The master in Actuarial Science at ISEG is highly regarded by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), in the UK, and the Society of Actuaries (SOA), in the USA. Several agreements were built between ISEG and each of IFoA and SOA which offers several advantages including the opportunity of gaining exemptions from a good number of the exams required to become an Associate in IFoA and SOA. In this page, we aim to provide a guide for the students on how to benefit from these advantages.
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
The master is accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) in the UK and thus gives exemptions for most of their Core Technical/Principal subjects. However, the agreement with IFoA has been evolving in the last few years, and the exams offered by IFoA have changed as well; hence, the exemptions and their respective criteria depend on the academic year of your program.
Intake of 2016 or earlier:
If your program started on 2016 or earlier, then, to know what exemptions you can get from the 2019 curriculum, you have to follow the subject to subject exemption from the Core Technicals (CTs) and then make the transition to the Core Principles (as per the curriculum of 2019).
1. Subject to subject exemption from the Core Technicals:
To get exempted from each of the CTs, you have to get a weighted average higher or equal than 11.5 of the scores received on the corresponding ISEG courses presented in the following table.
To be noted that the mark from the student's first attempt will be used to assess exemptions. This might be in the first diet or the second diet - in the latter case, the student must not have taken the exam in the first diet. In case the student failed the exam in the first diet but passed the course, later on, the mark used to assess exemptions is capped at 10.
For example, if a student passed the “Probability and Stochastic Processes” course with a 13/20 on the first diet and then improved it to 15/20 by taking the second diet, and this student failed the “Risk Models” course on the first attempt but then passed another diet with a 13/20, then the assessment for the exemption from the CT3 will be calculated as follows: 13*0.6+10*0.4=11.8>11.5; hence he has the right for exemption from the CT3.
Please check the Practical Information presented later.
2. Transition to the Core Principals:
Because of the change in the IFoA curriculum, the current application for exemptions is in term of the Core Principals. Your right for exemptions from the Core Principals comes automatically from your right for exemption from the CTs as presented in the following table.
Intake of 2017:
The students of this program should as well consider two transitions, one to the CTs and one from the CTs to the Core Principals (Please review the section dedicated to the students of the master programs starting before 2017). However, some modifications are made for the determination of the right for exemption from the CTs; we present them as follows:
The subject to subject exemption from the CTs is still in force. However, the threshold for the weighted average is not specified yet and may be different than 11.5, it can even differ from the exemption of one CT to the other. This threshold will be determined by independent examiners.
Starting in 2017, the Masters Program has been accredited as a whole, which can lead to exemptions based on the student’s overall performance during the masters. Hence, after the calculation of the weighted averages to get the values for the exemption of each of the CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT6 and CT8, we calculate a simple average of those values, which is called Accreditation Average. If the Accreditation Average is higher or equal to 65%, the student will have the right for exemption from all of the seven CTs considered in the simple average calculation (CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT6, and CT8). Note that the CT7 is not included in the Accreditation Average, and that its exemption can only be granted through accreditation subject to subject.
Exemptions can’t be granted based on September exams.
All subjects of table 1 have to be chosen for the student to have the right to exemptions by Accreditation Average.
Intake of 2018 and after:
Students who enrolled in the master program that started in 2018 or later have direct exemption rules to the Core Principals of the new IFoA curriculum of 2019. Because the master has been accredited as a whole, students have two chances to get the exemptions; we present them as follows:
1. Subject to subject exemption from the Core Technicals:
In order to get exempted from each of the Core Principals (CMs, CSs, and CBs) you have to get a weighted average higher than a threshold that will be specified by an external supervisor of the scores received on the corresponding ISEG courses presented in the following table.
To be noted that the mark from the student's first attempt will be used to assess exemptions. This might
be in the first diet or the second diet - in the latter case, the student must not have taken the exam in the first diet. In case the student failed the exam in the first diet but passed the course, later on, the mark used to assess exemptions is capped at 10.
For instance, if a student passed the “Financial Mathematics” course with a 14/20 on the first diet and then improved it to 16/20 by taking the second diet, and this student failed the “Survival Models and Life Contingencies” course on the first attempt but then passed another diet with a 13/20, then the assessment of the exemptions from the CM1 will be calculated as follows: 14*0.45+10*0.55=11.8; this 11.8 should be compared to the specific threshold to be able to know whether the student has the right for exemptions from the CM1 exam. Students can’t be exempted based on September exams.
2. Exemptions by Accreditation Average (exemptions as a whole):
After the calculation of the weighted averages for the exemption of each of the CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, and CB1, we calculate a simple average which is called Accreditation Average. If it reaches 65% the student will have the right for exemption from all of the five Core Principals considered in the simple average calculation (CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, and CB1).
You can only apply for exemptions after you finish your master (including the master’s thesis).
Before applying for the exemptions, you should apply to become a student member of the IFoA. This application costs an entrance fee of 135 £ and an annual subscription of 241 £. The annual subscription is due in full on entry regardless of the date; and the future subscriptions are then due annually on 1 October each year (hence, if you finish your master only a couple of months before October, we advise you to wait until the 1st of October to apply for the student membership). The duration between applying for student membership and actually receiving it takes around 5 weeks.
After getting the student membership, you can apply for the exemption from the CMs, CSs, and CBs at the cost of 180£ each. The process will take around 5 weeks to be completed.
If your annual income from all sources (including pensions) during the subscription year does not exceed thirty times the current full rate subscription, you would be eligible for a reduced rate. The reduce annual subscription is 73£ (instead of 241£), and the reduced cost per exemption is 90£ (instead of 180£).
For additional information related to IFoA's exemptions, one can consult https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studying/exam-exemptions .
Society of Actuaries
Our university is listed by the SOA as one of the Universities & Colleges with Actuarial Programs with an Advanced Curriculum (UCAP-AC). This title provides it with several benefits, here is a list (taken from the SOA website) of some of the benefits that a student can directly benefit from.
Reimbursement of fees for three individual student preliminary exam registrations each academic year (IFM, LTAM, STAM, and SRM are eligible).
The university chooses one of the following programs each academic year:
Reimbursement for the purchase of study materials for SOA preliminary exams up to USD 500.
SOA sponsorship for an approved on-campus event up to USD 500.SOA sponsorship for an approved on-campus event up to USD 500.
Reimbursement of travel costs and/or registration fees for student travel to an approved actuarial conference up to USD 500.
Additionally, a student can be directly exempted from the VEE Corporate Finance by passing the master course in Finance and Financial Reporting with a grade of at least 14/20. Note that the application for this exemption can be only made after having already passed two SOA exams.
Moreover, very interestingly, since our program is an accredited IFoA university program, the exemptions from the IFoA Core Principal subjects (CSs, CMs, and CBs) can be then used to get exempted from several SOA examinations. We provide the details in the following table:
In order to apply for the exemptions from the SOA examinations, one should have already acquired the exemptions from the IFoA. The application process costs nothing and is relatively very simple. An email with the required documents (the application document, the IFoA proof of past exemptions, and the official certificate and academic transcript of the master) should be sent to the SOA (currently to email@example.com) showing your interest in getting the exemptions from the SOA. There are specific dates per year at which the Education Executive Group meeting is held and the waivers are approved; this date will be informed by the SOA once the application is submitted.
For additional information related to the SOA's benefits and waivers, one can consult https://www.soa.org/education/resources/actuarial-colleges/ucap-benefits/ and https://www.soa.org/education/general-info/default/ .