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Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (Co-op)

Combine the challenging Actuarial Studies Degree and 15 months industry experience with industry leaders such as Allianz and TAL.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this bachelor degree?

  • Outstanding scholarship program that incorporates multiple industry placements
  • Tax-free scholarship of A$19,600 per annum for four years
  • Challenging and highly rewarding degree for those wanting to enter the financial services, insurance or superannuation industry in a quantitative role
  • Develop the technical and specialist skills needed to pursue the role of an actuarial analyst
  • Obtain professional development and leadership training during your degree
  • Excellent job prospects with industry sponsors upon graduation
  • Additional major: Ability to study a second major, such as Accounting, Business Economics, Finance, Information Systems, International Business, Marketing, Mathematics or Statistics
  • Professional recognition: Gain exemptions from the Foundation Program of the Actuaries Institute’s professional examinations and the Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit for the Society of Actuaries (USA) when you achieve the required academic standards
  • Global opportunities: Enhance your learning experience with our overseas exchange and global practicum program
  • Industry placement opportunities: 15 months of industry training with up to three different companies, including Allianz, EY, Finity Consulting, KPMG Actuaries and PricewaterhouseCoopers

Who is this degree for?

  • You’re a high-achieving student looking to gain industry training and experience throughout your degree
  • You’re interested in a quantitative career in the financial services, insurance or superannuation industry
  • You’re seeking financial support during your studies

Job and career prospects

Actuaries evaluate and manage risk, by applying mathematical, statistical, and financial analyses across a wide range of industries, including insurance, superannuation, wealth management, banking and finance. Graduate roles may include:

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Business consultant
  • Investment banker
  • Asset management trainee
  • Credit analyst
  • Insurance analyst
  • Risk assessment officer
  • Superannuation advisor
  • Wealth management analyst
Why study an undergrad degree

The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (Co-op) combines a strong, 4 year academic program with 15 months of industry experience with highly sought after sponsor organisations.

The program consists of 32 courses (192 UOC):

  • 16 core courses
  • Free electives*
  • General education courses (choose from other faculties)
  • Industrial training courses

* You can use these to complete a second major (from approved areas of study). Some majors will require additional study above the minimum 192 UOC.

Core courses

ACCT1501 Accounting and Financial Management 1A

The compulsory core accounting unit will have a preparer perspective. It will provide an introduction to basic concepts in accounting and their application for decision making by a wide range of potential users (eg, shareholders, investment analysts, lenders, managers etc).
This unit should benefit students who wish to specialise in accounting, and will also be of value to students whose primary interest lies elsewhere in the field of business. On completion, students should have a clear understanding of the accounting process and the language of accounting to enable communication with an accounting professional, understand the relevance of accounting information for informed decision making by a wide range of potential users, and have the ability to analyse and interpret accounting information.
Topics covered will include the accounting equation, general purpose financial reports, cash and accrual accounting, adjustments, internal control, financial statement analysis, and interpreting and preparing information for managers to use in planning, decision making and control.

ACCT1511 Accounting and Financial Management 1B

During Summer Term, this course is available as General Education to students from faculties outside the UNSW Business School.

All students taking this course during Summer Term will be required to pay full tuition fees. This includes Commonwealth supported students who are studying at UNSW. Please see the Business School courses - Summer Term fees for more information.

Taken together, the accounting course in the compulsory core and this accounting course form an integrated study program designed to give students an understanding of the way in which financial information is generated and used, and to provide an appropriate platform for further study in accounting.

On completion the first year accounting courses seek to develop:

  • Technical competence in recording economic events in the accounting system
  • A critical understanding of key technical terms and concepts so as to interpret accounting information and reports in the financial press
  • An ability to argue a reasoned position on key questions of accounting theory and practice
  • Familiarity with institutional structures that affect the practice of accounting

Topics covered in this course will include accounting for the major transactions cycles, cash, receivables, inventory, non-current assets and liabilities, cash flow statements, accounting policy choice, further detail on management accounting (including costing systems and budgeting), corporate governance, and professional ethics.

ACTL1101 Introduction to Actuarial Studies

This course is designed to provide an introduction to actuarial studies. It covers the basic principles underlying the actuarial analysis and management of insurance, superannuation and other financial contracts. It also aims to demonstrate the importance of statistics, mathematics, demography, economics, accounting, finance, business law and computing to actuarial studies.

ACTL2102 Foundations of Actuarial Models

This course provides an introduction to the probability models used by actuaries for both liabilities and assets. Topics covered include the terminology of stochastic processes; main features of a Markov chain and application to experience rating; Markov process models and application to survival, sickness and marriage models; simple time series models including random walk and auto-regressive models and their application to investment variables; properties of Brownian motion and applications to investment variables; methods for simulation. Students will be required to implement models using spreadsheets and programs in a numerical computer package.

ACTL2111 Financial Mathematics for Actuaries

This course will cover the financial mathematics required for the analysis of financial and insurance transactions. Topics covered include: mathematics of compound interest; valuation of cash flows of simple insurance contracts; analysis and valuation of annuities, bonds, loans and other securities; yield curves and immunisation; introduction to stochastic interest rate models and actuarial applications.

ACTL2131 Probability and Mathematical Statistics

This course covers probability and statistics topics relevant to actuarial studies. Topics covered include univariate/multivariate random variables, moments, probability generating functions, moment generating functions, marginal and conditional distributions, sampling distributions, estimation methods, hypothesis tests, regression, analysis of variance. Examples relevant to actuarial studies, finance and insurance are used to illustrate the application of the topics covered.

ACTL3141 Actuarial Models and Statistics

This course covers survival models, their estimation and application to mortality and other decrements. Specific topics include: the concept of a survival model and actuarial notation; estimation of lifetime distributions; multiple state models; maximum likelihood estimation of transition intensities; construction of multiple decrement tables; the binomial model of mortality and its estimation; models with transition intensities depending on age and duration; the census approximation and formulae; statistical comparison of crude rates with standard table; graduation of crude estimates and tests of fidelity and smoothness; analysis of mortality/morbidity and the main forms of selection; models for projection of populations. The analysis of data using numerical computer packages developed during the course will form part of the course assessment.

ACTL3151 Life Contingencies

This course covers the techniques for deriving the value for pricing and reserving purposes of life insurance risks, including an appreciation of the analysis of change on the examination of the assumptions. Students will use spreadsheets to perform computations and be given exercises that require participation in teams. The course also covers contemporary management issues in life insurance including longevity, premium rating, selection and capital management. This course will cover the requirements for the Actuaries Institute CT5 course and students gaining at least a credit assessment will be recommended for exemption from the CT5 course.

ACTL3162 General Insurance Techniques

This course covers the actuarial mathematics, statistics and models used in non-life insurance actuarial practice. Topics covered include: basic concepts of decision theory and Bayesian statistics; loss distributions and reinsurance, risk models including compound Poisson; estimation of aggregate claims distribution; probability of ruin; premium rating and credibility; experience rating systems; claims reserving for loss run-off data and generalised linear models. Students will apply these techniques with respect to principles of effective general insurance management. This course will cover the requirements for the Actuaries Institute CT6 course and students gaining at least a credit assessment will be recommended for exemption from the CT6 course.

ACTL3182 Asset-Liability and Derivative Models

This course is to provide students with an appreciation of the mathematical and economic models of investment markets and highlight their application (and shortcomings) in asset-liability management for insurance, superannuation and funds management and in the pricing of derivatives. Topics covered include; risk and utility; risk measures; mean variance models; factor models; asset liability models using portfolio selection models; equilibrium and arbitrage-free valuation; valuation of derivatives; term structure models; credit risk models and actuarial stochastic investment models and their application. The topics will be illustrated with applications to the valuation and risk management of insurance and superannuation contracts especially those with embedded options and financial guarantees - with a particular focus on the inadequacies of the models for investment risk management. The course will include case studies on investment and derivative disasters. This course will cover the requirements for the Actuaries Institute CT8 course and students gaining at least a credit assessment will be recommended for exemption from the CT8 course.

ECON1101 Microeconomics 1

In order to understand the workings of markets and the economy, one has to take on an 'economic mindset'. This introductory course covers the fundamental principles that economists use to understand and analyse economic behaviour. Understanding these basic principles equips students for further studies in economics and business. Topics and issues covered in this course include how individuals or firms make decisions about the demand or supply of a particular product, how we can judge the relative efficiency of different types of markets, how we explain why governments may need to intervene in a particular type of market while not in others, and how different government policies are more efficient than others.

ECON1102 Macroeconomics 1

Macroeconomics studies the aggregate behaviour of the economy. This course provides an introduction to the economic analysis of key macroeconomic variables such as output, employment, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates. The important elements of the course include measurement of macroeconomic variables, the development of models and theories to explain the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, the use of empirical evidence in evaluating different models, and the role of government policy in seeking to influence macroeconomic outcomes. The course will provide students with a framework for understanding the workings of the whole economy and the various interactions among households, business and governments.

FINS1613 Business Finance

This is a first level corporate finance course that looks at the essential aspects of financial decision-making. The course begins with the different ways in which companies can be structured and the differing types of ownership that exist. Thereafter, the principles and applications of financial mathematics are introduced and used to value securities and investment decisions.

Portfolio theory is used to provide a foundation for determining the relationship between expected risk and returns in financial and real asset investments. Dividend payouts and the choices between debt and equity financing, including methods of determining the cost of capital, are also covered.

Furthermore, this course includes analysis of the influence of the capital market environment, the implications of financial risk, taxation and the conflict of interest between managers and investors on the value and operation of businesses.

The course develops distinct conceptual frameworks and specialised tools for solving real-world financial problems at both the personal and corporate level. Illustrations from real-life corporate practices are used to highlight the importance and relevance of financial management to the realisation of personal and corporate financial objectives.

Examples include personal financial planning, funds management, capital raisings, portfolio selection of financial securities, private equity, public floats and the pricing of assets in the stock market.

MATH1151 Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1A

Vectors and vector geometry, linear equations, matrices and matrix algebra, basic input-output linear models, determinants, least squares approximation, probability and statistics. Limits, continuous and differentiable functions, mean value theorem, fundamental theorem of calculus, numerical integration, functions of several variables, introduction to Matlab.

Assumed knowledge: HSC Mathematics Extension 1. Students will be expected to have achieved a combined mark of at least 140 in Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 or 180 in Mathematics Extension 1 and Extension 2.

MATH1251 Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1B

Complex numbers, vector spaces, polynomial interpolation, linear transformations, Markov processes, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Exact and numerical solution of ordinary differential equations, sequences, double integrals, Lagrange multipliers.

MGMT1001 Managing Organisations and People

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles, practices, issues and debates associated with the management of public, business and third sector organisations. The frameworks, concepts and theories covered in the course are introduced to explain how managers deal with the diversity of issues faced in the effective management of contemporary organisations.
The underpinning themes of the course centre on how managers can deal with the multiple demands of complex and turbulent environments, promote and sustain competitive advantage, manage changing social, political and technological factors inside and outside the organisation, ensure ethical and social responsibility, develop global organisations and manage diversity in the workforce. How management goes about its principal tasks of managing strategy, structures, people and systems are the key focus issues of the course. The main roles of modern management - planning, leading, innovating, organising and controlling - are also examined.
Topics include the emergence, evolution and structure of management, conceptions of managerial work; management fads, fashion and knowledge; the task and internal environment; regulating people; the nature of organising; change and innovation; decision-making; influence processes; power and politics; ethical issues and professionalism in management; performance management: control and planning; and current trends.

Areas of study (majors)

Actuarial studies

  • Actuarial Studies

Other approved majors

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Risk Management and Analytics
  • Business Economics
  • Business Strategy and Economic Management
  • Business Law
  • Finance
  • Financial Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Data Science
  • Real Estate Studies
  • Taxation
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

Entry to this degree is based on successful Co-op Program application in addition to your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or an equivalent rank derived from the following:

  • Australian interstate Year 12 qualifications (e.g. OP rank)
  • New Zealand NCEA Level 3
  • Equivalent overseas qualifications e.g. International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, GCE A-Levels
  • Post-secondary or tertiary qualifications
  • An alternative entry qualification

Domestic students
For further information on domestic admission requirements, see UNSW Future Students degree finder.

International students
This degree is not available to international students.

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this degree.

Additional requirements
You are required to lodge a UNSW Co-op Scholarship application.


Domestic students

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen, you apply online through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

You are required to apply online through UNSW Co-op program office. Find out more about applying for the Co-op scholarships program.

International students

This program is not available to international students.

Further information

Phone: +61 2 9385 5116

Email: cooprog@unsw.edu.au

Web: www.coop.unsw.edu.au 

Please note: If you want to study the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (even if you are not offered a Co-op scholarship), you still need to list the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (UAC code: 424300) in your preferences.

Make the most of every day on campus, with UNSW Australia Business School’s dynamic learning spaces, diverse social events and extensive student support.

Have fun and build your network

As an undergraduate, you have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make friends. Join a student club, such as Arc (the UNSW student society), AIESEC, the Marketing Club, and many other interest groups. With over 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs there’s bound to be at least one that’s perfect for you! Find out more

All the support you need to achieve

We’ll help you settle in to university life with orientation and mentoring programs. There are study skills workshops, as well as career services and academic advice. Find out more

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It’s easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres, and retail outlets. It’s a short bus trip to Sydney’s CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your undergraduate degree is a once in a lifetime experience, and the friends you make at the Business School could be friends for life. So get involved – as well as student clubs and social activities there are internships, volunteer projects, competitions and international exchanges on offer. It’s a great way to develop and practise your new business skills.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
UAC code
Bachelor Degree
Assumed Knowledge
Mathematics Extension 1
Lowest Rank
ATAR + Co-op
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Study Mode
Face to face
4 years full-time
Commencing terms
Term 1 – February
HECS fee band
Band 3

​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for undergraduate study


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest