ST306      Half Unit
Actuarial Mathematics (General)

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Debora Escobar


This course is available on the BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics and BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business. 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

This course is an introduction to actuarial work in non-life insurance. The course covers a general overview of the industry, history of general insurance and risk-sharing arrangements. Loss distributions suitable for modelling individual and aggregate losses; statistical inference. Moment generating functions of the distributions: gamma, exponential, Pareto, generalized Pareto, normal, lognormal, Weibull, and others. The collective model: risk models involving frequency and severity distributions. Moments and moment generating functions of Compound distributions. Stochastic risk models: Compound Poisson processes. Reinsurance treaties: proportional, excess of loss, stop-loss, deriving the distribution, moment generating functions and other properties of the losses to the insurer and reinsurer under all the models above. Ruin theory, Lundberg theorem and an integral approach for the ruin probability. Fundamental concepts of Bayesian statistics, prior distributions, posterior distributions, loss functions, Bayesian estimators. Credibility theory; Bayesian models. Experience rating models and applications. Claims reserving: run-off triangles. Programming applications using R


This course will be delivered through a combination of classes, lectures and Q&A sessions totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term.This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Indicative reading

Notes are given out in the lectures. 


Exam (90%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (10%) in the period between LT and ST.

Coursework is timed (2hr + submission time)

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 52.7
2:1 24.4
2:2 9.5
Third 3.5
Fail 10

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2021/22: 62

Average class size 2021/22: 16

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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