About this course
Prepare for a career as an expert actuary with a master’s degree in actuarial science at the University of Southampton.
Our programme gives you an early advantage in your career with a professional qualification recognised by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
By the end of your studies, you’ll be able to assess and manage risk using advanced actuarial methods. You can apply what you’ve learned to work as an actuarial analyst, or to many other careers that need quantitative skills.
You’ll learn how to become an actuary – a specialist who identifies, analyses and manages risks with long-term financial consequences. This expertise is vital in many businesses across the financial services industry.
This degree covers a broad collection of topics including:
- actuarial maths
- statistics and probability
- accounting and finance
- survival models and analysis
The course is flexible and will cater to students both with and without actuarial education. When you start, we’ll advise you on module choices to meet your specific needs.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
- a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) - you'll usually study for around 30 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader specialises in critical illness and life insurance research, and is a member of the modelling team at the ESRC Centre for Population Change.
Visit Dr Erengul Dodd's staff profile to learn more about her work.
This course is accredited by:
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in a quantitative subject such as:
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests, find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. You'll take exams at the end of both semesters.
You’ll begin preparing for your final project during semester 1, and continue this work in semester 2.
For the last 4 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on your final project. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This course caters to students both with and without actuarial education. When you start, we’ll advise you on module choices to meet your specific needs.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must choose your modules from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
We teach through a mixture of:
- problem classes
- computer workshops
- case studies
We’ll introduce you to the theory, methods and techniques of actuarial science, and develop your skills in:
- actuarial, statistical and financial modelling
- deductive reasoning and analysis
- finding, processing and using relevant information
- communicating your work to a range of audiences
Depending on the modules you take, we’ll assess your progress through a mixture of:
- coursework assignments
- class tests
- case study reports or a dissertation
Over the summer period (July – September) you’ll have 2 options:
- Take 2 actuarial science case study modules, both lasting 6 weeks, and complete a case study report for each. There will usually be a choice of 2 investigation topics per case study.
- Take an actuarial science project module lasting 13 weeks, and complete a 50-60 page dissertation. Whether you can choose this option will depend on the suitability of your investigation proposal.
Your personal tutor will meet you by request to give advice, offer guidance about the course, and provide personal support if you need it. You can also talk to your module tutors about any subject-specific questions.
All our actuarial topics match up with professional subjects of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. As a result, you’ll graduate from the programme with a professional level of education.
This will allow you to move straight into employment as an actuarial analyst, as well as many other careers requiring expert quantitative skills.
Your expertise will be sought after by organisations in:
- general, life and health insurance
- pension provision
- financial services
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £19,850.
- International students pay £19,850.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- a degree transcript
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000