Universitat de Barcelona

Actuarial and Financial Sciences


An actuary is an expert in financial, demographic and insurance risk assessment, with a solid technical background in mathematics, statistics, economics and law. The master's degree in Financial and Actuarial Sciences provides the multidisciplinary training required to work as an actuary in compliance with international standards. The programme covers the Core Syllabus requirements for actuarial training established by the International Actuarial Association and the Actuarial Association of Europe
The master's degree is structured along the same lines as the most renowned university programmes in actuarial training in Europe and meets the professional requirements of the insurance and finance sectors (insurance, social welfare systems, financial tools and markets, and the assessment and management of associated risks). Therefore it also meets the training demands set out in the EU Solvency II Directive.

The course consists of 90 core credits plus 30 credits of face-to-face bridging courses. The bridging courses are subjects from the specialization in Finance and Insurance of the UB bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management.

Learning objectives

The master's degree in Financial and Actuarial Sciences is firmly focused on the job market. As such, its main objective is to offer future actuaries high-quality, multidisciplinary training that will equip them for successful national and international careers.

The solid technical training provided, particularly in the specialization in Advanced Financial and Actuarial Models, will also enable graduates to access doctoral studies.

The programme seeks to facilitate student exchange and professional mobility across borders, thanks to compliance with the Core Syllabus requirements.

Students may choose from two specializations. The first, Applied Financial and Actuarial Models, taught in Spanish, aims to broaden their knowledge of the application and interpretation professional financial and insurance methods and techniques. The second, Advanced Financial and Actuarial Models, taught in English, introduces students to research and builds independent problem-solving and decision-making skills in the areas of finance and insurance. It is suitable preparation for further study at doctoral level.

Basic Information

Number of ECTS credits awarded:
Language(s) of instruction:

  1. First year: Spanish
  2. Second year:
    • Spanish (Applied specialization )
    • English (Advanced specialization )

Number of places available:
Approximate price:
 46,11 euros per credit ( 82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2020-2021
Faculty or school:
  Faculty of Economics and Business
Master's degree course homepage:
  Master's degree course homepage

Recommended applicant profile

Students should have a solid grounding in economics and finance (graduates in business administration and management, economics or similar studies) and students with training in statistics and mathematics (fundamentally, graduates in statistics, mathematics, physics and engineering).

Good knowledge of computer tools and applications is strongly recommended.

Admission requirements

In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/29 October 2007, students must hold one of the following qualifications to access university master's degree courses:

  • An official Spanish degree.
  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
  • A qualification from outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, the qualification should be recognized as equivalent to an official Spanish degree. If it is not recognized, the University of Barcelona shall verify that it corresponds to a level of education that is equivalent to official Spanish degrees and that it authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements

The master's degree committee will appoint a selection committee to assess each application and determine whether the candidate's profile is suitable for admission, whether additional training is required, or whether the application should be rejected.

To access the master's degree, students must accredit knowledge corresponding to the content of five 6-credit subjects from the specialization in Finance and Insurance of the UB's bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management. These subjects, which are used as bridging courses for those students without the necessary prior training, are:
- Principles of Insurance
- Statistics for Statistics
- Mathematics for Accounting
- Quantitative Methods in Financial Valuation
- Public Welfare Plans

Students who are required to take bridging courses may do so during the standard teaching period for the master's degree. They must be completed before students can apply for the issue of the master's degree certificate.

Skills and competences

Basic and General Competences

  • Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.

  • Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of studies.

  • Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.

  • Capacity to communicate knowledge and conclusions and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.

  • Learning abilities that facilitate self-directed and independent learning.

  • Capacity for effective public speaking.


    Specific competences


  • Capacity to apply mathematical and statistical techniques to actuarial and financial modelling.

  • Capacity to apply probability distribution models related to the behaviour of certain economic, financial and actuarial phenomena.

  • Capacity to analyse, design and assess actuarial and financial products.

  • Capacity to design risk and insurance models using statistical and mathematical tools.

  • Capacity to classify and measure actuarial, financial and investment risks, and to take related decisions.

  • Capacity to understand the specific business, legal and accounting conditions of insurance and financial entities.

  • Capacity to report on the situation of a financial or insurance company and make forecasts about its future, by analysing solvency and calculating capital requirement.

  • Capacity to acquire a thorough overview of actuarial and financial research.

  • Ability to act professionally in the actuarial and financial field, with a considerable degree of independence.

  • Capacity to carry out actuarial and financial calculations using specific software.


Pre-enrolment calendar

  • First period: 3 February - 3 April 2020.

    Notification of decisions: 30 April

  • Second period: 4 May - 17 July 2020.

    Notification of decisions: 28 July

  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Closed Pre-enrolment

Selection criteria

Applications from candidates who meet the general access requirements (sufficient academic qualifications to take a university master's degree at a Spanish university) will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria, weighted as shown:

  1. Academic experience acquired in previous studies: 40%.
  2. Curriculum vitae: 10%.
  3. The issuing university and its position in the QS University Rankings for Social Sciences, Tilburg Economics and ISI Ranking of Spanish universities: 10%
  4. Receipt of a grant or other funding prior to the master's degree: 10%.
  5. Statement of interest: 10%.
  6. Certification of an advanced level of English (at least level B1 or equivalent). International students from non-Spanish-speaking countries must certify an advanced level of Spanish or Catalan: 10%.
  7. Certification of previous courses on computer applications and tools: 10%.
  • Criteria for which no documentation is provided will not be scored.



Applications are considered by the admissions committee once the pre-enrolment period has closed. Once a decision has been reached, candidates are notified by the committee. Candidates may appeal against or request a review of the committee's decision up to 10 days after receiving notification.


Open Enrolment