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Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance

The study programme

With the MSc Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance you will develop expertise in financial risk management both within and outside the insurance area. Moreover, you can specialise in your field of interest by choosing one of 2 tracks.

Help organisations identify financial consequences of risks

As a future expert you will analyse the financial consequences of economic developments and risks. You will use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, for example those of concern to insurance and pension companies.

During your studies we help you gain insight into the latest theories and models. Besides this, we will train you to apply them to real-life business cases.

Learn from the experts

The Amsterdam School of Economics has an exceptionally strong tradition in actuarial science and mathematical finance. Internationally leading experts conduct world-class research here. This means you will have access to the latest techniques and practices.

Gain up-to-date insights

Our strong links to and support from international insurance and financial institutions will help you gain up-to-date insights. Expect interesting guest lectures from leading institutions such as the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), the European Central Bank and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. During your year with us, you will discuss and reflect on theories, and apply the practice of Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance to real-life cases.

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Lecturers at the ASE are open-minded, tolerant and caring for the growth of their students. This created a safe environment for me to work and perform best in my study. Vu Ha Anh Pham Read Vu's full review

The programme

  • Choose from 2 tracks

    Our Master’s programme in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance consists of a general part for all students and a specific part where you follow courses related to the specialisation track of your choice. After the joint first period, you can choose the track that suits you best:

    1. Actuarial Science track
      Choose this track if you wish to prepare for the Postmaster Actuarial Practice Cycle (in Dutch) to qualify for membership of the Royal Dutch Actuarial Society. This track offers ample space for electives that can be selected to meet the Postmaster entry requirements.
    2. Quantitative Risk Management track
      Choose this track if you wish to develop a slightly broader foundation in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance, featuring 2 extra required courses.
  • Choose your electives

    Each track has its own selection of electives for you to tailor the programme to your interests and ambitions. Make sure that the total study load is at least 60 ECTS.

  • Asset Liability Management – Cases

    In this hands-on seminar you will learn about the practical implementation of an Asset Liability Management (ALM) study focusing on the match between investment policies and liabilities. The cases involve theoretical aspects such as asset dynamics and liability modelling, numerical aspects like Monte Carlo simulation as well as practical communication and team working skills.

  • Financial Mathematics for Insurance

    In this course you learn the basic principles of asset pricing and risk mitigation on a market-consistent basis. The course provides an introduction to mathematical techniques which can be used in complete markets such as those for equity and interest derivatives, but it also considers incomplete markets.

  • Non-Life insurance – Statistical Techniques and Data Analytics

    In this course you study statistical techniques that can be applied in non-life insurance. We explore Generalized Linear Models for determining insurance prices. Also, we take a look at IBNR models for predicting future payments on claims regarding events that have occurred in the past but are not yet (fully) known to the insurer. Another topic is credibility theory to predict future claims. Apart from the theory, we study and practice the implementation of the techniques using the programming language R.

  • Principles of the Mathematics and Economics of Risk

    The course will cover the basics of information theory, including information asymmetry, moral hazard and adverse selection and the basics of behavioural insurance and finance.

  • Risk Management for Insurance and Pensions

    This course provides an in-depth treatment of the principles of (quantitative) risk management for insurers and pensions. The course focuses first on the joint measurement, modelling and allocation of financial and insurance risks. Next, the course treats the design of risk mitigation strategies and of asset allocation strategies from a long-term perspective.

  • Stochastic Calculus

    In this course elements of probability theory, stochastic processes and stochastic calculus are discussed to the extent that it is relevant in the analysis of financial derivatives. The emphasis is on the mathematical concepts and techniques and to a lesser extent on their application in pricing and hedging derivatives.
    The topics that are covered are discrete time methods: binomial trees and the Cox-Ross-Rubinstein model; continuous time stochastic processes: Brownian motion and martingales; stochastic calculus: the Ito integral, Ito's lemma and stochastic differential equations; Girsanov's theorem, equivalent martingale measures and risk-neutral valuation; the Black-Scholes-Merton model; implementation of various numerical methods in computer programmes.

  • Thesis

    Your Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation and your first proof of competence to future employers. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic that you are enthusiastic about. One of the researchers within the Department of Quantitative Economics will supervise and support you in writing your thesis. The subject must be based on a relevant theoretical topic or on a research internship at a firm. Since we offer you a structured thesis process, you will be able to finish your Master’s degree within 1 year.

  • Honours programme

    Do you want to combine both tracks of this Master's? Then our Honours programme can be an excellent choice for you. In addition to the track of your choice, you will be offered 2 extra electives, and an Honours Research Project. This track is especially relevant if you want to prepare for the Postmaster Actuarial Practice Cyle. It will take extra effort, so this track is for students that are motivated to put in some extra work.

Real-life case: advise on future pensions

Advise policymakers of the Ministry of Social Affairs on the future of the Dutch pension system.

Add extra value to your studies

Hybrid Learning Theatre

Online meets offline in our Hybrid Learning Theatre. The future-proof setting is the stage for dynamic interaction and inspirational education. Students watching the lecture online are projected on a large Zoom wall of 5x3 metres. Together with students who are physically present in the theatre and the lecturer there can be energetic interaction in the class room. In class the material is studied actively, for example by having debates, discussions and case assignments.

Interactive Online Learning at UvA Economics and Business

During your Master’s, you will experience an inspiring combination of both offline and online education. We work with a blended learning teaching method. By applying this method, you will be able to combine different types of learning into 1 approach and enjoy mastering knowledge at your own pace. During class there will be more time for in-depth analyses and interaction with your lecturer and peers.

Types of education
In this programme, you will find that in your education there’s a balance between innovative teaching methods and traditional forms. Writing an academic paper can be alternated by an online challenge. A peer-feedback assignments or a video recording with explanation can also be part of the teaching method.

Our Centre for Educational Innovation and our Teaching and Learning Centre are continuously working on improving our teaching methods. We take the interactions between students, teachers, and learning resources into account. In doing so, we hope to offer you the right combination of challenging, effective, and efficient education.