The BSc in Mathematics with Actuarial Science combines elements of a generalist undergraduate mathematics degree with a number of specialist modules related to an Actuarial career. The programme is taught in conjunction with the School of Business and Management. It is ideally suited to students planning a career as an Actuary. However, the combination of mathematical, statistical and business modules make the course an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers in business and finance.
On completion of the programme, you will have gained a solid grounding in mathematics together with more specialist knowledge of probability, statistics, financial mathematics and business economics.
Accreditation and exemptions from Core Technical examinations
This degree course has been approved and accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). For those who do decide to undertake further training as Actuaries high level performance in all the modules is designed to lead to exemptions from the first eight Core Technical (CT) examinations of the IFoA.
Our Professional Advisory Board includes representatives of some key actuarial employers including Lloyds of London, Milliman, Prudential plc and Willis Towers Watson. The board has helped us design our programme and helps to keep us up to date with business skills that employers are looking for.
Actuarial Professional Development
In addition to academic modules, as an Actuarial Science student you will benefit from an extensive Actuarial Professional Development programme running in parallel throughout the duration of your studies. This is designed to help you develop vital employability skills and industry knowledge. Through the Actuarial Professional Development modules you will be able to learn from experts in many fields, including actuaries working in industry and lecturers from other Schools at QMUL.
4-year programme option – with Professional Placement
You will have the option to extend your degree to a four-year sandwich programme, including a one year paid Professional Placement. You would complete the paid work placement at a relevant employer during your third (‘sandwich’) year, returning to QMUL for the fourth and final year of study. Students are invited to apply for either the three-year (programme code G1N3) or four-year programme (G1N5) with the flexibility to switch before the end of the second year (dependent on securing a suitable placement). These two programmes are otherwise the same. Overseas students should consider this four-year option if they are interested in undertaking a Professional Placement due to student visa implications.
A professional placement is an excellent opportunity to develop your business skills and gain hands-on experience. As well as helping you to secure graduate employment, this can support your academic achievement by providing additional context to your studies.
We will provide support and guidance to all students wishing to take this option and you will benefit from our industry links and extensive careers support activities to help identify a suitable placement.
Preparing for your future career
QMUL is located close to two of the world’s major financial centres (the City of London and Canary Wharf) and so is a natural place to study actuarial science. The School of Mathematical Sciences has research groups specialising in many areas of pure and applied mathematics, as well as in statistics. Some staff members teaching the programme will be qualified actuaries whilst others have practical knowledge using statistics and financial mathematics. Extra-curricular activities, supported by the QMUL Actuarial Society, include talks by practitioners working as actuaries and careers workshops.
We expect that this new programme will appeal to students with strong mathematical abilities who wish to pursue a career in insurance or finance. Further study at Master’s level is another possibility.
Why study Mathematics with Actuarial Science at Queen Mary?
The School of Mathematical Sciences embraces pure mathematics, probability and statistics, complex systems and networks, dynamical systems and statistical physics, computing and finance. We are one of the largest mathematics departments in the UK, meaning we have academic experts teaching across a wide range of subjects. We offer:
- Flexibility – in your first year, you will study a set of compulsory subjects, common to many of the degree programmes we offer. As you progress you can choose more specialised modules that reflect your particular interests. This means that you will graduate with a broad foundation in the mathematical sciences, but with the advantage of specialist knowledge.
- Student support – you will have an academic adviser who will guide you through module choices and support you with any academic issues you have. Our dedicated Student Support Officer will be able to help with other aspects of university life and your wellbeing; see i2 Keepin' it real – Maths student support. You will benefit from a number of other schemes such as Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS), through which students mentor and support each other’s learning.
- Actuarial Professional Development – as an Actuarial Science student you will benefit from an extensive Actuarial Professional Development programme alongside your academic studies. Running throughout the duration of the programme, this will develop both your industry knowledge and employability skills across vital areas including communication, problem solving, professionalism and business awareness. This module will be delivered in part by guest lecturers from industry and from other Schools within QMUL, allowing you to learn from experts across relevant fields. Click here for more detail on Actuarial Professional Development.
- Careers support – we have both a Careers Consultant and an Internships Co-ordinator working directly with our Maths students. You will benefit from careers events, workshops and 1:1 sessions to work on your CV, job applications, prepare for interviews or simply to better understand your future career options; see careers and careers & work experience for Maths students. The School of Mathematical Sciences also offers various certification and training opportunities offered to all of our students. The Mathematics Society at QMUL has over 200 members and runs regular employability-focused events in addition to social activities.
- Professional accreditation and exemptions – up to 8 exemptions from the Core Technical examinations of the IFoA. To achieve these exemptions you must graduate successfully from the programme, and complete the appropriate modules to the required level. You will be given clear guidance about these requirements throughout the programme.
- Essential Mathematical Skills
- Calculus I and II
- Numbers, Sets and Functions**
- Geometry I
- Introduction to Probability
- Introduction to Statistics
- Computing and Data Analysis with Excel**
- Economics for Business Management
- Actuarial Professional Development I
- Applied Linear Algebra
- Probability Models
- Statistical Methods
- Actuarial Mathematics I and II
- Statistical Modelling I
- Statistics for Insurance
- Corporate Financial Reporting
- Actuarial Professional Development II
Final Year (Year 3+)
- Financial Mathematics I, II and III
- Time Series
- Survival Models
- Corporate Financial Management
- Random Processes
Students select one additional elective module per year. The list of possible elective modules will vary from year to year; at the time of writing your options would include:
- Actuarial Project
- Statistical Theory
- Bayesian Statistics
- Computational Statistics
- International Business*
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship*
- Company Valuation*
- Corporate Law and Governance*
*Module offered by the School of Business and Management
**subject to module approval
+Note: Students following the four year programme, BSc Mathematics with Actuarial Science with a Professional Placement (G1N5), complete the Actuarial Work Experience module during their third year, and return for their fourth and final year of study at QMUL.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades AAA - AAB at A-Level. This must include grade A or above in A-Level Mathematics. Excludes General Studies.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 36 - 34 points overall, including 6,6,6 - 6,6,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include Mathematics at Higher Level.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma in a Physics or Mathematics based discipline. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements. Please note, the minimum academic requirement for G102, G1G3 and GN1H will be slightly higher.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
2017 Entry requirements
Typical grades required: AAA–AAB at A-level including grade A in A-level Mathematics.
Additional requirements and excluded subjects: We accept all A-levels, including native languages, except General Studies. We do not accept AS-levels. You must also have at least grade C in GCSE English Language, or equivalent.
Subjects and grades required: 36–34 points total including Higher Level Mathematics at grade 6.
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
Teaching and Learning
Each year you will normally take eight different modules. Some modules, such as Introduction to Statistics, have a practical element presented in one of our computer labs.
In place of the classroom teaching normally used in schools, we use lectures and exercise classes to teach most of our modules but you will also be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Lectures involve an academic conveying information to larger groups of students. Each lecturer has a different style, for example some will use slides and a projector or whiteboard, while others will primarily talk. It is advisable to take notes during lectures to aid your independent study and revision.
Exercise classes support your lectures and give you the opportunity to work on problems, discuss ideas and ask any questions you may have. There will usually be several members of staff or PhD students available during an exercise class to guide you towards finding the solutions to problems.
The majority of modules are assessed by an examination counting for at least 90 per cent of your marks; the remaining 10 per cent comes from a combination of tests and coursework. Coursework is set weekly or fortnightly and through this you receive regular feedback on your progress, although for most modules it is ‘formative’ and does not contribute to your total mark. Assessments are written, although project-type modules include a short presentation and may feature an oral examination. A final-year project is compulsory for an MSci programme but not for a BSc programme.
In addition to the normal Queen Mary progression hurdle, you must pass Essential Mathematical Skills to progress from the first to the second year of any Mathematical Sciences degree programme.
The School of Mathematical Sciences is committed to supporting you through your studies and there is a wide range of support services available both in the School and within QMUL to assist you during your time here.
You will be assigned an Academic Advisor when you enrol with us who will usually stay with you during your time at QMUL. Your Academic Advisor can help to guide you through any academic issues, such as choosing which modules to study.
The School of Mathematical Sciences has a dedicated Student Support Officer to provide you with advice and guidance on any issues that are not primarily academic. The Student Support Officer oversees the i2 - Keepin' It Real initiative which exists to promote and support a positive student experience and is also able to direct you to appropriate QMUL support services. For more information about central student support services, please see Advice and Counselling.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
What does a BSc in Mathematics with Actuarial Science from QMUL lead to?
This programme combining Mathematics with Actuarial Science has been designed to prepare you for a variety of careers in business, finance and insurance.
As well as following a professional actuarial career, graduates with actuarial degrees have gone onto work in many other areas including:
- investment banking and investment management;
- retail and commercial banking;
- insurance analysis;
- financial analysis;
- general management;
- computing; and
Many students will continue their actuarial training by joining a firm of actuarial consultants or an insurance company. The largest employers all have regular programmes of graduate recruitment. The Actuarial Profession publishes a useful directory of leading actuarial employers.
A typical starting salary for actuarial trainees is between £30,000 and £35,000. Progression after this depends on job performance and continuing progression towards qualification. Starting salaries for fully qualified actuaries are around £50,000 and progression to six figure packages is common.
Most actuaries specialise in one of the four areas listed below. However, there are many opportunities for actuarial graduates to move into other areas, such as banking or management consulting.
- Life insurance
The actuarial profession started in the life assurance industry. Good, innovative mathematicians were needed to understand the data, calculate appropriate premium rates and decide how much money needed to be invested to pay for claims in many years’ time. This work continues today although products are more diverse and complicated, and the mathematical techniques used belong in the 21st century. Today you are perhaps more likely to be calculating how much capital the insurer needs to withstand a stock market crash or a major global epidemic.
- General insurance
General insurance is all about the insurance of “things”: homes, cars, businesses, aviation and shipping to name a few. While the roles are similar to life insurance, you will be using different tools and techniques. Making the right allowance for volatile claims experience,for example due to floods and storms in the UK, hurricanes in the Caribbean or the occasional failure of a large passenger jet, can be one of the most challenging areas for GI actuaries.
In the world of pensions, an actuary might be calculating funding levels and future contributions for a large pension scheme, calculating scheme member benefits or advising employers on the design of pension arrangements. Helping employees understand their pension arrangements is another area where the actuary can help.
Many actuarial roles involve investment products and markets. It is increasingly common to find actuaries helping clients to understand the level of risk in their investment portfolio and to manage this risk more profitably. These roles can be with an investment manager or an insurance company, or in the investment practice of a consulting firm.
In many actuarial trainee jobs, you will be using your actuarial knowledge and your skills with numbers and data from day one. As your knowledge of the company’s systems and processes grow, you will find yourself working on many new projects and starting to manage others. If you work as a consultant, you can expect client contact from an early stage giving you a chance to bring your communication and relationship building skills to the fore.
For further information, read the Guide to Becoming an Actuary published by the Actuarial Profession.
How will QMUL support me in my future career path?
At QMUL we put a strong focus on your employability and success after graduation. Throughout this BSc programme. students will follow an intensive Professional Development Programme, equipping themselves with key skills and knowledge for a successful future career.
In addition, you have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare for internships and work after graduation. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as many employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.
Students in the School of Mathematical Sciences are able to take advantage of a wide range of careers events. These include career forums with employers such as IBM and Deloitte, workshops on applications and interview skills as well as a Business and Finance Fair, IT and Technology Fair and 3-week ‘Focus on Finance’ programme with events about careers in consulting, insurance, banking and accountancy.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given QMUL’s location between the financial and insurance centres of Canary Wharf and the City. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QProjects work experience scheme, our QRecruit internships and temporary work hub, the part time work Experience Works event and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 1400 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
QMUL’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.