What is the scope of actuarial science

Part-time degree in Actuarial Sciences (M.Sc.)

Globalization and the accompanying internationalization of risk management and accounting, serious demographic changes, developments in the international financial markets, new types of financial instruments and technological innovations are just a few of the aspects that are causing far-reaching changes in the insurance industry. Against this background, the actuarial profession has developed in Germany. Actuaries are the specialists for assessing and managing financial risks (e.g. in insurance companies, banks and building societies or in company pension schemes).

The tasks of the actuary require a good mathematical education, solid knowledge of statistics and information processing as well as an understanding of economic issues. Therefore, a degree in actuarial science is ideal for this job. The best proof of the success of the course is the very good career prospects of the graduates of the undergraduate course in business mathematics with a focus on actuarial sciences: they have no difficulty finding a suitable job quickly, even in times of economic recession.

Current developments such as Solvency II are prescribing and introducing new key functions for insurance companies. For example, the risk management function and the actuarial function must be filled by "technically suitable" staff. Actuaries are ideally qualified for these functions.

Course director
apl. Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Zwiesler
Institute for Insurance Science

Course coordinator
Ralf Boenke

Modules of the course

Study objectives

The course enables graduates to independently analyze issues in the field of actuarial science at a high university level. The students acquire knowledge in the central areas of basic actuarial knowledge as well as a deep understanding of the framework conditions of actuarial work, including skills in project implementation and the presentation of the corresponding results in a generally understandable form.

After successfully completing the master's degree in actuarial science, students have excellent mathematical expertise in connection with economic understanding and the ability to deal with information technology thanks to both research and practical studies. Graduates are experts in assessing and managing financial risks (e.g. in insurance companies, banks and building societies or in company pension schemes).

A successfully completed master’s degree in actuarial science should enable
  1. to independent actuarial activity in the economy, in particular in the insurance industry,
  2. to manage projects that involve analyzing, modeling and solving scientific, economic or insurance problems related to financial risks,
  3. for planning, development and research tasks in scientific and public institutions,
  4. to work as a research assistant at a university and
  5. for access to a doctorate.

Learning outcomes of the course

The students acquire knowledge in the central areas of basic actuarial knowledge such as personal insurance, non-life insurance and financial mathematics. Furthermore, they acquire a deep understanding of the framework conditions of actuarial work in the areas of corporate control, risk management or accounting. The student should be able to apply scientific knowledge and methods independently and to evaluate their significance and scope for solving scientific and social problems.


In particular, a graduate of the Actuarial Master’s course should:
  • completely master the calculation of personal and property insurance,
  • understand and apply basic principles and techniques of financial mathematics,
  • know the underlying techniques and results from stochastics and statistics,
  • be able to explain stochastic and statistical methods of risk modeling and to evaluate them with regard to their application in risk theory,
  • be able to apply the methods and models of risk modeling taught,
  • have advanced and especially in-depth knowledge in the areas of modeling or value and risk-oriented corporate management and insurance economics or accounting,
  • deepen and specialize in further (elective) areas.


In addition, the students acquire skills in scientific work and project management (individually and in a group). These are achieved on the one hand through the master’s thesis and within the framework of the attendance days, which among other things serve to discuss the knowledge acquired or to deepen it in exercises and case studies in an application-oriented manner. The presence days also serve as a platform for an exchange between the students, whereby social skills are built up.

The master’s course

The Actuarial Science course is designed as a master’s course. It is designed for 90 credit points (ECTS) and concludes with the degree "Master of Science", which therefore also includes the right to do a doctorate. The students acquire a total of at least 60 credit points according to ECTS from course modules. Of these, three modules are mandatory as compulsory modules, the others are offered as elective or compulsory elective modules. The individual modules of the course can be studied largely independently of one another. However, it is advisable to complete the compulsory modules at an early stage. Due to the versatility of the actuarial sciences, topics for the master’s thesis (amounting to 30 ECTS) in a wide variety of directions are available in this area. These range from the investigation of mathematical problems through statistical questions and optimization aspects to more economic questions and topics with more reference to computer science.

The course is based on an interdisciplinary approach, which previously existing courses mostly do not meet. It is based on the successful correspondence course concept developed in Ulm. This combines fully formulated teaching texts, the content of which always reflects the latest status of the respective subject area, with continuous support from appropriate specialists. It is combined in the modules with different forms of teaching (self-study, various exercise options, attendance phases) and supplemented by case studies.

Sufficient flexibility is left in the curriculum in order to be able to cater to different previous experiences and previous knowledge (e.g. already existing knowledge in financial mathematics, but backlog in business administration). The different levels of knowledge are balanced out by elective modules.

The completion of the degree has no influence on membership in the German Actuary Association (DAV). The individual modules can be used very well to prepare for the basic knowledge exams of the DAV (according to PO III).

Actuarial Science in Ulm

In order to counteract the lack of appropriate further training opportunities in the field of actuarial sciences, an extensive range of courses for in-service training and further education for actuaries has been developed in Ulm since 1992. Today, Ulm University is one of the world's leading universities in the field of actuarial science.

Since then, the range of courses has been continuously expanded and the content has been adapted to the changing requirements. The correspondence courses have been offered by the Academy for Science, Business and Technology at Ulm University since 1998. Components of the correspondence courses are each a fully formulated teaching text, various exercise options, technical support from academic staff at Ulm University and a 2-3 day attendance phase. The courses are largely carried out in coordination with the German Actuarial Association (DAV). They convey a comprehensive basic knowledge in the respective subject areas and inform about new developments. They offer an ideal opportunity to familiarize yourself with a special subject area, to efficiently prepare for the basic knowledge exams for the Actuarial DAV and have already been recognized as preparation for the external Master's (MBA in Actuarial Science) at the University of Ulm.