EducationRoute to Becoming an Actuary

The path to becoming an actuary involves going through a well-structured education plan. This involves university-level education and post-university examinations, as well as other requirements.

Typical questions always raised by school leavers interested in actuarial science are:

  1. what is the next step, and
  2. what’s with the different societies/institutes?

Currently, in ASM, we have many actuarial graduates in the midst of examinations from the major professional bodies stated below. Apart from passing the examinations, there are also practical experience requirements and residential courses to be attended. These ensure that actuaries are not only technically capable, but are also aware of other professional requirement such as Code of Conduct and ethical workplace behaviour. We hope the short description here would help school leavers to understand more of the different options they have. The road to being a qualified actuary is long, but incredibly rewarding!

In Malaysia, most actuaries are from one of the following actuarial bodies:

Actuaries Institute – Australia

The actuarial education program in Australia is made up of three parts.

Foundation Program consists of six subjects across three main modules:

  • CS1 – Actuarial Statistics
  • CS2 – Risk Modelling and Survival Analysis
  • CM1 – Actuarial Mathematics for Modelling
  • CM2 – Economic Modelling
  • CB1 – Business Finance
  • CB2 – Business Economics

The Foundation Program can be completed by either studying an undergraduate actuarial degree at one of the eight accredited universities (seven in Australia and one in New Zealand), or by distance examination through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK; or credit transfer from another actuarial society.

The seven accredited Australian Universities are

  • Australian National University
  • Bond University
  • Curtin University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales

The accredited New Zealand University is Victoria University of Wellington.

Actuary Program consists of four subjects:

  • Actuarial Control Cycle
  • Data Science Principles
  • Asset Liability Management
  • Communication, Modelling and Professionalism

The universities above offer accredited education programs that cover two of the Actuary Program subjects (Actuarial Control Cycle and Data Science Principles). These programs are offered either as part of an undergraduate honours degree, as part of a post graduate qualification or as non-award subjects.

Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program builds on the Foundation and Actuary Programs and teaches actuaries to apply their skills in specialist areas of practice. As the third stage of the overall Education Program it is the part of your training that positions you to become an expert and a leader in your chosen field.

The Fellowship Program comprises three ssubjects - two principles subjects and one applications subject. Each subject runs during a 15-week semester including exam period. You can choose from 11 subject options depending on where you want to specialise.

Principles subjects: Choose two of the following subjects:

Applications subjects: You can choose one of the following subjects after you have completed or attempted two principles subjects:

The applications subjects have prerequisites (students must have sat, but not necessarily passed assessments for the prerequisites), as follows:

  • Life Insurance Applications (Life Insurance and Retirement Valuation, and Life Insurance and Retirement Product Development).
  • Superannuation and Retirement Applications (Life Insurance and Retirement Product Development plus any other principles subject).
  • General Insurance Applications (General Insurance and Health Valuation, and General Insurance and Health Pricing and Portfolio Analytics).
  • Data Science Applications (knowledge of the Data Science Principles subject syllabus and a basic understanding of Python as well as any two principles subjects)

It is important you check the course descriptions to ensure your principles subject choices line up with your applications subject preferences.

Practical Experience Requirement

Associate – To obtain Associate designation, you need to have completed and passed the Foundation Program and four Associateship subjects and have completed one year in a supervised, relevant work environment.
Fellow – Once you complete the Actuary Program, you can enter the Fellowship program. You must pass three Fellowship subjects to qualify (two principles and one applications subject) and complete one further year of supervised relevant work experience.

Further details on the practical requirements can be found here: