You are here

How to choose a university course

When choosing a university course you need to think ahead to what future employers will be looking for when you come to apply for a trainee position

You should also think about which subjects you enjoy and perform well in.

Actuaries need to have excellent mathematical skills - therefore most employers require candidates to have a 2:1 degree in a numerate subject 

Most employers prefer candidates with degrees from university departments with a strong reputation  You will also need very good A-levels, including a grade A or B in Mathematics.

Depending on the modules taken and the grades you obtain, a numerate degree may lead to exemptions from some of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA's) exams.  Listen to the advice from Eve Finn FIA, below, on how to go about deciding on your degree:


Choosing a degree in actuarial science

Several universities offer undergraduate degrees in actuarial science.  Some of these carry exemptions from some of our examinations.

The advantages of studying for an actuarial science degree are:

  • you find out more about actuarial work before starting employment
  • you may be eligible for exemptions from some of our exams
  • you  may be able to qualify quicker than if you take a course which gives fewer exemptions
  • you will receive an excellent grounding in subjects like economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics, as well as actuarial subjects. This makes actuarial science graduates suitable for a range of careers, not just actuarial work.

Listen to Ren Lin FIA talking about how actuaries' way of thinking enables them to excel as problem solvers:

Choosing another numerate degree

There are benefits to studying numerate degrees other than those in actuarial science:

  • non-actuarial degrees enable students to experience a greater range of subjects
  • non-actuarial degrees may still lead to exemption from some of the exams 
  • not all employers select actuarial science graduates, so you may wish to seek the views of your favoured employers.

There is also the option to go on to take an MSc in Actuarial Science to further your understanding.

Contact Details

You can contact the Careers team at:

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.