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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.

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 01/10/2020
End date
E.g., 01/10/2020

Events calendar

  • Autumn Lecture 2020: Professor Elroy Dimson

    Online webinar
    14 October 2020

    Spaces available

    Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term.

  • GIRO Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Available to watch globally in November.
    02-13 November 2020
    Spaces available

    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area

  • Life Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Online
    16 November 2020 - 27 November 2020

    Spaces available

    This year's Life Conference has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the life insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's website.

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.

  • Spaces available

    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

  • Spaces available

    Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year

  • Spaces available

    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report.