Spring 2021 - ACMA 360W D100

Actuarial Communication (3)

Class Number: 3244

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    ACMA 320.



Guided experiences in written and oral communication of actuarial ideas and results to both expert and lay audiences. Students who have taken STAT 300W first may not then take this course for further credit. Writing/Quantitative.


This course exposes students to actuarial communication, which requires an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. Therefore, students are encouraged to take this course in their fourth year.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Create effective written and oral communication in the actuarial context.
  2. Apply communication skills across cultures and to a range of business audiences (i.e., clients, colleagues, management).
  3. Demonstrate advanced interpersonal communication skills, business etiquette and ethical considerations in all communication modes.
  4. Recognize the components and processes of actuarial work, e.g., with respect to the control cycle and decision-making skills as applied to solving business problems.
  5. Apply the mechanics of English writing and text editing.

Mode of teaching:
  • Lecture: mix of asynchronous and synchronous (the synchronous component will not be recorded and participation is mandatory).
  • Tutorial: N/A
  • Midterm(s): N/A
  • Final exam: N/A


  • "In-Class" Activities and Participation 30%
  • Assignments 60%
  • Oral Presentations 10%


All above grading is subject to change



Participation in synchronous component of this course requires students to have reliable high-speed internet access, a webcam, and a microphone


Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O'Neil. Publisher: Crown/Archetype.
ISBN: 9780553418811


The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat and Tweet Your Way to Success. Authors: Barbara Pachter with Denise Cowie. Publisher: McGraw Hill
ISBN: 9780071811262

They Say I Say: The Moves That Matter in Acadmeic Writing, 4thd ed. by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393631678

Practical Grammar: A Canadian Writer's Resource, 3rd ed. Author: Maxine Ruvinsky. Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199002306

Public speaking for college and career. Gregory, H. (2010). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Essentials of business communication. Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2019). Cengage Learning.

Working with Difficult People: Revised and Expanded. Hakim, A.C., & Solomon, M. (2002). Penguin.

Understanding Actuarial Management: the actuarial control cycle. Klugman, S., Bellis, C., Shepherd, J., & Lyon, R. (Eds.). (2010). Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

How great decisions get made. Maruska, D. (2006). Amacom.

Messages: The communication skills book. McKay, M., Davis, M., & Fanning, P. (2009). New Harbinger Publications.

Essentials of writing biomedical research papers. Zeiger, M. (2000).  McGraw-Hill Education.

Dynamics of Business and Professional Communication. Graves, H. & Graves, R. (2016).  Pearson.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with Disabilities:
Students requiring accommodations as a result of disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning 778-782-3112 or csdo@sfu.ca

Tutor Requests:
Students looking for a Tutor should visit http://www.stat.sfu.ca/teaching/need-a-tutor-.html. We accept no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken related to tutors.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).