BSc Honours Actuarial Science and Risk Management (UCAS Code: N323)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For course information
Mr Colin O’Hare
Queen’s University Management School
T: +44 (0)28 9097 4200
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. See further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science
The underlying cornerstone of the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree is the application of financial and statistical theories to help solve real business problems. This degree programme combines modules in actuarial modelling, financial reporting, insurance, pensions, economics, finance, mathematics and statistics to develop techniques and skills to assess, evaluate and manage future financial risk and thereby address a wide range of practical problems in long-term financial planning and management. A lot of actuaries' work might be thought of as risk management, which assesses how likely an event may be and the costs associated with that event. This might include investigating how life insurance reserves and future premiums might balance future claims, analysing investment risks, or projecting the financial costs of an epidemic.Back to top
Actuarial Science and Risk Management at Queen's is a four-year degree, with the third year spent in a salaried placement in an actuarial or risk management environment. In each of Years 1, 2 and 4, the following compulsory modules are studied:
Financial Reporting and Analysis
Introduction to Probability and Operational Research
Actuarial Methods in General Insurance
Mutual and Pension Fund Management
Placement Learning Module
Principles of Actuarial Modelling
Fixed Income Instruments
Time Series Financial Econometrics
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Queen’s University Management School is one of the largest Schools in the University with more than 1300 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, QUMS 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 specilaised 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 student to achieve their full academic potential. In line with this, one of QUMS’ 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:
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Actuarial Science modules are typically assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and a final written unseen examination. Continuous assessment consists of tutorial submissions, short class tests, individual project work, small group projects and presentations – this involves three/four students per group working on a specific task, for example, a solution to an actuarial problem.
Feedback (general): 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:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
The underlying cornerstone of the Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree programme is the application of financial and statistical theories to help solve real business problems. Actuarial Science and Risk Management combines courses/modules in actuarial modelling, financial reporting, economics, finance, insurance, pensions, mathematics and statistics to develop techniques and skills to assess, evaluate and manage future financial risk and thereby address a wide range of practical problems in long-term financial planning and management. Mathematical and statistical skills, through problem solving, constructing proofs and computer application, are at the core of all actuarial work and therefore are core elements in each year of the degree
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.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including all the major actuarial employers in Northern Ireland and Ireland and a selection of employers from mainland GB. We host annual employer liaison meetings for the course as well as annual actuarial careers fairs at which students can engage with actuarial employers on a one-one basis.
The establishment of SoNIA (Society of Northern Ireland Actuaries) by staff in QUMS has facilitated a continuous and seamless engagement between academics, actuarial employers and Queens’ students whereby students can gain access to the profession. They have an opportunity to discuss issues that are concerning the industry and that are of importance to qualified actuaries. Students can also develop excellent networking, communication, and business awareness skills from the start to end of their academic progression ensuring that they can fully compete in the competitive graduate employment market.
Recent placement providers have included Allstate (both in Northern Ireland and Chicago), Kerr Henderson, Mercer and Xafinity Claybrook.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Studying for an Actuarial degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. The degree has professional accreditation with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the professional body, such that students succeeding on the degree can also achieve exemptions from subjects CT1 – CT8 of the professional exams, subject to certain conditions being met.
Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) with approximately 90-95% of graduates finding high level actuarial employment within several months of graduation. Further, several students are offered full-time positions with their placement provider.
The traditional areas in which actuaries are employed include:
The Prospects website provides further information regarding the types of jobs that attract BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management graduates.
Further study is also an option open to BSc Actuarial Science and Risk Management graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, as shown on the Queen’s University Management School website.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Placement: students undertake a minimum of nine months' work placement in Year 3, which can be in any of the UK's major cities and beyond, and include Belfast, Dublin, London, Birmingham, Bristol and the Channel Islands. Placement students receive a full salary, which can be in excess of £20k. This placement year allows students to develop highly-valued practical skills as well as gaining exemption from many of the early professional exams, and on successful completion, students are eligible for a Licentiateship award, which is a vocational qualification provided through the City and Guilds of London Institute.
Accreditation: our Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree has been accredited for subjects CT1–CT8 by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Research-led Teaching: academics who teach this degree are at the cutting edge of their fields and are actively involved in research.Back to top