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Research Route

You can undertake some original research as an alternative to taking one of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' (IFoA's) Specialist Applications exams.

Your research must involve an actuarial approach to problem solving, and make an original contribution to actuarial science. The dissertation must demonstrate how the work links to relevant actuarial knowledge.

The research is expected to be of the level of MPhil or research degree and is likely to require at least two years of part-time study.

How do I apply?

You must have achieved passes in the following subjects from the former curriculum: CT1-8, CA1, CA3 and 1 ST subject before you will be accepted for the SA0 route. In the new curriculum this corresponds to passes in: CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2, CP1, CP3 and 1 SP subject. 

You need to send in a project proposal and a plan of work for a piece of original research on an actuarial topic which meets the criteria for SA0 projects discussed on this page.

The fee for SA0 is £1,340.

How does the process work?

This type of alternative assessment is resource intensive so a Board of Examiners Sub-committee will decide how many projects of this nature they can allow at any one time.

Preference will be given to projects in areas where no alternative examination is available. If your project proposal is approved we will appoint supervisors to oversee your work.

Once you have completed your dissertation we will discuss it with you, your supervisors and an independent external examiner at a viva exam. The assessment will result in one of the following:

  • pass
  • pass with minor modifications
  • re-submit after further work
  • fail.

There are key differences between this type of research project and one used to gain exemption from the Specialist Technical Subjects

  • The IFoA must be involved from the start, and agree the objectives of the research.
  • The project will test higher order skills, and have a greater length and depth of work.

Your work should be of a standard to pass peer review. This standard is one suitable for publication in refereed journals, although it is understood that some projects will be commercially sensitive.

Communication of your results will be important as well as the actuarial study. Your dissertation must contain an abstract and is likely to contain most of the following elements:

  • statement of the problem
  • literature review
  • data collection
  • analysis
  • conclusions and recommendations
  • non-technical communication of conclusions.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

education.services@actuaries.org.uk

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

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

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Drawing from his most recent book “The New Long Life” and his longevity research Andrew J Scott will outline how longer lives and new technologies will fundamentally reshape how we structure our lives and transform the economy. As well as looking at the agenda this will set governments and corporates he will focus on the implications for you and how you prepare your future career.

  • India Town Hall

    Webinar
    28 January 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual India Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Member Mahidhara Davangere and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

  • Spaces available

    What are the options for the world economy looking ahead?

    In this Thought Leadership Lecture, Economist, Vicky Pryce, will be discussing world economic trends, including the differences in geographical performance and how output is recovering and where.

  • Spaces available

    Trust and Leadership for Actuaries

    Led by Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Leeds, this webinar introduces some key ideas in the ethics of trust, with a particular focus on those in, or on the path to, leadership roles. Dr Baxter is joined by a panel of experienced leaders who will give their personal perspectives on how they understand the value of trust and how they seek to promote and inspire trust, drawing on their experiences of leadership. The panel includes:

  • Health and Care Hot Topics webinar

    Online webinar
    10 February 2021

    Spaces available

    In this webinar, we have two presentations showing the latest research on the implications for life and health insurers of two key issues: genomics and pandemic risk.

    Dr Peter Joshi and Paul Timmers will share their research on how well-established underwriting processes can allow for genomics in predicting expected mortality and morbidity. They will then discuss the potential for stratified screening and personalised medicine to improve health and reduce claim costs.

  • Spaces available

    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.