Our BSc Actuarial Science (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU 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 course also provides you with credits towards qualifying for accreditation with the Chartered Insurance Institute, the world’s largest professional body for insurance, risk and financial services.
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 conducting internationally excellent multidisciplinary research, with significant multi-year experience in consulting and practicing actuarial science. The key departmental staff for our BA Actuarial Science are Dr Spyridon Vrontos (specialising in actuarial and financial data science, predictive modelling and predictability), Dr Junlei Hu (reinsurance and optimal risk transfer), Dr Jackie Wong (Bayesian methods and survival analysis), Dr Tolulope Fadina (mathematical finance) and Dr Peng Liu (applied probability in actuarial science and queueing systems).
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:
- In addition to teaching, we have a Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students 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 a dedicated social and study space for Maths students in the department, which is situated in the new £18m STEM Centre
- We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
- Our students run a lively Actuarial Science 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 our University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
- Guarantee your place on your chosen course if you successfully complete your foundation year at Essex.
- Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
- Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
- You can contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
- A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
- Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
- Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects