The Complete Guide to Actuarial Science in Malaysia
Do you absolutely love mathematics, especially probability and statistics? Want to pursue a challenging course related to numbers? Does actuarial science pique your interest? Well, this guide will show you everything you need to know about studying actuarial science in Malaysia.
Learn about what actuarial science is all about, find out how you can become an actuary and see which are the best actuarial science universities in Malaysia.
Ready to put your excellent mathematics and problem-solving skills to good use? Read on to learn more about this intellectually demanding yet rewarding course!
#1. What Is Actuarial Science?
Actuarial science is about calculating money-related risks through probability, statistics and business knowledge. It is often used in the fields of insurance and finance to manage risk and make solid business and budgetary decisions.
For example, if you have an insurance plan, you may be wondering how insurance companies can make money if you make a claim that’s more than your insurance premium (the amount you pay for your insurance policy).
Well, it is the work of an actuary! Actuaries evaluate how likely an event may occur and calculate the financial impact. In the above instance, they make calculations to ensure the total premiums collected exceeds the amount of claims made. This is how insurance companies will be able to pay out insurance claims in the event something bad happens.
Studying actuarial science will allow you to develop your mathematical, statistical and analytical skills. Risk management will be your forte, where you will learn how to assess the likelihood of future events and decrease the impact of undesirable events. These skills will be crucial in your journey to become a qualified actuary.
#2. Actuarial Science Entry Requirements
a) What subjects are needed to study actuarial science?
To study actuarial science, the required subject for SPM or equivalent is Mathematics.
As for A-Level, STPM or equivalent, the required subject is Mathematics as well. However, studying Further Mathematics, Economics or Physics would be useful.
b) Actuarial Science Degree requirements
To pursue a Degree in Actuarial Science, you need to complete a pre-university programme and meet the entry requirements.
- A-Level: Minimum of 2Es including Mathematics
- STPM: Minimum of 2Cs including Mathematics
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum of ATAR 60 with an average of 60% in Mathematics
- Foundation in Arts or Science: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
- Diploma: Minimum CGPA 2.00
You will also need a minimum of 5Cs in SPM including Mathematics. In addition, some universities may require you to score well in an English proficiency test such as IELTS.
#3. Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia
a) What do you study in actuarial science?
When studying an Actuarial Science Degree, you’ll learn plenty of subjects that involve applying mathematical and statistical techniques.
Here are some of the subjects you may learn in actuarial studies:
- Probability & Statistics
- Introductory Economics
- Life Contingencies
- Risk Theory
- Survival Analysis
- Loss Models
- Risk Management and Insurance
This degree involves a lot of calculations and problem-solving. Therefore, you must be proficient in mathematics, especially statistics.
By the end of your Actuarial Science Degree, you will have in-depth knowledge on assessing risks and how you can minimise the costs associated with these risks.
b) How long is an Actuarial Science Degree?
A Degree in Actuarial Science is usually 3 years long.
However, you can’t call yourself an actuary just yet. Graduating with an undergraduate Degree in Actuarial Science does not mean that you are a qualified actuary.
In order to be a certified actuary, you will need to further your studies by taking professional exams with professional bodies such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). The process of becoming a certified actuary can be 3 – 7 years long.
c) Professional actuarial bodies
To achieve professional status as an actuary, you will need to pass a set of exams. This is similar to how accountants pursue professional accounting qualifications such as ACCA.
Here are some of the most popular professional actuarial bodies in Malaysia:
- Society of Actuaries (SOA), USA
- Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), UK
- Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), USA
- Institute of Actuaries of Australia
- Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Canada
#4. How to Become an Actuary in Malaysia
How long does it take to become an actuary? Completing an Actuarial Science Degree does not take long. However, the road to becoming a professional actuary can be lengthy. These are the steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: First, complete a pre-university (e.g. A-Level, STPM) or Foundation course after SPM. This will typically take 1 – 2 years depending on the selected programme.
Step 2: Subsequently, complete your Actuarial Science Degree, which is usually 3 years. Completing this degree will allow you to enter the workforce. However, you are not considered a certified actuary yet.
Step 3: In order to achieve professional status as an actuary, you will need to further your actuarial studies by taking professional exams from bodies such as SOA and IFoA. Most people will work in the actuarial field while completing their professional papers, which may take approximately 3 – 7 years part-time.
In summary, it takes about 7 – 11 years from SPM to become a certified actuary.
#5. Should You Study Actuarial Science?
a) Is actuarial science the right course for you?
There are plenty of reasons why actuarial science is a great degree. However, it is an intellectually demanding course. Before you decide to jump in, take a moment to consider if you agree with these questions:
- Are you good at mathematics?
- Do you have a passion for working with numbers and data?
- Are you a problem-solver?
- Do you like order and structure?
- Will you be interested in learning programming?
- Can you tolerate working long hours while studying for your professional exams?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, actuarial studies could be the right course for you!
b) Skills required to be an actuary
These are a few essential skills a good actuary should have:
- Strong foundation in mathematics, especially statistics, probability and calculus
- Good problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication skills to convey complex information
- Strong computing skills to build spreadsheet models and use statistical analysis programs
- Ability to work well with others
#6. What Can You Do With an Actuarial Science Degree in Malaysia?
Once you’ve completed a Degree in Actuarial Science, you’ll be able to pursue a career in companies that specialise in insurance, banking, finance and business consultancy. At the same time, there are also career opportunities in the digital space due to big data analytics.
Here’s a preview of the careers you can expect to pursue upon graduating:
- Risk Analyst
- Insurance Actuarial Analyst
- Actuarial Consultant
- Business Analyst
- Investment Analyst
- Data Scientist
Do note that to work as a qualified actuary in more senior roles, you’ll need to complete your professional exams. You can do this part-time while you’re working.
#7. Best Actuarial Science Universities in Malaysia
If you’ve decided that the fascinating field of actuarial science is perfect for you, check out some of the best universities for actuarial science in Malaysia. Alternatively, compare more universities for actuarial science here.
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Science
Estimated Fees: RM132,260
Maximum exemptions from the full 6 professional papers from the UK’s chartered professional body for actuaries, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)
Mirrors the highly successful BSc Actuarial Science Degree in Heriot-Watt UK
A truly global university with an option to transfer to campuses in the UK and Dubai
View other colleges
Bachelor Science (Hons) Actuarial Science
Campus: Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM63,680
Gain credits for all 3 VEE subjects from USA’s Society of Actuaries (SOA)
Balanced course structure with 3 internship placements and a dissertation
Equips students with up-to-date and competitive vocational skills that are highly relevant to the challenging fields of accounting, finance and business
BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Studies
Campus: Bukit Jalil
Intakes: Feb, Apr, Sep & Nov
Estimated Fees: RM77,800
Maximum exemptions and credits from 2 professional actuarial bodies, which are UK’s IFoA (6 paper exemptions) and USA’s SOA (3 subject credits)
Knowledgeable teaching staff with experience in actuarial industries or academia
Mould students to be industry-ready, with 95% graduates employed by graduation
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Science
Campus: Kajang, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, May & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM40,610
The only university in Malaysia exposing students to Prophet, an actuarial software used globally by insurance companies
Fully accredited by MQA
Exposure to industry valuation and modelling projects during the final year
#8. More Resources About Actuarial Science
Want to learn more about studying actuarial science and being an actuary? Here are some useful articles that you may like:
- 7 Jobs You Can Do With an Actuarial Science Degree
- Actuaries Reveal: 5 Honest Reasons Why They Love Their Job