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Bachelor of Actuarial Studies / Bachelor of Commerce

Be career competitive with this dual degree. Study up to two Commerce majors and gain specialist skills in actuarial studies.

  • Overview
  • Program structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • How do I?

Why choose this bachelor degree?

  • Gain two reputable degree that are highly regarded by industry
  • Challenging and highly rewarding for those wanting to enter the financial services or insurance industry in a quantitative role
  • Develop technical and non-technical skills needed to pursue the role of an actuarial analyst
  • Develop breadth and depth of knowledge across a wide range of business disciplines
  • Flexibility to design a study program that suits your interests or career goals
  • Opportunity to study up to two Commerce majors in addition to specialist knowledge in actuarial studies
  • Allow you to seek professional accreditation in a range of areas after graduation

Who is this degree for?

  • You’re a high achieving student looking for a foundation to enter the actuarial profession
  • You’re looking for a greater breadth and depth of skills and knowledge
  • You would like to complete three majors to increase your career opportunities and be competitive in the job market

Job and career prospects

  • Accountant/financial analyst
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Asset management trainee
  • Auditor
  • Business analyst
  • Human resource consultant /employment relations
  • Information systems analyst/IT infrastructure developer
  • Investment banker
  • Insurance analyst
  • Marketing, advertising or brand manager
  • Risk assessment officer
  • Strategic planner
  • Superannuation advisor
  • Tax officer/corporate advisor
  • Wealth management analyst
Why study an undergrad degree

The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies/Bachelor of Commerce is a 4 year dual degree program consisting of 32 courses (192 UOC). The program includes:

  • Actuarial Studies core courses
  • Three level 3 Actuarial Studies electives
  • Commerce core courses
  • One commerce major
  • Business School electives*
  • General education courses (chosen from other faculties)

*You can use these to complete a third major (from approved areas of study).

Core courses

Actuarial Studies and Commerce 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.

Course outline
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.

Course outline
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.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

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.

Course outline
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.

Course outline
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

Course outline
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.

Course outline
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.

Course outline
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.

Course outline
MATH1151 Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1A

This course is offered by the Faculty of Science. Check the handbook for further details.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

MATH1251 Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance 1B

This course is offered by the Faculty of Science. Check the handbook for further details.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

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.

Course outline

Commerce core course

Choose one flexible core course from

INFS1602 Information Systems in Business

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the content of information systems; the types of information systems; the current roles of information systems in organisations; and the opportunities for and limitations of information systems within organisations and society.

The course also provides an overview of the tools, techniques and frameworks used to analyse information systems; the range of Information Technologies used to support information systems and to explain their use; the alternative approaches for the development and implementation of information systems; the current technologies for the development of personal information systems and for information searches from a range of sources; and the ethical responsibilities of both the Information System professional and the private user of information.

Course outline
MARK1012 Marketing Fundamentals

In today’s business world, marketing is viewed as central to creating and delivering value both to the organisation and to the customer. It impacts all aspects of a business organisation, shaping and directing corporate through to marketing strategy. Many companies acknowledge that their growth and survival depends on putting the customer at the centre of their planning. Thus, an understanding of marketing is essential for any business student.

This course introduces the student to the major concepts and theories, reflecting the breadth and diversity of marketing. It provides insights into where marketing fits within an organisation, its contributions to business in general, describes frameworks supporting marketing activities, and helps with challenges in the ever changing market place. It discusses the application of this understanding to consumer goods, as well as service, business-to-business, industrial and non-profit organizations, and to the growing area of e-commerce.

Topics include: marketing processes and planning, the use of market research, an understanding of consumers and customers, decision-making and the marketing mix, market segmentation, positioning and product differentiation, the changing global environment.

Course outline
MGMT1101 Global Business Environment

This course examines key global environmental factors and issues impacting on the development of international business. Major topics include:
  • Globalisation of business
  • National differences in the political, social and legal environment, political and country risk
  • Cultural differences and their impact on international business
  • Ethical issues in international business
  • International trade issues
  • Theory and politics of foreign direct investment
  • International competitiveness
  • The internationalisation of business activities and the development of multinational enterprises
  • Foreign exchange markets
  • The international monetary system and development of the global capital market

Course outline
TABL1710 Business and the Law

This subject deals with the Australian legal system; the Constitution and Commonwealth/State relations; Parliament and statute law; the courts and case law; the executive and administrative law; the legal process and alternative dispute resolution. Areas of substantive law relevant to commerce are examined including property law (with particular reference to intellectual property), tort law (with particular reference to negligence), contract law, competition law and consumer protection law.

Course outline

Areas of study (majors)

Actuarial studies

  • Actuarial Studies


  • Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Business Law
  • Business Strategy and Economic Management
  • Finance
  • Financial Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate Studies
  • Taxation
Entry to this degree is based on your academic performance in one of the following:
  • Australian and New Zealand senior secondary studies
  • Post-secondary or tertiary qualifications
  • Equivalent overseas qualifications
  • An alternative entry qualification

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this degree.

Domestic students

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

International students

If you are an international student, and you’re completing an Australian Year 12, or the NZ NCEA Level 3 qualification in Australia or overseas, you apply online through UAC International.

All other international students apply directly to UNSW.

Transferring students

Transferring within UNSW

Current UNSW students may apply to transfer from one UNSW degree to another as long as you meet the entry requirements of the new program.

For most students this will mean:

  • Applying for transfer to a UNSW business degree through UAC (domestic students) or directly with UNSW (international students), depending on your individual circumstance. Assessment is usually based on your ATAR (or equivalent) and/or your studies at UNSW
  • Or, Applying through UNSW Internal Program Transfer (IPT)
  • Having completed a minimum of 6 courses (36 UOC) at UNSW and meeting the WAM/pre-requisite requirements as outlined in the UNSW Internal Program Transfer webpage.

Transferring from outside UNSW

Students studying at another institution can apply to transfer to a UNSW business degree as long as you meet the entry requirement for the program.

For most students this will mean applying for a UNSW business degree after having completed a minimum of 6 courses (36 uoc) at another university. Assessment may be based on a combination of a high school qualification and/or results from university studies.

Apply through UAC (domestic students) or directly with UNSW (international students).


  • If you are a domestic student and have met the academic requirement (e.g. ATAR/IB cut-off) for a business program (and have completed a semester of study at another university), then you may be eligible to apply via UAC based on your high school results only.
  • If you are an international student and have met the academic requirement for a business program (and have completed a semester of study at another university), then you may be eligible to apply directly to UNSW based on your high school/foundation results only.

Transfer students may be eligible for transfer credits for courses successfully completed at another university. Credit transfer is not determined until an offer of study is made. Find out more about credit transfer at UNSW.

For any student (UNSW or non-UNSW) considering transferring to a UNSW business degree, we would recommend contacting the UNSW Business School Student Recruitment team on (02) 9385 3507 or for more information and guidance for your individual circumstance.

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
ATAR cut-off
97.00 (2015)
Other qualifications considered
Accepted Qualifications for High School Graduates
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Study Mode
Face to face
4 years full-time, 8 years part-time
Commencing semesters
Semester 1 - March
Semester 2 - July
HECS fee band
Band 3