The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Risk Management (1 year)

This MSc Risk Management course will teach you cutting-edge risk management principles and techniques that you can apply in any domain, opening up a wealth of career options.

Book your placeVisit us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November

Introducing your degree

This degree is one of a few UK masters courses to cover risk management theory and practice within a broad framework, with applications across a range of sectors. It gives you the freedom to explore your own interests through optional modules in areas such as finance, quantitative methods or corporate security. You’ll be taught by academics at the forefront of risk management research, including world-leading experts in decision making in uncertain environments and project risk. You’ll also benefit from close links with the Business School’s Centre for Risk Research, the only specialist centre of its type in a Russell Group University. In addition, the course is accredited by two UK risk and insurance professional bodies.


From banking and insurance to manufacturing and public health, effective risk management is now recognised as a crucial factor for success in all sectors. This popular degree is one of just a handful of masters courses in the UK that teaches risk management within a broad framework that can be applied in any field, rather than focusing on a specific industry such as finance or engineering. This gives you the freedom to explore different aspects of risk and discover your area of interest, which you can pursue by choosing from a range of specialist modules.

The programme is delivered in conjunction with the Business School’s multidisciplinary Centre for Risk Research, the only risk-related research centre of its kind in a Russell Group university. Our academics’ links with the Centre’s research programmes will inform your learning, and you’ll have access to additional opportunities such as industry seminars run by the Centre.

This course will be of interest if you already have some professional experience and want to advance risk management practice in your industry, or if you are looking to specialise following your undergraduate studies. We welcome students from a range of academic backgrounds who have undertaken some quantitative study.

The MSc in Risk Management is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Risk Management. This reflects our rigorous academic standards and means you’ll be able to apply for credits towards professional qualifications when you graduate.

View the programme specification document for this course.


Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Institute of Risk Management

Programme Structure

This course can be studied full time over one year, or part time over two years. It comprises compulsory and optional modules and a dissertation.

In the first semester, the compulsory modules will introduce you to key risk management principles and processes and give you a grounding in quantitative methods. This will provide a foundation for more advanced study in the second semester.

Specialist compulsory modules in semester two include:

  • Risk Taking and Decision Making, taught by Professor Johnnie Johnson, who is a world-renowned expert in the field of decision making in uncertain environments.
  • Project Risk Management, which is taught by Professor Chris Chapman, a highly influential researcher and co-author of the leading text How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk.
  • A module on insurance taught by Dr Alasdair Marshall, who is currently investigating risk and uncertainty issues within the contexts of regulation, business ethics, crisis management and project management.

In semester two you’ll also study quantitative and qualitative research methods in preparation for your dissertation.

In both semesters you’ll be able to select from a range of optional modules, enabling you to personalise your degree to suit your professional interests and career goals. The optional modules cover topics such as financial and credit risk, managing corporate security and quantitative risk analysis.

The dissertation is another opportunity to tailor your course. Supported by our research-active academics, you’ll be asked to select a topic of interest in which you’ll undertake independent research.

Learning from research and industry

Our academics are involved in a range of research projects that aim to tackle contemporary business risk challenges, including collaborations with City of London financial firms, international investment management companies and the defence industry. These projects inform your learning, enabling lecturers to share the latest thinking on risk management topics and provide real-world case studies to help you apply your knowledge.

In addition, we have engaged a leading risk management consultant and the chief risk officer of a major insurance firm to teach on some of our modules.

We have close links with UK professional bodies such as the Institute of Risk Management and the Chartered Insurance Institute. They provide guest speakers who bring insights into current sector issues and career options. Our students also have the opportunity to attend industry seminars run by the Centre for Risk Research.

Key Facts

One of a few UK masters courses to cover theory and practice within a broad risk management framework, enabling you to apply your learning in any sector.

A choice of optional modules enables you to tailor the course to suit your specialist interests and career goals.

Taught by world-leading experts in areas such as project risk management and decision making in uncertain environments, as well as practising risk management professionals.

The course is informed by our academics’ links with the Business School’s multidisciplinary Centre for Risk Research, the only such unit within a Russell Group university.

Accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute and Institute of Risk Management, enabling you to apply for credits towards professional qualifications.

Programme Leader

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of quantitative study e.g. accounting, economics, finance, maths, management sciences or engineering. Other subjects considered if quantitative ability demonstrated at A levels.

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subjects/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

Please choose 15ECTS/30CATS of Option modules.

MANG6020 Financial Risk Management is strictly at the Programme Director’s discretion. All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

MANG6095 Dissertation supervision starts in Semester 2 and should be submitted in September.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

You’ll graduate with a wide range of career options. You could choose to work for a financial or insurance company, the pharmaceutical or medical industry, or in environmental risk management. Potential employers include consultancy service firms and government organisations as well as private sector companies.

Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst and Young
  • Old Mutual Wealth
  • Formula 1

The reputation of our risk management courses means we are regularly approached by companies seeking talented students for placement, internship or job opportunities. For example, Zurich Insurance recently offered placements for some of our students. These opportunities are not a formal part of the course and vary from year to year.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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