Actuarial Studies - 3586

Program Summary

Faculty: UNSW Business School

Contact:  UNSW Business School Student Centre

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 3 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 144

UAC Code: 424300

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Actuarial Studies

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The handbook provides you with information on the degree structure you would need to follow for the year you commence your study.

If you are a prospective student researching your study options, please visit UNSW Business School website for more information.

Actuarial Studies involves the application of statistical and financial analysis and risk models to management in general, life and health insurance, superannuation, investment and finance.
The Actuarial Studies program serves as a foundation for students who wish to enter the actuarial profession. Students must achieve the required academic standard in their Actuarial Studies courses to gain exemption from Part I of the Actuaries Institute in Australia, the CT courses of The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK) professional examinations or the VEE credit for the Society of Actuaries (USA). Students can also potentially gain exemption from Part II of the Actuaries Institute professional examinations and become an Associate member by completing the designated fourth year courses at the required academic standard.

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. Employers in the financial services industry – including banks, insurers and consultants – value the rigorous quantitative risk training in the Actuarial Studies degree.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

On successful completion of the BActSt, graduates will be able to:
  • demonstrate business knowledge and apply that knowledge in business problems
  • demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • present complex issues in coherent written statements and oral presentations
  • demonstrate understanding of actuarial issues in a local or global context
  • demonstrate understanding of the principles of working collaboratively in teams
  • understand the social and ethical dimensions in actuarial work.

Program Structure

The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies is a full time program offered by the UNSW Business School. This single degree program of 144 UOC: consists of a depth component and a breadth component as detailed below:

Depth component 96 UOC:
  • Compulsory first and second year courses
  • Third year elective courses from Actuarial Studies
  • Elective course from Actuarial Studies or the UNSW Business School.

Breadth component 48 UOC:
  • Free Electives
  • General Education courses (12 UOC)
If a student completes the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies as part of an approved dual degree program they only need to complete 96 UOC of the depth component.

Note: A maximum of 60 UOC of Level 1 courses (excluding General Education requirement) are able to be counted towards a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies degree.

The compulsory core courses are (72 UOC):
Students may replace ACTL2131 with the two courses MATH2901 Higher Theory of Statistics and MATH2931 Higher Linear Models. If students make this replacements, the first of these courses (i.e. MATH2901) will count towards the compulsory course requirement, and the second course can be counted towards another major or minor or as an elective. Note that a minimum of 84 UOC must be completed in UNSW Business School courses for the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies.

The third year elective courses from Actuarial Studies (18 UOC) are to be selected from:
An additional UNSW Business School Elective course (6 UOC) chosen from either the courses offered by the School of Actuarial Studies, or more generally from courses offered by another school in the UNSW Business School, must be completed to satisfy the depth component.

Breadth component (48 UOC)
  • Free electives (36 UOC) (may be UNSW Business School courses, or courses within any Faculty) - GEN coded courses cannot be counted as Free Electives
  • 12 UOC of General Education.

Sample Programs
A program of study in the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies may be structured as:
  • The compulsory courses and third year electives in Actuarial Studies (90 UOC) plus an UNSW Business School minor (30 UOC), containing at least 6 UOC at level 3, plus 12 UOC from General Education options and 12 UOC Free Electives, OR
  • The compulsory courses and third year electives in Actuarial Studies (90 UOC) plus a major of at least 48 UOC from an approved disciplinary stream within the UNSW Business School, and 12 UOC from General Education options (Note that some UNSW Business School majors may require additional study above the minimum 144 UOC stipulated for the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies.), OR
  • The compulsory courses and third year electives in Actuarial Studies (90 UOC) plus a major of at least 60 UOC from the School of Mathematics and Statistics (of which 12 UOC are already in the compulsory core actuarial courses), plus 6 UOC UNSW Business School courses, OR
  • The compulsory courses and third year electives in Actuarial Studies (90 UOC), plus 6 UOC UNSW Business School courses, plus any other combination of 48 UOC of courses, made up of 12 UOC General Education options and 36 UOC of Free Electives.

Table A: Approved Majors from within the UNSW Business School:
  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Risk Management and Analytics
  • Business Economics
  • Business Strategy and Economic Management
  • Business Law
  • Finance
  • Financial Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate Studies
  • Taxation
Table B: Approved Majors from Other Faculties:
  • Mathematics
  • Quantative Data Science
  • Statistics
Note that, for Bachelor of Actuarial Studies students completing a Major from the School of Mathematics and Statistics: MATH1151 replaces MATH1141 in any stream that requires either of the latter courses. Similarly, MATH1251 replaces MATH1241 in any stream.

General Education Requirements

General Education requirements account for 12 UOC (2 courses) and are to be taken outside the UNSW Business School. These courses allow you to select either courses that were developed especially for the General Education Program (beginning with GEN) or to choose 'mainstream' courses that are offered in the degree programs of other faculties. For further information about General Education Requirements please refer to the UNSW Online Handbook.

Please note that students enrolled in programs within the UNSW Business School cannot take General Education courses offered by the UNSW Business School. These restrictions also apply to the following courses:
  • GENL2015 The World of Work
  • GENL2021 An Introduction to the Australian Legal System
  • GENL2032 Cyberspace Law 2.0
  • GENL5021 Business Law Basics
If students are unsure of their General Education requirements they should contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre (Level 1, room 1028, Quadrangle Building)


High achieving students may apply to undertake honours. Honours is an additional year of full-time study which provides students with advanced knowledge of their chosen field and develops research and communication skills. Students will need to complete advanced courses/seminars and a thesis.

Academic Rules

Content of Program

To be awarded a degree at Pass level, the BActSt must contain (as a standalone degree):

1. 144 units of credit (UOC).
2. 96 units of credit in compulsory and elective courses. These include 72UOC of compulsory courses, and at least 18UOC of elective Level 3 actuarial studies courses.
3. A minimum of 84 UOC of courses offered by the UNSW Business School.
4. 12 UOC of courses from outside the UNSW Business School to fulfil the University’s General Education requirement. The courses (with the exception of the core) undertaken for a Mathematics Major can therefore be used to satisfy General Education requirements.
5. Maximum of 60 UOC of Level 1 courses, excluding Level 1 courses completed as part of the General Education requirement.

Majors and Minors

6. A Major in the UNSW Business School is a sequence of at least 48 UOC courses in a single discipline or area of study. A Major in the School of Mathematics and Statistics comprises at least 60 UOC.
7. Students completing a Major in the School of Mathematics and Statistics may treat MATH 1151 as equivalent to MATH1141, and MATH1251 as equivalent to MATH1241 for the purposes of completing major requirements.
8. 18 UOC of an UNSW Business School Major must be at Level 3.
9. If a student chooses to complete a UNSW Business School Minor, it will consist of 30UOC, with a minimum of 18UOC at Level 2 and Level 3.

Progression rules

10. A minimum of 24 UOC courses must be completed before enrolling in Level 2 courses.
11. A minimum of 72 UOC courses must be completed before enrolling in Level 3 courses.

Awarding degree

12. A Pass degree with Distinction may be awarded if a student achieves a minimum of 75 WAM across the program and completes a minimum of 72 UOC at UNSW.
If the BActSt is completed as part of a dual degree, please refer to the Handbook entry for the particular dual degree.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Professional Recognition

For further information, please refer to the Professional Recognition of Programs in the UNSW Online Handbook.

Further Information

Please note that these requirements may be subject to change. Students should always follow the program requirements according to the year they started their degree. For more information please visit Previous UNSW Online Handbooks

Contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre for advice.
tel: + 61 2 9385 3189
location: Level 1, room 1028, Quadrangle Building
Forms, policies and procedures
Frequently asked questions

Related Program(s)

3589 Actuarial / Science (Adv Math)
3587 Actuarial Studies (Co-op)
3155 Actuarial Studies / Commerce
3588 Actuarial Studies / Economics
3154 Actuarial Studies / Science

Area(s) of Specialisation