F77PD Professional Development Planning

John Phillips

Course co-ordinator(s): John Phillips (Edinburgh).


This course aims to introduce students to actuarial, statistical and financial mathematics professions and to improve their career planning. It is designed to help students build up a range of skills that will prepare them to cope well at the job interview stage and beyond.


Detailed Information

Course Description: Link to Official Course Descriptor.

Pre-requisites: none.

Location: Edinburgh.

Semester: 2.


The course will consist of a mixture of lectures and tutorial/practical work. There will be opportunities for group work.

The following topics will be covered:

  • An analysis of the opportunities available to Actuarial Science, Financial Mathematics and Statistical Modelling graduates.
  • Case studies of career paths taken by graduates in these subject areas.
  • Professional Development Planning and the graduate selection process.
  • Using Excel to solve problems of the type found in industry.
  • Developing problem solving techniques for real world situations.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Mastery

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the role of actuaries, financial mathematicians, and statisticians in society.
  • Understand importance of statutory appointments.
  • Be aware of different employers, and how career paths within different types of organisations may vary.
  • Differentiate between the types of work performed by actuaries in different practice area.
  • Discuss issues currently of professional interest to actuaries, financial mathematicians, and statisticians.
  • Understand the path required to obtain an actuarial qualification and the need for continuous professional development thereafter.
  • Understand the role of professional bodies such as the Royal Statistical Society, Faculty of Actuaries, etc.
  • Work effectively as a team member
  • Develop better communication and presentation skills
  • Understand the concept of commercial awareness, and the need to keep abreast of current issues
  • Demonstrate a developing professional awareness and knowledge of the graduate labour market
  • Review own progress to date and develop a plan to address future development needs

Assessment Methods: Due to covid, assessment methods for Academic Year 2021/22 may vary from those noted on the official course descriptor. Please see:
- Maths (F1) Course Weightings 2021/22
- Computer Science (F2) Course Weightings 2021/22
- AMS (F7) Course Weightings 2021/22

SCQF Level: 7.

Credits: 15.

Other Information

Help: If you have any problems or questions regarding the course, you are encouraged to contact the course leader.

Canvas: further information and course materials are available on Canvas