What is Actuarial Science? Important Things to Know about Actuarial Science in Malaysia

actuarial science

Do you consider yourself a maths wizard who wants to use those skills and benefit others?

Do you wonder how insurance companies manage their coverage policies in their high-risk-related business? Nothing in this world is risk-free and if that concept interests you, then actuarial science is the field of study for you.

If you don’t know what is Actuarial Science, we have you covered! Discover the best courses and universities to study Actuarial Science and its career paths in Malaysia.

What is Actuarial Science? 

Actuarial Science is the discipline that assesses risk in insurance, finance, and other industries and professions by applying mathematical models and statistical methods. 

Actuarial Science deals with evaluating risks and maintaining the economic stability of insurance or financial organisations. 

The impact of this field of study is seen in its many daily applications specifically in finance, insurance, securities, trading, risk assessment, and future projections based on mathematical and logical models. 

Why Should You Study Actuarial Science?

why study actuarial science

You have a passion for numbers

For those who are passionate about mathematics and are extremely good at numbers, Actuarial Science is perfect for you. 

This field of study is a numbers-oriented field, allowing you to not only develop mathematical skills but also statistical and analytical skills. 

Up for the challenge

Actuarial Science has a reputation for being highly difficult. The main reason for that is the requirement for their students to acquire and master a very diverse set of skills.

It is not limited to just mathematics and statistics. The students ought to be well-versed in economics, finance, risk management, computer science, and extensive research in order to be able to solve problems. 

Job security

The Actuarial Society of Malaysia observed that the demand for actuaries in Malaysia will continue to grow in the next few decades alongside the expected growth in the insurance market. 

Since being an actuary is a job that is high in demand, actuaries enjoy stability in uncertain and changing times. Uncertainty and change deal with plenty of risks, ensuring that actuaries stay relevant.

On top of being a potentially fulfilling career, the role of an actuary is an all-rounded profession that offers good employment prospects, job security, growth opportunity, and work-life balance.

What Are the Actuarial Science Subjects?

Actuarial Science is not purely mathematical but rather a quantification of risk using mathematics, probability, and statistics. 

These are one of several interrelated Actuarial Science subjects that are necessary to prepare you with highly specialised skills and knowledge:

Corporate Finance

Knowledge of the instruments used by companies to raise finance and manage financial risk. 

Indicative topics covered by this subject include corporate governance and organisation, taxation, dividend policy, how corporates are financed, and evaluating projects.


Provides the functions to describe systems and the means to evaluate the limits of those systems.

To further your actuarial studies, you should complete Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III as well as Linear Algebra.

This covers the four main concepts of calculus which are limits, differential calculus (Differentiation), integral calculus (Integration), and multivariable calculus (Function Theory). 

Probability and Statistics

This subject introduces the basic concepts of probability and statistics with applications to a variety of topics illustrated with real data. 

It also covers key ideas in probability theory, descriptive statistics, statistical inference, and statistical computing.

Risk Theory and Management

Risk theory is the real fundamental bridge between life contingency theory and the business of insurance.

This covers basic concepts like loss distribution, risk measurement, and risk measures based on loss distribution.

what is actuarial science - pathway maps

You can choose to study Foundation in Arts or Science for 1 year or a Pre-University (A-Level, SACE, STPM, etc.) course for 1 – 2 years after completing SPM or equivalent qualification.

A degree course in Actuarial Studies comes next, after which you may continue on to the working world.

However, having this degree does not mean you are a certified actuary just yet.

In order to be a certified actuary, passing the Professional Actuarial Exams from bodies such as SOA and IFoA is a must.

So what does your pathway look like?

stock image of a person following a drawn path

Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science

For degree courses, you will need to have 5 credits in SPM/O-Level qualification, including Mathematics, and the following minimum requirements in one of the pre-university courses below:

  • STPM: min. 2Cs
  • A-Level: min. 2Es
  • AUSMAT/SACE: min. ATAR 55 
  • CIMP: min. average of 55% to 60% 
  • Relevant Foundation: min. CGPA of 2.00
  • Relevant Diploma: min. CGPA of 2.00

Pre-university courses can take up to 2 years to complete and with overall costs starting at RM 10,000.

Once you’ve completed your pre-university course, you can then move on to the degree level.

Degree courses take 3 years to complete and fees start at RM 73,000 for your entire course.

Diploma students who want to resume studying an Actuarial Science degree can opt to do so, continuing on in Year 2 of the degree program.

Different universities offer different Actuarial Sciences courses with varying tuition fees and entry requirements.

Moreover, some Actuarial Science degrees will offer subjects that can give you exemptions for your professional papers. 

To learn more, you can contact an advisor by using the Live Chat function.

What Are the Skills Required in Actuarial Science?

Mathematical skills

Actuarial Science applies the mathematics of probability and statistics to define, analyse, and solve the financial implications of uncertain future events.

To study actuarial science, students should possess a strong foundation in mathematics, especially statistics, probability, and calculus.

Calculus, for instance, is used quite a bit in actuarial exams but the good news is that actuaries don’t actually use calculus at work.

It is also a degree entry requirement for students to pass Mathematics in their Pre-U.

Analytical Problem-Solving Skills

Actuaries need to be analytical problem solvers as their tasks include examining complex data and identifying patterns and trends to determine which factors are responsible for specific outcomes. 

After evaluating and weighing the significance of these factors, actuaries look for ways to minimise the likelihood of undesirable outcomes or the cost of the realisation of an undesirable outcome.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

As an actuary, you will crunch numbers, analyse data, evaluate financial risks, and communicate the data to stakeholders, the board of directors, and investors who might be non-specialists. 

Thus, actuaries must be able to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner. 

Actuaries often collaborate with programmers, accountants, and senior management, which makes it imperative that they can communicate and work effectively with others as well.

Strong oral communication skills will enable actuaries to explain complex technical and statistical details to a diverse audience.

Solid writing skills ensure that findings and solutions are easily understood in memos and written reports.

Top Actuarial Science Universities in Malaysia

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia 

The university was ranked No 281 in QS World University Rankings 2023.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked Heriot-Watt 22nd in the UK, with 82% of their research as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Courses offered:

  • Foundation In Business (Actuarial Science) – RM 24,260
  • BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science – RM 132,260

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Information (APU)

APU has been given a 5-star SETARA rating by the Ministry of Higher Education and is recognised by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), USA. 

Courses offered:

  • Foundation Programme (Business and Finance Pathway) – RM 25,600
  • BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Studies – RM 78,800

(Want to know more about Actuarial Science at APU? Check out our article about the university here!)

Quest International University (QIU)

QIU’s actuarial science programme is recognised by international professional examination bodies and is definitely a go-to private university for those planning to do Actuarial Science. 

The programme includes four significant specialisations:financial planning, data science, banking and Islamic finance. 

Courses offered:

  • Foundation in Business (Accounting, Finance, Actuarial)  – RM 10,000
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Sciences – RM 47,200

Things You Need to Know About Actuarial Science Career

Professional Certification is Required

As with the degree course, a career following the Actuarial Science field requires a strong grasp of mathematical theories, logical deductions, and analytical skills in solving insurance and risk-related issues.

It is only natural for those who are interested in this field to be associated with careers in insurance, risk management, business planning, corporate strategy, and other branches of business units that deal with risks and planning which one can pursue with this degree qualification.

An actuary is a person who works based on actuarial science skillset and will mainly be working in insurance companies.

To secure a job as a certified actuary and to work as a qualified actuary in more senior roles, you need to undertake Professional Actuarial Exams from bodies such as SOA and IFoA.

Only then will you be eligible to be a Certified Actuary.

However, if you plan to enter the workforce immediately upon finishing your degree, you may opt for other actuarial science-related jobs as a prospective career.

Becoming an actuary guarantees you to be an invaluable asset to your organisation. 

The well-paid salary associated with the job makes it an appealing career option as this profession truly rewards you for your hard work and effort.

According to Payscale, an actuary’s monthly salary starts from RM 3,000.

For example, a quick browse on JobStreet shows these jobs for fresh graduates:

  • Report / Analysis Executive 
  • Actuarial Executive (Protégé) 

If you have any enquiries about Actuarial Science courses, feel free to reach out to us on WhatsApp or message us on our social media. We’ll be happy to assist you!