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How to become an actuary

To qualify as an actuary you need to apply to become a student member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). You then need to pass our exams, or obtain exemptions from them and gain a satisfactory level of work-based skills

It's essential that you have excellent mathematical skills

Most actuaries start their training after they graduate by joining an actuarial firm as a trainee. Being in an actuarial job will develop your skills which will help you with your exams.

Most UK actuarial employers will be looking for trainees with a good degree (2:1 or above)

Employers favour candidates with degrees in a numerate subject such as mathematics, statistics, economics, engineering, chemistry, physics or actuarial science.   We have compiled a list of mathematical subjects which you should have an understanding of in order to qualify as an actuary.  (You will study these subjects in your degree, and/or whilst working as an actuarial student.)

The minimum requirements for admission as a student member of the IFoA are:

Qualification Key subject Minimum grade Other
A-Levels (England) Mathematics B Plus a second A-level in any subject at grade C
Scottish National Qualifications Authority Higher Mathematics A Plus two further passes in any subjects at grade C
Irish Leaving Certificate Mathematics A Plus four further passes in any subjects at grade C
IFoA Financial Mathematics (CT1) Pass You can take CT1 as a non-member

Other international qualifications must be equivalent to the above.


  • If you have a second class honours degree or above in a non-mathematical subject, the mathematics A-level requirement is reduced to a grade C.
  • If you have a third class honours degree or above in a mathematical or actuarial science degree, the mathematics A-level requirement is dropped.

Apply to become a student member of the IFoA

Download the Application form for Student membership

Please note: admission fees will increase from 1 July 2017. Any student admission forms received from this date will have to include the increased fee.

Can I study to become an actuary if I don’t meet the entry requirements?

If you do not have the qualifications outlined above you can still become a student member of the IFoA if you sit and pass the CT1 (Financial Mathematics) exam as a non-member.  Studying for and sitting CT1 will give you some insight into the complexity of the actuarial exams and help you decide if an actuarial career will be attainable for you.

However, before you take the exam, you should bear in mind that competition for jobs with actuarial employers is fierce; it may be advisable to contact some employers first to discuss whether passing CT1 will meet their entry requirements.

Taking the CT1 exam is also a useful option for anyone thinking of transferring into the actuarial profession from another career

Find out more about Subject CT1 Financial Mathematics

Contact Details

Jenni Hughes

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 7th Floor Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP

We aim to respond to all enquiries within five working days.