Projects in the Mathematics of Life Insurance

Course content

Selection of topics in the mathematics of life insurance with an emphasis on research of the present millennium. Topics could include but are not limited to: multi-state modeling with a focus on disability insurance, estimation and valuation in Markov, semi-Markov, and non-Markov models, policyholder behavior, and market consistent valuation.


In the first three weeks, the students are introduced to interconnected research areas and topical research questions in actuarial science. In the following five weeks, they work (under supervision and in groups) on their own projects related to say an open problem in one of these areas. The group project has to be handed in to attend the exam. The exam is individual and consists of an oral defense of the project and a general discussion regarding the content of the course.


MSc Programme in Actuarial Mathematics
MSc Programme in Mathematics-Economics

Learning outcome


  • In-depth understanding of selected topics in the mathematics of life insurance.
  • Basic insight into the mathematics of life insurance as a research field, including recent trends.



  • Formulate practical problems from life insurance within mathematical-theoretical frameworks.
  • Summarize, orally as well as in writing, key aspects of an actuarial research paper.



  • Read and reflect on actuarial research papers.
  • Conduct small, partly independent, research-based projects in the mathematics of life insurance.


In addition to the skills and competences listed above, additional skills and competences are developed depending on the selection of topics and the specific and project work of the students.

First three weeks: Six hours of lectures per week.

Beginning at the end of week three and until the end of week seven: An hour of group supervision per week.

The course material will mainly consist of research papers from actuarial journals, which are made available on Absalon.

Stochastic Processes in Life Insurance (LivStok) and Topics in Life Insurance (Liv2).

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

The students will receive continuous formative feedback in groups on their project work in the supervision sessions of weeks 3 till 7.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
Type of assessment details
The mandatory group project forms the basis for the oral examination.
The oral exam is without preparation time.
Exam registration requirements

The students must write and hand in the mandatory group project to participate in the oral exam.

Only certain aids allowed

The student can bring their group project for the examination.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Same as the ordinary exam, but the student is allowed to hand in a new version of the project no later than three weeks before the beginning of the re-exam week. If the mandatory group project has not been handed in before the ordinary exam, it must be handed in no later than three weeks before the beginning of the re-exam week to attend the exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

The student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that they have mastered the learning outcome of the course.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 18
  • Preparation
  • 82
  • Project work
  • 100
  • Guidance
  • 5
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Mathematics and Computer Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Mathematical Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Christian Furrer   (6-6f7e7b7b6e7b49766a7d7137747e376d74)

Lecturers from academia and industry.

Saved on the 28-02-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students