- Class Number 6990
- Term Code 3360
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- AsPr Adam Butt
- AsPr Adam Butt
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 24/07/2023
- Class End Date 27/10/2023
- Census Date 31/08/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
This course provides a simplified model for solving actuarial problems in practice. Sample actuarial problems are examined in detail, with solutions being developed using Excel and Visual Basic. These solutions are then reported to the stakeholders of the problem. The aim of this course is to develop actuarial capabilities beyond the technical foundations taught in other actuarial courses.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Critically analyse actuarial problems in a variety of challenging contexts.
- Identify the key factors that need to be allowed for in solving actuarial problems.
- Use computer-based tools to assist in solving complex actuarial problems.
- Communicate in writing detailed results of the solution to an actuarial problem to a variety of stakeholders.
The majority of the content in this course is taught using a “problem-based learning” (PBL) approach. Under a PBL approach, learning is experienced in the consideration of detailed problems that students are required to solve, with students being required to do their own research in solving the problems. Hence the structure of classes may be different from what you have experienced in other courses. The expected benefits to students of PBL are increased engagement and autonomy of learning experience. The course is deliberately structured in this way to prepare students for work and/or future study that will require these problem solving skills.
Examination Material or equipment
The final exam will be held on campus in a computer laboratory. See Wattle for up to date information on exams.
All basic course materials will be available on Wattle. Students will be required to print these out themselves if they want a hard copy of them.
The use of Excel, R and Word is required for the completion of all assessment in this course. You are assumed to have experience in Excel, R and Word from previous courses in your actuarial degree. Excel, R and Word may be used on campus or on the students’ personal computers or laptops. Excel and Word are available for free to ANU students through Microsoft Office 365. R and its user interface R Studio are as freely available at the links provided.
ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Whole of class feedback in-class and via discussion forums
- Individual and group discussions in-class and online
- Direct feedback by group consultants to groups
- Written comments and in-class discussion on assignment submissions
- Sample solutions and in-class discussion for examinations
- Individual meetings with the course convenor in consultation and/or as organised by students
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.
Each lesson is attached to a timetabled class. Lesson material is available on Wattle. The structure of timetabled classes will be advised to students on Wattle. It is essential that students read these instructions, and undertake work required before timetabled classes, to ensure they are adequately prepared for class.
Group Work and Group Allocation
Many of the problems considered in this course (including Assignment 1 and Assignment 2) will be done by groups. This is done for two reasons. One reason is to provide a simplified replica of a team environment in order to provide students with some preparation for a likely upcoming transition to work. For this reason groups of 4-5 students will be allocated randomly before the first class. After the completion of Assignment 1, new groups will be allocated for the completion of Assignment 2.
The second reason for using group work is to enable the consideration of problems too large for individuals to have time for. The two assignments that are the centrepieces of this course are designed to be unstructured and realistic, although simple enough for groups to have the ability to attempt.
Groups will be provided with significant training on techniques for effective group work. An additional workshop in Week 1 or 2 has been prepared to provide the majority of this training. A variety of times for this workshop are available; groups will be required to sign up to this workshop on Wattle. Further information will be provided in class and on Wattle.
Each group will be allocated a group consultant, whose role it is to provide guidance to groups during the course. Details on the group consultant allocated to each group will be placed on Wattle shortly after the groups have been allocated. Further details on the role of the group consultant have been placed on Wattle.
General information for actuarial students
A generic Wattle site has been created for actuarial students called “Actuarial Students’ News and Information”. The purpose of this page is to provide actuarial students with up to date news on the actuarial profession, requirements for qualification, job opportunities and any other relevant information. To access it, login to Wattle and in the “Search Courses” box at the bottom of the page search for “Actuarial”. Then find the link to the “Actuarial Students’ News and Information” page and click on it, selecting “Yes” to enrol in the course. You will remain enrolled in the site for the remainder of your degree at ANU.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Lesson 1.1Group AllocationsCourse IntroductionElements of Actuarial Problem SolvingLesson 1.2Cash Flow Modelling|
|2||Lesson 1.3Project Scoping (Assignment 1)Lesson 1.4Designing Excel Workbooks|
|3||Lesson 1.5Setting Assumptions (deterministic)Lesson 1.6Communication of Results||Group Rules & Project Plan 1 due|
|4||Preparing for Assignment 1|
|5||Preparing for Assignment 1|
|6||Preparing for Assignment 1Lesson 1.7Review of Assignment 1Presentation Preparation||Assignment 1 due|
|7||Preparing for Mid-semester examLesson 2.1Group Re-allocationsStochastic Cash Flow Modelling||Presentation due|
|8||Lesson 2.2Scoping Assignment 2Lesson 2.3Stochastic Assumption Setting for Economic Variables|
|9||Lesson 2.4Stochastic Assumption Setting for Demographic VariablesLesson 2.5Analysis and Reporting of Output from Stochastic Cash Flow Models||Group Rules & Project Plan 2 due|
|10||Preparing for Assignment 2|
|11||Preparing for Assignment 2|
|12||Preparing for Assignment 2Lesson 2.6Review of Assignment 2Exam Preparation||Assignment 2 due|
There are no regular tutorials for this course. See information on Wattle for how the class is structured.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Group Rules, Project Plan and Compulsory Group Consultant Meeting - Assignment 1||0 %||07/08/2023||07/08/2023||1,2|
|Assignment 1||25 %||31/08/2023||22/09/2023||1,2,3,4|
|Group Rules, Project Plan and Compulsory Group Consultant Meeting - Assignment 2||0 %||02/10/2023||02/10/2023||1,2|
|Assignment 2||25 %||26/10/2023||17/11/2023||1,2,3,4|
|Final exam||35 %||02/11/2023||30/11/2023||3,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Lectures will be held live and recorded on Echo360. Consultation sessions will be held in the lecturer's office, Room 3.49 of CBE Building 26C. Students are welcome to request an in-person or Zoom consultation outside of regular consultation hours.
Centrally scheduled examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due dates for examinations are the earliest possible dates exams could be held. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Group Rules, Project Plan and Compulsory Group Consultant Meeting - Assignment 1
Groups are required to upload their group rules and project plan for Assignment 1 to Wattle and present their project plan to their group consultant in a compulsory meeting to be held online sometime in Week 3 or 4 of the semester. The structure of the group rules will be discussed in Lesson 1.1 and the structure of the project plan will be discussed in Lesson 1.3. Details on how to sign up for the compulsory meeting will be placed on Wattle no later than the end of Week 2. Group consultants will provide feedback on the project plan in the compulsory meeting.
The due date in this Class Summary is the date when the group rules and project plan must be uploaded by (before 5pm). Compulsory group consultant meetings will be held sometime in Week 3 or 4 of the semester.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Assignment 1 will be completed in groups and will require groups to perform an actuarial function (deterministic) for a stakeholder and report the results to the stakeholder. Further information about Assignment 1 will be provided on Wattle. Assignments are submitted using the course Wattle site. Further information about assignment submission will be provided in the assignment description on Wattle, which will be available on the Monday of Week 1 at the latest.
All students will be required to complete a post-assignment survey, describing the work done by all group members, as part of completing Assignment 1. The course convener will use the results of this survey to assist in determining individual marks for Assignment 1. Further information on this process is found in the assignment description on Wattle.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 3,4
The Presentation will be completed individually, and will require students to deliver the report completed by their group for Assignment 1 in the form of a recorded presentation of no longer than 10 minutes. Further information will be provided to students in Lesson 1.7.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Group Rules, Project Plan and Compulsory Group Consultant Meeting - Assignment 2
Groups are required to upload their group rules and project plan for Assignment 2 to Wattle and present their project plan to their group consultant in a compulsory meeting to be held online sometime in Week 9 or 10 of the semester. The structure of the group rules will be discussed in Lesson 1.1 and the structure of the project plan will be discussed in Lesson 1.3. Details on how to sign up for the compulsory meeting will be placed on Wattle no later than the end of Week 8. Group consultants will provide feedback on the project plan in the compulsory meeting.
The due date in this Class Summary is the date when the group rules and project plan must be uploaded by (before 5pm). Compulsory group consultant meetings will be held sometime in Week 9 or 10 of the semester.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Assignment 2 will be completed in groups (a different group to Assignment 1) and will require groups to perform an actuarial function (stochastic) for a stakeholder and report the results to the stakeholder. Further information about Assignment 2 will be provided in Wattle. Assignments are submitted using the course Wattle site. Further information about assignment submission will be provided in the assignment description on Wattle, which will be available on the Monday of Week 7 at the latest.
All students will be required to complete a post-assignment survey, describing the work done by all group members, as part of completing Assignment 2. The course convener will use the results of this survey to assist in determining individual marks for Assignment 2. Further information on this process is found in the assignment description on Wattle.
Assessment Task 6
Learning Outcomes: 3,4
The final exam is an extension of Assignment 2, but will be completed on an individual basis, giving individuals the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in Assignment 2 and the course. The exam is to be held on campus in a computer laboratory and will be 2 hours in length with no reading time. Further information will be provided to students in Lesson 2.6.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.
The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.
The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.
The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.
Group rules and project plan submission will consist of Word and/or Excel files uploaded to Wattle to the relevant Assignment activity.
Assignment submission will consist of an Excel workbook, R code (for Assignment 2 only) and a Word report uploaded to Wattle to the relevant Assignment activity, whilst the Word report will also be uploaded to a TurnitIn Assignment activity.
For the group rules, project plans and assignments, groups will upload the submission(s) once, although all individuals in a group will be required to click on the “submit” button for the relevant Assignment activity in Wattle. For assignments, one member of the group is required to upload the Word file separately to a TurnitIn activity as TurnitIn does not offer group assignment submission functionality. Note that uploading these files to Wattle implies that your group has worked only together and not with other groups, and have abided by the principles of academic integrity.
Presentation submission will consist of uploading a link to the recorded presentation to the relevant Assignment activity.
Exam submission will consist of an Excel workbook and a Word report uploaded to the relevant Assignment activity.
All assessment submission in the course is online (see above).
No submission of assignments without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assignment is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.
Assignments will be returned by Wattle post to the group forum of each group.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
No resubmission of assignments is permitted.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Access and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents all ANU students
My research interests include individual decisions in relation to retirement and actuarial education. See my staff profile webpage for more information.
AsPr Adam Butt