School of Risk and Actuarial Studies


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Head: Professor Hazel Bateman
School Manager: Alana Parker
Administrative Officers: Anne Alymer; Sanchia Yip

The School of Risk & Actuarial Studies has a long established reputation in high quality teaching and research and offers an undergraduate program in actuarial studies, and postgraduate studies in both actuarial and risk management studies.

Undergraduate Programs

Actuarial Studies involves the application of quantitative, economic and financial models and analysis to long term financial management particularly in life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and superannuation, as well as in other financial services.

Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, superannuation funds, banks, and governments and also practice as consulting actuaries. The financial rewards from an actuarial career compare very well with other professions and employment prospects are very good.

The courses provide the foundations for actuarial practice in the pricing, reserving, investment, and financial management of life insurance, general insurance superannuation and pension funds. The actuarial program of study also aims to develop the use of judgement, and to provide the necessary combination of mathematical, statistical, accounting, economic, financial, demographic, analytical and modelling skills for a rewarding career in the financial services industry.

The actuarial courses cover the models used to quantify and manage risks such as survival, birth, marriage, sickness, retirement, accident, fire, flood, asset default and asset value fluctuations and to study their financial effect on the obligations of insurance companies, benefit plans and other financial security systems.

The courses are quantitative and intellectually demanding. They require a very strong ability and interest in mathematics and statistics and their applications to business. Success as a professional actuary also requires problem solving skills, reasoning, well-rounded business skills and an ability to communicate complex ideas in simple terms.

The undergraduate actuarial program is offered in the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies which allows students to combine a major in Actuarial Studies with a major or minor in a broad range of other disciplines including business economics, business statistics, business strategy and economic management, economic history, financial economics, human resource management, management, taxation, modern languages, accounting, finance, international business, business law, information systems and marketing. The Actuarial Studies program also provides students who meet the required standards with the opportunity to apply for exemptions from the Part I examinations of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

The School also offers the Actuarial Studies Co-op Scholarship Program which provides industry experience integrated with the academic requirements for the Bachelor of Commerce. Entry is gained through the Co-op selection process. For further details, contact the UNSW Co-op Program Office: telephone (02) 9385 5116 or

To qualify as an actuary in Australia requires the completion of, or exemption from, subjects in Parts I, II and III of the professional syllabus of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

Part II is studied in an Honours year or as part of the Coop program or as part of postgraduate study after graduating. Part III is completed by distance education through the Institute of Actuaries of Australia usually on a part time basis after completing the Part I and II subjects.

Please refer to the section 'Professional Recognition of Programs' for a sample program.

Postgraduate Programs

Master of Risk Management

The Master of Risk Management (MRM) is an integrated program providing up-to-date knowledge and skills in the management of a broad spectrum of risks that organisations are confronted with in the context of the fast changing, increasingly global business environment. It aims to extend students’ knowledge on the use of risk analysis and decision tools and their applications in practice across a range of fields.

Master of Actuarial Studies

Graduates in mathematics, engineering and science disciplines who are interested in applying their mathematical skills in business can study courses to prepare them for an actuarial career. Graduates from commerce and economics disciplines can also study courses to allow them to enter the actuarial profession in the program. Commerce and economics graduates will be required to have a strong mathematical background, such as would be obtained from studying econometrics, mathematical economics or mathematical finance.

Research Programs

The School offers an Honours year in the actuarial undergraduate program, and Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy programs in areas of actuarial studies, risk management and superannuation.

School location/phone

Phone: +61 2 9385 3391
Fax: +61 2 9385 1883
Level 6, East Wing
UNSW Business School Building

Undergraduate Specialisations 

Actuarial Studies

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Postgraduate Specialisations 

Risk Management

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Research Specialisations 

Actuarial Studies

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Study Levels

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