Thinking of becoming an Actuary? What to study in college

With the Leaving Cert coming to an end and two weeks until the CAO Change of Mind closes,  we thought it would be useful to do a run-down of all the actuarial college courses offered by universities in Ireland, and their 2014 entry requirements. Dublin City University DCU offers a BSc. in Actuarial Mathematics (DC126). The Leaving Certificate entry requirements for this course include the general entry requirements (Grade C3 in two Higher Level subjects and Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects including English or Irish) and a B3 in Higher Level Mathematics. Last year the Leaving Certificate points requirement was 535.                                                                                          DCU also offers a common entry route to BSc in Actuarial Mathematics (DC127), a BSc in Financial Mathematics, and a BSc in Applicable Mathematics, which keeps students’ options open and allows them to decide which route to pursue after two years of study. The Leaving Certificate entry requirements for this course in 2014 included the general entry requirements and 480 points. Depending on module choices and exam results these courses can result in exemptions from up to eight Core Technical Stage subjects (CT1-CT8). Additionally DCU offers a one year Graduate Certificate in Actuarial Applications (GCAA) course on a part-time basis which is primarily aimed at individuals who are in full-time employment in actuarial practice or related disciplines. This course allows for exemptions in CA1 and CA3. Applicants are required to have passed or be exempt from all the CT examinations and to be in full time actuarial employment. University College Cork UCC offers a BSc in Financial Mathematics and Actuarial Science (CK407). This course requires a HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at higher or ordinary level in the Leaving Certificate, and applicants must have a HB3 or higher in Mathematics. In 2014 the points required for this programme were 555. UCC also offers a MSc in Actuarial Science (CKR46). Candidates must have obtained at least a second class honours primary degree in engineering, finance, physical or mathematical sciences, or equivalent, or in a degree with a strong numerate content, and must have demonstrated by their performance in relevant modules that they possess the numeracy skills required for this MSc degree course. Completion of either of these programmes may result in students being exempt from up to eight Core Technical Stage subjects (CT1-CT8), depending on module choices and exam results.University College Dublin UCD offers three types of actuarial courses. The first is a Bachelor of Actuarial and Financial Studies (DN230). The leaving certificate requirements for this course are passes in six subjects including English, Irish, Mathematics (Min HB1) and three other subjects. Two of the six subjects must be minimum HC3. The points requirement for this course was 560 in 2014. UCD also offers a MSc in Actuarial Science (F034) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Actuarial Science (F036). Applicants for both of these programmes are expected to have a very good foundation in mathematics and/or statistics and should have the equivalent of an Irish 2.1 honours degree in a quantitative area such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering or economics and/or finance. Depending on module choices and exam results these three courses can result in exemptions from up to eight Core Technical Stage subjects (CT1-CT8) and from CA1. Queen’s University Belfast Queens offers a BSc in Actuarial Science and Risk Management (UCAS Code: N323). The A level requirements of this course are A*AA including Mathematics (equivalent of 420 points) or AAA A (AS) including A-Level Mathematics (equivalent of 470 points). On completion of this course students may be exempt from up to eight Core Technical Stage subjects (CT1-CT8), depending on module choices and exam results. Mathematics Route University of Limerick UL offers a Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics (LM058), which can result in an exemption from CT3. This course requires Grade C3 in two Higher Level subjects and Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects including English or Irish and a C3 in Higher Level Mathematics. Last year the Leaving Certificate points requirements was 430 in 2013, and rose to 435 this year. There are a number of mathematics, statistics and finance degrees from universities such as NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway, and Trinity College Dublin from which students may receive exemptions from the Core Technical examinations. Students are advised to contact the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries for more information. We hope this has been helpful for anybody who is doing the Leaving Certificate and thinking of becoming an actuary. If you would like some career advice please get in touch at admin@raretec.ie or call 01 5311 400.