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Actuarial Studies

What Does An Actuary Do?

An actuary is essentially a risk-manager and creative problem-solver. Actuaries analyse and manage the risks of financial contracts, insurance and retirement funds. They are also involved in the management and control of financial institutions.

“Actuaries are amongst some of the brightest people in the business world…
They apply their expertise to a wide range of practical business problems.”
Institute of Actuaries of Australia

About Actuarial Studies

The actuary’s work is based on the application of mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analysis to a range of practical problems in long-term financial planning and management. Actuaries relate numbers to real life.

All actuarial students complete units in economics, accounting, mathematics, statistics, finance and actuarial studies.

Did you know?

Macquarie’s actuarial studies program was the first of its kind in the English speaking world to be accredited by a professional actuarial body and is the longest running program in Australia.

How much you can earn?

According to the 2009 Macquarie University graduate destination survey, the average Actuarial Studies graduate starting salary is $51,000. A senior professional can expect to earn in excess of $200,000 per annum.

Our Actuarial degrees

Macquarie University offers you a complete single degree program — the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies, which takes three years of full-time study OR one of the following double degrees, which take four years of full-time study:

  • Bachelor of Applied Finance with Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (BAppFin BActStud)
  • Bachelor Actuarial Studies with Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (BActStud BSc)
  • Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with Bachelor of Science in Statistics (BActStud BSc)
  • Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with Bachelor of Economics (BActStud BEc)

Where can you go with a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies?

Macquarie’s highly valued actuarial studies graduates include a Rhodes Scholar, several who have undertaken postgraduate studies in prestigious overseas universities such as Stanford and Harvard, a winner of the Business Review Weekly Business Student of the Year Award, and a number of past Presidents of The Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

The actuarial profession is one of the most globalised professions. Our graduates can be found in

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia
  • New Zealand
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong

Recent graduates are working in roles:

  • in financial services and consulting
  • with software providers developing financial models for the life insurance market
  • in mergers and acquisitions overseas
  • directing strategy and supply chain consultancies.

Career paths which are in demand include:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Energy and Environment
  • General and Health Insurance
  • Investment
  • Life Insurance
  • Management
  • Public Sector: Australia Prudential Regulation Authority,
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Risk Management
  • Superannuation
  • Wealth Management
  • Non-traditional areas such as
    • IT
    • e-commerce
    • climate change
More career details at


The Institute of Actuaries of Australia (IAAust) is the professional body of actuaries in Australia. It defines a three part examination process and runs an annual Professionalism Course. A graduate who has completed Parts I and II may apply to become an Associate member of The Institute of Actuaries of Australia (AIAA). A graduate who has completed Parts I, II and III, satisfied a one year practical experience requirement and attended the Professionalism Course is admitted as a Fellow of The Institute of Actuaries of Australia (FIAA) and is then known as an actuary.

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