’ll study and our approach to teaching and assessment. We will update this page as soon as the changes are confirmed. Read more in our terms and conditions.
This content was last updated on 3 April 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:
- Playing with Infinity ∞ Two Famous Infinite Series
- What Does it Mean to be Round?
- Fractals – What, How, Why?
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.
You’re assessed through a range of methods, including formal exams and in-course assessment.
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.
Access to HE Diploma
Normally only accepted in combination with grade A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent.
BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with other qualifications, including grade A in A-level mathematics, or equivalent
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.
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.
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 Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were 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.
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.
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 a Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
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.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,250 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
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.
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.
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 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.
This course is taught by
School of Mathematics Undergraduate Admissions
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 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, 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
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
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
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.
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.
Rankings and awards
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