The business of risk

Victoria has become the first university in the country to offer an undergraduate degree majoring in Actuarial Science.

Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics Dr Peter Donelan says in many countries there is a need for professionals who can analyse, measure and manage risk.

“We live in a world that is increasingly conscious of risk, whether from natural hazards such as earthquakes and storms, personal factors relating to health, disease and lifestyle or uncertainty in financial markets, investments and asset management.

“There’s a growing demand for actuarial skills, not just across the traditional fields of insurance and finance, but in areas such as government, education, health and software development,” he says.

The Actuarial Science degree combines a selection of academic papers from Victoria Business School and the Faculty of Science to offer students a streamlined path to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the industry.

Professor Bob Buckle, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, says the programme has been designed with extensive industry input. “The New Zealand Society of Actuaries and individuals in the industry have lent their expertise to help shape the programme so it instils students with the right mix of skills, theory and practical experience.

“One of the other great things about the programme is it provides opportunities for students to connect directly with leading members of the profession and, from there, develop links with potential employers.”