BlogMacquarie UniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni

Bachelor of Actuarial Studies MQ - Fact Sheet

Do you have a knack for mathematics? Are you great at planning long-term? Do you have a critical eye at spotting where things may go wrong? Well, a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni might just be the degree to study! 

Want to know what this degree’s all about?

Keep reading on! 

What is a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni?

A Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni is a three-year degree where you’ll learn to specialise your mathematical skills in the context of financial management. The course focuses on honing in your skills at actuarial science (the study of financial risk), statistics, finance and economics.

Bachelor of Actuarial Studies MQ - Student Quote

While a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni can be studied alone, it can also be studied as a double degree. For example, you may study a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies as a double degree along with: 

  • Bachelor of Applied Finance 
  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science

This degree may also be studied with an Honours component, through the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with Professional Practice (Honours)‘. This program, as mentioned in its name, incorporates Professional Practice placements throughout the degree, and the final year involves crafting a thesis. 

Career Paths 

With a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni, you’ll be able to set foot into the finance sector and in workplaces such as accounting firms, insurance companies and consulting firms. There, you’ll have a variety of career options and some of which include: 

  • Actuary
  • Superannuation consultant
  • Insurance analyst
  • Fund manager
  • Life, general or health insurance specialist
  • Risk analyst

Core Units for this Degree

At MQ Uni, the core units are called ‘essential units’. There are 11 essential units for a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni. They are: 

These units are completed in the first two years of the course. 

First Year

First-year subjects are mostly an introduction to all of the essential skills. Some of the first-year essential units include Introduction to Actuarial Studies, Principles of Economics 1 and Statistical Data Analysis.

These units are an opportunity to equip every Actuarial studies student with the same knowledge. Since the units are quite general, you may bump into students from engineering, science and technology degrees! 

Second Year

In the second year, core units get more specialised into actuarial science and focus on relevant mathematical theories.

For example, in Contingent Payments 1, students learn to analyse cash flows of an uncertain nature (mostly life insurance contracts where factors of life, illness and death make them uncertain) and use mathematical modelling to calculate estimates under insurance contracts. 

Are there any majors?

At MQ Uni, there are no majors in a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies. However, there is a lot of room for choosing your own subjects!

There are 50 credit points for elective units related to Actuarial Studies. In the ‘flexible zone’ of the degree, you can choose 80 credit points of any Undergraduate unit so long as you meet the requisites! 

Are there any built-in internships?

While there are no built-in internships in a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni, the capstone unit Actuarial Modelling allows students in their third year to work with industry participants to ease their transition to their professional career.

How to Get into a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni

The most common way of entry into studying a university undergraduate is through a qualifying ATAR. The ATAR cut off for a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni is 97. 

Alternate Pathways

If your ATAR mark hasn’t met this cut-off, check the Macquarie Entry Navigator for a range of other options for entry! For example, with the Academic Advantage entry, you’re eligible for 2 bonus points if you achieved an E4 in English Extension 2 and 1 bonus point if you achieved an E3 in English Extension 2. 

If your ATAR doesn’t meet this cut-off, there are a few other ways to get into this course.  

There is also the option of completing an Undergraduate Certificate of Actuarial Studies a half-year Pathway program for HSC students who have achieved an ATAR of above 60. Upon the completion of this certificate, you can be fast-tracked into the second session of a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni if you achieve a WAM of 75. 

Assumed Knowledge and Additional Assessments

The only assumed knowledge for a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni is HSC Mathematics Extension 1! It is recommended that students have completed HSC Mathematics Extension 2 or equivalent, but it isn’t compulsory.


All students enrolled in the Macquarie Business School, including Actuarial Studies students, who have achieved an ATAR above 98 are offered the Dean’s Academic Excellence Scholarship. This scholarship ranges from $5000 to $10000 per year for the duration of the student’s degree!

But, there are many more scholarships available which can be found in Macquarie’s Scholarship page — many of these scholarships account for a student’s financial situation, academic merit and background! 

What’s the Teaching Format?

A Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni is taught in semesters. As for the classes, expect to have a mix of lectures, tutorials and practicals. 

Class Structure

Bachelor of Actuarial Studies - Class Structure


For the lectures, students have the option of going on campus, but they are usually pre-recorded and available to watch online! Lectures typically go on for 1-2 hours, where the lecturer (mainly MQ professors and staff) will go through the concepts to give students a general understanding of particular subjects.

In many units, students are given problems to work on as groups before the answers or main issues are explained by the lecturer. In physical lectures, there can be up to 100 people attending! 


Tutorials are smaller classes of 15 to 30 people where students have more interaction with other students and the tutor.

Typically, students will work on problems based on lecture content and have the chance to consolidate their knowledge with feedback from the tutor. Tutorials go on for 1 hour. 


Practicals are also smaller classes of 15 to 30 people that are held in computer laboratories.

In these classes, students learn particular software and programs that are based on mathematical problem-solving. These typically go on for 1-2 hours. 

How much time do you spend on campus?

For contact hours, you’ll need to commit to approximately 12-14 hours per week just attending your classes.

What are the assessments like?

While there are various forms of assessments, subjects in a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at MQ Uni are all assessed similarly.

Typically, assessments include weekly quizzes, final exams and mathematical problem-solving assignments. Final exams have the heaviest weightage at around 50-60% of the subject’s mark.

Throughout the semester, smaller assessments are given to make sure students are keeping up with and understand the coursework. Weekly quizzes typically have a total weighting of 5-10%, and assignments usually are 10-45%. 

There are also some odd occasions where class participation is assessed, as well as group projects and presentations.

What skills do you refine and learn?

Bachelor of Actuarial Studies MQ - Skills


The fundamentals of actuarial studies are based on mathematical theories (such as the compound interest theory and contingent payment techniques) where students will learn to relate numbers to real-life factors. Graduates will learn how to analyse the issues and solutions to manage the financial consequences of risky events. 


The core of the workplace is based on effective communication, and actuarial projects are no exception. Through undertaking group discussion and projects, as well as having the opportunity to work with industry professionals in their capstone project, students will sharpen their professional communication and collaboration.


Through their mathematical knowledge, students will develop a critical eye in planning for long-term funds and the management of financial institutions. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

The Actuarial Studies undergraduate cohort is a small, tight-knit community, but, as they are under the Macquarie Business School, there are obviously many social events and activities that help students create friendships and industry connections. Joining a society is one of the best ways, apart from engaging with your classmates during class, to have social opportunities. 

Macquarie University Business Society 

This is the largest commerce-based society at MQ Uni. It has a student-run board of members that helps facilitate social and professional events that support all MQ students with a passion for business.

At the beginning and end of the university year, there are many opportunities for social events such as meet and greets, camps and an end-of-year Business Ball. Throughout the year, you can find career-based workshops and entrepreneurial talks to attend! 

Actuarial Students’ Society at Macquarie University

Be sure to join this society because most of your cohort will be members, and the events will be targeted to benefit Actuarial Students at MQ Uni. They provide services in areas of career, academic, sporting and academics.

At the core of the society, there are ASSOC camps, charity events, an annual ball as well as both intellectual and sporting competitions. 

Mentorship Programs

For six weeks of their first university year, students have the option of teaming up with a peer mentor that will help them transition into university life. Peer mentors, who are senior students at MQ uni, will help first-years navigate the new learning environment and teach you how to get the most out of university and your degree. 

Interested in the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!

Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.

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