Actuarial & Financial Studies

Course Information

BAFS (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN230
CAO Points Range 2019: 577
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 47

Leaving Certificate:

  •  H2 in Mathematics
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and three other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

If you enjoy studying Higher Level Mathematics for the Leaving Certificate or at A-Level and you have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, the UCD BAFS (Hons) degree could be for you. An actuary is a professional who uses numbers to make
judgements about the future, compared to an accountant who is a professional who typically uses numbers to make judgements
about the past. This course will prepare you for a professional career in the actuarial or financial professions, but it has also been designed to be broader and more diverse than most traditional courses in actuarial science.

A good actuary requires a multi-disciplined education in fields such as mathematics, economics, finance, statistics, risk management, psychology and professionalism and ethics. It takes a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behaviour to design and manage programmes that control risk and guarantee sufficient funds for the insurance and pension sectors. Actuaries have traditionally worked mostly in the life assurance and pensions industries but are increasingly moving into wider fields, where they can employ their multi-disciplined approach.

The course also opens up options to work in finance, investment and trading.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Most BAFS graduates take positions as actuarial trainees in the following:

  • Life insurance
  • Pensions
  • Health insurance
  • General insurance
  • Investment

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which accredits this course, is currently in the process of updating its syllabus. Once these details are finalised they will be available on our web page at

Some graduates also work in banking or finance as business or financial analysts. As a graduate of the BAFS degree, you’re also eligible to pursue graduate study in statistics, computer science, economics, mathematics, management science, finance and other specialist business subjects.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Actuarial & Financial Studies. The course is broad and highly multi-disciplined.

First Year

  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Accounting
  • Computer Science
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Actuarial Mathematics
  • Economic History
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Investment & Trading
  • Actuarial Statistics
  • Information Management
  • Workplace Skills
  • Six-month professional placement in an insurance and financial institution in Ireland, the UK or the USA

Fourth Year

  • Financial & Actuarial Maths
  • Actuarial Statistics
  • Actuarial Risk Management
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Elective module

Assessment for each module will vary and may comprise a written exam, multiple- choice questionnaires and continuous assessment activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here.


“Mathematics was always my passion. I enjoyed Accounting in school and especially Financial Mathematics. This led me to Actuarial & Financial Studies. The class size is around 50 people, which helps students get more attention from the lecturers in class. The Mathematics is of course challenging but when you truly understand a concept and can solve problems, it is a very rewarding experience. The material in lectures and tutorials really help us understand the work of actuaries. Lecturers use real-life examples and current events. I am currently in third year, where we have our 6-month internship. I’m working in a re-insurance company learning about actuarial modelling and coding. It is enjoyable and helpful so far and I look forward to learning more throughout the internship.”

Vivian Ho Student

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