Overview

Applications to the full time programme will close at 16.00 (BST) on Monday 8th September.

Intake: September (fast-track January intake for ACII holders)
Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Fees: £18,000 (full-time); £9,000 per year (part-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: 1600 BST on Monday 8th September

Online Information Session

Course Director, Dr Cherie Chen, recently delivered an Online Information Session focussed on the MSc in Insurance & Risk Management.

The recording is available to view now.

The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management is a well-established course that explores the multi-faceted world of risk management and reflects the growing interplay between insurance, risk management and financial services. As such, it will equip you with the all-round skills necessary to succeed in a constantly developing business environment.

The programme combines a practical approach with sound theory to create a learning experience that is both challenging and stimulating. You will emerge with a well-regarded and flexible postgraduate degree, solidly positioned to build a successful career in an exciting and increasingly complex business world.

Cass's location, close to the City of London, has enabled us to establish close links with many leading financial organisations. This will help you to access outstanding networking and career opportunities.

Professional examinations

Students have the opportunity to earn substantial exemptions from professional examinations in the field of insurance and risk management, including 205 - 210 credits towards the 290 required for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Advanced Diploma. Exemptions are also given from some examinations of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). 

Individual Appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email eva.matiaskova.1@city.ac.uk

'The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management has enabled me to combine the theory and the practical aspects of both risk management and the insurance market. I was genuinely surprised as to how much I learnt and how much I was able to apply to my previous risk management job within the Lloyd's of London insurance market. There is no question that this degree has had a considerable positive impact on my career. Thoroughly recommended.'
Alastair Christmas, MSc in Insurance & Risk Management
Now Head of Internal Audit at Paternoster Insurance Limited

Course content

We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice. Consequently, there may be some change to the detailed content of the modules and occasionally to module titles.

To satisfy the requirements of the degree programme students must complete:

  • eight core courses and Research Methods module
  • three electives
  • a Business Research Project

The full-time course runs for eleven months from mid-September or eight months from mid January for the 'fast track' programme. The taught component is arranged over three terms.

Two Induction Weeks

The MSc in Insurance & Risk Management starts with two compulsory induction weeks, focused on:

  • An introduction to the Cass Careers offering with a focus on key skills and attributes that employers are looking for.  The annual MSc Careers Fair at this time also provides the opportunity to meet over 60 companies who are recruiting across many sectors including finance, energy, insurance, real estate, shipping, strategic management and internal auditing.
  • a refresher course of basic financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases.

Two-year part-time course

The part-time course runs over two academic years and typically involves a late afternoon session and an evening session each week. Although attendance patterns partly depend on which elective courses are taken. The two-year option is open only to students with commercial experience in risk management or insurance. The general structure is similar to the one-year full-time course but tuition is spread over two years with students normally taking only two courses each term rather than four.

Term 1 (full time programme)

Four core modules (30 hours each)

Theory of Risk and Insurance Markets*

Provides a sound understanding of the basic principles of risk and insurance, and the characteristics of the main types of insurance, both life and general. Offers an introduction to the structure and operation of international insurance markets and the function of insurance firms within the financial system. Covers the general principles of insurance underwriting and claims management. Complements other introductory courses and provides a good foundation for the more specialised elective subjects.

Risk Management*

Offers a framework for an integrated approach to risk management within a corporation. Provides students with a thorough understanding of the principles of risk management and of the main areas of risk management decision-making within a multinational corporation. The course expounds the case for a holistic approach to risk management, integrating insurance and treasury risk management into the wider strategic risk management of the enterprise. Provides students with an understanding of the role of statistical and financial modelling in risk management decision-making processes.

Principles of Finance and Financial Analysis

Enables students to understand and apply the fundamentals of finance and financial analysis, developing and enhancing their ability to analyse and value securities and corporations. Provides a thorough understanding of fundamental areas of financial and risk management, along with the necessary theoretical knowledge and statistical tools to interpret financial information. All these are brought together in a unified framework to analyse the strategies, techniques and tools for analysing and interpreting financial information. The course is highly participative, with practical case studies in cash flow and ratio analysis, and the examination and interpretation of financial statements.

Insurance Law and Regulation*

Provides a framework for the principles of contract and business law and their application to insurance, together with an understanding of the special legal principles that apply in insurance. Places emphasis on English/US common law but, where appropriate, draws comparison with European Continental and other legal systems. The course also provides a knowledge of how different regulatory systems affect the operation of insurers in the major insurance markets of the world, focusing on the regulation of insurance in the UK, EU and other major insurance markets such as the US and Japan.

*Students who hold a CII Advanced Diploma are eligible for a 'fast track' January start and are exempt from these modules.

Term 2 (full time programme)

Four core modules (30 hours each)

Accounting and Financial Management in Insurance

This section of the course provides students with an in-depth understanding of financial management approaches in multinational insurance companies. It also equips them with the concepts and techniques of finance planning and control currently employed insurance enterprises. The course provides students with an appreciation of insurance accounting for life insurance and non-life insurance, including a comparison of the recommendations of the UK SORP, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and FASB. Provides an understanding of treasury management and investment management issues within international insurance companies.

Business Organisation and Corporate Strategy in Insurance & Financial Services

This course component provides a knowledge of the environment in which businesses operate and introduces students to the basic concepts and analytical tools of strategic management. It illustrates how ideas drawn from a number of disciplines, such as marketing, microeconomics, financial theory and organisational behaviour can be employed to address the central concerns of strategy.

The course also aims to provide a sound understanding of the application of principles of strategic management within insurance and other financial enterprises. It seeks to identify the strategic issues that currently face UK and other European insurance and financial services firms and to position these issues in their wider economic and regulatory context.

General Insurance*

The aim of the course is give a broad understanding of the nature of general (non-life) insurance, including the function of general insurance contracts, their legal principles and the principles of underwriting, marketing and distribution. The course also aims to provide an appreciation of the characteristics of the main classes of general insurance and the handling and management of general insurance claims.

Risk Analysis and Modelling

A highly interactive computer-based course which explores the statistical methods that are used in finance, risk analysis and risk management. The main objective of the course is to give students an understanding of the fundamentals of these techniques. The course offers a refresher in the underlying principles of probability and statistics, exposure to the underlying theory and methods, and comprehensive coverage of the tools and techniques that are used in risk modelling.

*Students who hold a CII Advanced Diploma are eligible for a 'fast track' January start and are exempt from this module

Term 3 (full time)

Three electives (18 hours each) and a Business Research Project

Electives

You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Electives that were offered in 2013 were:

  • Financial Derivatives
  • Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives
  • Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Energy Markets (Taught in a block format in Dubai)
  • Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
  • Alternative Risk Transfer and Risk Securitisation
  • Claims Management
  • Liability Insurance
  • Marine, Aviation and Transport Insurance
  • Operational Risk Management
  • Reinsurance
  • Marketing of Financial Services
  • Behavioral Finance

Research Methods module

This module trains students to undertake independent research either in the context of a single organisation or by using third-party sources. It provides the necessary tools and skills to initiate, research and write up a business project and includes training in research methodology, availability of data sources, project writing, time-management and presentation skills.

'The many elective options attracted me to the programme as the flexibility allowed me to tailor the MSc to my specific educational and career goals.'
Erik Johnson, MSc in Insurance & Risk Management
Now Manager - Insurance Strategy Practice, Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Insurance & Risk Management have many years of practical experience working in the financial services sector and are also active researchers in their fields

This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up the MSc in Insurance & Risk Management.

Course Director

Cherie Chen

Other Module Leaders include:

Accreditations

'Fast-Track' scheme for ACII holders

For applicants who already hold a Chartered Insurance Institute Advanced Diploma completed in the past 5 years there is a special 'fast track' scheme, giving exemptions from some core courses of the Cass MSc.

To be eligible for the 'fast-track' route applicants must have completed at least 70% of their Advanced Diploma through direct examination with the CII. We are unable to consider applicants with a greater amount of their Diploma accrued through prior learning equivalencies as the course is tailored to closely mesh with CII specific exams.

For further information download details of the scheme for ACII holders [pdf file]

MSc Research Project

The Project will be of approximately 8,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary finance topic related to students' future careers. The Project should be based on independent research either in the context of a single organisation or using third-party sources.

Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their Project. A member of academic staff supervises the project, and the student may choose whom they would like to work with. The Project must be submitted by the end of August. Company sponsored projects are encouraged and a number of such projects may be available.

Many students use this opportunity to complete a project in conjunction with an organisation they might want to work for. This gets their foot in the door and can lead to permanent employment post programme, whilst earning course credit. Student research projects are processed and managed jointly by the MSc Course Office team and the student's Course Director.

Some recent Projects:

  • Basel II and risk management
  • Comparative study of the life insurance industries of Taiwan and China
  • Compensation culture: myth or reality?
  • Controlling liability insurance costs
  • Credit risk management within the banking industry
  • Current and future trends in the Indian insurance market
  • Cyber-crime with reference to internet gambling
  • Distribution channels in the UK non-life insurance sector: history & trends
  • Effects of aging population on life insurance and pension schemes
  • Factors determining the success or failure of insurance industry M & As
  • Feasibility of establishing policyholders protection funds in Hong Kong
  • Financing of employee benefits via international pooling
  • Hedging long term positions with short term instruments
  • Impact of operational risk errors on brand value in life insurance
  • Impact on the Chinese motor insurance market of the new road traffic safety law
  • Insurance solvency regulation in China
  • Is finite risk reinsurance really reinsurance?
  • Is honesty the best policy? How Ireland and the UK differ in fighting insurance fraud
  • Liability Insurance in Sweden
  • Links between banking and insurance: global difference and similarities.
  • Managing risk in an investment bank
  • Offshore energy insurance: current issues and trends
  • Operational risk within the fund management industry
  • Potential for a captive insurance market in Korea
  • Potential for development of the insurance industry in the Balkan countries
  • Problems in the fine art insurance sector
  • Regression analysis of the determinants of insurance companies' returns on shareholder funds
  • Risk management in Russian oil and gas companies
  • Risk pooling for terrorism and war
  • Role of orphan assets in insurance mergers and acquisitions
  • Securitisation as a tool to manage Islamic financial risk
  • The impact of the 2005 hurricane losses on selected Bermudan reinsurers
  • The introduction of the Basel Accords and Solvency II in Greece
  • The risk profile of private equity firms
  • The role of the Chief Risk Officer in the insurance industry
  • Valuation problems in business interruption insurance for a start-up company

'The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management provides a solid foundation to the world of risk management and risk transfer mechanisms. An emphasis on thorough intellectual challenges and a practical approach to learning enables students to acquire valuable knowledge about the important role risk management plays in the wider economy. The course further provides students with an understanding of how to effectively respond to the challenges that this industry is facing and the changing landscape and convergence of the financial services industry as a whole.'

Fredrik Oeyan, Willis Graduate Programme, Global Markets International, Willis Limited

Entry requirements

Degree level

A good Bachelors degree is required to enter this course, usually a UK 2.1 or above or the equivalent from an overseas institution. Some level of previous study in finance or quantitative methods is preferred.

If you have not yet completed your current course of study, your university should be able to provide an interim transcript showing your marks achieved to date. If you are still undertaking your Bachelors degree studies, you should provide a separate list of the modules that you are undertaking in your final year of study when you submit your application (if these are not listed on your degree transcripts).

'The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management gave me a solid appreciation of current strategic thinking across the insurance industry. In particular, understanding the benefits of integrated risk management practices gave me real direction for developing my current role. This course is enabling me to maximise the potential of over 12 years of insurance experience.'
Nick Barter, MSc in Insurance & Risk Management
Now Head of MI & Pricing, Hiscox Retail

English Requirements

Every year we welcome students from around 100 different countries. It is essential that all students have an excellent command of English in order to participate fully in our collaborative learning process. All students who have not previously studied in English are required to sit an IELTS exam. If you are not a native English speaker but have been studying in the UK for the last three years, please submit a copy of your most recent English language test/qualification along with your application and a decision will be made by the Admissions Panel. If you have done a 2+2 degree with two years in the UK you WILL be required to provide IELTS scores and possibly to resit the test to meet our entry requirements.

IELTS

The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing.

We do not offer a pre-sessional English class as an alternative to achieving these scores. Any pre-sessional course should be viewed as a way of settling into living and studying in the UK and not as a way of topping up an IELTS or TOEFL score.

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference
  • Detailed statement of purpose
  • IELTS/GMAT, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2014/15

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fee: £18,000 Currency Converter

Fast track version £13,500 (tbc)

First instalment: Half fees less deposit (paid at registration)
Second instalment: Half fees (paid in January following start of programme)

Term dates 2014/15

The programme starts with:

Compulsory Induction Period: 15 September 2014 - 26 September 2014

Term I
29 September 2014 - 5 December 2014
Term I exams
12 January 2015 - 23 January 2015

Term II
26 January 2015 - 3 April 2015
Term II exams
27 April 2015 - 8 May 2015

Term III
11 May 2015 - 26 June 2015
Term III exams
29 June 2015 - 10 July 2015

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2015

Official Course End Date
30 September 2015

Career opportunities

Our graduates enjoy senior positions across the world in many types of businesses including international insurance, reinsurance and insurance broking firms, Lloyd's of London, leading investment and retail banks, leading accountancy firms, management consultancies, risk management departments of major corporations, regulatory authorities and many other fields.

MSc in Insurance & Risk Management Employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of last year's MSc in Insurance & Risk Management cohort shows that 70% of graduates are now either in work (64%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (6%)*

*Based on 2013 survey respondents

Among the many organisations whose staff have benefited from the course are:

  • Accenture
  • ACE Insurance
  • AIG
  • Allianz Cornhill
  • Aon Risk Services
  • AXA Insurance
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Bank of China
  • Brit Insurance
  • China Life Insurance
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deloitte
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Heath Lambert Group
  • Hiscox
  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson
  • Lloyd's of London
  • Lloyds TSB
  • Marsh
  • McKinsey
  • Munich Re
  • PwC
  • RSA
  • Swiss Re
  • Tokyo Marine & Fire Insurance Company
  • Towergate
  • Willis Re
  • Wilson Re (P&I) Ltd
  • Zurich Insurance

Cass Careers Service

'I am very passionate about the topic of risk management and aim to couple my MSc with various industry related certificates to further develop my knowledge. I endeavour to successfully investigate the application of behavioural economics, find a consistent application of enterprise risk management within Financial Institutions and hopefully in the future, spearhead a Strategic Risk Management Consultancy. My MSc has definitely helped me realise my ambitions.'
Andreas Zarifis, MSc in Insurance and Risk Management
Now employed as a Graduate Trainee with Zurich Insurance plc in Alternative Risk Financing.