MSc Actuarial Finance 2016

Apply your quantitative skills to evaluate and manage complex financial problems

Two students working at a computer screen

Key facts

Start date:
September 2016
12 months full time
Entry requirements:
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in relevant subject Full entry requirements.
Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component Full language requirements.
UK/EU fees:
International fees:

Actuaries evaluate and manage financial risk. They apply advanced mathematical and statistical techniques to solve financial problems, assess the likelihood of a particular event and the possible financial costs. The role of the actuary is increasingly important in the current economic climate, where volatile markets are contributing to financial uncertainty.

Our MSc Actuarial Finance will introduce you to essential business topics and enable you to apply your quantitative skills to solve complex business problems, such as risk management, insurance and derivatives. You’ll gain comprehensive knowledge in business areas such as accountancy, corporate finance and economics, as well as key analytical techniques, processes and models that have significant applications in actuarial finance.

The Business School has strong links with the actuarial profession and the insurance and pensions industry, giving you the opportunity to interact with practising actuaries and industry experts.

Academic excellence

Leeds University Business School is ranked in the world's top 50 for Masters in Finance (Financial Times 2015). This programme is delivered in partnership with the University’s School of Mathematics. You’ll learn from leading academics based in both schools, giving you access to world-class expertise in both areas.

As a student, you will be able to access the knowledge of our advanced specialist research units, which also have strong links with leading institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. These include the Centre for Advanced Study in Finance (CASIF), the Institute of Banking and Investment (IBI) and the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC).

You will also benefit from our strong relationships with the actuarial profession. This provides a connection to the latest developments in the industry and gives you a Masters degree that is relevant to the contemporary environment.

Course content

You’ll take compulsory modules in corporate finance and economics allowing you to put your work into context and understand the importance of the role played by actuaries. At the same time, you’ll build your mathematical skills with classes in applied statistics and probability, as well as discrete time finance.

Building on this, you’ll study continuous time finance and gain an understanding of how different stochastic processes and survival models are applied to actuarial science. This will compliment your studies in topics such as accounting, professionalism and ethics, international investment and portfolio risk management.

Throughout the year you’ll build your professional skills with a core module focussing on critical practical skills that will prepare you for the workplace. At the end of the programme, you’ll bring together your business, mathematical and professional knowledge to complete an independent project on a topic of your choice, which will demonstrate your ability to apply the skills you’ve gained.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory Modules:
- Portfolio Risk Management
- Corporate Finance
- Professionalism and Ethics for Actuaries
- International Investment
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Economics for Business 1
- Applied Statistics and Probability
- Discrete Time Finance
- Models in Actuarial Science
- Continuous Time Finance
- Projects in Actuarial Finance

For more information on typical modules, read Actuarial Finance MSc in programme catalogue

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields and come from highly respected professional and academic backgrounds. Their cutting-edge research and professional experience informs their teaching. We use a range of teaching methods so you can benefit from their expertise including lectures, workshops, seminars, computer simulations and tutorials. Independent study is also vital for this programme allowing you to prepare for taught classes and sharpen your own research and critical skills.


Assessment methods emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. They include formal exams, group projects, reports, computer simulation exercises, essays and written assignments, group and individual presentations and reflective logs.

Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant first degree such as mathematics, statistics, economics or finance.

A background in finance or economics is desirable but not essential. You must have a strong grounding in quantitative subjects with high scores in quantitative modules .

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Economics and Finance (6 weeks) and Language for Business: Economics and Finance (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines:

UK/EU: 31 August 2016

International: Closed for 2016 entry


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you’ll need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying
  • Two academic references
  • A personal statement
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
  • A letter of sponsorship, if you need one.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Leeds University Business School Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £12,750

International: £21,500

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Masters fees.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Scholarships and financial support

We award a range of scholarships to UK/EU and international students. There are several scholarships available for this programme that you may be eligible to apply for. Scholarships are available to candidates who can demonstrate an excellent academic record and show excellent professional and personal skills.

Find out more about scholarships.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities for graduates of this programme are vast. You will be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of core accounting and finance principles, and the numerical and analytical skills to succeed in this rapidly changing complex environment.

Graduates of our MSc Actuarial Finance have entered high-flying careers in insurance, pensions, accountancy, risk management and consultancy. Job prospects are wide ranging and include consultant actuaries, scheme actuaries and insurance actuaries, accountants, investment banking and risk management.

As a result of the high level of quantitative skills developed, you also gain an excellent grounding for PhD study in accounting, finance and economics.

Careers support

We help you to achieve your career ambitions by providing professional development support as part of the Masters programme. You benefit from our dedicated Professional Development Tutor, who will work with you to develop the important professional skills that employers value.

Read more about our careers and professional development support.

Seminars were a breath of fresh air… it made putting everything into perspective much easier. The advice from lecturers and the skills I gained gave me the courage to consider a different career.

Mr Irungu Gachau, Kenya
MSc Actuarial Finance
View full profile

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