SP0: An Alternative Specialist Principle option (Route E)

If you have completed a relevant postgraduate qualification you may be eligible to apply for an exemption from one of the IFoA’s SP examinations (SP0 exemption).

Who can apply for an SP0 exemption?

You will be eligible to apply for an SP0 exemption if you have:

  1. An MSc (stand-alone Master's Degree or Integrated Master's Degree) or Ph.D. in an actuarial, economics, or finance-related discipline and have completed a Master's Degree level thesis or dissertation in an actuarial or finance related area (Application by Thesis Dissertation), or
  2. A Master’s Degree (stand-alone or Integrated) or Doctorate in a data science, data analytics, machine learning, AI, or similarly related postgraduate degree. You will need to have completed a thesis, dissertation, or project at an appropriate level (Application by Thesis Dissertation in a subject relating to Data Science), or
  3. An MBA accredited by AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA, or appearing in the FT Global MBA rankings in the year in which you completed the programme, and have completed a dissertation, thesis or project in an actuarial or finance-related discipline (Application by MBA Programme).

You cannot apply for an SP0 exemption if you have:

  • A Master’s Degree from an IFoA accredited degree programme, which gives IFoA examination exemptions from other subjects, or
  • A Master's Degree of less than 180 credits or less than 90 ECTS (or equivalent), with your dissertation, project, or thesis normally being less than 40 credits or equivalent.
  • From the 1st August 2021, SP0 applications will not be accepted where the awarded degree is older than 5 years from the date of application.

For students with degrees from universities in India

Applications for exemptions from IFoA exams based on degrees gained from Indian universities will only be considered from students who have graduated from:

  • the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)
  • an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), or
  • an Indian Institute of Management (IIM)

The IFoA will not grant exemptions based on qualifications from any other universities in India.

Before you apply

As part of the online application process, you will be asked to upload the following documents listed below.

Application by Thesis Dissertation

You will need to show that your dissertation provides sufficient coverage of the actuarial syllabus. To do this you will need to upload the following documents:

  • Certified copy of your university transcript,
  • Certified copy of your university degree certificate,
  • A supporting letter from a Fellow of an International Actuarial Association organisation, stating how the work is done in the dissertation is of relevance to actuarial work.
  • The piece of work will score a minimum of 60% in the dissertation/project, in a relevant area. Examples include: economics, actuarial science, finance and investment, and data science-related fields
  • Submit your thesis, dissertation, or project which must be a minimum of 40 credits or equivalent of the overall award. It should be an individual piece of work which should be in excess of 8000 words and at postgraduate (level 7 or equivalent)

Application by MBA Programme

  • A certified copy of your MBA certificate, and
  • A certified copy of your MBA transcript.

Certification of documents

The person certifying the document must include the following details:

  • Full name in CAPITAL letters, position, address, and telephone number of the company/firm/practice or employer
  • Actuarial Reference Number or membership number (if applicable)
  • The date the documentation has been witnessed
  • To be written on the documentation: ‘I certify this is a true copy of the original document as seen by me

Evidence of payment

If you are making payment by bank transfer, you will also be asked to upload evidence of payment of the total cost of your exemption fees.

You can find the cost of applying for IFoA examination exemptions listed on our Exam fees and fees for other education services web page.

How to apply

  1. You can apply for IFoA examination exemptions using our Apply for Exemptions tool in the My Account area of the IFoA website. Log in to the IFoA website and click on My Account. In the My Account area, select My Exams and then Apply for Exemptions.
  2. You will be asked to select the route which you are using to apply for your exemption (Route E). You will then be asked to type in the name of the organisation which awarded your qualification as it appears on your qualification certificate.
  3. You will be asked to enter your degree title, including adding 'MBA' or 'Thesis' in brackets at the end of your degree title depending on whether you are applying for IFoA exam exemptions on the basis of an MBA Program or Thesis Dissertation. You will then be asked to select the examination exemption you wish to apply for.
  4. Once you have selected the exemptions you wish to apply for, you will be asked to make a payment. You can pay by card or by bank transfer. If you choose to pay by bank transfer you will be asked to upload evidence of the payment before you can submit your application.
  5. Once you have made your payment, you will be asked to upload the required documentation listed above (see Before you apply). Once you have uploaded the required documentation you will be asked to agree to the applicant’s declaration. When you have agreed to the applicant’s declaration you will be able to submit your application.

You will receive an email confirming that your application has been received and is being processed.

You can track the progress of your examination exemption application using the Track my Exemption tool in the Exam exemptions area in the My Account area of the IFoA website.

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