M.Sc. Actuarial Science

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR550 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • English
University of Lausanne | Lausanne, Switzerland
This Master's degree offers a complete basic training for future actuaries. An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.

Description of Actuarial Science


The program develops an understanding of the actuarial principles and techniques necessary for the management of insurance companies as well as financial and savings institutions, including pension funds and social security systems. Although applied mathematics are the actuary's main tool, good knowledge of economics, management and computing is also required to enable him to work effectively.

This program includes specialized courses in risk theory, stochastic processes, compound interest, credibility, mathematics for finance, actuarial modeling for insurance. Most of the subjects taught involve training in quantitative risk management, the actuary's most important working tool. Good knowledge of management, economics and information technology is also necessary to ensure an adequate level of professional expertise.

This Master is recognized by the Swiss Association of Actuaries (SAA) and hence by the European Associations. Moreover, certain courses prepare the students for the first professional exams for actuaries (SOA).

The courses are taught in English by professionally qualified academics with a strong profile.

Why choose this Master's program?

  • Variety of career prospects: insurance companies, consultants, banks, global companies, government

  • High financial rewards: high salaries from an actuarial career in most countries in the world

  • No unemployment in the sector

    • The demand for actuaries is higher than the offer. There are approximately 50,000 actuaries around the world. The World Bank has estimated a need for 25,000 more

    • In Switzerland the density of insurance is extremely high

  • Internationally recognized qualification

  • This program is fairly inexpensive: CHF 580 per semester

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 30 April
Tuition fee
  • EUR 550 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 550 Semester (EEA)
CHF 580 per semester
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

The MScAS program includes a total of four semesters. The first three comprise a collection of compulsory and elective courses. During the third semester, students can ask to participate in an exchange program in another university. The fourth is entirely dedicated to the Master thesis.

First semester

All students must attend a set of five compulsory courses.

Second semester

Students gain knowledge of actuarial mathematics for life assurance, risk theory, modeling distributions of claims/losses, social security, simulation and advanced probability theory.

Third semester

Students gain knowledge of actuarial mathematics for life insurance, advanced actuarial modeling, credibility theory, insurance accounting, asset management and risk management, analysis of results and international social protection.

Research or internship thesis (fourth semester)

The last semester is dedicated to the Master's thesis. The student may opt for a research thesis or an internship thesis.

Work and credit allocation

The 120 ECTS credits of this Master's program are allocated as follows:

  • 90 credits awarded for the first three semesters of coursework

  • 30 credits for the Master's thesis (contingent upon the earning of the initial 90 credits)

Requirements for Actuarial Science

Applicants whose native tongue is not English or whose Bachelor's degree was not taught in English, should provide evidence of proficiency in English as a foreign language at the level of C1 corresponding to the following minimum levels: TOEFL CBT 230 (IBT 88-89, PBT 570) or IELTS 6.5-7 or Certificate of Advanced English (CAE).

Knowledge requirements

Minimum Mathematical skills:

  • in calculus: you can use any book on calculus (differential and integral calculus), for example "Calculus and Analytic Geometry (9th Edition)" by George B. Thomas and Ross L. Finney

  • in linear algebra: again any university level linear algebra book, like "Linear Algebra and Its Applications" by David Lay, Pearson

  • in probability: again most books on probability (elementary university level) like, for example, "Introduction to Probability Models, Ninth Edition" by Sheldon M. Ross, Academic Press.

Work Experience for Actuarial Science

No work experience is required.

More Information


The Master of Actuarial Science program meets the educational requirements of the Swiss Association of Actuaries syllabus (SAA). Moreover, certain courses prepare the students for the first exams of actuaries (SOA).

Due to the inclusion of certain optional courses, the Master program will be in compliance with the future syllabus of the International Actuarial Association, which is currently working on promoting a new specialty track in the field of social security at the international level.

Collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO)

Established experts from ILO will deliver courses on social security financing, based on recent ILO series of textbooks on social security financing, actuarial practice, health financing and social budgeting.

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University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Switzerland Founded in 1537, the University of Lausanne is composed of seven faculties where approximately 11,500 students and 2,200 researchers work and study. Emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach, with close cooperation between students, professors and teaching staff. The UNIL campus is spread across three locations, the largest of which is in Dorigny, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

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