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Bachelor of Actuarial Studies / Bachelor of Commerce Be career competitive with this dual degree.

Bachelor of Actuarial Studies / Bachelor of Commerce

Be career competitive with this dual degree. Study up to two Commerce majors and gain specialist skills in actuarial studies.

Quick Facts for Domestic Students

Program code: 3155

UAC code: 424350

ATAR cut-off: 97.00 (A*A*AA)

UOC: 192

Duration: 4 years full-time

HECS fee band: Band 3


Why choose this bachelor degree?

Gain two reputable degree that are highly regarded by industry

Challenging and highly rewarding for those wanting to enter the financial services or insurance industry in a quantitative role

Develop technical and non-technical skills needed to pursue the role of an actuarial analyst

Develop breadth and depth of knowledge across a wide range of business disciplines

Flexibility to design a study program that suits your interests or career goals

Opportunity to study up to two Commerce majors in addition to specialist knowledge in actuarial studies

Allow you to seek professional accreditation in a range of areas after graduation

Who is this degree for?

You’re a high achieving student looking for a foundation to enter the actuarial profession

You’re looking for a greater breadth and depth of skills and knowledge

You would like to complete three majors to increase your career opportunities and be competitive in the job market

Job and career prospects

Accountant/financial analyst

Actuarial analyst

Asset management trainee


Business analyst

Human resource consultant /employment relations

Information systems analyst/IT infrastructure developer

Investment banker

Insurance analyst

Marketing, advertising or brand manager

Risk assessment officer

Strategic planner

Superannuation advisor

Tax officer/corporate advisor

Wealth management analyst

Program Structure

The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies/Bachelor of Commerce is a 4 year dual degree program consisting of 32 courses (192 UOC). The program includes:

Actuarial Studies core courses

Three level 3 Actuarial Studies electives

Commerce core courses

One commerce major

Business School electives*

General education courses (chosen from other faculties)

*You can use these to complete a third major (from approved areas of study).

Core courses Actuarial studies courses

The compulsory core accounting unit will have a preparer perspective. It will provide an introduction to basic concepts in accounting and their application for decision making by a wide range of potential users (eg, shareholders, investment analysts, lenders, managers etc).

This unit should benefit students who wish to specialise in accounting, and will also be of value to students whose primary interest lies elsewhere in the field of business. On completion, students should have a clear understanding of the accounting process and the language of accounting to enable communication with an accounting professional, understand the relevance of accounting information for informed decision making by a wide range of potential users, and have the ability to analyse and interpret accounting information.

Topics covered will include the accounting equation, general purpose financial reports, cash and accrual accounting, adjustments, internal control, financial statement analysis, and interpreting and preparing information for managers to use in planning, decision making and control.

During Summer Term, this course is available as General Education to students from faculties outside the UNSW Business School

All students taking this course during Summer Term will be required to pay full tuition fees. This includes Commonwealth supported students who are studying at UNSW.

Taken together, the accounting course in the compulsory core and this accounting course form an integrated study program designed to give students an understanding of the way in which financial information is generated and used, and to provide an appropriate platform for further study in accounting.

On completion the first year accounting courses seek to develop:

Technical competence in recording economic events in the accounting system

A critical understanding of key technical terms and concepts so as to interpret accounting information and reports in the financial press

An ability to argue a reasoned position on key questions of accounting theory and practice

Familiarity with institutional structures that affect the practice of accounting

Topics covered in this course will include accounting for the major transactions cycles, cash, receivables, inventory, non-current assets and liabilities, cash flow statements, accounting policy choice, further detail on management accounting (including costing systems and budgeting), corporate governance, and professional ethics.

This course is designed to provide an introduction to actuarial studies. It covers the basic principles underlying the actuarial analysis and management of insurance, superannuation and other financial contracts. It also aims to demonstrate the importance of statistics, mathematics, demography, economics, accounting, finance, business law and computing to actuarial studies.

This course provides an introduction to the probability models used by actuaries for both liabilities and assets. Topics covered include the terminology of stochastic processes; main features of a Markov chain and application to experience rating; Markov process models and application to survival, sickness and marriage models; simple time series models including random walk and auto-regressive models and their application to investment variables; properties of Brownian motion and applications to investment variables; methods for simulation. Students will be required to implement models using spreadsheets and programs in a numerical computer package.

This course will cover the financial mathematics required for the analysis of financial and insurance transactions. Topics covered include: mathematics of compound interest; valuation of cash flows of simple insurance contracts; analysis and valuation of annuities, bonds, loans and other securities; yield curves and immunisation; introduction to stochastic interest rate models and actuarial applications.

This course covers probability and statistics topics relevant to actuarial studies. Topics covered include univariate/multivariate random variables, moments, probability generating functions, moment generating functions, marginal and conditional distributions, sampling distributions, estimation methods, hypothesis tests, regression, analysis of variance. Examples relevant to actuarial studies, finance and insurance are used to illustrate the application of the topics covered.

In order to understand the workings of markets and the economy, one has to take on an 'economic mindset'. This introductory course covers the fundamental principles that economists use to understand and analyse economic behaviour. Understanding these basic principles equips students for further studies in economics

and business. Topics and issues covered in this course include how individuals or firms make decisions about the demand or supply of a particular product, how we can judge the relative efficiency of different types of markets, how we explain why governments may need to intervene in a particular type of market while not in others, and how different government policies are more efficient than others.

Macroeconomics studies the aggregate behaviour of the economy. This course provides an introduction to the economic analysis of key macroeconomic variables such as output, employment, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates. The important elements of the course include measurement of macroeconomic variables, the development of models and theories to explain the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, the use of empirical evidence in evaluating different models, and the role of government policy in seeking to influence macroeconomic outcomes. The course will provide students with a framework for understanding the workings of the whole economy and the various interactions among households, business and governments.

This is a first level corporate finance course that looks at the essential aspects of financial decision-making. The course begins with the different ways in which companies can be structured and the differing types of ownership that exist. Thereafter, the principles and applications of financial mathematics are introduced and used to value securities and investment decisions.

Portfolio theory is used to provide a foundation for determining the relationship between expected risk and returns in financial and real asset investments. Dividend payouts and the choices between debt and equity financing, including methods of determining the cost of capital, are also covered.

Furthermore, this course includes analysis of the influence of the capital market environment, the implications of financial risk, taxation and the conflict of interest between managers and investors on the value and operation of businesses.

The course develops distinct conceptual frameworks and specialised tools for solving real-world financial problems at both the personal and corporate level. Illustrations from real-life corporate practices are used to highlight the importance and relevance of financial management to the realisation of personal and corporate financial objectives.

Examples include personal financial planning, funds management, capital raisings, portfolio selection of financial securities, private equity, public floats and the pricing of assets in the stock market.

Although MATH1151 contains an introduction to the Theory of Statistics, it is primarily concerned with the study of two central areas of mathematics: Linear Algebra and Calculus.

Linear algebra has its beginnings in the study of vectors in the plane: vectors were first introduced to represent physical entities such as velocity and force, which are

characterised by magnitude and direction. Modern linear algebra discusses vectors in any dimension, and vectors are especially useful because they can be used to record information. Together with matrices, vectors provide the basic mathematical framework in which to solve large systems of linear equations.

Calculus can be usefully thought of as being composed of two fields of study - the differential calculus and the integral calculus - and both of these depend upon the concept of a limit. The differential calculus is in essence the study of change, and the derivative of a function is its core construct. On the other hand, the integral calculus has its roots in antiquity and the study of area, and its core construct is the integral. Much of scientific knowledge is underpinned by the seminal result known as the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus: the derivative of the integral is the given function.

MATH1251 gives equal weighting to two broad areas of mathematics: Linear Algebra and Calculus.

Linear Algebra is that branch of mathematics concerned with the study of vector spaces, or linear spaces, and linear transformations. Problems in mathematics that exhibit linearity are most likely to be solved, and do not exhibit the chaotic behaviour of non-linear problems. Linear Algebra can be thought of as the proper mathematical setting for the study of matrix algebra.

The Calculus strand studies topics such as differential equations and series. Most of the fundamental laws of physics, chemistry, biology and economics can be formulated as differential equations, and series are needed, for example, for a more serious study of functions. It explains, for example, how an electronic calculator evaluates sin2, log3 and so forth. This strand also considers the integration of functions of two variables.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles, practices, issues and debates associated with the management of public, business and third sector organisations. The frameworks, concepts and theories covered in the course are introduced to explain how managers deal with the diversity of issues faced in the effective management of contemporary organisations.

The underpinning themes of the course centre on how managers can deal with the multiple demands of complex and turbulent environments, promote and sustain competitive advantage, manage changing social, political and technological factors inside and outside the organisation, ensure ethical and social responsibility, develop global organisations and manage diversity in the workforce. How management goes about its principal tasks of managing strategy, structures, people and systems are the key focus issues of the course. The main roles of modern management - planning, leading, innovating, organising and controlling - are also examined.

Topics include the emergence, evolution and structure of management, conceptions of managerial work; management fads, fashion and knowledge; the

task and internal environment; regulating people; the nature of organising; change and innovation; decision-making; influence processes; power and politics; ethical issues and professionalism in management; performance management: control and planning; and current trends.

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the content of information systems; the types of information systems; the current roles of information systems in organisations; and the opportunities for and limitations of information systems within organisations and society.

The course also provides an overview of the tools, techniques and frameworks used to analyse information systems; the range of Information Technologies used to support information systems and to explain their use; the alternative approaches for the development and implementation of information systems; the current technologies for the development of personal information systems and for information searches from a range of sources; and the ethical responsibilities of both the Information System professional and the private user of information.

In today’s business world, marketing is viewed as central to creating and delivering value both to the organisation and to the customer. It impacts all aspects of a business organisation, shaping and directing corporate through to marketing strategy. Many companies acknowledge that their growth and survival depends on putting the customer at the centre of their planning. Thus, an understanding of marketing is essential for any business student.

This course introduces the student to the major concepts and theories, reflecting the breadth and diversity of marketing. It provides insights into where marketing fits within an organisation, its contributions to business in general, describes frameworks supporting marketing activities, and helps with challenges in the ever changing market place. It discusses the application of this understanding to consumer goods, as well as service, business-to-business, industrial and non-profit organizations, and to the growing area of e-commerce.

Topics include: marketing processes and planning, the use of market research, an understanding of consumers and customers, decision-making and the marketing mix, market segmentation, positioning and product differentiation, the changing global environment.

This subject deals with the Australian legal system; the Constitution and Commonwealth/State relations; Parliament and statute law; the courts and case law; the executive and administrative law; the legal process and alternative dispute resolution. Areas of substantive law relevant to commerce are examined including property law (with particular reference to intellectual property), tort law (with particular reference to negligence), contract law, competition law and consumer protection law.

Areas of study (majors)

Actuarial studies

Actuarial Studies



Business Economics

Business Law

Business Strategy and Economic Management


Financial Economics

Human Resource Management

Information Systems

International Business



Real Estate Studies


Student Experience

Make the most of every day on campus, with UNSW Australia Business School’s dynamic learning spaces, diverse social events and extensive student support.

Have fun and build your network

As an undergraduate, you have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make friends. Join a student club, such as Arc (the UNSW student society), AIESEC, the Marketing Club, and many other interest groups. With over 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs there’s bound to be at least one that’s perfect for you!

All the support you need to achieve

We’ll help you settle in to university life with orientation and mentoring programs. There are study skills workshops, as well as career services and academic advice.

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It’s easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres, and retail outlets. It’s a short bus trip to Sydney’s CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your undergraduate degree is a once in a lifetime experience, and the friends you make at the Business School could be friends for life. So get involved as well as student clubs and social activities there are internships, volunteer projects, competitions and international exchanges on offer. It’s a great way to develop and practise your new business skills.