The BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management programme has been designed by qualified actuaries to enable students to develop the theoretical and practical skills required to pursue a career as an actuary in the pensions and insurance sectors, or in the wider financial industry.
In addition, students may gain up to six exemptions from the initial technical professional exams required to qualify as an actuary via our accreditation with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
The Actuarial, Accounting and Finance department at Queen’s is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the UK by the Sunday Times and the Complete University Guide.
“The course is widely regarded and respected, and has opened many doors personally in relation to ‘Insight‘ visits in Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.”
Samuel Stewart, BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management Student
|Stage 1||Actuarial Mathematics 1|
Financial Reporting and Analysis
Introduction to Statistics and Operational Research
Economy, Society and Public Policy 1
Economy, Society and Public Policy 2
Introduction to Statistical and Operational Research Methods
|Stage 2||Actuarial Mathematics 2|
Actuarial methods in General Insurance
Financial Risk Modelling
Excel and VBA
Principles of Actuarial Modelling
|Stage 3||Placement Year|
Students undertake a minimum nine-month, salaried work placement. Placement allows students to develop highly-valued practical skills, as well as critical softer skills that employers value, and on successful completion, students are eligible for a Licentiateship award (a vocational qualification provided through the City and Guilds of London Institute). Recent placement providers have included Scor, Pramerica, Spence and Partners, Milliman and the Government Actuaries Department (GAD).
|Stage 4||Actuarial Modelling|
Actuarial Econometrics and Data Science
Stochastic Processes for Finance
Queen’s Management School
Mark Farrell is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Senior Lecturer (Education) in the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree programme at The Management School, Queen's University Belfast. After obtaining a first class degree in Mathematics and Sport Science at Loughborough University Mark spent a number of years working in various actuarial roles in London, Toronto, Belfast and Dublin before making a move into academia in 2009 where he teaches and researches in actuarial science related fields. Mark is also a Fulbright scholar.
Queen's Management School
Neil McConville is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and a former consulting pensions Actuary and Scheme Actuary certificate holder. Following his graduation from Queen’s University Belfast, with a degree in Finance, Neil commenced his career as an Actuary in Dublin before moving onto a number of senior roles within benefit consulting firms based in Belfast. Neil is a Lecturer (Education) and programme director of the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree programme and lectures across all teaching years within the degree.
Queen's Management School
Gillian McMahon is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and a Lecturer on the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree programme at the Management School, Queen’s University Belfast. After completing a master’s degree in Financial and Industrial Mathematics at Dublin City University and obtaining a first class bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Physics from University College Dublin, Gillian spent nine years working in an actuarial role with a Belfast based pensions consultancy. She joined the Management School in 2016.
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
|Personal Study||24 (hours maximum)|
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
Queen’s Management School is one of the largest Schools in the University with more than 1800 full-time undergraduate students and 300 plus postgraduate students. The School has been delivering high quality programmes for more than 40 years and was one of the first schools in the UK to introduce undergraduate management education. Since then, QMS has been developing and enhancing its teaching portfolio for both local and international students and boasts students from more than 20 different nationalities.
In recent years, the School has benefited from significant investment resulting in many new academic appointments and state-of-the-art facilities including computer teaching labs with specialised software and a Trading Room in Riddel Hall. In addition, the new McClay library houses an excellent selection of Management and related texts and there are extensive IT facilities throughout the campus.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. In line with this, one of QMS’ primary objectives is to deliver innovative learning and teaching programmes that provide students with the competences and skills to make a positive contribution to business, economic and civic life.
On the BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management programme we achieve these goals by providing a range of learning environments which enable our students to engage with subject experts both academic staff and industry guest speakers, develop skills and attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this degree programme are:
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Students have access to Bloomberg software, a market leader in financial news, data and analytics, which is used by many financial institutions. The Trading Room allows for an interactive and exciting learning environment which, brings textbook theory to life.
|A level requirements|
A*AA including Mathematics
AAA + A (AS) including A-level Mathematics
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H1H1H1H1H2H2 including Higher Level grade H1 in Mathematics
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
36 points overall including 6,6,6 at Higher Level to include Higher Level Mathematics. If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by Queen's University Management School. Once your application has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service and, if appropriate, the Selector from the School. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
Applicants for the BSc Honours in Actuarial Studies must be able to satisfy the University's General Entrance Requirement and in addition, all applicants must have A-level Mathematics. Offers are normally made in terms of grades rather than UCAS Tariff points.
Actuarial Science and Risk Management is one of the most popular degree courses at Queen's, where the number of applicants far outnumbers the places available. Part of the criteria used for making offers is by means of assessing an applicant's GCSEs. The best nine subjects are considered, with 4 points being awarded for an A*/9-8 grade and 3 points for an A/7 grade, B/6 and C*-C/5-4 grades are not scored. From 2021 entry, in view of the re-alignment of the A* with a Grade 9, scoring will change to 4 points for a Grade 9 and 3 points for Grades 7 and 8. We initially make offers to those applicants who score a minimum of 34 points. During the admissions cycle we constantly review the admissions statistics comparing them to previous years, to assess if the point's threshold can be lowered and more offers made. For last year’s entry, the final threshold was 30 points.
Applicants offering a range of other qualifications e.g. BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Diplomas and Foundation Access courses are not normally considered unless the applicant is studying or has studied A-level Mathematics.
In addition to the academic requirements above, the information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted, but these are not the final deciding factors as to whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking will not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day organised by Queen's University Management School, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University, to find out more about the degree programme of your choice, the facilities on offer together with a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Students pursuing a career in Actuarial Science should enjoy working with numbers, be effective communicators and work well with people as they will have to analyse and interpret financial and other information to meet the needs of different users, including managers and investors.
Employment after the Course
The traditional areas in which actuaries are employed include:
Pensions Industry - Actuaries are involved in the management and valuation of pension scheme liabilities (for regulatory purposes). They are also involved in new design and restructuring of pension schemes, deficit management and any requirements of regulatory change on pension schemes.
Investment Industry - Actuaries are involved in a wide variety of work such as pricing financial derivatives, working in fund management or working in quantitative investment research.
Life and Non-Life Insurance Industries - Actuaries design new insurance policies and calculate premium rates for the protection of life (whole life or term assurance) or personal items (car insurance or buildings and contents). Actuaries also perform reserving calculations to demonstrate solvency of the company.
Graduate employers include: Kerr Henderson, Spence & Partners, Irish Life, Invesco, Boal & Co, Willis Towers Watson, Allianz Insurance, Mercer, AXA Insurance, Deloitte, Capita, Liberty Mutual Insurance, PwC, Pramerica, Metlife, XPS.
"Queen’s gave me the tools to succeed, such as the ability to solve problems and analyse complex situations. It helped me develop strong communication and presentation skills as well as a commercial awareness of the financial industry. I now work as a Commercial Actuary at Allianz which involves estimating the value of claims and premiums to ensure solvency and profitability. I am also involved in pricing work for our main property and small business accounts and through building actuarial models I advise the underwriters on how they should determine technical premiums for customers. I hope to further develop my leadership skills to accompany my technical knowledge and move into more senior roles, gaining experience across a wide range of areas such as reserving, pricing and capital modelling.”
Kevin O’Reilly, Commercial Actuary at Allianz Insurance
Recent placement providers have included Aviva, Irish Life, Kerr Henderson, Spence & Partners, SCOR, The Pension Protection Fund and Pramerica.
Year in Industry
A number of local employers and professional bodies sponsor prizes on an annual basis for best students in their level, module or category.
These include Invesco, The Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust Fund, Kerr Henderson, SCOR Global Life, Mercer, Pramerica, Spence and Partners, Acumen Resources, XPS, and Allianz Re Dublin.
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,530|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£TBC|
The undergraduate fees for 2021 entry are set out above.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students It is however expected that there will be a specific arrangements put in place for RoI nationals living in the UK and Ireland and those with pre-settled and settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Actuarial Science and Risk Management costs
Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider.
If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs of approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
Student who undertake optional study tours are expected to make a contribution, of approximately £150.
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11