Introduction to Actuarial Science

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9/10 stars
based on  19 reviews
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FREE,
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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22646 reviews

Course Description

Actuary is rated the best job of 2015 by CareerCast.com because it pays well and offers abundant opportunities for advancement. 

You may have heard of actuarial science, or you might even know an actuary, but do you know what an actuary does? During the course you’ll hear from a wide variety of actuaries about their careers.

And don’t be scared that the course will be “just a whole lot of mathematics”. Together, we will go beyond the math to learn how actuaries approach problems relating to risk, using examples from:

  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Banking
  • Insurance

You will learn how actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in these industries and other professions.

You’ll experience “hands-on” learning using Excel (or an equivalent spreadsheet tool) to project and investigate the financial condition of a company choosing appropriate strategies for the company through the use o...

Actuary is rated the best job of 2015 by CareerCast.com because it pays well and offers abundant opportunities for advancement. 

You may have heard of actuarial science, or you might even know an actuary, but do you know what an actuary does? During the course you’ll hear from a wide variety of actuaries about their careers.

And don’t be scared that the course will be “just a whole lot of mathematics”. Together, we will go beyond the math to learn how actuaries approach problems relating to risk, using examples from:

  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Banking
  • Insurance

You will learn how actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in these industries and other professions.

You’ll experience “hands-on” learning using Excel (or an equivalent spreadsheet tool) to project and investigate the financial condition of a company choosing appropriate strategies for the company through the use of simulations.

The course has been carefully designed for students from a wide variety of backgrounds, with secondary/high school level being the only assumption of mathematical background. Even if you don’t have any background in, for example, calculus, the course has been designed so you can skip over these sections without affecting your understanding of the rest of the course. You also do not need to have any Excel or other spreadsheet background to take the course.

For those with stronger mathematical backgrounds, extension questions are provided to test you further. You’ll learn a huge amount about actuarial science no matter what your background is!

Join us today. To connect with the course community before and during the course, join our Facebook group, and tweet us with #actuarialedX.

"Great introduction to this specialized field; every day there are new challenges where as a student you are put in a situation to learn and apply the lessons with practical exercises. Great structure of the course, with main concepts to review at the end of a lesson. I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about actuarial science." - Previous student

Reviews 9/10 stars
19 Reviews for Introduction to Actuarial Science

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Bjørn Theisen profile image
Bjørn Theisen profile image

Bjørn Theisen

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
I am a graduate in applied mathematics and took this course to find out if actuarial work is something I might be interested in doing. The course describes basic probability theory, how to use statistical data to calculate numerical values related to a life insurance scheme et cetera. This is my first course on edX, and if the rest are as good as this I will definitely continue taking courses here. Everything in this course (except some of the probability theory) were new for me. However, the course material is easily explained and there are plenty of exercises in different difficulties. Adam has done a great job with this course. Thanks a lot!
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10/10 starsTaking Now
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  • 0 completed
10 months, 2 weeks ago
I am a first year student. HOPE THUS WILL HELP A LOT, I AM REALLY AFRAID OF THE COURSE AM ABOUT TO TAKE BUT IT WILL ALL WORK OUT F I PERSERVERE AND DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY . WHICH PAGE CAN YOU GUYS RECCOMMEND IN ORDER FOR ME TOSUCCEED IN GHIUS COURSE .
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thato ndlovu profile image
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thato ndlovu

10/10 starsTaking Now
10 months, 2 weeks ago
I am a first year student. HOPE THUS WILL HELP A LOT, I AM REALLY AFRAID OF THE COURSE AM ABOUT TO TAKE BUT IT WILL ALL WORK OUT F I PERSERVERE AND DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY . WHICH PAGE CAN YOU GUYS RECCOMMEND IN ORDER FOR ME TOSUCCEED IN GHIUS COURSE .
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Dario Brichese profile image
Dario Brichese profile image

Dario Brichese

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months ago
I am an undergrad student in Finance and so i can say that i feel pretty comfortable with maths and stats. Anyway, the course offered a broad and intuitive prospective in approaching the field of Actuarial sciences which can actually enable people from all backgrounds to follow the classes/material. I have just finished the course and i definitely recommend it.
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Anurag Amin profile image
Anurag Amin profile image

Anurag Amin

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
I just completed Introduction to Actuarial Science. I think it was wonderful and it really gave me an insight into what the profession is about.
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Andy C profile image
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Andy C

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 11 months ago
Working in the Actuarial profession I can recommend this course to someone who is considering the profession, working with actuaries, or interested in financial modelling. The content is relevant and covers the essentials of the subject. The instructor teaches and provides material that is both accessible and well presented.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Thanks Adam for a great course! Of the many MOOCs I’ve completed, your course is one of the best I have seen. The interviews with actuarial practitioners provide a window into some of the opportunities in the profession. In addition to the excellent lectures, your videos of solutions to the problems were extremely helpful, especially for learning to use Excel efficiently. The problems were well thought-out, and the final was an excellent review of the whole course. I would certainly recommend this MOOC to any mathematics undergraduate who is trying to figure out what to do after their BA. I could also envision university and colleges who do not offer courses in actuarial science contracting with ANU to use the materials in this course, with the help of a qualified local instructor, as the basis of a short introductory course. (The so-called upside down classroom is one in which the students watch lectures at home and get help in work... Thanks Adam for a great course! Of the many MOOCs I’ve completed, your course is one of the best I have seen. The interviews with actuarial practitioners provide a window into some of the opportunities in the profession. In addition to the excellent lectures, your videos of solutions to the problems were extremely helpful, especially for learning to use Excel efficiently. The problems were well thought-out, and the final was an excellent review of the whole course. I would certainly recommend this MOOC to any mathematics undergraduate who is trying to figure out what to do after their BA. I could also envision university and colleges who do not offer courses in actuarial science contracting with ANU to use the materials in this course, with the help of a qualified local instructor, as the basis of a short introductory course. (The so-called upside down classroom is one in which the students watch lectures at home and get help in working on problems in class.) In fact, the content of this course is very useful for anyone who has to handle money, which is everyone! Even those of us with mathematical backgrounds may not necessarily know how to organize financial calculations. We retirees are always busy studying our cashflows, refinancing our houses, thinking about investments and annuities, sending streams of money to our feckless offspring, organizing our tax records, and generally doing frequent spreadsheet calculations. After taking your course, and especially after finishing the final, I feel prepared to tackle any financial calculation and produce a beautiful (and even correct) Excel spreadsheet.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
Well taught and in an excellent format of short interviews with an area specialist followed by a lecture from the specialist and then spreadsheet oriented exercises. For anyone thinking of the US exams, I think this is a better first step toward becoming an actuary than focusing on statistics & probability for the first exam since this gives a better impression of what the professional environment and processes might be like.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
It is a wonderful course. The course is structured in an engaging way. The part I liked especially is on modelling and simulating different insurance scenarios. It also imparted knowledge of dealing with uncertain cash flows. The interviews with people from industry folks added more information and gave an overview as what they do exactly on job. The instructor was kind enough and patient in clarifying the doubts. Overall, it is a great course to begin with, if you are looking forward to tread in actuarial path. If you are already in the actuarial sector, this would be a great refresher.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
This course was a great introduction to actuarial science. It was really interesting and enjoyable. It starts from the basics of time value of money and works all the way up to modeling a life insurance policy.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
I did this course to gain a better understanding of some of the principles in the actuarial field. Really interesting course - especially if you are interested in the life insurance side of things. The course also helps to improve your Excel skills.! Would recommend this as an introduction course!
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student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 11 months ago
I'm very happy with this course. Concepts and techniques are explained very well in the lectures and the exercises are both relevant and interesting. Guest lecturers give an insight into the actuarial profession and how the techniques and concepts introduced in this course are applied in actual actuarial work. Questions are answered very well and very quickly by the instructor and the other staff members and there are good and instructive discussions in the forums.
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Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 11 months ago
This is a fine introduction to actuarial science. The lectures are well done, and the assignments flow logically from them. The course uses Excel and the instructor helps with demos of how to use it. The course material is not simply rote learning; students are asked to apply what they are learning in interesting applications. I hope that the course will have a follow-on to more advanced topics. I have now taken six EdX courses and I would rank this among the best I have done.
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Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 12 months ago
This course does what it promises: it provides a very good introduction to actuarial studies. The instructors have put a lot of effort in providing a full set of learning material; everything is downloadable -videos, subtitles, written courses, example Excel solutions, and even detailed explanations to assessment questions. I disagree with the reviewer who said that there were no practical examples; maybe this person did not follow the lessons long enough. And it is Actuarial Science, so the fact that there is a lot of Mathematics involved should not come as a surprised to anyone. An example of the amount of thought that has gone into this course is that the timing of the assignments is given in Coordinated Universal Time. A clock set to this time zone can be seen ticking away in all the relevant pages, so that nobody can miss a deadline because of time differences. I have completed several MOOCs at EdX and other platforms, and ... This course does what it promises: it provides a very good introduction to actuarial studies. The instructors have put a lot of effort in providing a full set of learning material; everything is downloadable -videos, subtitles, written courses, example Excel solutions, and even detailed explanations to assessment questions. I disagree with the reviewer who said that there were no practical examples; maybe this person did not follow the lessons long enough. And it is Actuarial Science, so the fact that there is a lot of Mathematics involved should not come as a surprised to anyone. An example of the amount of thought that has gone into this course is that the timing of the assignments is given in Coordinated Universal Time. A clock set to this time zone can be seen ticking away in all the relevant pages, so that nobody can miss a deadline because of time differences. I have completed several MOOCs at EdX and other platforms, and this one stands out very positively. Students are constantly encouraged to take part in the discussions and the enthusiastic staff answers any question almost immediately. Unfortunately EdX' discussion interface is not very user friendly, to put it mildly, so I find myself avoiding using it.
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marco solfato profile image
marco solfato profile image

marco solfato

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years ago
great introduction to this specialized field, every day there are new challenges where as a student you are put in a situation to learn and apply the lessons wth practical exercises. Great structure of the course with also a pdf with the main concepts to review at the end of a lesson, I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about actuarial science.
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Student

2/10 starsDropped
4 years ago
Boring, dry, poorly edited videos, just algebra, algebra, algebra thrown at your face without a single good practical example. Horrible assignments, of the kind that leave room for misinterpretation. But if you're going just for the certificate, a basic knowledge of finance (and luck) will do. Feels like those very primitive MOOCs from 2000s. Not recomended.
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James Roond profile image
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James Roond

7/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 1 month ago
Bin sehr gespannt auf was auf mich zukommt. Mathe und Stat sind für mich kein Problem. Ich freue mich auf dem Kurs und wünsche Ihr Alle viel Spass!!
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
an actuarial graduate from ANU. Adam is one of the best actuarial lecturers at ANU and this course will make a good revision tool for those recent graduates like me
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Donald TANGUEP profile image
Donald TANGUEP profile image

Donald TANGUEP

8/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 2 months ago
c'est un domaine que j'aime bien vivement que le cours commence. le contenu du cours est abordable pour moi en tant que statisticien.
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