The role of an actuary involves the assessment, evaluation and management of the financial risks faced by individuals, households, investors, companies and governments as they plan for the future. These risks vary from an illness, disability or death of an individual to the effects of a cyclone, earthquake or a major economic or social change. Hence the actuary's work is based upon a multidisciplinary background of mathematics, statistics, demographics, finance and economics.
As a result of this diverse background and their strong analytical skills, actuaries serve as financial advisers to a wide range of commercial organisations involving life, general (non-life) and health insurance companies, superannuation funds, banks, other financial institutions and governments. In most cases, they are asked to tackle a wide range of financial problems, often involving future uncertainty. An ability to express their conclusions in clear and concise language, both in written and oral form, also represents an essential part of their work.
The actuarial program is designed for students who wish to enter the actuarial profession. As such, it provides students with a solid grounding in actuarial techniques, and, through the Centre's accreditation with the Actuaries Institute, students have the opportunity to obtain exemption from Parts I and II of the Actuaries Institute examination requirements to qualify as an actuary.
View all of our subjects in the handbook.
The actuarial studies major in the Bachelor of Commerce provides a firm grounding in the traditional actuarial skill set of mathematics, statistics, demography, finance and economics and allows students to undertake studies leading towards qualification as a professional actuary.
The Master of Actuarial Science is designed for non-actuarial graduates.
The Masters of Commerce (Actuarial Science) is a taught course of 18 months duration allowing actuarial graduates to study in greater depth in small classes, and gain further qualifications from the Actuaries Institute.
The dual Master of Actuarial Science/Master of Applied Mathematics allows selected master students from the School of Mathematical Science, Nankai University, China, to study for one year or 1.5 years at Melbourne with the remainder of their studies taking place at Nankai University for a total of 2.5 years.
Research Higher degrees
Actuarial Practice and Control subjects (which collectively cover Part II of the Actuaries Institute syllabus for qualification as a Fellow of the Institute) will be offered as distance education subjects.
General Insurance Practice will also be offered. This subject prepares the student for Part III exams in general insurance.
Find out more about distance education.
Find out about exemptions