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BSc Actuarial Science

The beauty of actuarial science is that it is a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to define, analyze and solve the financial implications of something so uncertain and intangible such as risks in the insurance and finance fields.
Dr George Tzougas200x200

If you have enjoyed mathematics at A level and are interested in the applications of statistics to the social sciences, then you should consider this subject. Actuarial science applies mathematical and Statistical skills to a range of applied subjects and helps to solve important problems for insurance, government, commerce, industry and academic researchers.

If you choose the actuarial science degree then you take additional courses, which together with the mathematics and statistics required, can lead to exemptions from all of the first of the examinations of the Institute of Actuaries. See undergraduate programme accreditation and exemptions for more information.

Dr George Tzougas 
BSc Actuarial Science Programme Director 

Entry requirements

  • Course requirement: A level Mathematics at grade A or International Baccalaureate Higher level Mathematics (with 7).
  • Normally required: A level: grades A A A, one of which must be Mathematics. Further Mathematics is highly desirable.
  • International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level (with 7 in Mathematics).

Careers Destinations

The following data has been collected through the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) surevy 2015/16

Number of Responses: 197

Of the 188 available for work

93.62% were working and/or studying

Median Salary £30,000

Status

Number of records

% of Total Number of Records along table (Down)

Working

104

52.79%

Studying

60

30.45%

Working and Studying

12

6.09%

Due to start work

2

1.02%

Unemployed

10

5.08%

Other

9

4.57%

 Where do Alumni Work?

69.83% UK & 30.17% Rest of the World

Top Emplyer Industries include:Investment Banking, Auditing, Consultancy, Retail and commercial banking, Insurance and Brokerage

For more details please see  what Statistics graduates have gone on to do.

Details of how to apply

Statistics - Research Internship Scheme

Research projects are carried out in collaboration with two 3rd year undergraduate students each year. These projects are aimed at supervising and developing an undergraduate student’s interest in research. The projects which were carried out in 2017, 2018 and 2019 ran from Monday 8th June – Friday 31st August and during that time the two undergraduate research assistants completed 100 hours of paid work. The research paper that was produced in 2017 recently appeared in the internationally recognised European Actuarial Journal, was presented in the Statistics Department in November 2017 and at the 10th International Conference on Computational and Methodological Statistics which was hosted by the University of London in December 2017. Furthermore, the project was produced in 2018, was presented in the Statistics Department in November 2018 and at the 11th International Conference on Computational and Methodological Statistics which was hosted by the University of Pisa in December 2018 and was accepted for publication in Annals of Actuarial Science.
Finally the research project which was carried out this year will be presented in the Department of Statistics in November and has already been accepted for presentation at the 12th International Conference on Computational and Methodological Statistics which was hosted by the University of London in December 2019.

For more details please visit:

https://info.lse.ac.uk/staff/divisions/Teaching-and-Learning-Centre/TLC-resource-materials/Education-Case-Studies/Statistics-Research-Internships

Statistics - Industry Practitioners Challenge

We organise the LSE Statistics Practitioners’ Challenge for BSc and MSc students. During this event, we collaborate with leading industry partners to initiate competitive projects focusing on real issues faced by companies. Students, who take on the challenge, use their personal and professional skills developed through their program at LSE. In the past we worked with Aviva, JP Morgan, UBS, and QBE. Companies propose a problem, from insurance to trading, and students come up with an approach. The students are supervised by Gelly Mitrodima (BSc students) and Hao Xing (MSc students) and other academic staff as well as PhD students in the Department of Statistics. This way students don’t only work for well-known institutions, but they also collaborate with academic staff in the Department of Statistics and get some invaluable guidance. We also organise a communication and presentation skills seminar. This aims to help students with their actual presentations at the end of the challenge. In the final stage our students present their findings to the companies and the Department and submit a report related to their findings.

For more details please visit:

https://info.lse.ac.uk/staff/divisions/Teaching-and-Learning-Centre/TLC-resource-materials/Education-Case-Studies/Statistics-Industry-Practitioners-Challenge

Degree structure

The BSc Actuarial Science degree involves studying courses to the value of twelve units over three years as indicated below.

First year

  1. ST102 Elementary Statistical Theory
  2. MA100 Mathematical Methods  
  3. AC104 Elements of Accounting, Financial Institutions and Financial Management or MA103 Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
  4. EC102 Economics B

Elementary Statistical Theory is a theoretical statistics course which is appropriate whether or not your A level Mathematics course included statistics. It forms the basis for later statistics options. Mathematical Methods is an introductory level 'how to do it' course designed to prepare you for using mathematics seriously in the social sciences or any other context. Elements of Accounting and Finance will give you an introduction to the preparation, uses and limitations of accounting information and problems of finance and investment. You will also take an Economics course.

Second year

  1. ST202 Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference
  2. MA212 Further Mathematical Methods
  3. ST227 Survival Methods (half) and ST226 Actuarial Investigations - Financial (half)
  4. Courses to the value of one unit (to be discussed with tutor)

Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference will develop your knowledge of probability and statistics beyond the first year course. It will also provide the probability and statistics basis for all third year courses. Further Mathematical Methods covers the mathematics needed for statistics and actuarial courses. Actuarial investigations (Financial) is a course on compound interest techniques from an actuarial viewpoint and Survival models provides an introduction to actuarial mathematics and statistics. Within in the optional unit you can choose from courses in economics, mathematics, sociology, psychology, information systems, or anything else that might interest you. Alternatively, you can do an applied statistics project.

Third year

  1. ST302 Stochastic Processes (half unit) and ST304 Time Series and Forecasting (half unit)
  2. ST301 Actuarial Mathematics (Life) (half unit) and ST306 Actuarial Mathematics (General) (half unit)
  3. ST330 Stochastic and Actuarial Methods in Finance (full unit)
  4. Options to the value of one course unit from a list, which includes ST300 Regression and Generalised Linear Models (half unit), ST303 Stochastics Simulation (half unit), ST308 Bayesian Inference Half unit), and others.

You can replace courses to the value of one unit with another approved subject, but this will affect exemptions from examinations set by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. ST302 Stochastics Processes and ST304 Time Series and Forecasting cannot be substituted.

You might be able to gain exemptions from the core technical stage of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries examinations if you reach a sufficient standard in the relevant LSE courses. This is normally well above a pass mark.

There could be changes in the programme given here for the second and third years of the degree to keep up with developments in Actuarial Science.

Have a look at the BSc Actuarial Science regulations page for more information on option courses.

Teaching and assessment

You will usually attend a mixture of lectures and related classes totally between ten and fifteen hours per week. Your Academic Mentor will be able to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns and you will be expected to meet him or her at least three times a term.

Most courses are assessed by a three hour examination in June. A small number of courses are assessed by project work. The class of degree you will attain is based on the assessment over all three years with the emphasis on marks gained in the second and third years.

Suggested preliminary reading

The following books can help prepare for the programmes:

  • J S Rosenthal: Struck by Lightening: the curious world of probabilities (Harper Collins, 2005)
  • V Bryant: Yet Another Introduction to Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • N L Biggs: Discrete Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • P Eccles: An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • D Hand: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008)

The following are books on mathematics and statistics containing little to no formulas:

  • A Dilnot: The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers (Profile books, 2007)
  • K J Devlin: The Millennium Problems: the seven greatest unsolved mathematical puzzles of our time (Granta Books, 2005)
  • P J Davis and R Hersh: The Mathematical Experience (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)