Actuarial Science

Key information

Next intake
September 2023
Programme duration
4 years (part time)

About the Executive PhD in Actuarial Science

The Executive PhD is a four-year, part-time degree programme, culminating in a dissertation that passes formal examination. It comprises of ten, forty-hour residential weeks, and independent research guided by faculty supervisors.

Research in Actuarial Science and Insurance

The Faculty has a long history, having introduced a pioneering degree in Actuarial Science in 1974, with the support of insurance companies and the actuarial profession. Nowadays, our staff, including a large number of qualified actuaries, are involved in the delivery of a range of professionally accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, covering actuarial science, insurance and risk management, and business analytics.

Our leading position as a research group is widely acknowledged. The Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance (FASI) is ranked 1st in Europe and 2nd in the world for Actuarial Science Research.

The Faculty provides a hub of intellectual activity, hosting research seminars with internationally renowned speakers, conferences and other eventsFaculty from FASI, jointly with former PhD students, currently run the online One World Actuarial Research Seminar (OWARS).

We have close relations with professional bodies, trade organisations and government, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Government Actuary's Department, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Institute of Risk Management, and the Worshipful Company of Insurers.

Programme structure

The Actuarial Science and Insurance PhD is usually a four year programme, offered jointly with the PhD in Finance. You are registered on the MPhil degree for the first two years during which you will follow a programme of taught courses and prepare for the transfer panel, which is a mid-point assessment of your progress.

Year 1 – Theory and Methods

In the first year you will attend four residential weeks during which you will participate in a series of seminars designed to train you in the theory and methods necessary to conduct high quality finance research. These courses are academically rigorous and require substantial preparation time before each residential week.

Week One – September

  • Quantitative Research Methods: Fundamentals of Statistics (Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Choosing Your Research Question (Professor Charles Baden-Fuller)
  • Elements of Research Design (Professor Davide Ravasi)
  • Philosophy of Social Science (Professor Hugh Wilmott)
  • Research Ethics (Dr Janina Steinmetz and Dr Hans Frankfort)
  • Managing the PhD Experience (Dr Daisy Chung)
  • Managing a Research Project (Professor Barbara Casu Lukac)
  • Introduction to Library Resources (Library Staff)

Week Two - December

  • Quantitative Research Methods I (Professor Giovanni Urga & Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Survey Design I (Dr Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer)
  • How to Write a Literature Review (Professor Bobby Banerjee)
  • Research Topics in Finance I: International Finance (Professor Ian Marsh)
  • Empirical Methods in Finance I (Professor Francisco Urzua)
  • Library Services and Online Resources - Working Session (Library Staff)
  • FASI Research Seminar (External Speaker)

Week Three - March

  • Quantitative Research Methods II (Professor Giovanni Urga & Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Empirical Methods in Finance II (Professor Francisco Urzua)
  • Research Topics in Finance II: Mergers and Acquisitions (Professor Meziane Lasfer)
  • Research Topics in Finance III: Banking and Financial Regulation (Professor Barbara Casu)
  • Survey Design II (Dr Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer)
  • Organisations: Early Debate and Implications for Trading Floors (Dr Daniel Beunza)
  • Interview Techniques (Professor Paula Jarzabkowski)
  • FASI Research Seminar (External Speaker)

Week Four - June

  • Quantitative Research Methods III (Professor Giovanni Urga & Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Empirical Methods in Finance III (Professor Francisco Urzua)
  • Survey Design III (Dr Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer)
  • Research Topics in Finance IV: Banking and Financial Regulation (Dr Angela Gallo)
  • Responsible Investing: Ethnographic Discovery and Finance (Dr Daniel Beunza)
  • Finance Research Seminar (External Speaker)
  • PhD Finance/Actuarial Science Research Days (full time PhD workshop)
  • Research Presentations (all cohorts)

Year 2 – Research Development

Year 2 – First Paper and Transfer Panel

Your research training continues in this second year with workshops focused on developing specific skills such as academic writing, advanced level reading groups where we delve deeply into key current research papers.

Alongside this, you will commence research in your chosen topics and the year culminates with the defense of your first research paper before a transfer panel committee. After the successful defense of your transfer panel paper you will move onto the final two years of the PhD programme.

Week Five - September

  • Quantitative Research Methods IV (Professor Giovanni Urga & Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Empirical Methods in Finance IV (Professor Francisco Urzua)
  • Research Topics in Finance V: Behavioural Finance (Dr Simon Heyley)
  • Responsible Investing: Corporate Social Responsibility (Dr Daniel Beunza)
  • FASI Research Seminar (External Speaker)
  • Transfer Panel: What You Need to Prepare (Professor Barbara Casu Lukac)
  • Academic Writing Workshop

Week Six – June

  • Quantitative Research Methods V (Professor Giovanni Urga & Dr Elisabetta Pellini)
  • Empirical Methods in Finance V (Professor Francisco Urzua)
  • Responsible Investing: Morality and Markets (Dr Daniel Beunza)
  • How to Publish a Research Paper and Work with Co-Authors (various faculty)
  • Dissertation: Thinking about the Viva (Professor Barbara Casu Lukac)
  • FASI Research Seminar (External Speaker)
  • PhD FASI Research Days (full time PhD workshop)
  • Research Presentations and Transfer Panels (all cohorts)

Year 3 – Dissertation Research

Year 3 – Supervised Research

You complete your remaining research papers in years three and four, and will defend your work in the viva voce exam soon after completion of your thesis. Training continues in the final two years but the focus shifts towards preparing you for publishing your research.

You will attend workshops designed to help you to publish your work and to introduce you to the academic job market if applicable.

Year 4 – Writing the Dissertation

Year four will be focussed on completing the writing of your dissertation, and preparing for the viva voce examination, while continuing to pursue publications and/or academic positions where applicable.

The Faculty

The Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance is one of the largest departments in the field worldwide. Our diverse staff have expertise across different areas of actuarial science, insurance, and risk management. We are committed to carrying out impactful research and providing a cutting-edge educational experience for our students.

The Faculty makes use of its position close to the heart of the City of London and its links to industry, to engage with important real-world issues and enhance its teaching and research.

Facilities and resources

PhD students on the Executive Programme have access to the state of the art research infrastructure, computing equipment, and extensive library resources.

Bayes Business School offers access to a wide range of databases, including:

  • Bloomberg
  • Thomson Reuters EIKON
  • Factset
  • WRDS
  • DataStream
  • Thomson One

and many others.