ST306      Half Unit
Actuarial Mathematics (General)

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Angelos Dassios COL.6.14


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Actuarial Science. This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics and BSc in Statistics with Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students must have completed Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference (ST202) and Stochastic Processes (ST302).

Course content

An introduction to actuarial work in non-life insurance. Decision theory concepts: game theory, optimum strategies, decision functions, risk functions, the minimax criterion and the Bayes criterion. Loss distributions with and without limits and risk-sharing arrangements; suitable, moments and moment generating functions, the gamma, exponential, Pareto, generalised Pareto, normal, lognormal, Weibull, Burr and other distributions suitable for modelling individual and aggregate losses; statistical inference. Risk models involving frequency and severity distributions; the basic short-term contracts, moments, moment generating functions and other properties of compound distributions. Reinsurance treaties; proportional, excess of loss, stop-loss, deriving the distribution, moments, moment generating functions and other properties of the losses to the insurer and reinsurer under all the models above. Ruin theory for continuous and discrete models. Fundamental concepts of Bayesian statistics; Bayes theorem, prior distributions, posterior distributions, conjugate prior distributions, loss functions, Bayesian estimators. Credibility theory; Bayesian models. Experience rating models and applications. Claims reserving: run-off triangles. Monte-Carlo simulation and applications in insurance.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

There will be a reading week and a take home mock exam in week 6.

Formative coursework

Compulsory written answers to one set of problems. There will also be a mock exam during week 6. 

Indicative reading

Notes are given out in the lectures. The Institute of Actuaries, Core reading Subject CT6.

For full details of the syllabus of CT6, see:


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the LT week 0.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 56.4
2:1 14.7
2:2 14.2
Third 10.9
Fail 3.8

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2015/16: 77

Average class size 2015/16: 77

Capped 2015/16: No

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills