The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: EconomicsPart of Social Sciences

L1N3 BSc Economics and Actuarial Science (3 years)

The course will appeal to you if you are fascinated by financial and economic problems and would like to develop your skills in economics and mathematics to tackle them. BSc Economics and Actuarial Science focuses on the study of economics integrated with mathematics, statistics, demography and actuarial science. We are the only UK university to offer such combination of subjects.

Southampton has great strengths in Actuarial Studies. We offer two joint-honours degrees: Economics and Actuarial Science and its sister course, Mathematics and Actuarial Science). The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries recognises both courses for its Fellowship exam exemptions.


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Introducing your course

Unique in the UK, this programme combines study of economics, social sciences, and actuarial science. Graduates can enter a wide variety of careers, ranging from economists working in the banking sector to actuaries working in the insurance, pensions, and investment sectors. All of our actuarial science programmes provide students with a professionally-recognised education.

You can apply for exemptions from the Core Technical professional exams of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. These exams are internationally recognised. You will start your actuarial career with advanced professional standing or be able to use your high-level quantitative skills in a range of different career paths. For further details about accreditation please click on the Overview tab.


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

The programme is unique in the UK, steering a middle way between degrees in Actuarial Science and those in Economics or Mathematics. It equips you with the knowledge and understanding of economic theory and statistical methods and their applications necessary to undertake graduate study in economics or actuarial science and/or to pursue a future career as an economist or actuary. It provides an excellent preparation for a variety of careers in quantitative finance and will give you a head start if you intend to enter the actuarial profession.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications for full-time study should be made through UCAS - Applications for part-time study can be made through UCAS or directly to the University.


The table below sets out the proposed exemption mapping between the professional Core Technical (CT) subjects of the Institute of Actuaries and the corresponding university courses. As you can see, we can offer exemption from all 8 Core technical examinations, one of the few Universities in the country to do so.

  CT Title Course Title Weighting
CT1 Financial mathematics Financial mathematics 100%
CT2 Finance and financial reporting  Accounting and finance for Non-Specialists  100% 
CT3 Probability and mathematical statistics  Statistics for economics  40% 
    Quantitative modelling in economics  40% 
    Statistical theory 2 20%
CT4 Models Survival Models 50% 
    Stochastic processes  50% 
CT5  Contingencies Actuarial mathematics I  50% 
    Actuarial mathematics II  50% 
CT6 Statistical methods Statistical methods in insurance 100% 
CT7  Economics  Foundations/principles of microeconomics  50% 
    Principles of macroeconomics  50% 
CT8  Financial economics  Mathematical finance  100% 

The usual criterion for achieving exemption status is the attainment of a raw (unscaled) mark of 60% or more in the final examination paper for the corresponding university course (where several university courses contribute to a CT subject, the usual requirement is that an appropriate weighted average of the corresponding raw final examination marks be 60% or more). This threshold of 60% may be raised (say, to 65%) or lowered (say, to 55%) at the discretion of the profession’s Independent Examiner, who scrutinizes each student’s performance and makes recommendations to the profession in respect of exemptions.

Programme Structure

Module choices in year one are dependent on whether you have studied economics at A level. The programme structure below outlines the modules that you may typically expect to study, although this may vary depending on demand for the modules and staff availability. Eight modules are studied each year, with four in each semester. During year three you will study a dissertation, equivalent to two modules, which is a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice spread over both semesters.

Key Facts

Find out more about the University's Actuarial Society, SUAS

Members of staff are actively involved in the development of educational material and in the provision of actuarial training both in the UK and overseas.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGCSE English grade C or above (or an equivalent standard in other English language qualifications approved by the University)
A Levels:
GCE A-level
  • 3 A level subjects: AAA (including A level Mathematics at grade A) or AAB (including A level Mathematics at grade A and A level Further Mathematics) or AAB (including A level Mathematics at grade A) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification.
  • 4 A level subjects: AABB (including A level Mathematics at grade A or above) or ABBB (including A level Mathematics at grade A and A level Further Mathematics).

Queries about contextualised offers can be made to: . Information about the university’s scheme to widen participation (A2S) can be found here: Access to Southampton

Although an Economics A level is not required, preference will be given to applicants taking at least one analytical A level subject; that is, either Economics or Mathematics or a science-based subject.

Most A level subjects are acceptable with the exception of General Studies. One subject such as those on the following list is accepted if combined with other academic subjects:

  • Art, including Design, Fine Art, Photography, Textiles, etc
  • Critical Thinking
  • Home Economics
  • ICT
  • Leisure Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Music, including Music Technology
  • Sports Studies including all forms of PE, Dance, etc
  • Theatre Studies including Drama and Performing Arts
  • Travel and Tourism

There may be a few places available for marginal candidates who have just missed the grades required by their conditional offer. For these students ONLY, the Admissions Tutor will consider any extra A level subject, including General Studies. Therefore, it is worth taking an extra A level as an insurance policy. There is no guarantee that extra spaces will be available.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at Higher Level including at least 6 points in HL Mathematics
Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications to an A level applicant or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by two A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students: if you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (e.g. Access, Return to Study, Open University Foundation Courses), and of your capacity to pursue the course. Please note - due to the mathematical content of the courses at Southampton, you will be expected to have studied the appropriate level of mathematics relevant to the course.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is ABB including grade A in A level Mathematics from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Selection process:

We usually make our decisions based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, e.g. on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed.

All of our degree programmes require modules in mathematics (algebra and calculus) and statistics to be taken in the first year. If you have not studied mathematics for some time, you are strongly advised to prepare for these courses prior to entry

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The programme structure below outlines the modules that you may typically expect to study, although this may vary depending on demand for the modules and staff availability.

There is a large choice of optional modules and the list below is not exhaustive (highlight this text in some way). For example, interdisciplinary modules allow students to try different methodological approaches outside of their home discipline. For more information visit the Interdisciplinary modules page. Students can also take language modules in a variety of languages. The modules range in level from absolute beginner up to near-native speaker level. For more information visit the Credit-bearing language modules page. There are also non-credit bearing courses for those who simply wish to continue languages as a hobby. Visit the Southampotn Language Opportunity page.

Year 1

The aim of the first year is to provide you with a firm foundation in the core subjects of your degree and an opportunity, through the choice of optional units, to broaden your field of study. Module choices in year one are dependent on whether you have studied Economics at A level.

Student choose three optional modules in first year. They can choose from Economics modules; modules from other departments and also from the Interdisciplinary modules. Note: the Economics department provides interdisciplinary modules but gives them two codes (e.g. UOSM2036 is the same as ECON1015). This is to allow our students to have access to the courses before they are offered to the whole University. UOSM modules can be taken in first, second or third year unless specified. For example, students could choose to take Social Enterprise  in any year.

Everyone also takes a non-credit bearing course in Economics Skills and Employability each year to enable students to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer here.

Year 2

In Year 2, students choose one optional module in Semester 2.

Semester Two

At least 3 modules over years 2/3 combined from Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists, Stochastic Processes (Year 2) andActuarial Mathematics I, Mathematical Finance, Actuarial Mathematics II, Survival Models, Statistical Methods in Insurance (Year 3) must be chosen. Provided this minimum requirement is met, any other options from the relevant year list supplied by Social Sciences may be taken as alternatives to the specified named-degree options.

Econometrics 2
Research Skills for an Economist
Stochastic Processes
Company Law
Financial Accounting 2
Financial Management
Population History
Operations Management
Globalisation, Inequalities & Power
Criminology: Policy & Practice
Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists

Language modules

Interdisciplinary modules

These modules are only indicative examples of the options available. There is a wide array of option modules to choose from, subject to availability.

Year 3

During Year 3, you will complete a dissertation in either Demography or Economics. The dissertation is equivalent to two modules and is spread over two semesters. It is an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

In addition, students must take at least one of the following modules: Macroeconomic Policy 3; Topics in Macroeconomics 3, or Principles of Finance.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT: Software licences - Publicly available software in public workstations and some available via iSolutions, but otherwise purchase.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
OtherExemptions: Students who perform sufficiently well in relevant modules will receive recommendation for exemption from the corresponding professional exams of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), at no cost to the student. Graduates who subsequently decide to join the IFoA and claim these exemptions must pay the relevant fees to the IFoA, details of which may be found here:

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards. In each year, students take a non-credit bearing module in Economics Skills and Employability. For example, first years take ECON1016. Students can also take modules to enhance their employability in particular areas. For instance, there are modules on Social Enterprise; Economics with Experiments; Ethics in Science, Engineering and Technology, and finance modules which use the University Bloomberg Suite.

Our student societies are very active. There is a special student society for Actuarial students as well as the main Economics society. If you are interested in social enterprise, then we have a thriving Enactus society. Other societies can help you with your chosen career including the Trading and Investment Society, Surge Radio, and the Bright Futures Society. For a complete list visit the SUSU all groups web page.

IBM runs a Business Innovation Programme during term time. The EXCEL placement scheme provides internships over the Easter and Summer holiday. Students can decide to take a Year in Employment in their penultimate year. In order to be as flexible as possible, we do not require students to indicate on UCAS that they wish to take this option. They can sign up after they arrive. Actuarial students can also take advantage of a specialist recruiter for Actuarial placements.

The skills you will develop are in high demand. The majority of Actuarial graduates choose careers as Actuaries, but there are plenty of other careers paths on offer. For example, a number of Southampton graduates go onto become fund managers, find out more by visiting the news story about City fund managers. We run training sessions, mentoring schemes and skills workshops to help you prepare for your future career.

Learning & Assessment

Our degrees are full-time honours programmes of three years duration, with the exception of the M.Econ. programme, which lasts 4 years. All programmes aim to provide knowledge of the key concepts and arguments in the relevant subjects together with the capacity to apply this knowledge in a variety of contexts. In addition, we seek to ensure that all of our students are able to use data and quantitative techniques appropriately and effectively. The overall programme structure is a flexible one, allowing you to discover and pursue your own interests - either by choice of options or, if appropriate, by changing degree course at the end of year one.

Lectures and classes

Teaching takes place during two semesters, the first running from October to February and the second from February through to June. Eight subject units are taken per year - normally four per semester - some of which are compulsory and others optional. Teaching comprises both lectures (two or three per week, depending on the module) and weekly or fortnightly small group classes. In a typical semester you would spend about twelve hours per week attending lectures and classes; in addition, we expect about twenty-eight hours of self-study (preparing for classes, writing essays and so on) bringing the weekly total to forty hours.


Modules are examined at the end of the semester in which they are taught, and in some cases a coursework mark will contribute to the overall grade for the unit. Satisfactory performance in the first year is required in order to progress to year two. Final degree classes are based upon marks from the second and third years.


The resources for teaching and learning at Southampton are excellent. The University's Hartley library, which is located close to the Division, contains a comprehensive collection of books and journals. Computer workstations are available both on the campus and at halls of residence, in many cases offering round-the-clock access. In addition, every student is provided with an e-mail account, and all rooms in halls of residence have a telephone/internet connection.

Study Locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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