Actuaries evaluate and manage financial risk. They make financial sense of the future for their clients by applying advanced mathematical and statistical techniques to solve complex financial problems.
Qualifying as an actuary is a passport to a wide variety of careers in insurance companies, investments, pensions, health care and banking – not just in the UK, but throughout the world. Kent is one of a very few universities in the UK to teach the subject.
Industrial placements may be undertaken in the UK or overseas. The University does not guarantee every student will find a placement. Those who do not secure a placement will be transferred to the MSc programme without a placement.
Our International Master’s programme is fully accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It is equivalent to the MSc in Actuarial Science followed by the one-year MSc in Applied Actuarial Science.
This programme is for international students with a good first degree who would like to gain exemptions from subjects in the Core Principle, Core Practices and Specialist Principle Stages of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ examinations.
The School has a strong reputation for world-class research and a well-established system of support and training, with a high level of contact between staff and research students. Postgraduate students develop analytical, communication and research skills.
In 2010, the Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment (CASRI) was set up within SMSAS to reflect the widening scope of the teaching and research of the staff. Areas of research interest include economic capital and risk management for financial services firms, mortality and longevity modelling, longevity indices and markets. Other research topics include genetics and insurance, insurance economics, pensions and corporate reporting.
The Centre includes 13 professionally qualified actuaries with many years’ practical experience in insurance and pensions, and who maintain excellent links with the actuarial profession.
This year, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is introducing a new actuarial qualification structure called Curriculum 2019. We are delighted to say that we have successfully achieved re-accreditation for all of our Actuarial Science programmes and will be offering exemptions under the IFoA's new qualification structure from September 2019.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: 3 years full-time
The course is based on a ‘core modules plus options’ structure and exemptions can be gained from professional examinations.
Progression to Stage 2 is conditional upon satisfactory performance in Stage 1. MSc degree classification is based solely on the marks achieved in the second year of study.
The International Master’s programme covers subjects in the Core Principle, Core Practices and Specialist Principle Stages of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ examinations.
The first year of this programme covers core principle subjects and the second year covers a number of the CP and SP subjects. Progression to Stage 2 is conditional upon satisfactory performance in Stage 1. MSc degree classification is based solely on the marks achieved in the second year of study.
Placements last for 12 months, commencing in June/July of the Summer term. Upon completion of your placement, you will return to Kent to take your exams. Placements may be undertaken in the UK or overseas.
The University does not guarantee every student will find a placement. Those who do not secure a placement will be transferred to the MSc programme without a placement.
The placement consists of two modules: Industrial Placement Experience and Industrial Placement Report. The Experience module is assessed as pass/fail only and the Report module is graded on a categorical scale.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
Assessment is a combination of coursework and written examinations.
This programme aims to:
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You will gain the following transferable skills:
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
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In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and we were ranked 25th in the UK for research power.
An impressive 92% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
Work in actuarial science at the University of Kent can be divided into three broad themes achieving a balance of theoretical and applied investigations, as well as addressing social policy implications.
With the advent of new risk-based regulations for financial services firms, specifically Basel 2 and Basel 3 for banks and Solvency 2 for insurers, there is now a heightened focus on the practical implementation of quantitative risk management techniques for firms and defined benefit pension schemes operating within the financial services sector.
In particular, financial services firms are now expected to self-assess and quantify the amount of capital they need to cover the risks they are running. This self-assessed quantum of capital is commonly termed risk, or economic, capital.
At Kent we are actively involved in developing rigorous risk management techniques to explicitly measure how much risk a firm or pension scheme is taking, holistically, across the entire spectrum of risks it accepts.
Longevity risk represents a substantial threat to the stability of support programmes for the elderly, most notably to the subset that provides income protection but also to non-traditional products such as home equity release schemes.
One approach to dealing with longevity risk is to model key factors that influence mortality; this may be achieved using aggregate (causal) mortality rates or panel data with individual-specific covariates. Another approach to modelling longevity risk is via an investigation of positive quadrant dependence between lives, which requires a multivariate framework. Once this is in place, longevity risk may be investigated on various fronts ranging from entire populations to couples.
Restrictions on risk classification can lead to adverse selection, and actuaries usually regard this as a bad thing. However, restrictions do exist in many countries, suggesting that policymakers often perceive some merit in such restrictions. Careful re-examination of the usual actuarial arguments can help to reconcile these observations.
Models of insurance purchasing behaviour under different risk classification regimes can quantify the effects of particular bans, e.g. on insurers’ use of genetic test results, or gender classification in the European Union.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
The UK Actuarial Profession is small, but influential and well rewarded. There are more than 6,500 actuaries currently employed in the UK, the majority of whom work in insurance companies and consultancy practices.
Survey results published by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries suggest that the average basic salary for a student actuary is £35,936 with pay and bonuses increasingly sharply as you become more experienced. The average basic salary of a Chief Actuary is £206,236.
As an actuary, your work is extremely varied and can include: advising companies on the amount of funds to set aside for employee pension payments; designing new insurance policies and setting premium rates; pricing financial derivatives and working in fund management and quantitative investment research; advising life insurance companies on he distribution of surplus funds; and estimating the effects of possible major disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, and setting premium rates for insurance against such disasters. For more information about the actuarial profession, see www.actuaries.org.uk
Helping our students to develop strong employability skills is a key objective within the School and the University. We provide a wide range of services and support to equip you with transferable vocational skills that enable you to secure appropriate professional positions within industry. Within the School we run specialist seminars and provide advice on creating a strong CV, making job applications and successfully attending interviews and assessment centres.
Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in the actuarial, finance, insurance and risk sectors.
Fully accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Students who achieve a high enough overall mark can obtain exemptions from the professional examinations included within their studies.
The University’s Templeman Library houses a comprehensive collection of books and research periodicals. The University of Kent has entered into an exclusive arrangement with SunGard, a global leader in integrated software and processing solutions primarily for financial services, who market the industry’s leading actuarial software package PROPHET. As a result, our taught postgraduate courses include optional modules on the uses and applications of PROPHET.
This International Master’s offers exemptions from within the Core Principle stage in the first year and exemptions from the Core Practices and Specialist Principle stages in the second year of the programme.
The MSc in Actuarial Science offers exemptions from subjects within the Core Principle Stage of the professional examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
The MSc in Applied Actuarial Science offers exemptions from subjects in the Core Practices Stage and the Specialist Principle Stage of the professional examinations.
The Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment maintains close relationships with industry actuaries through the Invicta Actuarial Society, a regional actuarial society which holds its meetings at the Canterbury campus and is organised by University of Kent students and academic staff. The Society hosts an annual lecture in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Actuaries, featuring prestigious speakers from industry and the profession. The Society also arranges talks from external speakers including practitioners, careers advisers and recruiters from the UK and overseas.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: British Actuarial Journal; Actuary Australia; Annals of Actuarial Science; Journal of Pension Economics and Finance. Details of recently published books can be found under staff research interests.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
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