DN230 Actuarial & Financial Studies (BSS3)

Actuaries are typically employed in the financial services sector where their role is to understand the nature of risk and find ways to manage it.

Curricular information is subject to change

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This programme is aimed at students who wish to gain a deep understanding of the concepts of actuarial science, and a mastery of the associated skills and technologies. Our students will become autonomous inquisitive learners capable of formulating and creatively solving relevant problems in actuarial science. Our graduates will continue to be in demand by employers and academic research institutes for their ability to use the tools they have learned to explain, monitor and manage risks and financial schemes with embedded risks. We aim to provide a teaching and learning environment that develops confidence and independence through a wide variety of interactive formats, both inside and outside the classroom including lectures, tutorials, blackboard and computer assisted labs.


1 - Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of actuarial science
2 - Approach problems in an analytical, precise and rigorous way
3 - Build, calibrate, test, and implement models using data relating to future cash flows to estimate their amount and timing
4 - Handle data and assumptions underlying models in a critical manner
5 - Use economic analyses to form judgements on such matters as future inflation and interest rates.
6 - Measure, monitor and manage risks embedded in financial products or schemes
7 - Monitor, and manage the variation in, the progress of the accumulation of a fund and the build up of assets to meet future liabilities and advise on suitable investment strategies
8 - Communicate the results of their work in an effective way.
9 - Operate within an environment that requires professionalism, scrutiny and transparency
10 - Work with other professionals to solve problems
11 - Apply the highest standards of independence and due diligence to protect the public interest
12 - Critically appraise topical applications of actuarial research and practice using case studies
Approved Additional Standards for Continuation in undergraduate degree programmes in Science (all majors):

Students who return failing grades in a semester amounting to 15 credits, or more, will be identified under the UCD Continuation and Readmission Policy. Students whose rate of progression and performance over two academic sessions (2 years) is deemed unacceptable will be referred to the Academic Council Committee on Student Conduct and Capacity for exclusion from the programme.

As Stages 3 and 4 have the most dynamic components of the programme, and the material studied previously may no longer be relevant, a student who has been away from the programme for a significant period should be required to register again to Stage 3. The upper limit for completion of Stages 3 and 4 should be six years, if they choose to do 120 credits with 20 in each year.
Actuaries are typically employed in the financial services sector where their role is to understand the nature of risk and find ways to manage it. The BAFS (Hons) degree will prepare you for a professional career in the actuarial or financial professions, but it has also been designed to be broader and more diverse than most traditional programmes in actuarial science. It takes a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behaviour to design and manage programmes that control risk and guarantee sufficient funds for the insurance and pension sectors. For example, the actuary works out the risk (i.e. the likelihood of an incident such as a fire happening) and calculates how much the customer should pay for insurance cover in order to ensure the insurance company has sufficient funds to pay out if the incident occurs. The actuary calculates the premium based on the pattern and trends in the entire marketplace. To that end, your degree will focus on statistics, mathematics, economics finance, investment and related actuarial science and business subjects.
STAGE 1
You will study modules in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics and Computer Programming.

STAGES 2-4
Later you will concentrate on more advanced areas of Actuarial Science, Economics, Statistics and Finance. An essential element of the programme is a six-month supervised professional work experience undertaken in Stage 3. You are placed in insurance and financial institutions in which you gain valuable insight into possible careers as actuaries or financial analysts. Most students undergo their work experience in Ireland, the UK or the USA.
You may apply to study abroad for either a semester or a year through the Erasmus programme or on a non-EU exchange. UCD has over 200 Erasmus partners in Europe and an increasing number of non-EU exchange agreements with universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Please visit the Erasmus section in International Office link at the top of this page.
Most BAFS graduates take positions as actuarial trainees in the following:

  • Life insurance
  • Pensions
  • Health insurance
  • General insurance

    Should you achieve a sufficiently high standard in the degree, you will gain some (or all) exemptions from the Core Technical series examinations (CT1:8) as well as the Core Applications CA1 examination of the Institute of Actuaries, or the Faculty of Actuaries. Some graduates also work in banking or finance as business or financial analysts. As a graduate of the BAFS degree, you are also eligible to pursue graduate study in statistics, computer science, economics, mathematics, management science, finance and other specialist business subjects.
  • Colm Fitzgerald
    School of Mathematics & Statistics
    O'Brien Centre for Science
    Email: colm.fitzgerald@ucd.ie
    Web: https://www.myucd.ie/courses/science/actuarial-financial-studies/
    Stage 1

    Students take all 11 core modules and a further elective module in Spring trimester for a total of 55 credits

    Stage 2

    Students take 9 core modules and 1 option module as well as 2 elective modules.

    Stage 3

    Students take six core modules in Trimester 1 and 30 credit Work Experience core module in Trimester 2. STAT10010 or STAT10050 may NOT be taken as an elective.

    Stage 4

    Students should take ten core modules (for 50 credits) and at least one option (5 credits) from the list provided. Students may also select 5 credits of electives.

    Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    COMP10010 Introduction to Programming I Autumn

    5

    FIN20040 Foundations of Finance Autumn

    5

    MATH10040 Numbers & Functions Autumn

    5

    MATH10120 Linear Algebra with Applications to Economics Autumn

    5

    MATH10130 Introduction to Analysis for Economics and Finance Autumn

    5

    STAT10420 Intro Actuarial & Fin Studies Autumn

    5

    ACC10040 Financial Accounting 1 Spring

    5

    ACM10100 Differential & Difference Equations: Applications to Econ & Fin Spring

    5

    MATH10140 Advanced Calculus for Economics and Finance Spring

    5

    STAT10060 Statistical Modelling Spring

    5

    STAT10410 Fund Actuarial Business Theory Spring

    5

    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    FIN30170 Corporate Financial Management Autumn

    5

    MATH20130 Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics I Autumn

    5

    STAT20110 Probability Theory Autumn

    5

    STAT20190 Prof & Classical Ethics Autumn

    5

    STAT30240 Predictive Analytics I Autumn

    5

    ECON20130 Economic History: From the Middle Ages to the Second World War Spring

    5

    MATH20210 Fundamentals of Actuarial and Financial Mathematics II Spring

    5

    STAT20100 Inferential Statistics Spring

    5

    STAT20180 Bayesian Analysis Spring

    5

    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    Stage 2 Options - MIN1OF
    Select at least 1 of
         
    ECON30290 Advanced Microeconomics Autumn

    5

    ECON30190 Public Economics: Government Spending, Taxation and Public Choice Spring

    5

    MATH10320 Mathematical Analysis Spring

    5

    MATH20260 The Mathematics of Google Spring

    5

    MATH20270 Theory of Games Spring

    5

    MST30070 Geometry Spring

    5

    Stage 2 Options - MIN1OF
    Select at least 1 of
         
    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    MIS30080 Information Management for Actuaries Autumn

    5

    STAT30010 Time Series Autumn

    5

    STAT30080 Models - Survival Models Autumn

    5

    STAT30090 Models - Stochastic Models Autumn

    5

    STAT30290 Workplace Skills for BAFS Autumn

    5

    STAT30320 Investing, Investment, Psychology & Trading Autumn

    5

    STAT30150 BAFS Professional Work Placement Spring

    30

    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    STAT20190 Prof & Classical Ethics Autumn

    5

    STAT40020 Actuarial Statistics I Autumn

    5

    STAT40060 Actuarial Mathematics 1 Autumn

    5

    STAT40920 Financial & Actuarial Maths I Autumn

    5

    STAT41000 Core Actuarial Principles 1 Autumn

    5

    STAT40070 Actuarial Statistics II Spring

    5

    STAT40100 Actuarial Mathematics 2 Spring

    5

    STAT40930 Financial & Actuarial Maths II Spring

    5

    STAT40980 Core Actuarial Principles 3 Spring

    5

    STAT40990 Core Actuarial Principles 2 Spring

    5

    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Options - A): 1 OF:
    Students must select at least 1 option module from the list below. Students may choose an additional option module from this list or a 5-credit elective module to complete Stage 4.
         
    ACC20010 Financial Accounting 2 Autumn

    5

    FIN30030 International Financial Management Autumn

    5

    ECON30150 International Money and Banking Autumn and Spring (separate)

    5

    FIN30080 Financial Institution Management Spring

    5

    STAT30270 Statistical Machine Learning Spring

    5

    STAT40150 Multivariate Analysis Spring

    5


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