Search our site :
Stream Information

Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Actuarial Conversion Course)

Introduction

The intensive training required before one qualifies as an actuary has in the past meant a long period of study. For many people aspiring to be actuaries, studying through the profession by correspondence often proves to be extremely difficult particularly for those in developing countries. This approach also tends to be prohibitively expensive. As a result, the number of actuaries qualifying each year has historically been low. This is especially true of students whose undergraduate studies were in disciplines other than Actuarial Science.

There are currently some 1200 actuaries practicing in South Africa. Demand for actuarial skills continues to grow owing to their expertise in finding practical solutions to complex financial business problems. Actuaries are uniquely placed in their ability to apply probability and interest rate theory and performing statistical analyses to cost and appraise long-term financial contracts.

In order to assist students in qualifying, the UCT Actuarial Science Section has introduced the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Actuarial Conversion Course) allowing high calibre graduates in Mathematics or Mathematical Statistics accelerated entry into an actuarial career, without the need to complete three years of undergraduate actuarial studies. This will provide suitable candidates with a flying start towards qualifying as actuaries and significantly reduce the time taken to qualify. Successful completion of this programme could lead to exemption from up to seven of the examination papers which a candidate must pass in order to be admitted as a Fellow of either the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) or the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) in the UK.

The Programme

The Programme generally extends over two years of very intensive full-time study (only in exceptional cases could the programme be completed in one year) with lectures running from February to October/November each year. Courses in Statistics‚ Actuarial Mathematics‚ Accounting and Economics will be covered‚ corresponding to Subjects CT1-CT7 of the IFoA or A101-A204 of ASSA.

For the award of the Diploma‚ a candidate will be required to complete courses worth at least 180 credits from the following courses:

Course Code

Course Name

NQF Credits

Prescribed courses:

 

 

STA3041F

Markov Processes & Time series

36

STA3043S

Decision Theory and GLM’s

36

STA3045F

Advanced Stochastic Processes

36

BUS3018F

Actuarial Science II: Models

18

BUS3024S

Actuarial Science II: Contingencies

18

 

 

 

Elective courses*:

 

 

ECO1010F/S

Microeconomics

18

ECO1011F/S

Macroeconomics

18

ACC1006F/S

Financial Reporting IA

18

ACC2011S

Financial Reporting IB

18

BUS2016H

Actuarial Science: Financial Mathematics

18

FTX2024S

Corporate Financial Management

18

STA2004F

Statistical Theory and Inference

24

STA2005S

Linear Models

24


*Depending on the undergraduate degree completed, some or all of these courses may be compulsory as they are pre-requisites for the prescribed courses and are required for exemption purposes. Credit may be awarded for up to one prescribed course and two electives, depending on the undergraduate studies.

Upon successful completion of the Actuarial Conversion Course, and attaining at least six exemptions for subjects from ASSA or the IFoA, the Honours degree in Actuarial Science can be completed to attain further exemptions.

Examinations

The examinations comprise a three-hour paper for each of the courses. As a general university rule‚ candidates are required to submit assignments regularly and attend tutorial sessions‚ in addition to being continuously assessed through tests. Candidates who do not satisfy these requirements are not permitted to sit the examinations. Exemptions by the IFoA and ASSA are currently being awarded to candidates who obtain at least 60% in the final examination of the corresponding courses.

Entrance Requirement

Ideally‚ candidates should have a good degree in Mathematics and/or Mathematical Statistics with at least two years of pure Mathematics and one year of Mathematical Statistics. As a minimum, 60% is required for Mathematics (Calculus and Algebra) at second year level, and 70% for Mathematical Statistics at first year level. These minimum requirements are non-negotiable. Subjects such as "Mathematics and/or Statistics for Business/Economics" will not be considered. A good degree will generally mean a first class or upper second class pass or equivalent for most subjects‚ at a recognised university. In such cases‚ evidence to show that the candidate has an aptitude for mathematical work will be required. This course will be highly intensive and therefore a candidate's ability to cope with its demand is crucial.

Fees

Academic fees for the Diploma course are payable per course taken.
Students may apply for university accommodation. Unfortunately due to the limited number of available places‚ accommodation within the university residences cannot be guaranteed. Private accommodation is however available within reasonable proximity. Residence fees vary depending on type of accommodation.
Postgraduate students are‚ however‚ likely to be offered self-catering residences‚ where the residence fees are on average lower but no meals are offered. (For most of the self-catering residences‚ shops and restaurants are within walking distance.)

Applying

Prospective students must apply‚ using the prescribed form. The closing date is October 31. The programme caters for a limited number‚ and applicants will be considered on merit.

Enquiries

Mr. Pieter Botha
Postgraduate Student Advisor
Actuarial Science Section
School of Management Studies
University of Cape Town
Private Bag
Rondebosch. 7700