ACST8031 is offered via classes on campus (Macquarie University) which are recorded and distributed online for students all over the world. Students share lecture classes and a common teaching website with the units ACST4002 and ACST7031.
Style of classes
We believe that the best way we can help you to master the Actuarial Control Cycle subject is not by giving traditional lectures where your role is basically to listen, think and take notes. We have planned the face-to-face classes to be like workshops: a mixture of short "micropresentations", small group work, discussions involving the whole class, and individual activities.
Most weeks, we will ask you to do some preparatory work - reading, research, writing or just thinking. If you want to get the most out of the classes, do the preparation, and get involved in the classroom work.
Downloadable lecture recordings
In all weeks, standard recordings of campus lectures using the University's lecture recording facility (ECHO360) will be available. The recordings capture audio and screenshot. Since the classes in this unit are not traditional lectures but contain periods of group discussion, the recordings will contain some stretches of background noise which you will need to fast forward through. To access the recordings for all weeks, click on the ECHO360 link on the right hand side of the webpage, then select the relevant lecture recording date, then click Play.
The timetable for classes can be found on the Macquarie University website at: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au
Alterations to the class times or locations will be advised in class and on the teaching website.
Simon Guthrie is the unit convenor and will be taking four weeks of classes including supervising presentations. Simon can be contacted via Dialogue on the website, or during his consultation hours.
Bruce Edwards will be conducting other classes and supervision of presentations. Bruce is an industry practitioner with a wide range of knowledge across many areas in which actuaries practice. Outside of classes, the forum for interaction with Bruce will be the website Discussion forums.
Hong Xie is the teaching administrator, and can deal with any administrative queries related to the unit. Hong can be contacted via Dialogue on the website.
We assume from the start of the Actuarial Control Cycle that you have acquired the knowledge and skills in subjects CT1 to CT8 of Part I of the Actuaries Institute education program.
Required and recommended texts and materials
There is one textbook for this unit, referred to here and elsewhere as UAM: Bellis, C., Lyon, R., Klugman, S and Shepherd, J. (2010). Understanding Actuarial Management: The Actuarial Control Cycle, 2nd edition, Institute of Actuaries of Australia. The textbook can be purchased from the Actuaries Institute, at: http://www.actuaries.asn.au/knowledge-bank/book-shop?id=8
You should buy the book immediately, if you haven't already, as assessment tasks based on the book are due at the beginning of the second week of classes. Other useful articles will be set out at the beginning of each Learning Guide, and made available on the teaching website.
There is a Learning Guide for each section of work. You should read the Learning Guide in advance of the lectures, and bring a copy with you to classes.
Technology Used and Required
In this unit, you will need to have access to and to be able to use software to produce overhead slides, .pdf documents, and word-processing software to produce reports.
Course material is available on the online learning management system (iLearn). The teaching website is integral to this unit. Passive involvement in this unit greatly reduces the likelihood of achieving the exemption standard of understanding. Interaction with other students and with teachers is very important, and the website is the forum for that interaction. You will need to be accessing the website regularly to see announcements, read postings and stay informed - at least every couple of days. This is your responsibility and we cannot make any allowances for students who miss important information due to not checking the website regularly. The website entry page is at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au
Teaching and Learning Activities
The unit is taught as set out in the Classes section. The Unit Schedule sets out the assessment and the topics covered in each week of the semester.
The Macquarie University units ACST4002/7031/8031 (Control Cycle 1) and ACST4003/7032/8032 (Control Cycle 2) together will satisfy the requirements for exemption from the Actuarial Control Cycle subject of the Actuary program of the Actuaries Institute. You will be recommended for exemption if you attain grades of Credit or better in these two units. If you attain a Pass in one of these units, then the exemption will be recommended if and only if a Standardised Numerical Grade (SNG) of at least 60 is achieved in both units, and the average SNG is at least 65. For students who have completed part of Actuarial Control Cycle at a different university, each case is considered individually based on the exemption requirements at those universities. It is the responsibility of the student to apply to Macquarie University to recommend them to the Actuaries Institute for professional exemptions. For information about this process please contact Hong Xie via iLearn.