The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Business Risk and Security Management - Not recruiting for 2018 (1 year)

Gain a thorough understanding of risk management and contemporary business security issues on this accredited masters degree. Its distinctive cross-sector approach to risk management will equip you for success whatever your chosen industry.

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

Introducing your degree

This masters degree is designed to meet growing demand across a range of industries for skilled business risk and corporate security management practitioners. As well as learning about key theories and techniques, you’ll develop your analytical skills and the essential management capabilities needed to implement risk and security management approaches effectively. Modules are delivered by world-leading academics and senior risk professionals, so you’ll learn about cutting-edge concepts and the latest sector issues. And the course is accredited by two leading professional bodies, enabling you to apply for credits towards professional qualifications when you graduate.


Business risk and security management have become integral to the running of organisations across a wide range of sectors. This course is designed to meet the demand for highly skilled risk and security management practitioners. Unlike many other UK masters courses in this field it covers risk management in its broadest sense, encompassing financial, strategic and operational risk. It also introduces students to contemporary issues in corporate security, and explores the links between risk and security in theoretical and practical contexts.

As well as developing your subject knowledge, the course will enhance your managerial capabilities. You’ll gain skills that will be essential for the successful communication and implementation of risk and security approaches in a real-world environment. 

We welcome applicants from a wide range of business-related and social science disciplines; there is no specific requirement for previous quantitative study. Our students include those who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees as well as those with some professional experience who are looking to sharpen their skills or change their career direction.

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. 

The compulsory modules include an introduction to the principles of risk management, which will equip you with an understanding of the concepts and terminology that you’ll need throughout the programme. You’ll explore the links between risk and security in a module on corporate security management. This includes modern security industry issues, strategic security planning and management, and aspects of corporate crime such as fraud, extortion and terrorism. Further compulsory modules cover risk-related topics in more depth, such as insurance, corporate risk management, project risk management, and risk and decision making. 

You’ll be able to personalise your course by choosing from a range of optional modules. For example, you could gain specialist knowledge in enterprise and entrepreneurship, enhance your consultancy skills or learn more about corporate finance or you also could advance your analytical and quantitative skills by taking modules on problem structuring, healthcare modelling or credit scoring and data mining. The dissertation is another opportunity to tailor your learning, as you’ll be able to choose a topic for in-depth study with guidance from our experienced academics. A module on quantitative and qualitative research methods will prepare you to conduct independent research for your dissertation. 

World-class academics 

Our academics include world-leading experts who have played an active role in advancing risk management theory and practice. You’ll be exposed to concepts at the cutting-edge of contemporary risk and security management, enabling you to bring fresh ideas into the workplace.

  • Professor Chris Chapman, who leads the Project Risk Management module, is a highly influential researcher whose work on uncertainty and risk continues to inform best practice around the world. He is the co-author, with colleague Professor Stephen Ward, of How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk, which has become a leading text on the topic.
  • Professor Johnnie Johnson, who leads the Risk Taking and Decision Making module, is renowned for research into decision making in uncertain environments and the issues that influence people’s decision making behaviour.

Industry links

We involve external risk management professionals in the delivery of the course. For example, a well-known risk management consultant lectures on two of the compulsory modules. A senior risk professional within a large insurance company, who graduated from the programme a few years ago, teaches on the insurance module. 

Our strong links with risk and insurance professional bodies will also enrich your learning. Guest speakers from organisations such as Airmic and the Institute of Risk Management regularly come to talk to students. We also host industry talks on careers in the insurance sector.

Key Facts

A broad perspective on risk management sets this course apart from the many industry-specific UK masters degrees in this field, enabling you to keep your career options open.

You’ll also gain a grounding in corporate security management, looking at the contemporary security industry and potential threats such as fraud, extortion and terrorism.

You can personalise the course by choosing from a range of specialist risk and management modules.

Taught by world-class researchers in risk-related fields and by industry professionals.

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: No specific entry requirement

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

Work experience in a related field (not necessarily IT) can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Pre-masters course

You are able to progress to this MSc programme via the University's Pre-masters programme.

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

Students must choose ONE Option module totalling 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS in Semester 1.

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

There is growing interest in almost every industry for improved risk management practice. Students graduating from this programme will be sought after by finance, insurance, business management and IT companies, consultancy service firms and government bodies. Many of our students have progressed to senior risk management roles within a few years of graduation.

The MSc in Business Risk and Security Management is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Risk Management. This enables you to apply for credits towards these organisations’ professional diplomas.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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