Introduction to Actuarial Science


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Introduction to Actuarial Science: This course readies you for a career as an actuary in finance, investments, banking or insurance.

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You may have heard of actuarial science, or you might even know an actuary, but do you know what an actuary does? During the course, you’ll hear from a wide variety of actuaries about their careers.

And don’t be scared that the course will be “just a whole lot of mathematics”. Together, we will go beyond the math to learn how actuaries approach problems relating to risk, using examples from:

  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Banking
  • Insurance

You will learn how actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in these industries and other professions.

You’ll experience “hands-on” learning using Excel (or an equivalent spreadsheet tool) to project and investigate the financial condition of a company choosing appropriate strategies for the company through the use of simulations.

The course has been carefully designed for students from a wide variety of backgrounds, with secondary/high school level being the only assumption of mathematical background. Even if you don’t have any background in, for example, calculus, the course has been designed so you can skip over these sections without affecting your understanding of the rest of the course. You also do not need to have any Excel or other spreadsheet background to take the course.

For those with stronger mathematical backgrounds, extension questions are provided to test you further. You’ll learn a huge amount about actuarial science no matter what your background is!

“Great introduction to this specialized field; every day there are new challenges whereas a student you are put in a situation to learn and apply the lessons with practical exercises. Great structure of the course, with main concepts to review at the end of a lesson. I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about actuarial science.” – Previous student

  • The basics of actuarial science
  • Valuing series of cash flows
  • Incorporating uncertainty into cash flows due to investment and mortality
  • Monte-Carlo simulation of uncertain cash flows in Excel (or an equivalent spreadsheet tool)
  • Applying actuarial techniques to life insurance and predicting human life expectancy
  • How actuarial science is used in finance, investments, banking and insurance
Lesson 1: Valuing Cash Flows

  • Time Value of Money
  • Present Value
  • Accumulated Value
  • Valuing Multiple Regular Payments

Lesson 2: Applications of Valuing Cash Flows

  • Equations of Value
  • Example – Annuity Certain
  • Application in Spreadsheets

Lesson 3: Analysis of State Transitions

  • Introduction to State Transitions
  • Two State Model (Active/Dead)
  • Calculating Probabilities using the Two State Model

Lesson 4: The Life Table

  • Introduction to the Life Table
  • Calculating Probabilities using the Life Table

Lesson 5: Valuing Uncertain Cash Flows

  • Expected Present Value
  • Accumulated Value and Uncertainty

Lesson 6: Modelling a Life Insurance Company 1

  • The Life Insurance Company Scenario
  • A Single Projection
  • Simulations
  • Analysing the Simulation Output

Lesson 7: Modelling a Life Insurance Company 2

  • Reserves
  • Adjustments to Reserves
  • Additional Scenarios
Introduction to Actuarial Science


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