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Specialisation: Actuarial Studies

Specialisation Details

Actuarial Studies


Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies
Faculty of Business and Economics
Admission Requirements:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in actuarial studies; or Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent with the completion of four of eight Institute of Actuaries of Australia core technical exams • Minimum GPA 2.7 (out of 4.0)
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Study Period Offerings:
Session 1 (February)

600 level

Stochastic Methods in Finance and Insurance (4)
Principles of Finance (4)
Mathematical Modelling (4)
4cp from
Principles of Accounting (4)
Intermediate Financial Accounting (4)
Intermediate Managerial Accounting (4)
Business and Corporation Law (4)
Statistical Modelling in Finance and Insurance (4)
Work, Organisation and Management (4)
Intermediate Microeconomics (4)
Intermediate Macroeconomics (4)
Econometrics and Business Statistics (4)
Introduction to Marketing Management (4)

This specialisation must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Specialisation:

Completion of a minimum of 20 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

800 level

Actuarial Control Cycle 1 (4)
Actuarial Control Cycle 2 (4)
Quantitative Research Methods II (4)
Investment Management (4)
4cp from
Quantitative Asset and Liability Modelling 1 (4)
Quantitative Asset and Liability Modelling 2 (4)
Survival Models (4)
Actuarial Modelling (4)
Options, Futures and Derivatives (4)
Capital Budgeting and Financial Modelling (4)
Financial Institutions Management and Regulation (4)
Mathematical Theory of Risk (4)
General Insurance Pricing and Reserving (4)


Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This specialisation is designed to develop theoretical knowledge and applied skills in actuarial studies and its related fields.

Areas covered include Mathematics of Finance, Statistical Theory Students, Contingent Payments, Mathematical Theory of Risk and General Insurance Pricing and Reserving. By taking this specialisation, students will be able to develop the foundations to a career in a related area (e.g. insurance).
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:
1. demonstrate an advanced level of theoretical knowledge in actuarial science (K)
2. apply advanced technical skills and professional technical competence and standards in actuarial science (K)
3. identify relevant research methods and principles applicable to actuarial science (K)
4. apply creative and innovative strategies to appraise and synthesise complex actuarial problems (T)
5. conduct independent research to recommend appropriate solutions to complex business problems (P, J)
6. demonstrate communication skills relevant to an appropriate professional environment (C)
7. understand recent developments and issues in actuarial science and professional practice (E)
8. demonstrate awareness of the need for corporate social responsibility and ethical behaviour (E).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Master of Commerce (MCom) assists students to develop advanced analytical, evaluative and communications skills and to critically apply their knowledge and skills to real world situations. Throughout the MCom program, students will participate in a range of traditional and innovative learning activities designed to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and techniques required for successful participation in employment.

Learning activities are varied and include both formal and informal experiences. Many units in the program are supported by an online environment that provides access to resources such as lecture notes and recordings, readings, quizzes, discussion forums and assessment materials, and that facilitates communication between teaching staff and students.

The learning outcomes associated with individual units in the Actuarial Studies specialisation have been aligned with program level learning outcomes and the Macquarie University graduate capabilities. Students are expected to actively engage in their learning and work with their teaching staff and fellow students to achieve these learning outcomes.

Learning styles used in the MCom (Actuarial Studies) may include:
• Case studies, which provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real or simulated scenarios in individual or group situations.
• Simulations, modelled on real-life situations and providing learning experiences that promote integration of knowledge, skills and critical thinking.
• Project work, which may be independent or involve group learning. Projects assist students in developing more in-depth knowledge and skills in conducting research, communication, and in planning, organisation and time management.
• Readings taken from textbooks, journals, websites and other sources provide material to further develop concepts and knowledge referred to in individual units in the program.
• Reflective activities, such as journals, assist students in integrating the course content and in developing the ability to transfer knowledge and skills from the learning environment into the workplace.
• Self-study activities, such as questions with worked examples, (non assessed) online quizzes, and textbook questions and answers.
• Online discussion forums, in which students may be required to submit responses to a given question, and/or to participate in a set discussion topic.

Learning in the MCom (Actuarial Studies) may be facilitated through the following teaching methods:
• Lectures or Seminars: lectures and seminars are presentations designed to communicate a body of knowledge to a group of students and provide insight into key concepts and understanding of the subject matter relating to the unit of study. Lectures and seminars in this program are typically delivered in the traditional face-to-face mode and are generally interactive, with students participating in discussions or other learning activities during the class. They may be recorded using the Echo 360 lecture audio recording system, enabling students to access lecture material on an 'on demand' basis.
• Tutorials: tutorial classes, designed for interactive learning with a small group of students, may also be scheduled in a number of units in the program. Tutorials provide students with the chance to ask questions, seek clarification, resolve problems, enhance their communication skills, and develop their ability to work in a collaborative manner with their peers.
• Computer lab workshops or practicals: the environment in which Actuarial Studies graduates will work is one requiring very high level quantitative skills. These quantitative skills are developed, in part, in computer lab workshop sessions.

The inclusion of the Capstone unit FOBE800 Contemporary Business Issues in the Master of Commerce (all specialisations) provides students with opportunities to integrate and synthesise their knowledge and experiences from across the whole program in preparation for the next stage of their professional careers.
Assessment Assessment tasks are designed to develop understanding and assess achievement of the program learning outcomes and will require students to integrate and exhibit skills and knowledge acquired. For each unit of study, students will typically complete between 3 and 4 assessment tasks. The unit guide will indicate the relationship between the assessment tasks and program learning outcomes.

Assessment tasks in units across the MCom (Actuarial Studies specialisation) may include the following:
• Written assessments in traditional academic format ranging from short essays to longer, self-directed research papers, literature reviews and annotated bibliographies. The independent research component in the Actuarial Studies specialisation will be assessed summatively in a major research project in the unit ACST840 Quantitative Research Methods II.
• Case studies or reports, written documents outlining the results of a detailed analysis of a situation using empirical data and research. Case studies are used to assess critical thinking, analytical and research skills.
• Assignments, in a variety of formats such as the analysis of a data set, or a brief written response to a topic question.
• Online quizzes, designed to assess knowledge, skills or capabilities, and typically consisting of a series of questions requiring brief responses.
• Class participation, including engagement in seminar or tutorial discussions, or online discussions.
• Written class tests, time limited assessments designed to assess a student’s knowledge or skills.
• Individual or group oral presentations which may incorporate presentation technologies or be accompanied by handouts.
• Final examination, an invigilated assessment conducted at the end of session and designed to assess a student’s body of knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. For recognition of prior informal and non-formal learning, please refer to the relevant RPL Plan, which describes the evidential requirements and approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit in this program.

For undergraduate RPL plans visit
For postgraduate RPL plans visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Career opportunities include:
• actuarial analyst
• business consultant
• investment banker.

• accounting firms
• actuarial and superannuation consulting firms
• banks and funds management
• general insurance companies
• health insurance companies
• life insurance companies
• management consulting firms
• public sector
• stockbrokers.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation The Institute of Actuaries of Australia is the professional body. Completion of particular Macquarie units or unit combinations with a grade of credit or better enables the student to obtain professional accreditation in terms of exemptions from the corresponding professional exams.