Overview

The MSc in ASI curriculum is tailored for fresh graduates and junior professionals who want to obtain a solid foundation in insurance knowledge, actuarial science, mathematics and statistics skills.

The curriculum of MSc in ASI is aligned to standards of professional bodies. It covers the associate-level exam materials administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Notably, the programme has received University-Earned Credit status from the SOA for fi­ve preliminary exams – FM, FAM, SRM, ALTAM and ASTAM – underscoring its rigorous and industry-aligned approach.


Programme schedule

To graduate from the programme, you will need to complete 36 units of coursework. This includes 10 core courses and 2 elective courses.

  • Full-time programme (1 year)

    Term 1 | September-December
    4 core courses
    1 elective course

    Term 2 | December-March
    3 core courses
    1-2 elective course(s)

    Term 3 | March-June
    3 core courses
    1-2 elective course(s)

Please note:

  • Each course is held 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
  • Core and elective courses are subject to change.
  • The medium of instruction is English

Course list

CORE COURSES* (TOTAL 10 COURSES / 30 UNITS)

  • FINA6601 Economics for Actuaries

    This course introduces the basic tools of micro and macroeconomic analysis, and how these can be used in an insurance business environment to help decision-making and behaviour. Topics include: the macroeconomic role of insurance, the demand and supply of insurance, adverse selection, moral hazard, imperfections in insurance markets, utility functions and life-cycle hypothesis.
  • FINA6602 Accounting and Corporate Finance

    The course provides both a framework for and tools necessary to analyse an insurance company’s financial statements. Topics include: financial ratios, equity and debt capital, weighted-average cost of capital, capital budgeting and rates of investment return.
  • FINA6603 Probability with Applications in Finance and Insurance

    The purpose of this course is to familiarise students with the fundamental mathematical knowledge and tools for quantitative risk assessment. The application of these tools to problems encountered in actuarial analysis is emphasised. Topics include: derivatives and integrals of multivariate functions, simple differential equations, general probability, Bayes’ Theorem and univariate and multivariate probability distributions.
  • FINA6604 Financial Mathematics for Actuaries

    This course discusses the mathematical and technical aspects of the theory of interest in both discrete and continuous time. Topics include: measurement of interest and discount rates, accumulated value and present value, annuities, sinking funds, debt amortisation, determination of yield rates on securities and bone evaluations.
  • FINA6605 Statistics for Risk Modelling

    An introduction to mathematical statistics and basic risk modelling, the course’s goal is to help students understand the theoretical foundations of modern insurance analytics and risk management. It covers the fundamental statistical concepts of inference, parameter estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing using the tools of probability theory.
  • FINA6606 Actuarial Mathematics for Long-Term Insurance

    Through this course, students will obtain theoretical knowledge on actuarial pricing and reserving models and the application of these models to long-term life insurance.
  • FINA6607 Actuarial Mathematics for Short-Term Insurance

    This course introduces students to severity models, frequency models and their applications in short-term insurance coverages.
  • FINA6608 Derivatives for Actuaries

    This course provides students with knowledge of derivatives and their applications in pricing and reserving insurance products. Topics include: financial forwards, futures, swaps and options; basic insurance strategies; parity relation; binomial option pricing models; the fundamental theorem of asset pricing; foundation of the Black-Scholes model; Brownian motion and stochastic calculus; derivation of Black-Scholes-Merton partial differential equation and Black-Scholes formula; and volatility surface.
  • FINA6609 Data Science for Insurance Analytics

    The course gives an overview of data science and insurance analytics, covering a broad selection of key challenges and methodologies for working with big data. Topics include: data collection, integration, management, modelling, analysis, visualisation, prediction and informed decision-making, as well as data security and data privacy. Students will acquire a working knowledge of insurance analytics through hands-on projects and case studies using R and Python (programming languages) with real financial and insurance datasets.
  • FINA6610 Statistical Modelling for Insurance Analytics

    This course focuses on insurance analytics by covering key concepts of statistical learning using R and Python programming languages. It includes the transition from mathematical statistics to insurance analytics and its applications. The course also covers regression and time series topics as well as generalised linear models, principal component analysis, decision tree models and cluster analysis.

ELECTIVE COURSES (TOTAL 6 UNITS)

  • FINA6611 Insurance and Risk Management

    In this course, insurance is treated as a major risk management tool. The course covers risk management concepts; risk identification and measurement; property, net income and liability loss exposures; analysis of life, property and liability insurance contracts; methods and problems of insurance pricing; and insurance regulation and public policy.
  • FINA6612 Life Insurance

    This course covers the laws and regulations of life insurance, needs analysis, life insurance contract, policy provisions and ownership rights, settlement options, pricing of life products, the underwriting function, medical insurance and long-term disability income policies.
  • FINA6613 Commercial Property and Liability Insurance

    This course examines risk management and operations of insurance buyers and sellers. It also discusses the basic principles and methods for assessing risks facing a non-insurance company and for selecting an optimal risk management programme in broad insurance, finance and statistical contexts. Because insurance is an important component of a risk management programme, the functional areas of insurance providers (particularly property and casualty insurers) and the regulatory and market environment in which they operate are also discussed.
  • FINA6616 Advanced Life Contingencies

    This course covers advanced concepts in long-term actuarial mathematics. Topics include: determination of benefit premium and benefit reserves for life insurance and annuities; analysis of insurance loss random variables; and theory of life contingencies for multiple lives.
  • FINA6617 Loss and Survival Models

    This course covers advanced concepts in short-term actuarial mathematics. Topics include: credibility theory; limited fluctuation; the Bayesian, Buhlmann and Buhlmann-Straub models; empirical Bayes parameter estimation; statistical inference for loss models; maximum likelihood estimation; effect of policy modifications; and model selection.
  • FINA6614 Selected Topics in Actuarial Science

    Topics and issues in subfields in actuarial science, to be selected by the finance faculty, are addressed in this course. Students are advised to contact the department for current offerings and prerequisites.
  • FINA6615 Current Topics in Insurance

    Topics and issues in subfields in insurance, to be selected by the finance faculty, are addressed in this course. Students are advised to contact the department for current offerings and prerequisites.
  • FINA6618 Selected Issues in Actuarial Science

    Topics and issues in subfields in actuarial science, to be selected by the finance faculty, are addressed in this course. Students are advised to contact the department for current offerings and prerequisites.
  • FINA6619 Current Issues in Insurance

    Topics and issues in subfields in insurance, to be selected by the finance faculty, are addressed in this course. Students are advised to contact the department for current offerings and prerequisites.

Other elective courses

You may take up to 3 credits’ worth of courses offered by the MAcc, MBA and other MSc programmes within CUHK Business School, subject to the approval of the programme directors.


Course exemption

Exemptions may be granted for up to 2 core courses. If a student is exempted from any of the selected core courses, they will be required to replace the units with other elective courses.
An exemption may be granted if a student has completed an equivalent undergraduate-level course and obtained a grade of “B” or above, or if they have passed a professional exam such as the SOA or IFOA.
Granting exemptions will be at the discretion of the programme and the university.


Professional Qualifications

To become a qualified actuary, students need to complete the requirements set out by professional bodies, some of which can be fulfilled by finishing coursework with good grades in accredited universities. Examinations held by the Society of Actuaries (SoA) in the US are divided into two parts: written examinations and Validation by Educational Experience (VEE). Our programme offers courses that cover the contents of these two areas. For written exams:

Written Exam ASI course
Financial Mathematics FINA6604
Probability FINA6603
Fundamentals of Actuarial Mathematics FINA6606, 6607
Advanced Long-term Actuarial Mathematics FINA6616, 6608
Advanced Short-term Actuarial Mathematics FINA6617
Statistics for Risk Modeling FINA6609, 6610

For the three areas covered by Validation by Educational Experience, students can fulfill them if they can pass the relevant courses with a grade of B- or above:

Area under VEE ASI course
Accounting and Finance FINA6602
Economics FINA6601
Mathematical Statistics FINA6605

You can find details about the details of actuarial exams on the SoA website. See https://www.soa.org.



Graduation requirements

Your performance is assessed based on exams and assignments, according to CUHK’s grading system.

To graduate, you must complete the prescribed coursework and achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.50.

Students who obtain a cumulative GPA below 2.50 in the term assessment will be put on academic probation. If the probation is not lifted after two consecutive terms, the student will be required to discontinue their studies.

Students who receive a grade of D+ or below in a course must repeat it or take an approved substitute course.

Dean’s List

Students in the top 20 percentile who achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or above are eligible for the Dean’s List. These students will be issued a Dean’s List Certificate, and the honour will be recorded on their academic transcripts.

 

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