STAT20190 Professional ethics

Academic Year 2024/2025

Ethics is the foundation of professionalism. A professional body creates a degree of monopoly power for members in return for the creation and maintenance of professional standards and a consideration of the public interest. Implicit in this is an obligation for both ethical behaviour and ethical education of members. The existence, strength and prosperity of a professional body are predicated on its ethical behaviour.

At its simplest ethics means “the best way to live”. Ethical behaviour is not just about creating better outcomes but it also creates a market where those outcomes can be appropriately rewarded. It is about behaviour that is good for both the professional and for society at large.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

To be able to differentiate between a narrative and an analysis
To create a narrative useful for a professional actuary, including the relevant stakeholders and external environment
To be able to judge the quality of a narrative, including being able to engage a problem at a narrative rather than just an analytical level
To be able to differentiate character
To be able to assess ethical dilemmas
To know when an actuary needs to blow the whistle and how best to do so.
-To become familiar with the main areas in which an actuary is likely to face ethical dilemmas and the types of actions that would be expected on them in each case.

Indicative Module Content:

The main components to this module are:
- The principle of “Know Yourself”,
- The concept of the narrative (narratives either dominate and limit analyses or they facilitate and empower them – understanding narratives is essential to apply analyses in the real world in a powerful manner),
- Understanding character,
- Resolving ethical dilemmas, including the typical dilemmas faced by actuaries
- Whistleblowing,
- The concept of risk is covered in a manner to aid how risk analytics covered in other modules can be used in more powerful ways,
- Leadership, politics, and rhetoric.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be based on classical education - drawing out from within - rather than the modern educational approach of filling the student with learning.

The module adheres to W. B. Yeats' view that education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.