Is it worth pursuing a second degree in Bsc Actuarial Science?

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Sharpshooter
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Hi all,

I'm 34 currently and have a 2.2 Beng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an Msc in Telecommunications (merit).

I previously was looking at a second degree in dentistry, but because I have a 2.2 I'm not eligible for graduate programs, so I decided to repeat my a levels and try and get into the Republic of Ireland (I live in Northern Ireland) as they accept A level repeats, albeit the grades are extremely high (3A*'s and 1A). Im confident I can get a minimum of 4A's, but Im not likely to get 3A*'s so I'm thinking about alternative careers.

Would it be worth actually pursuing a second degree in Bsc Actuarial Science and making use of my "new" A level grades? I would have the money for a second degree and I would like to go back to university (because I didn't work hard enough last time round and the 2.2 isnt a reflection of my true ability). I'm aware I could try and get into actuary with my 2.2 but would be difficult.

I could of course consider a one year masters program, but don't think I could get all of the exemptions in one year and I think an actuarial science degree would suit me better. I would be aiming for a minimum of a 2.1 (but preferably a First) if I did.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
Hi all,

I'm 34 currently and have a 2.2 Beng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an Msc in Telecommunications (merit).

I previously was looking at a second degree in dentistry, but because I have a 2.2 I'm not eligible for graduate programs, so I decided to repeat my a levels and try and get into the Republic of Ireland (I live in Northern Ireland) as they accept A level repeats, albeit the grades are extremely high (3A*'s and 1A). Im confident I can get a minimum of 4A's, but Im not likely to get 3A*'s so I'm thinking about alternative careers.

Would it be worth actually pursuing a second degree in Bsc Actuarial Science and making use of my "new" A level grades? I would have the money for a second degree and I would like to go back to university (because I didn't work hard enough last time round and the 2.2 isnt a reflection of my true ability). I'm aware I could try and get into actuary with my 2.2 but would be difficult.

I could of course consider a one year masters program, but don't think I could get all of the exemptions in one year and I think an actuarial science degree would suit me better. I would be aiming for a minimum of a 2.1 (but preferably a First) if I did.
You don't need to go to uni to get become an actuary:
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/becomin...coming-actuary
The Level 4 apprenticeships should allow you to become one, although it's just as competitive as graduate roles.

If you want to go to uni, do it because you want to get into dentistry (you can't get into it via apprenticeship unfortunately).

On a side note, considering dentistry is completely different to electrical engineering/telecom or actuarial sciences, why dentistry?
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byblis
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
Hi all,

I'm 34 currently and have a 2.2 Beng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an Msc in Telecommunications (merit).

I previously was looking at a second degree in dentistry, but because I have a 2.2 I'm not eligible for graduate programs, so I decided to repeat my a levels and try and get into the Republic of Ireland (I live in Northern Ireland) as they accept A level repeats, albeit the grades are extremely high (3A*'s and 1A). Im confident I can get a minimum of 4A's, but Im not likely to get 3A*'s so I'm thinking about alternative careers.

Would it be worth actually pursuing a second degree in Bsc Actuarial Science and making use of my "new" A level grades? I would have the money for a second degree and I would like to go back to university (because I didn't work hard enough last time round and the 2.2 isnt a reflection of my true ability). I'm aware I could try and get into actuary with my 2.2 but would be difficult.

I could of course consider a one year masters program, but don't think I could get all of the exemptions in one year and I think an actuarial science degree would suit me better. I would be aiming for a minimum of a 2.1 (but preferably a First) if I did.
Have considered other healthcare courses? For example, paramedicine, physiotherapy, dietetics, nursing? All these would lead to a stable career within the NHS after graduation. You can also get funding for healthcare related degrees too, even if they are your second degree.
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ajj2000
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How much is the course costing you? Would it be a significant amount to spend? What do you do for work at the moment?
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Sharpshooter
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
You don't need to go to uni to get become an actuary:
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/becomin...coming-actuary
The Level 4 apprenticeships should allow you to become one, although it's just as competitive as graduate roles.

If you want to go to uni, do it because you want to get into dentistry (you can't get into it via apprenticeship unfortunately).

On a side note, considering dentistry is completely different to electrical engineering/telecom or actuarial sciences, why dentistry?
(Original post by byblis)
Have considered other healthcare courses? For example, paramedicine, physiotherapy, dietetics, nursing? All these would lead to a stable career within the NHS after graduation. You can also get funding for healthcare related degrees too, even if they are your second degree.
I'm a little stumped for career choices at the moment, I'm generally looking for careers in Maths or Science (which include healthcare) as they are my academic strengths so there is a degree of flexibility about my choices.

I haven't been involved in engineering for 6 years since I've been primarily a carer for my parents who were both ill (my dad has since passed away) so I don't think Ill go back to that now.

I have considered Medical Physics as a career, and I was going to start a separate thread asking the physics forum about this. I would have to do a second degree in Physics, and if I get a 2.1 I can do a masters in Canada (I'm a Canadian citizen by descent) and to be able to work in North America including the US as you need to graduate from one of their schools to be accredited. Salaries for Medical Physicists are much higher North America which was a bit of draw for me.

I considered dentistry because I like the idea of helping people and there is a design aspect it (which comes from engineering in a way).

I was thinking about applying to UEA for actuarial science, possibly taking the industrial placement option, but not sure whether they accept repeated a levels (albeit I did my a levels back in 2004 first time round)

https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...uarial-science
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Sharpshooter
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(Original post by ajj2000)
How much is the course costing you? Would it be a significant amount to spend? What do you do for work at the moment?
Well its a second degree so its £9,250 x 3 = £27,750. I could consider an industrial year placement in-between to help pay. I have some money saved up. I dont work at the moment, but I will working hopefully from June onwards once the A level course is finished in the next 6 weeks.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
I'm a little stumped for career choices at the moment, I'm generally looking for careers in Maths or Science (which include healthcare) as they are my academic strengths so there is a degree of flexibility about my choices.

I haven't been involved in engineering for 6 years since I've been primarily a carer for my parents who were both ill (my dad has since passed away) so I don't think Ill go back to that now.

I have considered Medical Physics as a career, and I was going to start a separate thread asking the physics forum about this. I would have to do a second degree in Physics, and if I get a 2.1 I can do a masters in Canada (I'm a Canadian citizen by descent) and to be able to work in North America including the US as you need to graduate from one of their schools to be accredited. Salaries for Medical Physicists are much higher North America which was a bit of draw for me.

I considered dentistry because I like the idea of helping people and there is a design aspect it (which comes from engineering in a way).

I was thinking about applying to UEA for actuarial science, possibly taking the industrial placement option, but not sure whether they accept repeated a levels (albeit I did my a levels back in 2004 first time round)

https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...uarial-science
I'm sorry to hear about your father.

In terms of Medical physics, you might want to double check whether they accept international equivalents since it's not likely that they will turn down a medical physics degree from the UK. I think you will need to contact https://comp-ocpm.ca/. If so, you could easily do the master's here, and most physics degrees in the UK is accredited by the Institute of Physics.
You might also want to check whether they will accept a conversion degree (PgDip/MSc) in physics instead of a bachelor's, since you already have the engineering background. An example of the course I have found to do the conversion is: https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/pos...vancedphysics/
I have yet to find another degree of such nature.

You will need to contact UEA undergrad admissions for actuarial science. However, I don't think they will turn down repeated A Levels, especially if they have not mentioned it on their course page.
However, like I said, you don't necessarily need a degree to go into actuary, since the IoFA will require you to do their modules for their actuary qualification, and the degree only provides you with the exemptions to the same modules. The IoFA is an internationally recognised organisation, so you should be able to work in Canada with the same qualification if you need to, but you might want to check with Canadian law.

You might also want to check the fees for people applying for their second bachelor's, since the ELQ policy at each university is different, and you might end up being charged international fees. I know Nottingham Uni won't charge international fees to home students for their second bachelor's, but I am not sure about other universities.
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byblis
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
I'm a little stumped for career choices at the moment, I'm generally looking for careers in Maths or Science (which include healthcare) as they are my academic strengths so there is a degree of flexibility about my choices.

I haven't been involved in engineering for 6 years since I've been primarily a carer for my parents who were both ill (my dad has since passed away) so I don't think Ill go back to that now.

I have considered Medical Physics as a career, and I was going to start a separate thread asking the physics forum about this. I would have to do a second degree in Physics, and if I get a 2.1 I can do a masters in Canada (I'm a Canadian citizen by descent) and to be able to work in North America including the US as you need to graduate from one of their schools to be accredited. Salaries for Medical Physicists are much higher North America which was a bit of draw for me.

I considered dentistry because I like the idea of helping people and there is a design aspect it (which comes from engineering in a way).

I was thinking about applying to UEA for actuarial science, possibly taking the industrial placement option, but not sure whether they accept repeated a levels (albeit I did my a levels back in 2004 first time round)

https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...uarial-science
This might be a slightly left-field course but what about Orthotics and Prosthetics degrees. You need to have Maths and/or Physics at A-level, and it is a funded healthcare course. There's a big demand for such professionals, but a downside may be that the courses are available at a select few universities.
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thrwawy
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I might be wrong but I thought most universities accept retakes if they are all taken in the same year.
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ajj2000
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I don't think the degrees you are considering are a bad idea. Bit nervous about your financing. I think years in industry can be a good way to save some money but this only really works if you can live at home rent free. Just wondered if there are any cheaper routes available to you? Move to Scotland for a qualifying period? Open university? There is an OU scheme where you transfer to a brick university for 2 years of a physics degree - might work for you?

Also - I couldnt understand your point about A levels and universities not accepting resits. Could you give a little background? My understanding is that this is only really an issue for Medical type courses.
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Sharpshooter
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
You will need to contact UEA undergrad admissions for actuarial science. However, I don't think they will turn down repeated A Levels, especially if they have not mentioned it on their course page.
However, like I said, you don't necessarily need a degree to go into actuary, since the IoFA will require you to do their modules for their actuary qualification, and the degree only provides you with the exemptions to the same modules. The IoFA is an internationally recognised organisation, so you should be able to work in Canada with the same qualification if you need to, but you might want to check with Canadian law.
May I ask how do you achieve exemptions during a Bsc Actuarial Science degree? Do you have to achieve a certain score in relevant modules? According to the IFoA website the UEA for example offers exemptions in 6 subjects - CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2. How would you go about achieving all 6?

Also I'm curious about how transfers from IFoA exams work for SOA/CAS exams in North America? If you were to start the IFoA exams would you not have to at least become an associate before you an move to the US/Canada?

Im aware the degree route is more expensive but my goal if I did go that route would be to get a first class honours and all 6 exemptions.
(Original post by thrwawy)
I might be wrong but I thought most universities accept retakes if they are all taken in the same year.
Where did you hear this? One of my A levels was completed back in 2019, I have resits remaining and wanted to use them, but I haven't been able to enrol privately anywhere due to the pandemic. I'm not enrolled for the subject at my college so have no teacher and have struggled to get a CAG. I might be able to have a go next year and could re cash all grades in then for 2022 (i.e. so all in the same sitting). But I am hoping universities will be lenient with regards to this otherwise.

(Original post by ajj2000)
I don't think the degrees you are considering are a bad idea. Bit nervous about your financing. I think years in industry can be a good way to save some money but this only really works if you can live at home rent free. Just wondered if there are any cheaper routes available to you? Move to Scotland for a qualifying period? Open university? There is an OU scheme where you transfer to a brick university for 2 years of a physics degree - might work for you?

Also - I couldnt understand your point about A levels and universities not accepting resits. Could you give a little background? My understanding is that this is only really an issue for Medical type courses.
What I could do if I am struggling financially is do another degree at my local university (Queens University Belfast). First degree tuition fees for local NI students are £4,350 but I don't know whether second degree fees are the same? Also my brother lives in Belfast and I could stay with him rent free. But I was hoping to go somewhere else this time but if money becomes a factor I may not have a choice in the matter.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
May I ask how do you achieve exemptions during a Bsc Actuarial Science degree? Do you have to achieve a certain score in relevant modules? According to the IFoA website the UEA for example offers exemptions in 6 subjects - CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2. How would you go about achieving all 6?

Also I'm curious about how transfers from IFoA exams work for SOA/CAS exams in North America? If you were to start the IFoA exams would you not have to at least become an associate before you an move to the US/Canada?

Im aware the degree route is more expensive but my goal if I did go that route would be to get a first class honours and all 6 exemptions.

Where did you hear this? One of my A levels was completed back in 2019, I have resits remaining and wanted to use them, but I haven't been able to enrol privately anywhere due to the pandemic. I'm not enrolled for the subject at my college so have no teacher and have struggled to get a CAG. I might be able to have a go next year and could re cash all grades in then for 2022 (i.e. so all in the same sitting). But I am hoping universities will be lenient with regards to this otherwise.


What I could do if I am struggling financially is do another degree at my local university (Queens University Belfast). First degree tuition fees for local NI students are £4,350 but I don't know whether second degree fees are the same? Also my brother lives in Belfast and I could stay with him rent free. But I was hoping to go somewhere else this time but if money becomes a factor I may not have a choice in the matter.
Exemption process: I am not entirely sure beyond the basics: they will require you to do an accredited degrees, choose certain modules for all 6 exemptions, and pass those modules with a high enough marks. See the following:
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...ty-east-anglia
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...emptions-route
They are being really vague on which modules you need to opt for and what grades you need to get. I suppose you can get access to that information if you have an account with them.
I went on UEA's website, and they do mention some of the modules you have to opt for in order to get certain exemptions, but they don't list them all e.g.
https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...urse-modules-2 (If students elect to take optional modules associated with IFoA Exemptions (i.e. in Year 2, CMP-5040Y), they will be required to pass these modules as they are designated core.)
https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...urse-modules-3 (If students elect to take optional modules associated with IFoA Exemptions (i.e. in Year 3, CMP-6032B and CMP-6035A), they will be required to pass these modules as they are designated core.)

Transfers: Unfortunately I couldn't find the information on this on either the SOA,CAS, or CIA-ICA websites. You will need to email them regarding this. It would be silly for them to dismiss IoFA's qualification considering they're not all that different concerning the basics.
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Sharpshooter
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
Exemption process: I am not entirely sure beyond the basics: they will require you to do an accredited degrees, choose certain modules for all 6 exemptions, and pass those modules with a high enough marks. See the following:
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...ty-east-anglia
https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studyin...emptions-route
They are being really vague on which modules you need to opt for and what grades you need to get. I suppose you can get access to that information if you have an account with them.
I went on UEA's website, and they do mention some of the modules you have to opt for in order to get certain exemptions, but they don't list them all e.g.
https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...urse-modules-2 (If students elect to take optional modules associated with IFoA Exemptions (i.e. in Year 2, CMP-5040Y), they will be required to pass these modules as they are designated core.)
https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergr...urse-modules-3 (If students elect to take optional modules associated with IFoA Exemptions (i.e. in Year 3, CMP-6032B and CMP-6035A), they will be required to pass these modules as they are designated core.)

Transfers: Unfortunately I couldn't find the information on this on either the SOA,CAS, or CIA-ICA websites. You will need to email them regarding this. It would be silly for them to dismiss IoFA's qualification considering they're not all that different concerning the basics.
Whats your opinion btw on Maths vs Actuarial Science degrees? I understand Maths degrees are more flexible leaving you with other options should you not wish to do actuary but I am an age where I do now need to pin down what I want to do. I could do a Maths degree and sit a few IFoA exams alongside it (I know that workload is heavy but I would be open to it).

What about a Maths Open University degree? It will only cost me £6,336 over the 3 years and I can work during that time. The only downside though is I would like to get a first class honours if possible but for the OU that requires 85%.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by Sharpshooter)
Whats your opinion btw on Maths vs Actuarial Science degrees? I understand Maths degrees are more flexible leaving you with other options should you not wish to do actuary but I am an age where I do now need to pin down what I want to do. I could do a Maths degree and sit a few IFoA exams alongside it (I know that workload is heavy but I would be open to it).

What about a Maths Open University degree? It will only cost me £6,336 over the 3 years and I can work during that time. The only downside though is I would like to get a first class honours if possible but for the OU that requires 85%.
It would depend on what you want to do with your degree. If you are solely doing it to get into an actuary job, then you can do the degree (although I still would rather go for the apprenticeship). Other than applying for an actuary job, I can't seen actuary degrees being that more advantageous compared to a maths degree e.g. I am not sure, but I don't think you can teach maths with an actuary degree. In other words, an actuarial science not that more advantageous to your position considering you already have a quantitative degree in engineering. On the other hand, you already have a quantitative background due to the engineering degree, so having a math degree isn't that much more helpful unless you intend to go into research or become a specialised statician,

I haven't done a degree with OU, so I can't give you an unbias opinion. Being OU, I'm not sure whether it will help you gain more opportunities as opposed to getting a degree from a higher end uni. Having said that, some of my former teachers have done postgrad degrees with OU, so I'm confident you won't be stigmatised within teaching.
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