Taught course

Actuarial Science and Management

Heriot-Watt University · School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

Entry requirements

The programme is primarily intended for graduates with a strong numerate background. Our normal minimum entry requirement is the equivalent of a UK 2:1 degree in mathematics or statistics, or a related discipline with a high mathematics or statistics content (such as economics or physics).

The degree is challenging and it is necessary to be able to work hard and to have a strong drive to succeed.

English language requirements

Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5, we also accept TOEFL (scores of 79 and higher).

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Months of entry


Course content

Actuaries are members of a prestigious profession, known for its challenging entry requirements and impactful work. Our MSc in Actuarial Science provides you with a fast track into the profession by providing up to six exemptions from the exams you must pass to become a fully qualified actuary.

Actuaries are experts in risk management. Most actuaries work in the areas of life insurance, general insurance, pensions, and investment, but also more widely in fund management companies, sustainability, banking, hedge funds, consultancies, software developers and regulatory authorities. As experts in data science, actuaries are increasingly in demand across the world.

The actuarial career is also fun because you can apply your mathematical skills to solve problems and plan for the future.

Salaries are typically high and the work-life balance can be excellent. A newly qualified actuary in the UK usually earns between £50,000 and £60,000 each year. Salaries increase to significantly higher levels in the years after qualification.

Our MSc in Actuarial Science takes you through the first six exams with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) in the UK and so accelerates your journey to becoming an actuarial professional. The exams are mathematical in nature and develop your skills in applying statistical and financial models to plan for the future.

Our MSc programme is distinguished by our University’s 50+ years at the heart of the actuarial profession, by being delivered by qualified actuaries with industry experience along with high-flying actuarial researchers, by our high student satisfaction and by our location in Edinburgh, one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Fees and funding

See University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office