Which are the Best Actuarial Science Courses in Malaysia that Suits You?
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If you excel at mathematics, enjoy problem solving and are looking for a degree that will prepare you for a rewarding career – both intellectually and financially – Actuarial Science could be the programme for you.
Most practicing actuaries in Malaysia have a degree in actuarial science or related course. Similar to accountants, graduates must also pass professional exams, before they become recognised as an actuary. The path to becoming an actuary involves going through a well-structured education plan. One must pass professional examinations and various on-the-job assessments, in addition to obtaining a degree in actuarial science.
Students who have a passion for Maths and excel in it can consider Actuarial Science as a career in Malaysia. A top actuarial science programme from a private university in Malaysia can enhance your ability to perform well on the rigorous demands of the actuarial professional exams and requirements. In addition, exemptions from the professional papers will allow you to complete faster. The most common route to become an Actuary in Malaysia is taking the Professional Papers from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) – USA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) – UK.
You might also be interested to read:
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia Best for Actuarial Science Studies Courses
- Pathway to Become an Actuary in Malaysia through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Curriculum 2019
- Actuarial Science in Malaysia – Job, Salary, Education Pathway & Professional Papers
- Which are the Top Private Universities Best for Actuarial Science Malaysia
- Top Universities in Malaysia for Actuarial Science Best for Preparing You for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Exams
- How to Become a Professional Actuary in Malaysia through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)
- Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia & the Best Pathway to Become a Professional Actuary
- Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia can get you a High Salary Career
- Best Pathway to Becoming an Actuary in Malaysia through the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Professional Exams
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia with Full Exemptions from IFoA (UK)
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What you Will Study in Actuarial Science Degree Programme in Malaysia
Obtaining an Actuarial Science degree at a top private university in Malaysia provides the first step towards qualifying as an actuary. Actuarial Science is an extremely demanding field of study and only very dedicated and capable students are likely to succeed.
Not all people are suited to study actuarial science as it is a very challenging course and requires a long time to become a professional actuaries. Students after SPM, O-Levels or UEC with As in Maths and Add Maths can consider a career in actuary.
Actuarial Science is a very comprehensive course in the way that it covers Mathematics, Finance, Economics, Accounting, Business Models, Computer Programming and Risk Management. As such, a high aptitude in Mathematics is highly required.
Furthermore, actuarial Science degree students at top universities in Malaysia includes a number of interrelated subjects such as Calculus, Statistics, Probability, Probability Theory, Economics, Finance and Financial Mathematics. With this fundamental Mathematical knowledge graduates will be able to solve complex actuarial problems. Historically, actuarial science used deterministic models in the construction of tables and premiums.
The science has gone through revolutionary changes during the last 30 years due to the proliferation of high speed computers and the union of stochastic actuarial models with modern financial theory. Being an actuary also requires you to master several computer programming languages such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, R and most importantly, Prophet – an actuarial software designed to crunch a large database. If you do not enjoy learning programming languages or writing codes, actuarial science would not be the career for you.
Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through intense education and experience.
Upon completion of the actuarial science degree programme in Malaysia, actuaries must demonstrate their competence by passing a series of thorough professional examinations.
Who Should Study Actuarial Science in Malaysia?
To become an actuary, you will generally need to have a high-level of mathematical ability and an above-average level of intelligence.
However, actuaries in Malaysia must also have good verbal and written communication skills especially in English, strong computer skills, time-management skills, as well as possess good judgement, imagination and clear logical thinking.
They also should have a knack for problem-solving, be self-confident, and possess the ability to work under pressure.
Sharpness, creativity, practicality coupled with good business sense are also some of the key personal attributes. An actuary who has devised a brilliant solution to complex problem must be able to explain his solution to non-actuaries!
Important characteristics for an actuary to have would be as follows:
- Mathematics is one of your favourite subjects. You study mathematics at the highest possible level and achieve good grades for it. You have a strong interest in solving complicated problems.
- An excellent business sense with knowledge of finance, accounting, and economics; keen analytical, project management, and problem solving skills
- You see yourself working as an actuary or risk manager for an insurance company, consultancy, pension fund or another financial or government institution.
- You have an affinity for numbers as well as the societal reality behind them, you are a good abstract thinker and you have strong analytical skills.
- You are interested in a variety of historical, social, legislative, and political issues, and are self-motivated achievers.
- Students should have achieved high marks in English and possess good oral & written communication skills.
- You are capable of working independently: you know how to use a library. Initiative and inquisitiveness are also of great value.
Moreover, being an actuary also requires you to master several computer programming languages such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, R and most importantly, Prophet – an actuarial software designed to crunch a large database. If you do not enjoy learning programming languages or writing codes, actuarial science would not be the career for you.
To summarise, actuaries bring a special set of skills to their work such as:
- Specialised math knowledge
- Calculus, statistics, probability
- Keen analytical, project management, and problem solving skills
- Good business sense
- Finance, accounting, economics
- Solid communication skills (oral and written)
- Strong computer skills
- Formulating spreadsheets, statistical analysis programs, database manipulation, programming languages
Actuaries are talented professionals, with personal characteristics such as:
- Ability to work with others
Entry Requirements for Actuarial Science
Students after SPM or O-Levels with at least 5 credits including Maths and relevant subjects may enter the Foundation in Business or Foundation in Arts for 1 year before continuing on to the Actuarial Studies degree.
Pre-University graduates in Malaysia from programmes such as UEC, STPM, A-Levels, SAM, CPU, AUSMAT and others may enter directly into the Actuarial Science or Actuarial Studies degree providing they meet the minimum entry requirements.
Entry requirements will vary from university to university, please send me your results for evaluation for entry.
How Long is the Actuarial Science Degree Course?
The Actuarial Science course is a 3 years degree programme of full-time study at most private universities in Malaysia.
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and project work. Course assessment is generally based on either coursework or an exam at the end of the semester, or a mixture of the two at the end of the semester or academic year.
What Subjects will You Study in an Actuarial Science Degree at a Private University in Malaysia?
Actuarial Studies is the extensive study of mathematics, probability, statistics, finance and economics. The degree programme transforms students into skilled analytical problem solvers who are trained to calculate and manage financial risk for businesses.
The actuarial studies degree programme at is designed not only to provide students with knowledge and skills to enter the actuarial profession but also prepare them for the professional examinations that will lead them to a qualified actuary.
Below are sample subjects for a degree in actuarial science:
- Business and Communication Skills
- Business Economics
- Discrete Mathematics
- Financial Accounting
- Introduction to Visual Programming
- Linear Algebra
- Probability Models
- Statistical Inference
- Statistical Investigation
- Ethics and Corporate Governance
- Financial Economics
- Financial Management
- Financial Mathematics
- Financial Planning and Control
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Life Contingencies
- Linear Programming
- Regression Analysis
- Research Methods
- Time Series and Forecasting
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Derivatives
- Insurance Practice
- Introduction to Stochastic Process
- Investigation in Actuarial Studies
- Macroeconomics Policy and Financial Markets
- Pension Planning
- Portfolio Management
- Project in Actuarial Studies
- Risk Theory
- Survival Analysis
- Probability and Statistics
- Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
- Multivariable Calculus and Real Analysis
- Life Insurance Mathematics
- Stochastic Processes
- Survival Models
- Derivative Markets and Discrete-time Finance
- Statistical Models
- Portfolio Theory & Asset Models
Exemptions from Actuarial Professional Bodies – Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)
During their undergraduate studies, students can attempt the examinations conducted by professional bodies such as Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and upon graduation, they can embark on careers as an actuarial assistant.
Most universities have exemptions from the 3 Validated by Educational Experience (VEE) papers from Society of Actuaries (SOA) while only 2 private universities in Malaysia have the highest exemptions from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). Which means that this will be the fastest pathway to become an Actuary in Malaysia if you go for the universities that have full exemptions from IFoA.
In Asia Pacific University (APU), Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Studies students will also receive credits for all the 3 Validated by Educational Experience (VEE) papers from SOA as long as they receive a minimum mark of 70% in the APU equivalent papers. APU is the first and the only Malaysian university that has all the six preliminary exams (P, FM, IFM, LTAM, STAM & SRM) and all the three VEE topics listed in its SOA UCAP profile.
While working, they continue to sit and pass the remaining professional exams, eventually becoming qualified actuaries in their chosen specialisation in various areas such as Corporate Finance and Enterprise Risk management, Individual Life and Annuities, Group and health Insurance, Retirement Benefits, Quantitative Finance and Investment, and General Insurance.
In addition, the Actuarial Science degree at Asia Pacific University (APU) has been awarded full accreditation from the IFoA (UK). APU is among the 7 universities in Asia to receive such worldwide recognition.
APU graduates who perform to the required standard can be eligible for exemption from CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1 and CB2. This is a 6-paper exemption out of 7 papers of the Core Principles Professional Papers for the new IFoA Curriculum 2019, which is the maximum paper exemptions.
In addition, the university has competent teaching staff with professional or specialized academic qualification, possessing working experience from actuarial industries/academia.
APU’s Actuarial Science course syllabus is comprehensively structured in tandem and compliance with the 2 biggest actuarial bodies, the IFoA (UK) and the SOA (US).
Taylor’s University and Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s Actuarial Science degree programmes have the exemptions for the VEE papers from SOA.
In addition, the Actuarial Science degree program at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia will give you 8 paper exemptions from the Core Technical Subjects which are CT1 to CT8. This means that Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Actuarial Science graduates need to take 7 more of the professional examinations plus relevant work experience to become a qualified Actuary (Fellow) in Malaysia. The UK Actuarial Profession has a structure of 26 professional examinations. To become a qualified Actuary (Fellow), you must pass 15 of these professional exams plus relevant work experience.
The degree is accredited by the Royal Statistical Society.
Where do Actuaries Work?
Actuaries usually work primarily for the insurance industry. They are also highly sought after by other sectors such as private corporations, banks, financial institutions and investment firms, brokerages and even government department such as Bank Negara also requires actuaries in risk management and financial consulting services.