Actuarial & Financial Studies

Course Information

BAFS (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN230
CAO Points Range 2018: 565
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 47

Leaving Certificate:
  •  H2 in Mathematics
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and three other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

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 BAFS
(Hons) degree could be for you. An actuary is a professional who uses numbers to make judgements about the future, compared to an accountant who is a professional who typically uses numbers to make judgements about the past. This course 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 multi-disciplined education in fields such as mathematics, economics, finance, statistics, risk management, psychology and professionalism and ethics. 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 life assurance and pensions industries but are increasing moving into wider fields, where they can employ their multi-disciplined approach.

The course also opens up options to work in finance, investment and trading.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Most BAFS graduates take positions as actuarial trainees in the following:

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

Should you achieve a sufficiently high standard in the degree, you’ll gain some
(or all) exemptions from the Core Technical series examinations (CT1:8) as well as the Core Applications CA1 examination of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Some graduates also work in banking or finance as business or financial analysts. As a graduate of the BAFS degree, you’re also eligible to pursue graduate study in statistics, computer science, economics, mathematics, management science, finance and other specialist business subjects.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Actuarial & Financial Studies. The course is broad and highly multi-disciplined.

First Year

  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Elective modules

Second Year

  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Actuarial Mathematics
  • Economic History
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Investment & Trading
  • Actuarial Statistics
  • Information Management
  • Workplace Skills
  • Six-month professional placement in an insurance and financial institution in Ireland, the UK or the USA

Fourth Year

  • Financial & Actuarial Maths
  • Actuarial Statistics
  • Actuarial Risk Management
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Elective modules

Assessment for each module will vary and may comprise a written exam, multiple- choice questionnaires and continuous assessment activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here.


“One of the most important aspects of the degree was the six-month work placement during third year. It provided excellent exposure to the working environment and gave a taste of what it is like to work as an actuary. Another advantage is the small class size. The class is a tight-knit group and this is important during the degree and in the work environment afterwards. I now work in Regulation and my role involves reviewing reports on insurers’ pricing, reserving and risk management processes. The work can be challenging and actuaries are constantly updating their knowledge and skills to adapt to the changing environment with the introduction of new regulations and greater emphasis on risk management after the financial crisis in 2008.”

Marie Bradley, FSAI, Senior Actuary at Central Bank of Ireland

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