Data science today is becoming increasingly important within the actuarial field, and Heriot-Watt has developed this unique new programme to meet this growing actuarial demand.

Taking our MSc in Actuarial Management with Data Science is a great way to speed your progress to this most prestigious of careers – it’s designed to take you almost all of the way to qualification. Our MSc in Actuarial Management is an established and successful programme covering the more advanced actuarial subjects.The MSc in Actuarial Management with Data Science introduces exciting new opportunities for actuaries of the future.

Entry to the actuarial profession is by a demanding series of examinations, but the rewards after qualifying are great. The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK has four levels of examinations to qualify. The first level, the Core Principles (CS, CM and CB) subjects, are taught in our BSc or MSc in Actuarial Science and lead to exemptions from subjects CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1 and CB2. Students will typically study CP1, CP2, CP3, two SP subjects (two SP subjects are needed to satisfy the profession’s requirements) and two courses on data science applied to insurance.

Actuarial data science combines advanced statistical modelling and analysis with modern computational techniques in order to analyse potentially large datasets arising in insurance and finance. These analyses have the ability to improve forecasts and enhance decision making in an uncertain environment where rapid advancements in technology and data availability are transforming fields of actuarial work. Additionally, they are building synergies with new sectors such as medical and healthcare. This is an area of science and technology that is attracting significant interest and that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, as more and more industries adopt data-driven and data-centric approaches.

Students graduating from the MSc will have excellent employment prospects that are not restricted to any one narrow sector of financial services. By their choice of IFoA subjects, they may target the life, pensions, asset management, investment and risk management sectors. They will be in demand in quantitative risk management roles in both banks and insurance companies, as well as fund management companies, hedge funds, consultancies, software vendors and regulatory authorities. The market for graduates with actuarial qualifications complemented with data science skills is growing fast and we expect that it will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Student Actuarial Society

Heriot-Watt has a very active Students’ Actuarial Society which won several awards at a recent Heriot-Watt ‘Oscars’ ceremony. This body is completely managed, enthusiastically and professionally, by our students.

September 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by the 8 August 2022.

Accreditation – this programme is accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFOA)

Center of Actuarial Excellence – Heriot-Watt University is recognised as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), North America. We are the only center of actuarial excellence in Europe and one of only 30 other schools worldwide with this designation. With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organisation with more than 28,000 actuaries as members.

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