Duration/Delivery: Nine months full-time.
Entry requirements: A good first degree (usually in mathematics, statistics or economics, although other subjects with a high mathematical content are acceptable). A prior knowledge of statistics, economics or finance is not required but would increase the opportunity to gain the highest number of exemptions..
The PDip covers the syllabus of the Core Technical Stage of the professional examinations and offers exemptions from eight subjects (subjects CT1 to CT8 inclusive). Although you only need to take 120 credits (equivalent to a minimum of four subjects leading to the professional examinations) for the Diploma, you can take further subjects for exemption purposes. If you take fewer than 120 credits, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate in Actuarial Science.
The PhD in Actuarial Science offers the opportunity to begin or consolidate your research career under the guidance of internationally renowned researchers and professionals at the SMSAS. The School has a strong reputation for world-class research and a well-established system of support and training, with a high level of contact between staff and research students.
Areas of interest include economic capital and risk management for financial services firms, and all areas of mortality and longevity research. Other research topics in the School include genetics and insurance, insurance economics, pensions and corporate reporting.
Financial Mathematics (CT1)
Finance and Financial Reporting (CT2)
Probability and Mathematical Statistics (CT3)
Statistical Methods (CT6)
Financial Economics (CT8)
Assessment is usually by a mixture of coursework and examination; exact weightings vary from module to module
The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science has established a bursary scheme to support students who wish to study on one of the following taught postgraduate programmes:
Actuarial Science PDip
Applied Actuarial Science MSc
International Master's in Applied Actuarial Science.
The School will award bursaries between £500 and £1,500. All applicants who accept a place on one of the above courses will automatically be considered for a bursary. Overseas and home/EU fee-paying students are all eligible. There is no formal closing date, but we recommend you apply for your chosen programme before the end of July 2012.
Resources and facilities
The University's Templeman Library houses a comprehensive collection of books and research periodicals. The University of Kent has entered into an exclusive arrangement with SunGard, a global leader in integrated software and processing solutions primarily for financial services, who market the industry's leading actuarial software package PROPHET. As a result, our taught postgraduate courses include optional modules on the uses and applications of PROPHET
Genetics and insurance risks
Advances in human genetics, and medical sciences in general, have led to many gene discoveries; a number of single-gene disorders have been successfully identified and studied in detail. Researchers are now increasingly focusing on common multifactorial genetic disorders such as cancer, heart attack and stroke, caused by interaction of genes and environmental factors. It is important for the insurance industry to understand the full implications of these latest developments. Firstly, can an insurer justify charging different premium rates to different risk groups? Secondly, if insurers are not allowed to discriminate between individuals based on their genes, by regulation or by law, is there a risk of adverse selection?
From a public policy perspective, regulators and governments face the dilemma of whether to regulate against genetic underwriting or to allow market economies to take their own course. On one hand, there is a moral obligation not to discriminate against individuals for their genetic make-up. On the other hand, risk of adverse selection against insurance firms cannot be ruled out altogether. Maintaining an appropriate balance between the two is key.
Economic capital and financial risk management
Financial services firms are in the business of accepting risks on behalf of their customers. Customers do not always have the time or expertise to handle financial risks on their own, so they pass these on to financial services firms. However, even the most reputable firms can sometimes get it wrong, so it is fundamentally important for all stakeholders that financial services firms hold an appropriate amount of capital calculated on a robust scientific basis, to back the risks they are running. Economic capital can provide answers by specifying a unifying approach to calculating risk-based capital for any firm in the financial services sector.