About the course
Our BSc Actuarial Science (including foundation year) is open to Home, EU and international students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your English language and academic skills.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Our course encourages you to delve into your passions for mathematics and practical problem-solving. Our attractive blend of solid mathematics, an understanding of real-world financial issues, and computing skills provide you with the core skills essential for entering the actuarial profession. You learn the theory and methods used by professional actuaries; on how to apply mathematical and statistical skills to minimise financial risk when the stakes are high, in areas such as commerce, government, insurance and finance.
Study topics including:
- Mathematical finance
- Financial reporting
- Contingencies, risk management and survival analysis
- Pure and applied mathematics
Professional actuaries in the insurance industry, including influential businesses AXA and Buck Consultants, contribute to our employability module and also host students at their offices to show them typical challenges that actuaries face.
As part of our Department of Mathematical Sciences, you’re a member of an inclusive and approachable research community which allows you to explore topics in pure, high-level mathematics and applied mathematics.
Our expert staff
Our staff all have strong subject backgrounds, and are highly skilled in their areas both as academics and practitioners.
Within our Department of Mathematical Sciences, our staff are award-winning teachers. Many of our academics have won national or regional awards for lecturing, and many of them are qualified and accredited teachers – something which is very rare at a university.
Teaching on our course are expert academics and practising actuaries. The key departmental staff for our BA actuarial science are Keith Bannister, Dr Haslifah Hashim, and Dr Spyridon Vrontos.
Keith Bannister is a qualified actuary, and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and Faculty of Actuaries; he lectures part-time in Actuarial Science. Dr Hashim specialises in life and general insurance, pensions, financial mathematics, enterprise risk management, forensic economics, and Islamic finance and takaful.
Dr Vrontos specialises in actuarial mathematics and modelling, asset-liability management and performance measurement for pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds, risk management and solvency, and risk theory.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
- Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
Our Department of Mathematical Sciences also offers excellent on-campus facilities:
- Unique to Essex is our renowned Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students, staff and local businesses on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
- We have our own computer labs for the exclusive use of students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences – in addition to your core maths modules, you gain computing knowledge of software including Matlab and Maple
- We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
- Our students run a lively Mathematics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students
As a new course, we expect our graduates of BSc Actuarial Science to become actuaries in a range of industries. It is predicted by the US Department of Labor that the employment of actuaries is expected to grow faster than any other occupation, making it a great prospect for a graduate job.
Aside from a rewarding career as an actuary, clear thinkers are required in every profession, so the successful mathematician has an extensive choice of potential careers. The Council for Mathematical Sciences offers further information on careers in mathematics.
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
A-levels: DDD, or equivalent in UCAS tariff points, to include 2 full A-levels
GCSE: Mathematics and Science C
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.