Bachelor of Honours Degree in Actuarial Science

BACHELOR OF HONOURS DEGREE IN ACTUARIAL SCIENCE

NUST code:

BAS

DURATION:

4 years

TYPE OF DEGREE:

HONOURS

CREDIT LOAD:

510

LEVEL 
 

SADC-QF - Level 8

ACCREDITATION ORGANISATION(S):

 

Actuaries are professionals who use their mathematical, statistical and financial skills to solve financial problems involving future uncertainty. They put price tags on future risks. Due to their versatility, actuaries enjoy a wide variety of challenging and rewarding careers. The local actuarial science profession is still in its infancy levels of development and there is a serious shortage of actuarial personnel working in Zimbabwe.

The Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Actuarial Science is aimed at equipping students with expertise in the following areas of actuarial science: life assurance, health insurance, pensions, short-term insurance, finance and investments, and risk management. Students graduating from this programme will be able to find employment in the insurance industry, actuarial consulting firms, government agencies, investment companies, banks, universities, and other large corporations. 

JUSTIFICATION

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Actuarial Science is being reviewed to make the modules more practical and relevant to the programme as requested by the industry. The review also aims to align the programme with some of the recent changes in first year modules under the Risk Management and Insurance programme, and to improve the competitiveness of the programme.

Purpose of the Programme
This programme aims to impart on students the technical and analytical skills required in the actuarial profession.
Objectives of the Programme
To equip students with the skills they need to shorten the time required to obtain certification in becoming qualified actuaries.
To empower students with skills and competencies to spearhead research, development and innovation.
Programme Characteristics
Areas of study: Actuarial Science
The assessment and management of financial and other measurable risks faced by various organisations, primarily in the financial services sector.
Statistics
Entails the analysis and modelling of random variables using probability distribution functions as well as statistical inference.
Finance
Provides corporate analytical skills critical to the management of investments and use of financial instruments.
Economics
Focuses on micro- and macro-economic concepts, economic policies and how economies work.
Stochastic models
How to model processes allowing for the random variation of both inputs and outputs.
Specialist Focus: Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Pensions, Investment, General Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management.
Distinctive Features: The programme is tailored to provide students with technical and analytical actuarial skills.


Career Opportunities And Further Education

Employability: The skills that students gain enable them to build careers in risk management, investment management, financial analysis, or in the academia. Potential roles include actuarial analyst, reserving actuary, pricing actuary, pensions actuary, investment analyst and asset modelling analyst.

Further studies: Master of Science and Doctoral studies in Actuarial Science or Actuarial Management as well as Professional Actuarial Exams.
Normal Entry

Applicants for the Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Actuarial Science must have the following qualifications or their equivalent:

Five (5) Ordinary Level passes, including English and Mathematics (with at least a grade C or better)
At least two passes at ‘A’ level.
The applicant should have passed Mathematics, Statistics or Economics.
Further Mathematics will be an added advantage.

Special Entry

Applicants without the appropriate 'A' Level qualifications for entry but who have passed exams from any actuarial professional body as well as relevant working experience and who satisfy the University and the Department of their ability to complete the degree study programme satisfactorily will be considered for study.
Programme Delivery

Teaching and Learning Methods: Lectures, practicals, seminars, research project, group work and individual independent study.
Assessment Methods: Written examinations, tests, assignments, oral presentations, dissertation and continuous assessment.
Programme Competencies
Generic:
Analysis and synthesis: Develops capacity for analytical and critical thinking.
Discipline specific:
Skills: Equips students with technical and analytical actuarial skills required to assess and manage measurable risks in the financial services sector, with particular focus on the insurance sector.

Exit Level Outcomes
Problem Solving
Craft solutions to actuarial problems in financial institutions and manage measurable risks.
Modelling
Apply data analytics, model building and implementation skills which are vital in today’s actuarial profession.
Financial Management
Apply actuarial theory to craft financial and investment solutions for business in the most economic ways.

DURATIONOFPROGRAMME AND DELIVERY SYSTEMS
Duration of Programme
Candidates shall pursue the degree for a normal duration of four years on a full time basis, with each academic year constituting a part of the degree programme.
In Part III of the study programme candidates will be required to undertake an industrial attachment programme for at least 30 weeks.
In Part IV of the programme candidates will be required to complete a research project under the supervision of the Department of Insurance and Actuarial Science staff.

Delivery System:

Year of Study Semester Number of modules
First Year First Semester 7 Modules
Second Semester 5 Modules
Second Year First Semester 6 Modules
Second Semester 6 Modules
Third Year Industrial Attachment
Fourth Year First Semester 5 Modules
Second Semester 4 Modules + Research Project

Assessment Regulations
The students will be assessed on the basis of coursework from assignments and the final examination. The mark allocation will be as follows:

Continuous Assessment 30%
Final Examination 70%

Mark Weighting PART III
{Industrial Supervisor 50% Viva voce 10% Industrial Attachment Report 40% } 120 credits

Degree Classification
75% and above - 1
65 - 74% - 2.1
60 - 64% - 2.2
50 - 59% - P
Below 50% - Fail

Part

Semester

Module Code

Module Name

Credits

I

I

CAC1107

Accounting 1A

10

CIN1109

 Commercial Law

10

SMA1101

 Calculus

10

CBA1104

 Principles of Micro-Economics

10

CBU1108

 Principles of Management

10

CBU1102

 Business Communication

10

CTL1101

 Conflict Transformation and Leadership

10

CIN1108

 Introduction to Risk Management (Optional)

10

Total Credits Part I Semester I (minimum)

70

I

II

CAC1208

Accounting 1B

10

CBA1205

 Principles of Macro-Economics

10

CBU1209

 Principles of Marketing

10

CIN1202

 Risk and Insurance

10

SMA1201

 Calculus of several variables

10

Total Credits Part I Semester II

50

Total Credits Part I (minimum)

120

II

I

CIN2123

 Life, Health and Care Insurance

11

CIN2116

 Research Methods in Insurance

10

CFI2101

 Corporate Finance I

10

CIN2122

 Actuarial Financial Mathematics

12

CIN2111

 Actuarial Statistics I

12

CIN2114

 Visual Basic for Applications

12

Total Credits Part II Semester I

67

II

II

CFI2201

 Corporate Finance II

10

CIN2211

 Actuarial Statistics II

12

CIN2222

 Life Contingencies I

12

CIN2215

Topics in Applied Mathematics

12

CIN2224

 Pension and Benefits

11

CIN2216

 Computer Packages and Application in Insurance

11

Total Credits Part II Semester II

68

Total Credits Part II

135

III

I & II

CIN3001

Industrial Attachment

120

IV

I

CIN4117

 General Insurance Mathematics I

12

CIN4118

 Stochastic Modelling

12

CIN4115

 Financial Economics

12

CIN4116

 Investment and Asset Management

11

CIN4119

 Survival Models

11

Total Credits Part IV Semester I

58

IV

II

CIN4222

 Life Contingencies II

12

CIN4219

 General Insurance Mathematics II

12

CIN4221

 Theory and Valuation of Derivatives

12

CIN4220

 General Insurance

11

 CIN4001

 Research Project

30

Total Credits Part IV Semester II

77

Total Credits Part IV

135

Overall Credits for the Programme (Minimum)

510

Part I Semester I

CIN 1109 Commercial Law [10 credits]
The aim of this module is to introduce students to the basic legal principles governing the business environment. Focus will be placed on definition of contracts, requirements of a contract, breach of a contract, remedies for breach of contracts, law of agency, contract of sale, law of business organisations and insurance contract.

SMA 1101 Calculus [10 credits]
The aspects covered are: Limit of functions, One-sided and infinite limits, Continuity, Differentiation, Rolle's Theorem, mean value theorem, Cauchy's mean value theorem, Leibniz' rule, Taylor series, Integration, Definite integrals, Anti-derivatives, Fundamental theorem of calculus, Improper integrals, Gamma and Beta functions, Natural Logarithms, revolution, Parametric equations, Polar coordinates, Graph sketching, Complex numbers, De Moivre's theorem, and the exponential form.

CBA 1104 Principles of Micro-Economics [10 credits]
The module provides a basic foundation for the subject matter of Economics to enable students to prepare themselves to use the concept of rationality to analysing behaviour at a micro level. The module includes: Definitions of Economics, Evaluation and Development of Socio-Economic systems, Factor Prices, Pricing and Production Certainty and Uncertainty in Economic theory, Markets and Economic Decision-making.

CAC 1107 Accounting IA [10 credits]
The module is designed for students without “A” level Accounting. It introduces students to basic principles, concepts and techniques of Accounting in general. The module focuses on the use of Accounting information by managers. The module covers the following areas: Accounting cycle, Accounting as an Information system, trial balance, preparation of financial statements for individual companies, non-profit making organisations as well as Accounting ratios.

CBU 1108 Principles of Management [10 credits]
History and development of management thought, functions of management, organisational structures, decision making, communication, centralisation and decentralisation, delegation, leadership and motivation, controlling budgeting and non-budgetary controls.

CIN 1108 Introduction to Risk Management (Elective) [10 credits]
The aim of this module is to introduce students to an early appreciation of basic concepts of risk and risk management. It deals with the concepts of risk and uncertainty, risk definitions and classifications, and the application of principles of management to risk management. Emphasis is placed in the generic risk management model with special focus on risk identification/ awareness, risk measurement and techniques for dealing with risk. This module provides a foundation for the rest of the modules to be taken later in the study programme.

CBU 1102 Business Communication [10 credits]
General comprehension and expression, report writing, comprehension of ideas, development of different styles and the use of English in a business setting, communicating skills, letter-writing, committee documents, use of questionnaires, note taking, summarising.

Part I Semester II

CIN1202 Risk and Insurance [10 credits]
The aim of this module is to familiarize students with risk financing with special emphasis placed on insurance and self-insurance. It deals with guidelines for insurable risks, risk assessment and measurement of insurable risks, principles and practice of insurance and self-insurance, the insurance industry, including the role of the government. It introduces the students to international insurance markets and provides an overview of short term and long-term insurance policies, claims management and the marketing of insurance services.

CAC 1208 Accounting IB [10 credits]
The module aims at equipping students with basic Management Accounting techniques in planning, control and decision making. It is intended for non-accounting professionals and covers the following areas: relationship of Cost and Management Accounting to other branches of Accounting, cost classification, stock valuation, material and labour costing, cash budgets etc.
CBA 1205 Principles of Macro-Economics [10 credits]
Having done Principles of Micro Economics, it is a well-known fact that what is true with regard to individual parts of the whole may not be true with the whole. Principles of Macro-economics builds on Principles of Micro Economics. It seeks to introduce students on how economic aggregates such as national income, investment, savings, taxation, imports, exports, government expenditure, fiscal and monetary policies, employment/unemployment and inflation are related to micro economic behaviour. Emphasis is put on the definition, measurement and inter-linkages of these so that students can be prepared for more advanced policy formulation and implementation.

CBU 1209 Principles of Marketing [10 credits]
Marketing functions; the environment of marketing; marketing information systems and marketing research; the marketing mix; consumer behaviour; the social responsibility of marketing; public policy with respect to marketing practices.

SMA 1201 Calculus of Several Variables [10 credits]
The aspects covered are: Cartesian coordinates in 3 dimensions, Functions of several variables, Quadric surfaces, Curves, Partial derivatives, Tangent planes, Derivatives and differentials, Directional derivatives, Chain rules, Div, grad and curl, Maxima and minima, Lagrange multipliers, Double and triple integrals, Change of order, Change of variable, Polar and spherical coordinates, Line and surface integrals, Green's theorem in the plane, Divergence theorem and Stokes theorem.

Part II Semester I

CIN 2123 Life, Health and Care Insurance [11 credits]
The module seeks to equip students with knowledge and understanding of actuarial techniques in life insurance. It covers the operation of the following types of group and individual products: whole life assurance, term assurance, pure endowment, endowment assurance, life annuity products, critical illness insurance, long-term care insurance and income protection insurance as well as Private Medical Insurance and related products. It also covers product design, stakeholder needs, state healthcare provision methods and approaches to funding, modelling, data considerations, assumptions used, pricing considerations, reserving, risk management, underwriting and policy data checks.

CIN 2116 Research Methods in Insurance [10 credits]
The objective of the module is to provide students with the skills investment necessary to carry out research work. The module will enable students to carry out applied research in insurance and actuarial science. This module covers following: principles of conducting research, types of approaches to research; qualitative and quantitative, selecting research topics, research proposal, literature search, methods of data collection, analysing research data, writing and presentation of a research project. The module will be assessed by coursework and a written examination.

CFI 2101 Corporate Finance I [10 credits]
The aim of the module is to identify the objective that Corporate Finance managers pursue or ought to pursue in order to satisfy the needs of corporate stakeholders and to develop, in students, concepts and corporate analytical tools that will enable them to meet this objective. To this end, the module will cover the following critical areas: Goals of a firm and the agency theory; Time value concepts and valuation of bonds and shares; Capital Budgeting under certainty; Operating and financial leverage; Introduction to portfolio theory and capital asset pricing; the stock market and other sources of long-term capital; innovations in Corporate Finance.

CIN 2122 Actuarial Financial Mathematics [12 credits]
The module aims to provide a solid grounding in Financial Mathematics and its applications, covering: cash flow models, time value of money, equations of value, loan schedules, investment project appraisal, bond valuation, forward contracts and term structure of interest rates and stochastic interest rates.

CIN 2111 Actuarial Statistics I [12 credits]
The module aims to equip students with skills of analysing data and applying probability theory to practical problems. The main aspects covered are introduction to probability, random variables, probability distributions, generating functions, joint distributions, conditional expectation, the central limit theorem, sampling and statistical inference.

CIN 2114 Visual Basic for Applications [12 credits]
The objective of this module is to provide students with computer skills which are essential in this ever changing business environment. This module introduces students to the world of computer programming using Microsoft Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This module covers introduction to VBA, how VBA works with Excel, programming concepts, developing custom dialog boxes, creating custom toolbar and menus. The module will be assessed by coursework only.

Part II Semester II

CFI2201 Corporate Finance II [10 credits]
The aim of the module is to develop, further, in students, concepts and corporate financial analytical tools. The areas covered will include the following: Introduction to capital structure theory and practice; Cost of capital and valuation; Introduction to capital budgeting under uncertainty; Dividend policy theory and practice; corporate working capital management; and innovations in corporate finance.

CIN 2211 Actuarial Statistics II [12 credits]
The module aims to equip students with skills of analysing data and applying probability theory to practical problems. The main aspects covered are methods of estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

CIN 2215 Topics in Applied Mathematics [12 credits]
A highly mathematical module which aims to equip the trainee actuary with both mathematical and computer methods used in actuarial problem solving. The main objective of the module is to give students a deeper understanding of the fundamental mathematical techniques used actuarial science. The module builds ground for higher modules which require requisite knowledge and application of matrices, differential equations, difference equations, differential-difference equations, demographic projections, linear algebra, discrete maths, real analysis and topology.

CIN 2222 Life Contingencies I [12 credits]
By the end of the module, students should be able to use standard actuarial techniques to calculate premiums, contributions and reserves for the full range of life assurance, health care and retirement benefits. The following aspects are covered: annuities and assurance, select mortality, long term care contracts, life insurance contracts, gross premium and reserve, discounted emerging costs techniques and pricing of life insurance options and guarantees.

CIN 2216 Computer Packages and Applications in Insurance [11 credits]
Computer Packages and Applications in Insurance (CIN 2216) will provide students with an opportunity to write programs for statistical models used in statistics, insurance and actuarial modelling. It also covers statistical reporting using software packages for statistical calculations; numerical and graphical summaries; contingency tables; hypothesis testing; confidence intervals; regression methods; analysis of data from comparative studies as well as data mining concepts such as predictive modelling and causal inference. Students will gain skills from the use of statistical packages such as SAS, SPSS, R, Excel and MATLAB. The module will be assessed by coursework only.

CIN 2224 Pension and Benefits [11 credits]
The aim of the module is to equip students with the technical knowledge required in managing benefit schemes such as Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution schemes. It focuses on benefit providers, stakeholder needs, disclosure requirements, scheme design, risks and uncertainties, financing methods, use of models, the need for valuation, valuation data, sources of surplus and discontinuance.

Part IV Semester I

CIN 4117 General Insurance Mathematics I [12 credits]
The module aims to cover the following aspects under risk theory: Decision theory, Bayesian statistics, Loss Distributions, Reinsurance, Credibility Theory, and Empirical Bayes Credibility Theory. Software packages such as R shall be utilised for exercises such as fitting loss distributions and reserving.

CIN 4118 Stochastic Modelling [12 credits]
The module aims to cover principles of stochastic modelling including the following aspects: principles of actuarial modelling, stochastic processes, markov chains, the two-state Markov model, the general Markov model, Markov jump processes, stochastic integrals, Ito processes, martingales, and the Brownian motion.

CIN 4115 Financial Economics [12 credits]
This module equips students with the skills required in modelling security prices and returns by covering the following topics: utility theory, Absolute and Stochastic Dominance, behavioural finance, investment risk measures, portfolio theory, models of asset returns, asset pricing models, and the Efficient Markets Hypothesis.

CIN 4116 Investment and Asset Management [11 credits]
The aim of this module is to introduce students to investment management principles which encompass: investment markets and their economic influences (money markets, bond markets, equity markets, property markets, derivative markets, Collective investment schemes and overseas markets), asset classes and their characteristics, relationships between returns on asset classes, valuation of individual investments and asset classes, as well as investment strategy.

CIN 4119 Survival Models [11 credits]
The module aims to define and estimate the future lifetime distribution of an individual. The main aspects covered are the future lifetime distribution, Kaplan-Meier and Nelson-Aalen estimators, the Cox Regression model, Markov Models, Binomial model, Poisson Model, exposed to risk and graduation techniques.

Part IV Semester II

CIN 4222 Life Contingencies II [12 credits]
By the end of the module, students should be able to use standard actuarial techniques to calculate premiums, contributions and reserves for a range of life assurance, health care and retirement benefits. The following aspects are covered: pricing of joint life annuities and assurances, contingent and reversionary benefits, pension fund benefits, Multiple Decrement Tables, profit testing, reserving, selection and standardisation.

CIN 4220 General Insurance [11 credits]
The module aims to cover the main types of general insurance products, rating methods, rating and underwriting considerations, how to price different types of reinsurance, application of the Individual and Collective Risk Models as well as the Aggregate Claim Distribution, the major actuarial investigations and analyses of experience with regard to reserving and capital modelling, analytic and simulation-based methods of reserving, the key considerations in deriving and applying capital modelling techniques, the approaches to the assessment of capital requirements for different risk types, selection of reinsurance programmes and accounting for general insurance business and regulation of general insurance business.

CIN 4219 General Insurance Mathematics II [12 credits]
The module aims to cover the following aspects under risk theory: Risk Models, Ruin theory, Reserving, Generalized Linear Models, Time Series Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation. Software packages such as SAS, R, Eviews and Excel shall be utilised particularly in Reserving, Time Series Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation.

CIN 4221 Theory and Valuation of Derivatives [12 credits]
This module covers the stochastic modelling of financial assets under the following aspects: pricing of equity and related derivatives such as futures, forwards and options, stochastic models of security prices, the Binomial (one step and multi-period) Models, Black – Scholes Model, the Greeks, the 5-step method (discrete and continuous time), term structure of interest rates and credit risk.

CIN 4001 Research Project [30 credits]
Students will be expected to complete a research project on a topic of their choice but limited to the taught modules. The project is a consolidation of the theoretical knowledge gained in the taught modules and the practical experience gained from Industrial Attachment.

CONVENTIONAL

$465/semester

PARALLEL

$565/semester

BLOCK

$565/semester

HARARE BLOCK

$897/semester

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