Actuarial and Financial Studies

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Do you have good maths skills? Do you want to work in the world of business and put your communication skills, critical thinking skills, analytical skills and many more to the test? There are many important skills and qualities needed to work in this area. Is it right for you?

What are Actuarial and Financial Studies?

You will study fields from maths, finance and statistics to risk management, psychology, professionalism and ethics.

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 

  • Actuarial and Financial Studies – UCD

Studying Actuarial and Financial Studies in college

There is one main course under this title in Ireland and that is a course offered by UCD. It is an undergraduate, Level 8 course. There are other courses available in Financial Studies or Actuary but this course combines the two. There may also be PLC courses in the area to give you a taste of working and studying these subjects. PLC courses are generally 1-2 years long. 

In your first year of your Actuarial and Financial Studies course you will gain a strong foundation in the subjects and basic principles of the subjects you’ll continue to study throughout your degree. You will become familiar with different areas as well as gain an insight as to what is to come throughout your course. Modules you will study in your first year include Mathematics, Economics, Statistics, Accounting and Computer Science as well as choosing your elective modules. 

In your second year you will be introduced to more in depth and complex subjects. These will include Finance, Statistics, Actuarial Mathematics, Economic History and your elective modules. Your third year modules are Investment & Trading, Actuarial Statistics, Information Management and Workplace Skills. You will have six months of work placement to gain some experience of working in the field. You will have the option of working in financial and insurance institutions in either Ireland, the UK or the USA.

As well as studying your elective modules in your final year, you will also focus on modules such as Financial & Actuarial Maths, Actuarial Statistics, Actuarial Risk Management and Ethics & Professionalism. 

The above information is based on the course offered in UCD.

Career Options

There are a number of career paths you can take in this area which may also be influenced by the elective modules you decide to take. Career opportunities include working in banking, finance, business or as a financial analyst, for example. It will also be possible to work in areas from computer science and statistics to management science and economics among many more depending on what area you decide to specialise in. You may work in finance, trading and or investment. 

As mentioned above, there are many opportunities to continue on your studies at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area of your interest such as the examples listed above. 

Skills and qualities that are both important and helpful when working and studying in this area include strong communication skills, the ability to work with computers, maths skills, time management skills, critical thinking skills, analytical skills, organisation skills, leadership skills, the ability to work well with others, the ability to work well under pressure and a mind for numbers. Problem solving skills are also important.

Related Jobs

  • Financial Analyst
  • Business Management
  • Economist
  • Actuary 
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Investment Banker


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Specific courses may have their own requirements.Certain QQI courses may be accepted. 

The points required for this course last year (2020) were 601 points to study Actuarial & Financial Studies in UCD. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • More than 80% of the internet population has used or bought goods and services online
  • Money is made in factories known as mints
  • There are more than 1.6 million ATMs in the world


Student Grant Scheme 

Actuary Job Description

Financial Analyst Job Description

Actuarial & Financial Studies course UCD 

Aedín Dunne

Commerce International
Law with Economics


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