Heriot-Watt University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 17.1k / Year (International)
  • Foreign: n/a
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

    there is no official deadline for postgraduate applications, we accept them right up until the beginning of term

    Photos of university / #heriotwattuni

    The programme is designed to kick-start your career as an actuary, preparing you to take a leading role in managing risk in financial institutions worldwide. Ranked top job in 2013 (as reported by Wall Street Journal), actuaries are in high demand in light of the need for sound decision making in the ever-changing financial markets. The rewards in terms of job satisfaction and earning potential make this an excellent career choice.

    Reputation for Excellence

    Established in 1972, we were the first UK university to introduce a dedicated programme in Actuarial Science, and have since evolved to become highly renowned as a world-leading centre in actuarial and financial teaching and research.


    The programme is fully accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, offering a valuable opportunity to gain exemptions from the Core Technical (CT1-CT8) examinations.

    Our Expertise

    Our expert staff, many of whom are qualfied actuaries, will guide and support you throughout your studies. You will benefit from their extensive business knowledge and research expertise, whilst gaining hands-on experience of solving real-life financial problems through interactive lectures, tutorial sessions and practical coursework. The MSc summer project gives you the opportunity to explore in greater depth the hot topics currently facing business, such as Solvency II and pensions autoenrolment. Our close links to industry through the Scottish Financial Risk Academy also creates the potential for undertaking a summer placement within Edinburgh's thriving financial sector.

    Highly Rated

    We have an excellent record of preparing students for successful careers - recent statistics show that around 90% of our postgraduate students were either in full-time employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Our students consistently rate us highly - the Sunday Times University Guide 2013 named us "UK University of the Year for Student Experience" as well as "Scottish University of the Year" for the second year running.

    Students' Actuarial Society

    We are very proud of our award-winning Students' Actuarial Society which is entirely managed, enthusiastically and professionally, by our students. As well as arranging a series of topical presentations by industry professionals, and popular social events, the Society's highly anticipated Annual Actuarial Conference attracts speakers and attendees from around the world.

    Programme duration
    The MSc programme is taught over 12-months and covers the CT1-CT8 professional syllabus, examined over 2 semesters, followed by a 3-month summer project.

    For those students who wish to gain exemptions from CT1 to CT8 without undertaking the MSc project, it is also possible to enrol on the 9-month PG Diploma.

    It is also possible to study part-time, over a maximum of 4 years. This option is available to students who do not require a visa to study in the UK. Please contact us if you would like more information.

    There are 12 courses available which correspond in total to CT1-CT8 of the actuarial professional syllabus. To meet university award requirements you must pass at least 8 of the 12 listed below. To achieve exemption from all of CT1-CT8 you must pass all 12 courses.

    Course /Professional Subject /Semester
    * Financial Mathematics / CT1 / 1
    * Finance and Financial Reporting / CT2 / 1
    * Economics / CT7 / 1
    * Statistical Methods / CT3 / 1
    * Life Insurance Maths 1& 2 / CT5 / 1 & 2
    * Stochastic Modelling/Survival Models / CT4 / 1 & 2
    * Risk Theory/Time Series Analysis / CT6 / 2
    * Financial Economics 1 & 2 / CT8 / 2

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    The programme is primarily intended for graduates with a strong mathematical background. Our normal minimum entry requirement is the equivalent of a UK 2.1 degree in mathematics, statistics or a related discipline with a high mathematics or statistics content.We are also looking for students who are keen to join the actuarial profession, have a willingness to work hard and a drive to succeed.English language requirementsIf your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, well need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme: * 2 semesters English (for IELTS of 4.5-5.0); * 12 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5); * 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5*-6.0). (*minimum 5.5 reading and writing) English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

    Scholarships & bursaries
    * Alumni Scholarship Scheme
    Heriot-Watt Alumni
    * Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursaries
    Applicants must be Scottish by birth, have at least one parent born in Scotland or have been continuously resident in Scotland for a period of three years for the purpose of secondary or tertiary education.
    * Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
    International (Commonwealth citizens)
    * Department for International Development (DFID) Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
    Commonwealth citizens
    * East Lothian Educational Trust
    Applicants must be a resident of the old county of East Lothian (ie excluding Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig.)
    * Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship (MACS)
    Scholarship for female Bachelor?s, Master?s and PhD students studying Computer Science or a closely related technical field
    * Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities (MACS)
    * Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust
    Restricted to residents of the UK who are a son, daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a commercial traveller, chemist or grocer.
    * Local Education Authority Awards
    * MACS Alumni Scholarship (MACS)
    * MACS Early Bird Scholarship (MACS)
    * MACS Postgraduate Scholarships (MACS)
    New applicants
    * Mexican Scholarships
    Mexican applicants
    * Music Scholarships
    All students
    * Part-time Fee Grant (SAAS)
    See SAAS residence conditions.
    * Postgraduate Student Allowance Scheme (SAAS)
    EU and UK applicants who meet the SAAS criteria on eligible courses
    * Remission of Fees (families of staff)
    Spouses/civil partners and children of members of staff, also retired members of staff of the University
    * Royal Caledonian Schools Trust
    Applicants must be of Scots parentage (conditions apply - see below)
    * Scotland's Saltire Scholarships
    Citizens of Canada, the People's Republic of China, India or USA (2 awards for each country)
    * Sports Scholarships
    All students
    * Staff Scholarships
    Employees of Heriot-Watt University
    * The Consumer Affairs UK Scholarship Programme
    All currently enrolled students
    * West Lothian Educational Trust
    Individuals must have originated in West Lothian or have lived there for the last 3 years.


    Professional recognition
    The programme is fully accredited by the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, offering a valuable opportunity to gain exemptions from the Core Technical (CT1-CT8) examinations

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