PhD Actuarial Science
There's a robust research environment at Kent in the fields of Finance and Actuarial Science. Areas of research include financial modelling and estimation, quantification of diversification benefits, quantifying financial risks, and derivatives pricing.
There's an active seminar programme involving a wide range of speakers and members of the PhD community regularly attend/present their work at leading conferences and institutes.
The PhD in Actuarial Science offers the opportunity to begin or consolidate your research career under the guidance of internationally renowned researchers and professionals in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS). The School has a strong reputation for world-class research and a well-established system of support and training, with a high level of contact between staff and research students. The Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment (CASRI) was recently set up within SMSAS to reflect the widening scope of the teaching and research of the staff. Areas of research interest include economic capital and risk management for financial services firms, mortality and longevity modelling, longevity indices and markets. Other research topics include genetics and insurance, insurance economics, pensions and corporate reporting.
The PhD in Actuarial Science offers the opportunity to begin or consolidate your research career under the guidance of internationally renowned researchers and professionals at SMSAS. The School has a strong reputation for world-class research and a well-established system of support and training, with a high level of contact between staff and research students.
Areas of interest include economic capital and risk management for financial services firms, and all areas of mortality and longevity research. Other research topics in the School include genetics and insurance, insurance economics, pensions and corporate reporting.
Genetics and insurance risk
Advances in human genetics, and medical sciences in general, have led to many gene discoveries; a number of single-gene disorders have been successfully identified and studied in detail. Researchers are now increasingly focusing on common multifactorial genetic disorders such as cancer, heart attack and stroke, caused by interaction of genes and environmental factors. It is important for the insurance industry to understand the full implications of these latest developments. First, can an insurer justify charging different premium rates to different risk groups? Second, if insurers are not allowed to discriminate between individuals based on their genes, by regulation or by law, is there a risk of adverse selection?
From a public policy perspective, regulators and governments face the dilemma of whether to regulate against genetic underwriting or to allow market economies to take their own course. On one hand, there is a moral obligation not to discriminate against individuals for their genetic make-up. On the other hand, risk of adverse selection against insurance firms cannot be ruled out altogether. Maintaining an appropriate balance between the two is key.
Economic capital and financial risk management
Financial services firms are in the business of accepting risks on behalf of their customers. Customers do not always have the time or expertise to handle financial risks on their own, so they pass these on to financial services firms. However, even the most reputable firms can sometimes get it wrong, so it is fundamentally important for all stakeholders that financial services firms hold an appropriate amount of capital calculated on a robust scientific basis, to back the risks they are running. Economic capital can provide answers by specifying a unifying approach to calculating risk-based capital for any firm in the financial services sector.
As a guide only, the 2014/15 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
Actuarial Science - PhD at Canterbury:
Full-time: £3996 UK/EU; £12450 Overseas
Part-time: £1998 UK/EU; £6240 Overseas
- Subject area: Actuarial Science
- Award: PhD
- Course type: Research
- Location: Canterbury
- Mode of study: Full-time or part-time
- Attendance mode: Campus
- Duration: Three to four years full-time, five to six years part-time
- Start: September
- Accredited by: Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
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