Actuarial Management MSc/Diploma/Certificate
- Delivery: Full Time, Part Time
- Programme type: Taught Programme
- Study location:
- Entry date:
Entry to the actuarial profession is by a demanding series of examinations, but the rewards after qualifying are great. Taking the MSc in Actuarial Management 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.
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK has four levels of examinations to qualify. The Core Technical (CT) subjects are taught in our BSc or MSc in Actuarial Science and lead to exemptions from the profession’s own CT examinations. The MSc in Actuarial Management offers exemptions in two of the Core Applications subjects (CA1 and CA3) and a choice of up to three of the Specialist Technical (ST) subjects from a choice of ST2, ST4, ST5, ST6 and ST9 (you only need two ST subjects to satisfy the profession’s requirements).
If you graduate with a full set of exemptions from Heriot-Watt then you will only have three more examinations to pass, as well as gaining the necessary work experience, to qualify as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
The PG Diploma comprises the taught coursework component leading to exemptions from CA1 and the ST professional subjects and takes 9 months to complete. Successful students can then progress to the project work in the summer. This takes the form of industry-relevant case studies, assessed by written reports, which leads to the award of an MSc and exemption from the Subject CA3. In exceptional cases a student may be allowed to write a research dissertation.
The programme is also available to be studied on a part-time basis, over a maximum of 4 years.
Teaching Excellence and Student Satisfaction
30% of our teaching staff are qualified actuaries, the others are leading Mathematicians, Financial Mathematicians and Statisticians, who are nationally and internationally recognised for their research. This expertise ensures that what we teach you is current, applicable to the real workplace and current economy. Our National Student Survey results are consistently high for overall student satisfaction.
Results from the National Student Survey for 2011 reveal that 88% of our Mathematics and Statistics (including Actuarial Science) graduates are employed with a graduate position and/or undertaking further study. Our graduates go on to work for companies such as Swiss Re, Standard Life, Towers Watson, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Capital, Scottish Widows, Ernst & Young and many more. Graduates are employed locally in Edinburgh, London and throughout the world.
Watch a video
Visit our YouTube channel to watch short videos from our students and graduates, and see an example of a lecture at Heriot-Watt.
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.
The programme is one of only a few programmes accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
In the taught element of the programme each student takes eight semester-long courses. These are linked in pairs, one per semester. One pair of courses – covering Actuarial Risk Management – is compulsory and corresponds to subject CA1. It applies the principles of actuarial mathematics to a wide range of financial and insurance settings. Students choose a minimum of two pairs of courses from a list including Life Office Management (subject ST2), Pensions (subject ST4), Investment and Finance (subject ST5), Derivatives (subject ST6) and Enterprise Risk Management (subject ST9).
The choice of courses may depend on the coverage of actuarial subjects in the student’s first degree. Depending on individual circumstances, other optional courses may be made available, for example courses from the MSc in Actuarial Science or in other disciplines. However, students choosing to take three pairs of courses, potentially leading to exemptions from three ST subjects, will have an exceptionally broad range of employment opportunities.
Students may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma at the end of the 2nd semester, or may progress to the dissertation stage to graduate with the MSc. The dissertation is an extended research project, with regular supervision, undertaken in the summer. The diploma takes 9 months and the MSc takes 1 year full time and part time options are available.
Entry requires a strong Bachelors or Masters degree with a substantial actuarial content and covering a sufficient number of the Core Technical subjects of the professional actuarial examinations. It is not necessary to hold exemptions from all of the profession's CT subjects.
A willingness to work hard and a drive to succeed are also important prerequisites.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:
- 2 semesters English (for IELTS of 4.5-5.0);
- 12 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5*-6.0). (*minimum 5.5 reading and writing)
Fees for this programme can be found on our Tuition fees page.
Scholarships & bursaries
Alumni Scholarship Scheme
British Chamber of Commerce in Germany Foundation Scholarship (German students)
Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursaries
Applicants must be Scottish by birth, have at least one parent born in Scotland or have been continuously resident in Scotland for a period of three years for the purpose of secondary or tertiary education.
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
International (Commonwealth citizens)
Department for International Development (DFID) Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
East Lothian Educational Trust
Applicants must be a resident of the old county of East Lothian (ie excluding Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig.)
Entente Cordiale Scholarships
French nationals aged 35 or under.
Japan Scotland Association Scholarship
Japanese nationals planning to enter a postgraduate course at Masters level at a Scottish University.
Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust
Restricted to residents of the UK who are a son, daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a commercial traveller, chemist or grocer.
Local Education Authority Awards
MSc Fee abatement scholarships
Part-time Fee Grant (SAAS)
See SAAS residence conditions.
Postgraduate Student Allowance Scheme (SAAS)
EU and UK applicants who meet the SAAS criteria on eligible courses
Remission of Fees (families of staff)
Spouses/civil partners and children of members of staff, also retired members of staff of the University
Royal Caledonian Schools Trust
Applicants must be of Scots parentage (conditions apply - see below)
SFC Key Skills Funded Places (MACS)
All applicants resident in Scotland who accept an offer for an eligible course
Scotland's Saltire Scholarships
Citizens of Canada, the People's Republic of China, India or USA (2 awards for each country)
Scottish applicants to the MSc in Actuarial Science, MSc in Actuarial Management and MSc in Quantitative Risk Management
Employees of Heriot-Watt University
West Lothian Educational Trust
Individuals must have originated in West Lothian or have lived there for the last 3 years.