Studying Mathematics or Statistics with Actuarial Studies

  • Would you like an exclusive career that is highly paid and in high demand?

Then study Actuarial Studies together with Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW. 

What is Actuarial Studies?

Actuarial Studies is a broadly based commerce discipline that involves the study of mathematics, statistics, accounting, economics, and finance, and their application to long-term financial management. This is particularly relevant in life insurance and superannuation, as well as in other financial services such as funds management and banking. It includes the study of models used in insurance and superannuation to quantify and manage risks such as survival, sickness, retirement, accident, fire, flood, and fluctuations in asset values. Actuarial Studies focuses on the actuarial principles involved in the pricing, risk assessment, investment, financial management and the financial soundness of the obligations of insurance companies, benefits plans and other financial security systems.

To become a fully qualified actuary you must study with the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. This is usually done while employed by a company (after having completed a degree) but now you can have a head start with our Actuarial Studies major. This major has been designed so that students who meet the required standards can apply for exemptions from all the Part I examinations of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia. By choosing the courses listed on the recommended study plan, students may be able to apply for exemption from the Part II examinations as well. The major covers the new actuarial syllabus and has an emphasis on financial and stochastic modelling. Actuarial Studies is a highly sought after course with high entry requirements. 

How to study Actuarial Studies with Mathematics or Statistics at UNSW

From 2013 Actuarial Studies is studied as the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (program 3586). This degree can be combined with the BSc (Advanced Maths) as program 3589, and the ordinary BSc as program 3154.

Prior to 2013 students would choose the four-year combined degree in Commerce and Science with Majors in Actuarial Studies and in Mathematics or Statistics. This is a full Commerce degree with majors in Actuarial Studies (in Commerce) and Mathematics or Statistics (in Science).

All these degrees are administered by the Australian School of Business and the Faculty of Science.

Students with good results may continue for another year (total five years) to complete Honours in Actuarial Studies, Mathematics or Statistics. 

Our recommended study plan for post-2013 entry (BActl/BSc) gives details of suggested courses fitted to the correct semester as a pdf file. These plans are given for the advanced maths degrees. For the ordinary BSc majors, see the handbook or contact the School of Mathematics and Statistics for which courses can be dropped. 

The pre-2013 Study Plan is also available with specific course details for the old BCom/BSc degrees.

How do Mathematics and Statistics fit with the Commerce studies?

Mathematics, Statistics and Computing skills are an essential part of advanced financial and actuarial modelling and are necessary for a full understanding of the theory behind the modelling, so they form a natural complement to Actuarial Studies. Additionally, Actuarial Studies courses can enrich the study of Mathematics and Statistics. These programs are ideal for students who have an interest in mathematics and statistics, but who wish to enhance their employment prospects in the finance industry. 

What kind of jobs can I obtain when I graduate?

The Actuarial Studies with Mathematics or Statistics program has been developed to meet the continually increasing demand from a wide range of employers for mathematically able graduates. There are excellent job prospects for actuaries and trainee actuaries in an increasingly diverse array of practice areas. Traditionally the major employers of actuaries have been life insurance companies, superannuation funds and actuarial consulting firms. More recently general insurance, health insurance, banks and fund managers have developed a keen interest in recruiting actuarial graduates and young actuaries. There are also opportunities in many other areas. Consult the Actuarial Studies brochures for more details.

Please also see Careers and the UNSW School of Actuarial Studies

What do I study in the course?

In first year you will study Mathematics, Computing, Accounting and Financial Management, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Actuarial Studies. Statistics studies start in year 2.

At the end of year 1, it may be possible for you to swap from the Actuarial Studies major to another in Commerce such as Finance, or to swap the Mathematics or Statistics majors to another Science major. In later years this becomes difficult without having to take a longer time to complete the degree. It is not possible to transfer between degree programs without reapplying for admission.

Mathematics and Statistics can be studied at the Ordinary level or at the Higher level depending on your interests and abilities, but study at the Higher level is recommended and may be necessary for certain courses in later years.

To find out more about which courses to take, see the pre-2013 Recommended Study Plan.

For formal details and informal descriptions of individual Mathematics and Statistics courses, see the Details of Courses page. 

What are the entry requirements?

You must meet the appropriate ATAR cut-off. Please see the UAC website where ATAR cut-offs are listed for each program.

  • The BCom/BSc combined degree was available under UAC code 424000 (BCom/BSc).
  • The BActlStudies/BSc (Advanced Maths) degree is available under UAC code 424011.

In addition, you will need to have a certain level of prior knowledge of Mathematics. To find out the level of knowledge required for first year Mathematics courses, see Assumed Knowledge.

Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Studies demand a high level of mathematical ability, so the Mathematics level required is in fact rather higher than the formal prerequisites and we would only recommend this program for students whose Mathematics marks exceed 140 out of 150 in Mathematics plus Extension 1, or 180 out of 200 in Mathematics Extension 1 plus Extension 2. 

How do I get further information about these courses?

School of Mathematics and Statistics

phone: (02) 9385 7111

fax: (02) 9385 7123

email: ug.MathsStats followed by

Also see the UNSW School of Actuarial Studies.