Who is it for?
You want to develop a successful career in insurance or risk management; or you already work in one of these fields and want to expand your knowledge and enhance your career potential. At Cass, you will study both applied and theoretical aspects of insurance and risk management to an advanced level.
Our MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme will equip you with the all-round knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the constantly evolving fields of insurance, risk and risk management.
You will work through a balanced programme which combines a practical approach with sound theory to create a learning environment 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 an increasing complex business world –see ‘Career Pathways’ for testimonials from our past students.
There are three ways of taking our MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme.
- A one year full-time course
- A two year part-time course
- An exempt route (‘fast track’) course for CII Advanced Diploma holders (8 months full-time or 20 months part-time)
In each case you will
- Acquire comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles and practices of insurance and risk management
- Develop a wide range of technical and conceptual skills
- Network with your peers and senior finance industry professionals in the City of London
- Enjoy an enriching environment as part of an international student body
- Acquire a flexible qualification to prepare you for wide range of roles in insurance, risk management or finance
The full-time programme comprises two Induction Weeks, eight Core (compulsory) courses, three Elective courses and a Business Research Project, as follows:
The MSc in Insurance & Risk Management starts with two compulsory Induction Weeks, providing:
- A refresher course of basic financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases
- An introduction to the Cass Careers Service with a focus on the key skills and attributes that employers look for. The annual MSc Careers Fair is also held at this time, providing an opportunity to meet over 60 companies recruiting across many sectors, including insurance, finance, energy, real estate, shipping, strategic management and internal auditing
Term 1 (full-time)
Insurance and Law Regulation
The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the legal environment in which the important commercial practice of insurance operates. The course analyses the relationship between the parties to an insurance contract (the insured and the insurer), examines how the contract is formed and how it operates, and considers the legal issues that surround the claims process. The course also considers the legal issues that arise when an insurance contract is formed through an insurance broker or other intermediary.
Finally, the course considers the regulation of insurance business, i.e. the legal relationship between the firms and individuals operating in the insurance market and the government agencies and industry bodies that are responsible for supervising it.
Principles of Finance and Financial Analysis
Finance as a discipline is the study of how to allocate scare resources over time under conditions of uncertainty. Finance in its broadest definition is important in all types of businesses, whether they are public or private, deal with financial services, or are manufacturers. The study of finance consists of three main pillars: a) money and capital markets, b) investments and c) financial management.
This course covers the principles of risk management, which is a key element in the programme as a whole. It explores the ways in which management of the overall risks of the firm can enhance firm value. Risk management is at the heart of many critical corporate decisions: day-to-day operations, resource allocation, strategic planning, capital structure, reputational and legal exposure, and performance measurement.
Theory of Risk and Insurance Markets
The course complements other introductory courses and provides a good foundation for the more specialised elective subjects.
The aim of the course is provide a sound understanding of the basic principles of risk and insurance and the characteristics of the main types of insurance. The general principles of insurance underwriting and claims management are also covered.
Term 2 (full-time)
Accounting and Financial Management in Insurance
This module examines the accounting treatment and financial management of insurance companies, developments within the regulatory environment and the risks facing insurance companies and pension plans.
Business Organisation and Corporate Strategy in Insurance and Financial Services
The aim of this course is to provide a sound understanding of the environment in which businesses operate and introduce you 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.
An understanding of general insurance is essential for any student of insurance and risk management in order to give a complete grasp of the operation of insurance markets and the role of insurance in the process of risk management. On completing the course you should have acquired a good understanding of the nature of general insurance and the characteristics of its main classes. This will complement the rest of your MSc studies, by building upon principles covered in earlier core courses and linking with later and more specialised elective courses. For those of you who intend to work in insurance the course will provide a practical foundation that will assist in your future careers.
Risk Analysis and Modelling
The aim of this course is to explore the practical application of statistical risk modelling techniques used in the insurance and risk management industries. All of the subjects taught on the course are accompanied by computer models built in Excel to help the student understand both the theory and practice of this subject. While focus is placed on how these applied methods are used in the insurance industry, students with a more technical background are given the opportunity to explore the mathematical background to the subject matter. No previous background in statistics or risk modelling is assumed by the course, and all subjects are taught from the ground up.
Research Project Management Skills Workshop
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.
Term 3 (full-time)
In term three you will choose three specialist electives and work on a business research project.
Business Research Project
It is important for aspiring professionals to demonstrate an ability to apply concepts and techniques learned through an in-depth study of a topic of their choice and organise their findings in a well-structured report, all conducted within a given time period.
To train you to undertake individual research and provide you with an opportunity to specialise in a current business topic related to your future career aspirations, you are required to submit a report of approximately 10,000 words on any subject relevant to the MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme.
Your Project will be based on research that might involve any of the following: extracting data from electronic databases or by hand, statistical analysis of large or small populations, interviews, or case studies of a whole industry, market, industry sector, or particular business.
Three specialist electives
You are required to take three specialist Elective courses as part of your degree. They are usually assessed by coursework only. Cass Business School offers over 90 different Elective courses, which are reviewed and updated regularly. Examples of Electives suitable for MSc Insurance and Risk Management students, currently offered, include:
- Operational Risk Management
- Claims Management
- Liability Insurance
- Marine, Aviation and Transport Insurance
- Alternative Risk Transfer and Risk Securitisation
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 chosen. The two year part-time 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.
Exempt Route (‘fast track’) course for CII Advanced Diploma holders
The Exempt Route (‘fast track’) course is available only for students who have completed the Advanced Diploma of the Chartered Insurance Institute within the last five years and who have gained their CII credits largely through CII examinations. Students are granted exemption from three core subjects: Insurance Law and Regulation, Risk Management, and Theory of Risk and Insurance Markets. The course begins in January rather than September and runs for 8 month (full-time version) or 20 months (part-time version).
To satisfy the requirements of the degree students must complete:
- Eight Core courses (15 credits each) (or five Core courses for Exempt Route students)
- Three Elective courses (10 credits each) and a Business Research Project (40 credits).
Assessment of Core courses on the MSc in Insurance & Risk Management is by means of coursework and unseen examination in most cases. Elective courses are generally assessed by coursework only. Coursework may consist of standard essays, individual or group presentations, group reports, classwork, unseen tests or problem sets. Group work may include an element of peer assessment.
We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice.
Term dates 2018/19
In-Person Registration (all students must attend): Commences 17 September 2018
Compulsory Induction: 17 - 28 September 2018
1 October 2018 - 7 December 2018
Term I exams
7 January 2019 - 18 January 2019
21 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Term II exams
22 April 2019 - 3 May 2019
6 May 2019 - 28 June 2019
Term III exams
1 July 2019 - 12 July 2019
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test will do so in the period:
12 - 30 August 2019
Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project
1 September 2019
Official Course End Date
30 September 2019
Chris Parsons began his career in insurance with the Guardian Royal Exchange (now AXA) Group and has had a lifetime of engagement with the insurance industry, as a practitioner, teacher, researcher and consultant.
He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences and seminars and has won many awards for research and teaching, including the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Morgan Owen Medal and Prize, International Insurance Society/Geneva Association Research Award and Cass Business School prizes for excellence in postgraduate teaching (on three occasions).
Chris’s specialist expertise includes insurance management and strategy, international insurance markets, insurance law and regulation, accident compensation and liability insurance.
Teaching on the MSc Insurance and Risk Management
Our MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme is taught by a combination of leading academics from our faculties of Actuarial Science and Insurance, Finance and Management and Visiting Lecturers. All our Visiting Lecturers are senior practitioners in insurance and risk management who bring a wealth of real world experience to the classroom. Many of them work nearby, in the City of London.
How to apply
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
Documents which may follow at a later date
- IELTS result
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- Two references
- Work experience is not a requirement of this course
- For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK
We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.
If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.
A UK upper second class degree or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution.
Some level of previous study in finance or quantitative methods is preferred.
English language requirements
If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the test.
If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
Fees (fast track route): £14,000 (full-time); £7,000 per annum (part-time)
Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First installment: Half fees less deposit (to be paid at registration)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)
Our MSc Insurance and Risk Management is a long-established course, and we are very proud of the career progression of our many hundreds of past graduates. They now work in a wide range of organisations around the world, including major global insurance and reinsurance companies, international insurance broking firms, investment and retail banks, leading accountancy firms and management consultants, risk management departments of major corporations, regulatory authorities and many other fields.
Some graduates have pursued further studies (such as PhD) after leaving Cass and embarked on academic careers, others have become successful entrepreneurs and built their own businesses.
Here are testimonials from just a small number of our past students, spanning the last 25 years.
Amanda Ryan, Managing Director, Peninsula Underwriting Ltd
“The MSc in Insurance and Risk management has been an invaluable experience which has provided me with a solid foundation from which to further develop my career. The facilities and location are excellent: right in the city centre and very near the insurance sector and Lloyd's of London. I met people with whom I have built a network from all over the world – smart, creative and both current and future leaders in the industry. The teaching staff are very experienced and knowledgeable practitioners and their support has been instrumental in my growth and learning. Overall, I can confirm that the MSc IRM has helped me gain all the skills required to succeed and stand out in this highly technical and competitive insurance market.” (2017 graduate)
Katja Wurm, Head of Allianz Multinational at Allianz SE
“The MSc IRM programme at Cass is an excellent choice: it is well designed and provides students with a solid foundation as well as deep insights into the insurance world. Studying at Cass has been incredibly helpful for me, not only by advancing my career at Allianz, but also by increasing my level of understanding across a broad range of topics. Working now in the Company’s global headquarter I definitely benefit from this knowledge, not only with regards to my current role, but also in relation to many of the strategic topics that are discussed on group level.” (2013 graduate)
Tom Hoad, Head of Innovation, Tokio Marine Kiln, London
“Thoroughly exploring the fundamentals of insurance and risk management should be the foundation of any technical career in insurance. I found that the part-time MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme at Cass allowed me the freedom to debate commercial topics in an academic environment, thus enabling me to better build the base from which I now apply insurance to new and emerging risks.” (2009 graduate)
Georgia Tsiakki, Chief Risk Officer / Director of Risk, AMAL, ArgoGlobal
“Without any doubt, the MSc in Insurance and Risk Management opened the doors to the insurance sector for me. With very little searching, I secured a position on a graduate scheme before even graduating. Not only did the programme give me a great foundation in risk, but I also had a very supportive network of tutors, academics, and classmates, many of whom were already professionals in insurance.”(2005 graduate)
Ahmed Ameel, Managing Director, Allied Insurance, Maldives
“I sincerely thank the faculty members of Cass teaching the MSc Insurance and Risk Management course for their very practical approach to the whole programme. The valuable lessons I learnt have helped me immensely in my professional career” (2008 graduate)
Despoina Makariou, PhD Candidate at the London School of Economics
“The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management provided me with solid knowledge in the area of risk. It enabled to take my first employment steps in the London insurance market in the area of catastrophe risk modelling, straight after graduation. Most important, it ignited my interest to start pursuing a PhD in the area of Risk and Stochastics with an aspiration to stay in academia and contribute further to this field of research.” (2013 graduate)
Anastasiya Kiskliak, Audit Manager, Direct Line Insurance Group, London
“Having spent a few years in insurance I decided to take the MSc Insurance and Risk Management course, which brought a new perspective to my career vision. It enabled me to see that risk management forms an integral part of insurance: in fact it sits at the heart of every business success. This realisation was crucial, and set a new direction in my professional development, enabling me to move into insurance risk management. The course gave an additional dimension to my business skills which then allowed me to perform a further successful move into the field of internal audit.” (2010 graduate)
Socrates Coudounaris, Executive Director, ERM, Reinsurance Group of America
“The MSc in Insurance and Risk Management has supported me throughout my journey in risk management. Cass certainly gave me the tools I needed to help me fulfil my career aspirations. I now wish to help others develop their risk management careers and I am honoured to return to Cass as a Visiting Lecturer on the very same course I graduated from 20 years ago!” (1997 graduate)
Maurizio Lualdi, Partner at Capital Research Global Investors
“The Cass MSc in Insurance and Risk Management was instrumental in starting my career. Having produced a dissertation on ‘Alternative Risk Transfer Methods’ I got the opportunity to join Price Waterhouse after graduation, to work in the areas of Shareholder Value and Risk Management. This was the launching platform for my career towards financial markets and investments. The programme at Cass Business School gave me the foundation that still to this day supports my development.” (1997 graduate)
Ashraf Musbally, Group Managing Director, Phoenix of East Africa Assurance
“The course is very comprehensive and has given me an in-depth knowledge of how to run an insurance company. Studying at Cass has been the seed that has allowed me, today, to have a successful career in insurance” (1993 graduate)
Course information and statistics
The quality and relevance of our MSc Insurance and Risk Management programme is acknowledged in many different ways, including the following:
See accreditation details
Successfully obtaining the MSc in Insurance and Risk Management allows exemption from the examinations of several professional bodies.
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
MSc Insurance and risk Management students have the opportunity to earn very substantial exemptions from internationally-recognised professional examinations in the field of insurance and risk management, including 205-210 credits towards the 290 credits required for the Chartered Insurance Institute Advanced Diploma.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is acknowledged as the leading world forum for professional insurance education with over 120,000 members in over 100 countries
Exemptions are also given from some examinations of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), the leading professional body for risk management
The quality of Cass courses generally is recognised through our ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation by AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS
Cass has been designated by the International Insurance Society (IIS) as a Global Centre of Insurance Excellence (GCIE). The IIS certification programme recognises outstanding risk management and insurance programmes that play a key role in promoting insurance knowledge and research.
Eduniversal has given our MSc in Insurance and Risk Management its highest ‘four star’ rating. Our Insurance and Risk Management degree is the highest placed UK-based course in field of risk and insurance in the Eduniversal ranking.
Our MSc Insurance and Risk Management students have often won major prizes for work completed at Cass. For example, our students’ MSc Dissertations have received Research Awards from the Geneva Association (International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics) and International Insurance Society (IIS) and have won the UK Actuarial Prize awarded by the major international reinsurer SCOR on several occasions in recent years.