Demand is growing worldwide for experts who have the technical skills to measure and manage financial risk. This masters degree prepares you to meet these requirements, equipping you to respond to emerging developments in the global capital and money markets.
You’ll gain comprehensive knowledge of essential topics including the dynamics of financial markets, the causes and effects of financial risk and professional practices for measuring and managing portfolio risk. You can also choose optional modules allowing you to specialise in areas such as accounting, international banking and security investment analysis.
Learning from highly qualified teaching staff involved in world-class research in financial risk management, you’ll test your knowledge in genuine business scenarios during practical case study exercises and simulations. Thanks to our excellent links with industry and commerce, you’ll gain an understanding of the latest challenges in financial markets worldwide.
As a student you will be able to access the knowledge of our advanced specialist research units, which also have strong links with leading institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. These include the Centre for Advanced Study in Finance (CASIF), the Institute of Banking and Investment (IBI) and the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC). This research makes an important contribution to your learning on the MSc Financial Risk Management; you will benefit from a curriculum that is informed by the latest knowledge and critical thinking.
You will also benefit from our strong relationships with the finance, credit and accounting professions. This provides a connection to the latest practitioner and policy developments, giving you a masters degree that is relevant to the contemporary environment.
The course builds your understanding of essential topics such as corporate finance and applies financial theory to practical problems. You’ll study financial modelling, risk and insurance, managing portfolio risk and derivatives. You’ll also undertake professional skills training throughout the year to help you develop the critical skills to apply your knowledge into the workplace.
Beyond these core areas of study, you’ll be able to specialise in areas that suit your career plans with your choice of optional modules. You’ll take at least one of Behavioural Finance or Discrete Time Finance, and can choose from topics such as forensic accounting and finance, international banking and finance or information and organisation design.
You’ll also develop your knowledge of research methods in finance and by the end of the year, you’ll be prepared to design and carry out your own research dissertation on a related topic of your choice, developing your ability to tackle the most pressing challenges currently facing the industry.
You’ll study eight compulsory modules including your dissertation.
You’ll also take two optional modules. One of these must be either Behavioural Finance or Discrete Time Finance.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars, workshops, online learning and tutorials. Independent study is also vital for this course allowing you to prepare for taught classes and sharpen your own research and critical skills.
In addition to the assessed modules and research dissertation, you benefit from professional training activities and employability workshops. For example, students have developed their knowledge of financial markets through a one-week trading simulation delivered in partnership with Amplify Trading. Read more about our professional skills activities for finance students.
Assessment methods emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. They include formal exams, group projects, reports, computer simulation exercises, essays and written assignments, group and individual presentations.
This diversity enables you to develop a broad range of skills as preparation for professional life.
Graduates of this course are equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue a range of career options within finance, including risk management, credit risk analysis, derivatives, insurance and finance research.
Previous graduates have gone on to work for a variety of financial institutions, investment banks, regulators and standard setters, international insurers, asset managers, underwriters and investment funds.
This degree is also an excellent qualification for individuals seeking to pursue further postgraduate research.
We help you to achieve your career ambitions by providing professional development support and training as part of the Masters programme. You benefit from the support of a Professional Development Tutor, who will work with you to develop the important professional skills that employers value.
We’re committed to offering a wide range of development and training opportunities. Recent activities have included field trips to corporate headquarters, CV building and interview sessions, professional risk management workshops and commercial awareness networking events.
Read more about our careers and professional development support.
The University of Leeds Careers Centre also provides a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.
One of our flagship programmes with a leading world-class reputation for over 10 years and the first one in the UK to be accredited by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).
The financial system has undergone major restructuring in preparation for the new regulatory frameworks, affecting existing roles and creating different skillset requirements within risk management divisions of financial institutions.
This programme is tailored to the needs of the rapidly changing financial markets, providing graduates with an insight into the new innovations in the area of risk management. Through its long-term academic partnerships and accreditations by leading professional bodies, the MSc Financial Risk Management offers a cutting edge learning experience, aligning research excellence and current market intelligence.
The graduates benefit from exemptions to certain professional certifications from leading professional bodies worldwide. Click the ‘Careers & professional accreditation’ tab on the right for more information.
The MSc Financial Risk Management is accredited by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). The degree syllabus is enhanced with the most up to date professional practices in the area of risk management, integrating applied academic knowledge to industry needs and providing a competitive advantage to the graduates. Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the GARP FRM Part I certificate. Upon successful completion of their degree, students will be registered to take the FRM Part I examination.
October – December: Part 1 Autumn Term
January: Part 1 Exams
January-April: Part 2 Spring Term
May – June: Part 2 Exams
June – August (12 month programme only): Part 3
August/Sep (12 month programme only): Part 3 Coursework deadlines
Part 1 compulsory modules
Part 2 compulsory modules
Part 2 optional modules
Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme can select 40 (20) credits from the following modules:
Part 3 optional modules
Students on the 12-months programme should take 20 credits from the following:
Full-time: 9 months Full-time: 12 months
Students will be resident and undertake full-time study in the UK. Under both, the 9 and 12-month programmes students take compulsory and/or elective modules in Part 2.
The 12 month option involves taking an elective 20 credit module between July and August, which would also mean a 20 credit reduction in the number of taught modules taken in the spring term.
After completion of this programme, students are well-prepared to follow a career in the challenging fields of risk management, or risk analysis with banks, regulators, portfolio managers, corporate treasuries, risk management software houses, specialist financial boutiques and hedge funds. Regulators, governments, advisors and commentators are unanimously endorsing the call for more and better qualified risk managers and analysts to join the financial industry.
Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)
MSc Financial Risk Management is accredited by GARP and the degree syllabus is enhanced with the most up to date professional practices in the area of risk management, integrating applied academic knowledge to industry needs and providing a competitive advantage to the graduates. Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the GARP FRM Part I certificate. Upon successful completion of their degree, students will be registered to take the FRM Part I examination.
Professional Risk Managers’ Association (PRMIA)
ICMA Centre MSc Financial Risk Management students are eligible for exemption from Exams I and II of PRM Certification. In addition MSc FRM students are provided with assistance to take PRM Exams III and IV.
The ICMA Centre is a Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) Centre of Excellence. Centres of Excellence are a select group of UK universities, recognised by the CISI as offering leadership in academic education on financial markets. Students who are on a financially-related masters course recognised by the CISI are eligible for exemptions and membership.
ICMA Centre students who register and successfully complete two CISI Diploma in Capital Markets modules (Securities and Bonds & Fixed Interest Markets) are eligible for an exemption from the third module (Financial Markets).
This MSc programme, which has been designed in conjunction with leading risk professionals, aims to meet the growing demand for professionals who are highly skilled in quantitative risk management. Students gain core competencies in risk analysis and have the opportunity to tailor the programme to their own interests and needs through the wide variety of options available.
Students will be educated to an advanced level in programming and computing and will gain mathematical, statistical and computational modelling skills. They will have a clear appreciation of different types of risk within the industry, and of the managerial and psychological issues related to risk control.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma will be offered to the students that have completed eight taught modules (120 UCL credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate will be offered to the students that have completed four taught modules (60 UCL credits).
Students choose 60 credits of optional modules from the following:
Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.
With permission, a student may substitute up to two optional modules with electives. A list of acceptable elective modules is available on the Departmental page.
Students undertake modelling, research and data analysis which takes place over the summer placement. This forms the basis of the 10,000-word dissertation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and project work. Modules are assessed by written papers and/or coursework. The research project is assessed by a written report and (optional) oral examination.
Students undertake a summer work placement in an industry environment organised by the department.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Financial Risk Management MSc
Many students have gone on to careers in financial services in the City of London or in their home countries; a number of graduates have proceeded to PhD-level study.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Students acquire mathematical, statistical and computational skills which are highly sought after by the financial industry to assess, quantify, model, simulate and edge risk.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The Bank of England (BoE), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the financial services industry place great emphasis on raising the level of quantitative analytics used in risk management and compliance. UCL, in collaboration with the BoE/FCA, aims to set a new benchmark in this area, based on training students to become risk professionals who are good scientists in the area of risk management.
UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research. Our Master's programmes have some of the highest employment rates and starting salaries, with graduates entering a wide variety of industries.
We take an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science
96% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.