Actuarial & Financial Studies

BAFS (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Course Video

Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

If you enjoy studying Higher Level Mathematics for the Leaving Certificate or at A-Level and you have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, the UCD Actuarial & Financial Studies (BAFS) degree could be for you. It 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 courses in actuarial science.

A good actuary requires a multidisciplinary education in fields such as mathematics, economics, finance, statistics, risk management and professionalism. 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. Actuaries have traditionally worked mostly in the insurance and pensions industries but are increasingly moving into wider fields, where they can employ their range of skills. The course also opens up options to work in finance, investment and trading.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

This is a sample set of modules that an Actuarial & Financial Studies student could study each year in UCD.

First Year

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Foundations of Finance
  • Numbers & Functions
  • Linear Algebra with Applications to Economics
  • Introduction to Analysis
  • Introduction Actuarial & Financial Studies
  • Financial Accounting
  • Differential Equations
  • Advanced Calculus
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Fundamentals of Actuarial Business Theory
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Fundamentals of Actuarial Mathematics
  • Introduction to Probability
  • Professional Ethics
  • Modern Regression Analysis
  • Economic History
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Introduction to Bayesian Analysis
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Information Management for Actuaries
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Models – Survival
  • Models – Stochastic Models
  • Workplace Skills for Actuarial & Financial Studies
  • Investment & Trading

Six month professional placement in an insurance and financial institution in Ireland (or in some cases abroad)

Fourth Year

  • International Financial Management
  • Actuarial Statistics
  • Financial & Actuarial Maths
  • Core Actuarial Principles
  • Statistical Machine Learning
  • Core Actuarial Principles

Assessment varies across modules but typically comprises of written exams, individual and group assignments, and midterm tests.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Most Actuarial & Financial Studies graduates take positions as actuarial trainees in the following:

  • Life insurance
  • Pensions
  • Health insurance
  • General insurance
  • Investment

The Actuarial & Financial Studies degree at UCD offers potential exemptions from the core subjects CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2 and CP1 of the professional examinations of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK.

Some graduates also work in banking or finance as business or financial analysts. As an Actuarial & Financial Studies graduate, you are also eligible to pursue graduate study in statistics, computer science, economics, mathematics, management science, finance and other specialist business subjects.

Other Entry Routes

“I really enjoyed maths in school and problem solving has always been fun for me. However, I did not know exactly what type of career I wanted. This course is great as it covers a range of topics from actuarial to financial to data science using a hands-on approach, applying what you learn in class to real world scenarios. What I enjoyed the most was my work placement in third year. While the majority of students work in insurance companies, I took a different route and did
my placement in an investment bank. First-hand industry experience is so important, and I plan on following this path after I graduate. The Actuarial and Financial Society in UCD is also great as they sponsor events throughout the year such as the Actuary Pub Quiz and the Actuary Ball.”

Hugh Quigley, Student

Contact Information

Dr Adrian O’Hagan
UCD School of Mathematical Sciences
Belfield, Dublin 4


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