Actuarial & Financial Studies

Course Information

BAFS (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN230
CAO Points Range 2020: 601
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 increasingly 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

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which accredits this course, is currently in the process of updating its syllabus. Once these details are finalised they will be available on our web page at

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 module

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 module

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.


“I decided on Actuarial & Financial Studies because it is the best course to prepare you for a career as an Actuary, while also being broad enough to leave you with lots of options right across the financial spectrum. While the content is challenging, it is still very manageable and enjoyable. Lecturers use real-world examples to explain the material, which helps me to fully understand the concept and its uses. I am currently on my six-month work placement in a consultancy company in Dublin. Every day is quite varied, and I work on projects in life and non-life insurance and in pensions. I spend a lot of time using Excel working on different actuarial models. It has also been great to see what life is like in an actuarial company.”

– George Harding, Student

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