The Actuarial Studies PhD program typically takes between three and four years of full-time research to complete. A part-time equivalent, over a longer period of time, is also an option.
The minimum academic requirement for consideration for admission to the Actuarial Studies Doctor of Philosophy program is completion of at least a four-year Australian degree or equivalent with a result of first class honours or upper second class honours, or another qualification (that is equivalent or superior to such a degree) as the Delegated Authority determines.
All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.
Admission is competitive and only a limited number of students are admitted to the PhD program each year. Meeting the minimum entry requirements will make you eligible for consideration but does not guarantee a place within the program.
In addition to previous studies, there are other admission criteria that applicants must satisfy (e.g., quality of research proposal, referee reports,etc.). As part of the application, applicants are required to submit a research proposal. This should be between 2 and 4 pages long including key references. The research proposal should outline your proposed area of research, the questions that you are planning to address, and the proposed methodology or research methods that you believe will be needed to undertake the research.
In addition to the standard information required in the online application, please note the following:
- Applicants are required to prepare a one-page statement of purpose. Include within this a description of your strengths, weaknesses, career goal(s) and anything else you feel is relevant for consideration.
- Short-listed applicants may be required to have a Skype interview (or similar).
You should also identify one or two academic staff in RSFAS as potential supervisors, whose research interests are close to your own. Contacting the potential supervisors directly is not required for the Actuarial Studies PhD program. You need to indicate the name(s) of potential supervisors on your application form, and RSFAS will assess and assign a suitable supervisor if your application for admission is successful.
After your application and all its supporting documents (including referee reports) are received by the Admissions Office, your file will be forwarded to the RSFAS Deputy Director (Higher Degree Research). Since admission is competitive and supervisory capacity is limited, offers of admission will not be issued until after the relevant application deadlines.
The first semester of the ANU academic year starts in February. In general, all applications for entry in the first semester of the following year must be submitted before 31 October. In addition, international students wishing to be considered for an ANU scholarship should submit their applications before 31 August. In order for an application to be considered, all supporting documents must be received by the ANU before the respective application deadlines.
If you do not satisfy the admission requirements, you may choose to apply for admission to the MPhil program offered by RSFAS before applying for admission to the PhD program.
PhD program structure
Candidates in the Actuarial Studies PhD may be required to complete up to six semester-length courses during the first year of the program. Required coursework must be completed to a satisfactory level in order for candidates to progress to the thesis component. The specific coursework requirements will depend on each candidate’s background, and the courses will be chosen in consultation with the PhD Convenor and the candidate’s Chair of Panel.
Courses may be chosen from a wide range of graduate level courses in actuarial studies, statistics, finance, or suitable advanced courses from other disciplines.
Courses offered within RSFAS include (but are not limited to) the following:
- ACST8040 Control Cycle A1
- ACST8041 Control Cycle A2
- ACST8033 Control Cycle B
- ACST8060 Enterprise Risk Management 1
- ACST8061 Enterprise Risk Management 2
- FINM8006 Advanced Investments
- STAT7016 Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis
- STAT7017 Big Data Statistics
- STAT7018 Stochastic Modelling
- STAT7030 Generalised Linear Models
- STAT7040 Statistical Learning
- STAT8002 Applied Time Series Analysis
- STAT8003 Biostatistics
- STAT8036 Credibility Theory
When a PhD candidate is admitted to the program, a provisional supervisor is appointed. The provisional supervisor has the responsibility of overseeing the student’s candidature until a supervisory panel is chosen.
During the first year, it is important that candidates start developing their research topic ideas through consultation with their provisional supervisor and other academic staff within RSFAS.
Either in their first year of study, or soon after completion of their coursework, a supervisory panel will be chosen. The role of the panel is to assist, advise and provide support and encouragement to the student for a timely and successful completion. The PhD Convenor will determine the composition of the supervisory panel in consultation with the student.
It is University policy that each candidate's progress be reviewed periodically. Each year, PhD candidates are required to submit a Progress Report/Annual Plan, which summarises progress and identifies any difficulties or changes to the previous research plan and outlines the intended research to be undertaken over the next twelve months. The Progress Report and the Annual Plan form the basis for the Annual Review.
In addition to these, either late in the first year or during the second year, candidates must submit a Thesis Proposal for review (TPR) by the supervisory panel and present their TPR as a seminar to the School. The Thesis Proposal includes a description of the research to be undertaken in the thesis, and a summary of the structure of the thesis and its time plan. The purpose of the TPR is to assess the originality, significance, adequacy and achievability of the candidate's thesis plan. Successful completion of the TPR is required to continue in the program.
In their final year, candidates are required to give a final presentation (Oral Presentation) that is usually held three months before thesis submission.
Please see Research Student Milestones for further details.
Research Integrity Training
PhD candidates are also required to undertake Research Integrity Training (RIT). This training program has been developed by the ANU Office of Research Integrity and needs to be completed whenever it is on offer in the first year following commencement.
Thesis Submission and Examination
Information on the process of thesis submission and examination can be found here: Submitting a thesis.