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Bachelor of Actuarial Studies


Faculty of Business and Economics
Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (BActStud)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 3 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 3 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points for the degree 69
Minimum number of credit points at 200 level or above 39
Minimum number of credit points at 300 level or above 18
Completion of a designated People unit
Completion of a designated Planet unit
Completion of a designated PACE unit
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below
Students must complete one designated People unit and one designated Planet unit. Those units must be taken in two different Faculties. Any unit which is listed below will not satisfy the People unit requirement or Planet unit requirement.

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

100 level

Finance 1A (3)
Introduction to Actuarial Studies (3)
Mathematics IB (Advanced) (3)
Statistical Data Analysis (3)
Mathematics IA (Advanced) (3)
Mathematics IA (3)

200 level

Mathematics of Finance (3)
Combinatorial Probability (3)
Contingent Payments 1 (3)
Statistics I (3)
Probability (3)

300 level

Actuarial Modelling (3)
Survival Models (3)
9cp from
ACST units at 300 level

Balance of credit points required:



Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.

Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 7 Bachelor Degree
CRICOS Code 067838M
Overview and Aims of the Program Macquarie University has been teaching actuarial studies since 1968. It is the first actuarial studies program in the English speaking world, and has the longest running program of its type in Australia. One-third to one-half of qualified actuaries in Australia are Macquarie graduates.

Actuaries analyse and manage the financial consequences of risky events. These risks include risk of death or sickness, risk of natural hazards (cyclone, earthquake, bushfire), and financial risks (shares, bonds, exchange rates). Actuaries analyse and manage the risks of financial contracts, insurance and retirement funds. They also help manage and control financial institutions. Actuaries relate numbers to real life.

In this actuarial studies degree you’ll learn to conduct mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analysis to a range of practical problems faced in long-term financial planning and management.

Very strong industry links exist through capstone and professional subjects including the actuarial control cycle.

Key features:
• Accredited by the Actuaries Institute, giving you a head start in your professional exams.
• Provides a comprehensive understanding in not only actuarial studies but also in economics, accounting, mathematics, statistics and finance. In your final year, your advanced skills will allow you to undertake actuarial projects on insurance liability and risk.
• Taught by the largest actuarial department in Australia, students will learn from highly experienced lecturers and members of the Actuaries Institute.
• Many Macquarie actuarial graduates hold senior positions in the financial services industry.
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 knowledge relevant to compound interest theory and practice (K);
2. demonstrate expertise in the use of contingent payment techniques to determine expected present values (K);
3. demonstrate expertise in the development and application of survival models (K);
4. model and critically analyse scenarios involving financial risk (T, I);
5. recommend appropriate solutions to business problems that involve financial risk (P, J);
6. demonstrate communication skills relevant to an appropriate professional environment (C);
7. demonstrate an awareness of the challenges facing businesses, and the need for ethical behaviour (E, A);
8. apply teamwork knowledge and skills for effective collaboration to achieve diverse purposes in a range of contexts (E).
Learning and Teaching Methods This program employs a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practicals to meet its learning outcomes.

Lectures are oral presentations that are intended to present information or teach students about a particular subject. However, lectures are not purely passive experiences, and in many units students will be given problems to work on and discuss in groups before the lecturer summaries the main issues of the problem.

Tutorials are smaller classes where students get to work at their own pace on various problems and seek feedback from their tutor. Tutorials allow a level of feedback not possible in the larger lectures.

Practicals are usually held in computer laboratories and allow students to gain experience with relevant statistical software.

While the majority of classes are taught by university staff, several units also employ presentations by industry practitioners. This is particularly so in the program's capstone unit, which is also a PACE (Participation and Community Engagement) unit. This unit involves extensive presentations by industry partners, who are also involved and assessing and providing feedback on a major assessment task where students tackle a real world project and provide a verbal presentation on their findings.

Peer-Assisted-Learning (PAL) is available in the unit ACST101 Techniques and Elements of Finance. Students undertake PAL on a purely voluntary basis. PAL provides an additional avenue through which students can come to grips with the content of the unit. As the name implies PAL involves students assisting each other with the guidance of a facilitator. PAL facilitators are students who have successfully completed the unit in the recent past.
Assessment Most units in the program include regular tutorial exercises which are designed for students to test their own understanding. These are formative and are not assessed. There are also a range of assessment tasks which are used to determine students' grades.

• Final Exam: this program is accredited by the Actuaries Institute, the Australian professional actuarial body. To assist in meeting accreditation requirements, many units in the program have an assessment scheme strongly weighted towards a final exam. A unit's final examination is designed to assess a student's command of the entire unit's knowledge and skills. While multiple choice questions are used in some units, most exam questions require longer written answers, which may either mathematical in nature or word-based. Actuaries do not work in isolation but rather need to be able to explain their results to members of other professions, so exam questions do include scenarios requiring non-technical explanations of the meaning of calculations.
• Assignments: an assignment may take a variety of formats such as the analysis of data using a spreadsheet or statistical software, the development of a mathematical argument, or the production of a formal report explaining the results of any of the previous items.
• Quizzes: a quiz is an online assessment. Quizzes usually consist of a short series of questions which may be true/false, multiple choice, or require students to enter a numerical answer. Quizzes are usually computer-marked, their main advantage being their ability to provide fast feedback to students.
• Presentations: presentations may be conducted on an individual or group basis. Traditionally they have involved a live oral presentation with appropriate visual aids, but looking forward they may allow students to develop a video presentation.
• Tests: class tests are held during class time under normal exam conditions. They allow students to practice their exam skills in preparation for the final exam.
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 (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information 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

Additionally, students in this degree have access to peer assisted learning in the unit ACST101.
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.

The program is accredited by the Actuaries Institute, the Australian professional actuarial body. The department provides an annual report to the Institute's accreditation panel, and the panel regularly reviews the program content and assessment.
Graduate Destinations and Employability Career opportunities for actuaries exist in the fields of:
• life, general or health insurance
• superannuation
• banking and finance
• funds management
• investment
• risk management
• public sector: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Taxation Office
• wealth management
• energy and environment
• management
• non-traditional areas such as IT, e-commerce, climate change.

• life insurance companies
• general insurance companies
• health insurance companies
• actuarial and superannuation consulting firms
• banks and funds managers
• accounting firms.
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

For the maintenance of the program's accreditation status, several required actuarial units have final exams weighted at 70% of the total assessment, exceeding the standard maximum stated in the assessment policy.
Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

The Actuaries Institute is the professional body of actuaries in Australia, and conducts a 3-part exam process and a Professionalism Course. After completing these requirements a graduate is a fully qualified actuary (FIAA).

The actuarial degree is accredited by the Actuaries Institute. If you complete this three year Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with grades of credit or above in the relevant units in the program you are granted exemption from Part 1 of the Actuaries Institute's professional exams. Completing a four-year double degree involving actuarial studies with grades of credit or above in the relevant units may allow you to be granted exemption from Parts 1 and 2 of the Actuaries Institute's professional exams.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148