MSc Risk Management

Available as a One Year Masters, as a Two Year (with Professional Practice) Masters, by distance learning or with a fast track option.

All decision-making entails uncertainties and the challenges posed by risk have never been more apparent. Adaption to this “new normal” is essential. 


  • Seismic ripples from health pandemics will reverberate throughout the foundations of society for years to come  

  • Increasingly volatile climate-related events are unravelling organisational plans in the short and long term 

  • Geopolitical tensions, populist forces, terrorism and escalating trade wars distort the once-calm waters of multinationals 

  • Corporate reputations are precarious and a minor error on social media can induce crisis

The path to risk resilience is as exciting as it is complex and requires a new generation of skilled risk managers to lead the way. 

Join a leading UK provider with over 30 years’ Risk Management teaching experience and benefit from our longstanding links and excellent reputation with industry bodies and professionals while developing the advanced skillset employers need today and in the future.

This course provides you with contemporary knowledge of risk practices. This includes: crisis management, cyber risk, insurance and risk transfer, business continuity management and managing risk in a global context. You will explore state-of-the-art risk management processes enabling you to identify emerging organisational risks, analyse and model their effects and design effective response strategies.

Study Risk Management at GCU and turn risk into your opportunity.

Graduate opportunities 

Having a recognised degree-level risk management qualification will give you access to a career in any industry sector.

GCU’s Risk Management graduates have gone on to work with PwC, Marsh & McLennan, GSK, Morgan Stanley, ScottishPower, Aviva, Lloyds of London, Transport for London (TfL), Balfour Beatty, Camelot, Network Rail, Tesco Financial Services, Local authorities and government organisations, Aon and the NHS.
You will become part of a specialist but diverse student community experiencing a truly international working environment, learning from peers and teaching staff from around the world, gaining real insight into the major similarities and differences in approaches to global risk management.

You will develop:

  • The ability to engage critically with contemporary theoretical concepts, strategies, policies and practices of risk management
  • Skills to apply the knowledge, approaches and methods to address operational and strategic risk management challenges in an international context
  • A theoretical and practical understanding of real-world issues, from an international perspective, identifying responsible decision-making and ethically driven behaviours
  • A critical understanding of research techniques and methodologies and apply these to an independent research project relating to an appropriate topic
  • Personal and transferable skills related to independent research, problem solving, critical thinking, group working, ICT, employability skills and inter-personal communication.

Module list

Modules: Applied Professional Practice; Business Continuity and Crisis Management; Contemporary Issues in Insurance; Ethics, Governance and Responsible Leadership; Financial Securities Analysis; Global Perspectives on Risk; Risk Analysis and Modelling; Risk and Organisational Resilience; Masters Research Project.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

Our two-year masters courses give you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills with an extended  work placement. 

You'll experience all the benefits of a regular masters, but with the additional advantage of a further professional practice placement over two trimesters. You'll be fully supported and prepared for your placement, and graduate with significant work experience, in-depth knowledge and understanding of your chosen sector. Find out more about the benefits of a two-year masters study.

Contemporary Issues in Insurance

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles which underpin the practices of insurance. It will explore the implications of fast-paced emerging risks and their actual and potential impacts on the modern insurance industry. As such, this module is structured around four key topics: an introduction to the basic principles of risk financing, a detailed examination of insurance theory, critical analysis of insurance-practice and an examination of contemporary risk issues and the global insurance marketplace. Through consideration of contemporary examples, you will come to better understand how insurance is utilised in real-world situations and continually adapts in response to contemporary risk issues.

Financial Securities Analysis

The module centres on developing your critical awareness of the financial risks inherent in financial markets and your abilities to analyse the products which are used to manage these risks. Upon completion, you will be able to independently carry out a comparative analysis of the different types of fund management, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages, be able to critically analyse the methods of asset pricing which are available and ultimately create and justify your selection of various investment portfolios. This module will leave you well equipped to undertake roles requiring an understanding of financial risk issues.

Risk and Organisational Resilience

This module introduces you to key theoretical concepts and risk management processes and practices. In particular, you will critically explore the role that these play in building organisational resilience. It will provide you with a thorough understanding of current thinking on risk management strategy, culture, and operations, while considering cutting edge risk issues.

Global Perspectives on Risk

This module will enable you to understand the concepts and context of international business and critically analyse a wide range of risks such as; strategy, cultural, political, ethical and economic which impact on these businesses. You will also evaluate a range of risk management strategies and tactics available to these international businesses in preparation for your future career. A strong emphasis is placed on real-world case studies in order to contextualise learning.

Risk Analysis and Modelling

This module will equip you with highly sought-after practical risk analysis and modelling skills to enable you to confidently assess, model and predict risk. You will develop real-world applicable skills and utility from an organisational perspective; with real data examples, you can model and calculate project and financial risk concerns such as time and cost overruns and ultimately credit/bankruptcy risk. Complementing this quantitative approach, you will also be taught how to construct non-financial risk models for assessing practical risk of any type of scenario, based on a qualitative assessment of risk.

Business Continuity and Crisis Management

The module will examine business continuity management (BCM) and crisis management in the context of a wider risk management strategy. Using the BCM lifecycle it will demonstrate how to undertake an analysis of the business environment, prepare analytical frameworks, implement BCM system and ensure that a process of regular monitoring, testing and exercising takes place. The importance of embedding BCM in organisational culture is discussed as a key element of this entire process. This module also examines the implementation of crisis management and communication strategies before and after a crisis event in order to mitigate or soften its impact.

Ethics, Governance and Responsible Leadership

By examining the private, public and social enterprise sectors, you will be equipped with a set of analytical tools and concepts to drive responsible decision-making, while highlighting the difference between compliance and ethically driven behaviours. You will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of real-world issues, from a UK and global perspective, and learn from the PRME related principles and the Common Good attributes which are central to this module.

Applied Professional Practice

Following on from the knowledge you have gained in Ethics, Governance and Responsible Leadership and with a focus on self-reflection, in this module you will develop your professional competence by undertaking a professional engagement activity. The link between these two core modules reinforces the significance of ethical and responsible decision-making and leadership within your future career.

Masters Research Project

The final element of the course is the Masters Research Project which provides you with an opportunity to design and undertake a piece of original research. You will apply methods and theories that are commonly used within the field of risk management and with the support of internationally published literature demonstrate best practice in this field.
Holders of the Institute of Risk Management's International Diploma in Risk Management can access the MSc through successful completion of two 15 credit modules plus the 60 credit research methods and dissertation module. This can be achieved over one academic year.

You will be charged for these three modules only.

Due to significant demand, applications for this course are now closed to international applicants for January 2022. Please consider our following intake in September 2022.

Study Options

  • 2021/22


Mode of study


Start date


Full Time
1 Year
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
MSc (IRM Fast-track)
Distance Learning
18 Months
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
2 Years
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
16 Months
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
2 Years
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
MSc (IRM Fast-track)
Distance Learning
18 Months
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MSc Full Time 1 Year 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc (IRM Fast-track) Distance Learning 18 Months 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 2 Years 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 16 Months 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 2 Years 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc (IRM Fast-track) Distance Learning 18 Months 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Minimum academic requirement

UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in any subject area.

Fast-track option available with the Institute of Risk Management.

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

International pathways

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees 2021/22

Home and RUK: £6,000
EU and International: £13,500

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Note: These are the fees for our standard masters courses. Fees for our two-year masters with professional practice study option can be found here.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of £2 million per year.

View our postgraduate scholarships.

This degree is double accredited by world-leading professional institutes. Written in collaboration with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), this Masters course gains you:
  • 60 credits towards the Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII)
  • Maximum exemptions towards the IRM's International Diploma in Risk Management
Our students have the option of taking additional CII units at a discounted rate; around a third of the amount charged to insurance and personal finance professionals.
Students on this course can benefit from work placements and employed visits involving Turner & Townsend, AIG Insurance and Stantec.
During the course you will be tested on subject knowledge, independent thought, critically appraisal of core concepts and creativity. This will be achieved through a balance of coursework assessments and seminar participation. Each assessment will be issued as either an individual or group task.
Professional engagement opportunities include the AIRMIC Annual Conference, the Scottish Continuity Group Resilient Scotland Conference and the Best Dissertation Prize awarded by Stantec.

There will also be the opportunity to visit a number of top employers while studying on this course.
This course has been designed with input from industry experts.
Students on this course will get the opportunity to hear from guest lecturers from Turner & Townsend.