The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Risk and Finance (1 year)

With its combination of risk and finance modules, including specialist insurance modules rarely offered on similar courses, this MSc will open up career options across the finance and insurance sectors. You’ll gain an advanced understanding of finance, investment, risk taking and decision making as well as critical risk management skills.

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Introducing your degree

An increasingly uncertain financial world means there is growing demand for graduates with critical risk management skills as well as a through grounding in finance. Taught by leading researchers in risk taking, decision making and finance, this MSc will prepare you for a broad range of career paths. You could choose to use your skills in the financial sector, for example as a stockbroker, investment banker, financial analyst, risk officer or fund manager, or work for an insurance company. The course includes specialist modules in insurance and credit scoring rarely found on degrees of this type, so you can opt to develop your skills to progress in this growing sector.


Risk and Finance


Informed by the Business School’s significant research strengths in banking, finance and risk management, the MSc in Risk and Finance will prepare you for a broad range of career paths. Your knowledge of key financial concepts, risk taking and decision making will be valuable within financial institutions. You’ll also be able to advance your career in the insurance sector. The course includes specialist modules in insurance and credit scoring not found on similar UK degrees, so you can choose to develop your skills in order to progress in this growing industry. 

This MSc is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Risk Management. This demonstrates that we meet rigorous educational standards and also means you will be eligible for credits towards professional qualifications.

We welcome applicants from a range of disciplines who have undertaken some quantitative study, or who have relevant professional experience.



Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Institute of Risk Management

Programme Structure

This is a full-time, one-year course. It is delivered through a mix of compulsory and optional taught modules over two semesters and a dissertation in the third semester.

In semester one, the compulsory modules will introduce you to fundamental concepts in finance, risk management and the behavioural aspects of decision making in a finance environment. In the second semester, compulsory modules will deepen your understanding of risk taking, decision making and the management of financial risk. You’ll also take a module in quantitative and qualitative research methods in preparation for your dissertation.

In both semesters you’ll have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules. You could take insurance-focused or finance-related modules in order to advance in a particular sector, or select a mix to broaden your career possibilities. 

The optional modules include some not commonly available on similar masters programmes. These include: 

  • a specialised module on insurance, which covers topics such as the elements of insurance transaction, pricing, claims procedures, reinsurance and risk financing
  • Credit Scoring and Data Mining, where you’ll use real credit scoring data and industry-standard software to learn about related concepts and industry practices
  • Other optional modules cover stock market analysis, the theories and techniques of simulation modelling, advanced corporate finance and project risk management.

With guidance from an academic supervisor you will choose a dissertation topic to work on during semester three. This will enable you to specialise further in a particular area and put your research skills into practice.

Research-informed learning

Your lecturers will include academics at the forefront of research in finance, risk, uncertainty and decision-making behaviour; their expertise will inform your learning. For example: 

  • Professor Johnnie Johnson, who leads the Risk Taking and Decision Making module, is renowned for research into decision making in speculative markets. He uses his expertise to advise organisations operating in speculative financial markets.
  • Professor Chris Chapman, who leads the Project Risk Management module, is an expert in risk and uncertainty management. 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 Taufiq Choudhry is a specialist in stock market volatility and uncertainty; in a recent paper he investigated the relationship between stock market volatility and the business cycle in four major economies – the US, Canada, Japan and the UK. He teaches the Introduction to Finance module.
  • Research by Professor Ming-Chien Sung, who lectures on the Quantitative Methods module, aims to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence decision making in financial markets, and to improve real-world risk taking and decision making through the application of quantitative modelling.

Industry links 

Module leaders regularly invite industry practitioners to share their insights with students, giving you up-to-date knowledge of sector issues. You’ll also be able to attend relevant seminars run by the University’s Centre for Risk Research as well as specialist finance-focused Business School events. These include talks by professionals from finance and insurance companies as well as leading researchers from other universities. Recent speakers have come from Zurich Insurance UK and Imperial College London.

You’ll also benefit from our academics’ research links with business, which enable them to bring real-world examples to their teaching. Our industry research collaborations include projects with London Capital Group, Star Financial Systems Ltd and Huawei.

Every year, professional risk managers and industry leaders come to discuss careers in the sector with our students. They include representatives from IBM, Goldman Sachs, PwC, the Chartered Insurance Institute and Old Mutual. In partnership with IBM’s Academic Initiative, we regularly host guest lectures provided by IBM senior managers and facilitate IBM graduate opportunities for our students.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Key Facts

Study the core aspects of finance, risk and decision making, plus specialist modules on insurance and credit scoring rarely found on similar programmes.

Opens up a wide range of career options in finance and insurance.

Draws on the Business School’s research strengths in banking, finance, and risk management.

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 and Engineering.

Required module areas: Evidence of quantitative study e.g. 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 subject/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

You should choose option modules totalling 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS per Semester. 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

Our graduates now work in a range of industries, such as finance, banking, accountancy, insurance, IT, and many risk management and business security related companies across the financial and insurance-related sectors. You could choose to become a stockbroker, fund manager, risk officer, actuary, financial manager, investment analyst or investment banker. Or you might decide to continue your research at PhD level.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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