Actuarial and Financial Engineering
- The University of Tartu belongs to the top 1% of the world's universities (Rankings and Surveys).
- The only programme of this kind in the Nordic region meeting the EU educational standards in actuarial mathematics.
- Particular emphasis is on applied mathematical models and quantitative methods.
- After graduation, you can pursue your career at banks, insurance companies and financial authorities as an analyst, actuary or risk engineer.
- Study at the University of Tartu Delta Centre, which brings together a vibrant community of students, researchers and innovators in computer science, business and economics, mathematics and statistics.
The two-year master's programme in Actuarial and Financial Engineering prepares specialists for the financial sector, banking and insurance industries in quantitative methods of risk assessment and hedging, providing knowledge and skills in two major areas - financial engineering and insurance mathematics. Sound knowledge and interest in mathematics are advantageous to succeeding in this master's programme.
The ability to derive, implement, and use numerical procedures for computing various financial quantities is crucial for success in quantitative finance. It also helps make better choices when buying an insurance policy or stock options.
The teaching staff consists of professors highly qualified in financial mathematics who have also done extensive research and have international experience. Visiting international lecturers will deliver some of the courses of the programme.
Listen to an Actuarial and Financial Engineering student talk about the programme and his life in Tartu during the Online Open Doors Day 2022.
The master's programme provides knowledge of classical and modern financial and insurance mathematics methods and follows the guidelines specified in the Education Syllabus of the International Actuarial Association.
Graduates of the programme have established themselves as valued specialists in banks and insurance companies worldwide, including Wall Street.
An Actuarial and Financial Engineering programme graduate:
- has acquired knowledge of basic models and methods of financial and insurance mathematics and applies them to solving practical problems;
- can create probabilistic and statistical models for quantitative analysis of random phenomena in the financial industry;
- has a firm knowledge of principles and methods of life and non-life insurance, including reinsurance, and can perform basic calculations related to premiums and reserves;
- knows the main principles of pricing and hedging of options, can calculate prices of standard options under basic market models;
- if desired, gets international experience via semester or traineeship abroad;
- has obtained skills for conducting research and practical work on the speciality, links theory and practice and has improved their communication skills.
- Watch Alumni Talks: Quantitative modelling of cybersecurity risk by Joseph Haske (MSc in Actuarial and Financial Engineering)
- Watch the programme director talk about the master's programme in Actuarial and Financial Engineering and the discussion round of master's students in the economics and mathematics field during the Online Open Doors Week 2022.
- Get to know the Faculty of Science and Technology.
The Actuarial and Financial Engineering programme comprises the following subjects worth 120 ECTS:
- Preparatory module (21 ECTS) - fortifies background in probability and statistics
- Speciality module (33 ECTS) - core subjects
- Elective module (30 ECTS) – additional and remedial courses, including practice
- Optional courses (6 ECTS) – all courses available at the university
- Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
Upon completing the programme, students will receive a Master of Science (Actuarial and Financial Engineering) (MSc) degree.
The following structure of the programme applies to the current academic year. To view the most updated version, please visit the University of Tartu Study Information System and choose the next academic year (if available).
University of Tartu Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
The University of Tartu Institute of Mathematics and Statistics is part of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Tartu. The institute's priority is to ensure mathematicians and statisticians are represented in Estonia in the future. The institute is active in research and open to collaborating with fellow institutes and universities.
The studies take place at the University of Tartu Delta Centre. Opened in 2020, the Delta Centre comprises academic and research and entrepreneurship buildings and brings together more than 3000 students, lecturers, researchers, and company development employees.
The academic and research building accommodates the Institute of Computer Sciences, the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and some laboratories of the Institute of Technology.
University of Tartu Delta Centre tour
The Actuarial and Financial Engineering programme prepares students for professional opportunities or further doctoral studies. The programme provides knowledge, practical skills and competence needed to succeed in careers at banks, insurance companies, consulting, financial utilities and financial supervisory authorities.
Our graduates are welcome at:
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Insurance companies
- Financial and analytical departments of various companies
- Academic career and doctoral studies
Examples of positions our graduates are/have been holding:
- Actuary at ERGO Insurance SE
- Data Analyst at Energy Sales Department in Eesti Energia
- Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at BigBank AS
- Statistical Programmer at StatFinn Oy
- Statistical Data Analyst at STACC
- Senior Scoring Risk Analyst at 4finance AS (Latvia)
- Software Engineer at Facebook
- Pricing Actuary at Swedbank P&C Insurance AS
- Specialist at Agricultural Registers and Information Board
- Financial Director at E.Gulbja Laboratorija (Latvia)
- Doctoral students at different universities
I am currently an analyst and Business Intelligence consultant in ScandicFusion, helping (mostly insurers) to structurise data and build a data structure for business analysis. Before starting my studies in Actuarial and Financial Engineering, I worked as an analyst and risk underwriter in an insurance company. My interest in insurance was one of the primary motivators to look for additional education possibilities in a related field.
Studies in Actuarial and Financial Engineering cover many areas, helping to grasp main concepts in mandatory courses and allowing you to follow the path that seems interesting for each student - insurance, finance, algorithms, economics, mathematics, or others. Academical knowledge gained during studies is supplemented with a general mindset and expertise to succeed in any position that requires analytical, logical, detail-oriented, and technical skills. The teaching and technical staff are professional and helpful, always providing sufficient information about the course, study process, and everyday life in Tartu (especially at the beginning of studies, to get settled in).
The most valuable is broad experience gained during my studies because studies only give you some basic tools and skills to start your journey. Still, the challenges and experience are what makes you a professional. I highly appreciate the opportunity to be part of the University of Tartu family, and Tartu itself is a charming city, close to my heart, and I miss it.
As for me, the main benefit of the programme of Actuarial and Financial Engineering at the University of Tartu is a perfect balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. I obtained a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and the basics of economics. Also, we had a lot of computer labs, which allowed the students to understand how to implement these bits of knowledge to solve problems from real life. Thereby I improved my skills in R, Python, and Excel.
The sphere of data analysis is rapidly developing right now, and specialists with the appropriate skills are in great demand in the labour market. Therefore, students of this program have a lot of opportunities for a successful career. In conclusion, I would say that the Actuarial and Financial Engineering programme is a great start for students who want to develop in the sphere of finances, data science, or statistics and reach high professional results in named fields.
Admission requirements for Actuarial and Financial Engineering
bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification (must be obtained by the end of July) – please see our country-specific document requirements
prerequisite courses: at least 24 ECTS completed in the previous level of studies in mathematics, incl. calculus, probability, statistics and 6 ECTS completed in computer science
English language proficiency – please see our acceptable tests and exempt categories
NB! Citizens of the Russian Federation who, under the legislation of the Republic of Estonia, cannot apply for a long-stay visa or residence permit to study or do not have a valid legal basis to stay in the Republic of Estonia until the end of the curriculum’s standard period of study are not eligible to apply to the University of Tartu in the 2023/2024 academic year.
According to the current legislation, citizens of Belarus can apply for Estonian long-term visa or temporary residence permit for studies and are therefore eligible to apply to the University of Tartu.
Applications are evaluated based on
average grade of the previous study level (yields 40% of the final score)
the score of the motivation letter (yields 60% of the final score)
The motivation letter is a part of the online application form.
Please write a brief motivation letter (in English, maximum of 6000 characters with spaces) focusing on the following points:
- Explain your motivation for applying to the programme. (Why are you interested in actuarial and financial engineering? What are your plans for the future and how would this study programme help you achieve your goals? Is this programme your first choice? If not, what is your main interest?);
- Explain how your educational and professional background relates to the programme you are applying to. (What makes you a good candidate for this programme? What have you accomplished in the past? What knowledge, skills, and experiences do you have that are relevant to this programme? Do you have a prior work experience on the related field?);
- Please tell us about your specific research interests within the field of actuarial and financial engineering. Are you more interested in financial or actuarial side? Have you considered what could be the field/topic of your Master's thesis?
- fit between the student's background and the programme (50%);
- fit between the student's goals and the programme (25%);
- clarity, argumentation skills and fluency of written English (25%).
The maximum score for motivation letter is 100 points and the result is positive only if the applicant gains 51 points or more.
Only those applicants who score 66 points or higher (out of 100) as a combined score from both the motivation letter and average grade of the previous study level, will be considered for admission.
Further information on assessing candidates´ academic performance and calculating admissions´ score.
How to apply
The following information applies to international students and Estonian students who graduated abroad:
Application system opens on 2 January and closes on 15 March. The following documents must be submitted electronically via DreamApply by 15 March:
- online application
- motivation letter
- official certified copy of the bachelor's diploma or its equivalent and Diploma Supplement (transcript) in the original language (must include description of the grading scale).
NB! Applicants graduating in the upcoming spring/summer and having their diploma and final transcript issued later than the application deadline should electronically submit their most recent official transcript by the application deadline. The transcript should be supplemented by an official statement from the issuing institution indicating current enrollment and expected graduation date. Admitted candidates are required to post certified copies of their graduation documents as soon as these have been issued (must reach us no later than by the end of July).
- official translation of the bachelor’s diploma and Diploma Supplement (transcript) into English, translation certified
- proof of English language proficiency
- copy of the passport page stating the applicant’s personal particulars
- confirmation/receipt of application fee payment (if applicable). All international applicants are required to pay the application fee EUR 100, unless they have completed the previous study level in Estonia. An application will only be processed after the fee has been received by the UT.
Submitted applications can not be edited. It is only possible to upload new documents (e.g. graduation certificates). Applicants will receive feedback and notifications through the DreamApply system to their e-mail. Incomplete applications or those submitted by e-mail will not be considered for admission.
The evaluation of applications will be made based on the electronic copies added to DreamApply. A general ranking list will be formed based on the electronically submitted applications and admission results (including offers) will be announced to all applicants personally via DreamApply by May 15 at the latest. Admitted candidates are expected to accept or decline the offer in DreamApply in 7 days. If the decision is not communicated to UT via DreamApply by the stipulated deadline, UT reserves the right to withdraw the admission offer.
NB! It is not possible to postpone the beginning of studies to the next academic year.
Terms and conditions of the admission offer
Admission offers are conditional. This means that there are conditions in the offer which the applicant needs to fulfil in order to be admitted (e.g. sending application documents by post; obtaining the required level of education). If the conditions are not met, UT has the right to withdraw the offer. Also, UT reserves the right to withdraw or amend any offer or revoke the matriculation of a student, if it becomes evident that the application contains fraudulent information, the qualification does not provide access to the chosen study programme or the student is found to have omitted key information from the application. Should such circumstances occur, UT will not be liable for any material or immaterial loss which the student may suffer as a result.
Once the admission results have been announced, all admitted students are required to send the application documents by post to: Student Admissions, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18-133, Tartu 50090, ESTONIA.
The documents are expected to be mailed only by those receiving the admission offer (unless instructed otherwise by the admissions staff). The documents must reach the university within 3 weeks from the announcement of the offer. If the application documents do not reach us by the deadline, the university has the right to withdraw the admission offer. Applicants will be informed when their documents have arrived.
Requirements for educational documents
All copies of educational documents (diplomas and Diploma Supplements/transcripts) must be officially certified. By certified we mean that the copies should bear an original signature and seal of the authority certifying that these are true copies of the original document(s). The copies can be certified either 1) by an authorised official of the issuing institution, or 2) by a notary, or 3) with an Apostille attached. NB! Country-specific requirements may also specify the way documents from certain countries must be certified.
Please note that UT does not accept simple copies made on the basis of already certified copies (primary copies are needed).
All admitted students are required to present their original qualification certificates upon arrival (unless these were sent directly from the issuing institution).
Paying the tuition fee (applicable to those receiving a fee-based study place offer)
- EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are required to pay the fee for the first semester once they arrive in Tartu (by 20 September at the latest after signing the fee contract, please read more here).
- Admitted students from other countries are required to pre-pay half of the first semester's tuition fee. The invoice along with the pre-payment deadline and payment details will be sent to applicants via DreamApply after they have accepted the admissions offer and the University has received the hard copies of the application documents. Second part of the fee is due on 20 September. NB! The official admission letter (necessary for visa application) will only be issued once the University of Tartu has received the pre-payment.
- NB! Once you have been offered a fee-based study place, be aware that it will not be changed into a fee waiver study place. By transferring the pre-payment to the university, you confirm that you have informed yourself about the process of the visa and temporary residence permit application and you are able to arrive in Estonia by the start of the academic year. If you have any questions please contact email@example.com.
The official admission letter will be sent to admitted students electronically via DreamApply only after the admissions office has received and reviewed hard copies of the application documents, and received the tuition fee pre-payment (if a pre-payment was required, please see step 3 for more details).
NB! The electronic admission letter is also sufficient for non-EU students for applying for visa/residence permit at an Estonian embassy.
Once the admission letter is issued, accepted students may proceed further with arranging their arrival. All non-EU students should first consult information on the process of visa and temporary residence permit application to be sure, as where and when the relevant documents need to be applied. Note that housing at the UT dormitories can be applied during a limited period of time, unless specified otherwise on the website. For housing alternatives please find further information on Tartu Welcome Centre website.
Travel information can be found here.
Based upon common queries, the most important information has been summarised into a pre-arrival information website UT Getting Started.
Estonian applicants should apply via National Admission Information Systems (SAIS). Further information in Estonian is available here.