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Bachelor
Actuarial Science
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The study programme

In the BSc Actuarial Science we train you to quantify risk by using mathematics, probability and statistics. How likely is it that a factory will burn down? What would be the financial damage if that were to unexpectedly happen? What is the likelihood of you living to 110 so that your pension fund has to pay out for 45 years? As an actuary or risk manager you analyse data, make calculations and make a decision or recommendation.

The programme

The first 2 academic years of the BSc Actuarial Science are in common with the Bachelor's programme in Econometrics. 

  • Year 1: develop a solid foundation

    This year is all about your basic knowledge of mathematics, statistics and economics. During the courses:

    • you will get acquainted with the quantitative economics programmes: Actuarial Science, and Econometrics. 
    • you will examine case studies and complete assignments on the computer. 
    • you will learn to work with advanced mathematical and statistical software such as R.
  • Year 2: extend your foundation

    The 2nd year enhances your mathematical, statistical and research skills. You will start to apply these tools to econometrics and data science. You will execute your first ever research project. Also, you will take mandatory courses like Risk Theory and Life Insurance Mathematics.

  • Year 3: analyse and solve problems

    The 1st semester of this year is all yours to construct: take electives, follow a minor, or study abroad. In the 2nd semester, you will become more and more familiar with the process of mathematically translating and clarifying the financial and economic risk-management problems faced by insurers, financial institutions and government bodies. And of course, you will be writing your BSc thesis. 

  • Thesis

    Are you enthusiastic about a new development or idea in Actuarial Science? Wile writing your thesis, you have the chance to explore it fully while simultaneously training your ability to independently conduct and communicate relevant research. Your thesis is the final requirement to be completed for your graduation.

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Macroeconomics for AE
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    6
  • Mathematics 1: Calculus
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Microeconomics for AE
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Probability Theory and Statistics 1
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Introduction Econometrics and Actuarial Science
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 3
    6
  • Finance for AE
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Mathematics 2: Linear Algebra
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Probability Theory and Statistics 2
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Programming and Numerical Analysis
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Introduction Data Science: Data Preprocessing
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Life Insurance Mathematics
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Mathematics 3: Advanced Linear Algebra and Real Analysis
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Mathematics 4: Multivariate Analysis
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Probability Theory and Statistics 3
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
    6
  • Statistical Learning
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 3
    6
  • Econometrics 1
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Mathematical Economics 1
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Econometrics 2
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Risk Theory
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Empirical Project
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Mathematical and Empirical Finance
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
    6
  • Free-choice electives: Studying abroad, or Minor, or Electives
    1—3
    24
  • Financial Accounting in Life Insurance
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Research Seminar Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 4
    6
  • Stochastic Models in Life Insurance
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 5
    6
  • Bachelor's Thesis and Thesis Seminar Actuarial Science
    5—6
    12
More about our courses in the course catalogue

Student coaching

The transition from secondary school to university can be a major step. For this reason, you will receive intensive academic counselling as a 1-year student. You can also count on individual support during the rest of your studies.

Do you have any questions about this Bachelor's?

Would you like to know what studying Actuarial Science at the UvA is like? Or do you have any other questions for our students?

'I learned things about myself that I would not have if I had studied elsewhere'

'The study programme has gone far beyond my expectations. Being a small, specialised programme, it was easy to get to know my fellow classmates. Everyone helps each other out when it gets rough from time to time. The lecturers are extremely open and approachable. They will always be there to help you out if, for example, you misunderstood a concept and are in need of guidance.'

Your study week

Expanding your knowledge and at the same time developing your skills is key. That is why you will participate in a variety of teaching activities. Most of the courses are evaluated with one or more tests. This is usually a written examination, but it can also be an essay, a report, or a presentation.

  • Lectures (8 hours)

    Lectures give an introductory overview into the course content. You will attend them together with your fellow students. You take notes and have the opportunity to ask questions.

    Also, you can expect guest lectures from experts working in a wide range of economic organisations and fields.

  • Tutorials (6 hours)

    During seminars you will discuss specific subjects from the lectures in small groups. Exercises and practice assignments will help you to become adept with the theory. 

  • Practicals (2 hours)

    During practicals you learn how to work with various mathematical and statistical computer programmes. 

  • Self-study (20 hours)

    During your study week, you spend time to study theory, go over lectures and seminars, and prepare for exams and presentations. 

Real-life case: do bad drivers pay more insurance premium?

If you take out a car insurance policy, the insurance company agrees to help pay for the repair in case of an accident. For this you pay a fixed amount (premium) to the insurance company. But how does an insurance company determine the height of the premium? Should every driver be charged the same amount, or should more ‘risky’ drivers pay more? If so, how can we rate drivers in terms of riskiness? Does age or gender matter? And their history of previous insurance claims? Or the age and model of the car? Learn how to answer these questions (and more) using empirical data, sophisticated statistical models, and programming and data processing skills.

Real-life case: do bad drivers pay more insurance premium?

Additional options during your studies

  • Honours programme

    If you are ambitious, you can choose to take part in our Honours programme. You take the Honours programme alongside your regular studies. Completion results in you graduating 'with honours': an internationally recognised qualification.

  • Studying a semester abroad

    Studying abroad allows you to get to know a different culture, language and country, and we strongly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. We have made collaborative and exchange agreements with over a 100 universities abroad, enabling you to study there for a semester.

  • Student associations

    Amsterdam has a thriving student community with many activities organised outside of the university’s grounds. You will find student associations focusing on networking, specific interests and sports. It is only at sororities and fraternities that you can expect an initiation ritual (hazing).

  • Student participation

    At university, you are entitled to make your voice heard and assess the quality of your own education. Students can participate in the discussion on the university's education policy in various ways, such as by joining the Programme Committee, the Faculty Student Council or the first-year focus group. You can also stand for election and dedicate your efforts to the programme and your fellow students.

Interactive Online Learning at UvA Economics and Business

During your Bachelor’s, you will experience an inspiring combination of both offline and online education. We work with a blended learning teaching method. By applying this method, you will be able to combine different types of learning into 1 approach and enjoy mastering knowledge at your own pace. During class there will be more time for in-depth analyses and interaction with your lecturer and peers.

Types of education
In this programme, you will find that in your education there’s a balance between innovative teaching methods and traditional forms. Writing an academic paper can be alternated by an online challenge. A peer-feedback assignments or a video recording with explanation can also be part of the teaching method.

Our Centre for Educational Innovation and our Teaching and Learning Centre are continuously working on improving our teaching methods. We take the interactions between students, teachers, and learning resources into account. In doing so, we hope to offer you the right combination of challenging, effective, and efficient education.