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MSc Risk and Finance

About the MSc programme

The success of organisations depends upon their ability to operate in the face of risk. The growing awareness of these problems has meant that risk management is now recognised as requiring special skills that are central to the functioning of the organisation.

There is a long tradition of quantifying and measuring certain risks such as life expectancies or accidents. Recently, important advances have been made towards developing similar quantitative tools for newer areas such as financial markets and the environment. At the same time, other social science disciplines have produced important insights into how more complex risks are perceived, and how social organisations can adjust to regulate and share them.

This MSc programme is designed to provide a comprehensive view of risk perception, management and control as encountered in a wide variety of contexts. It addresses such questions as: What are the appropriate ways to measure and assess risk? How does the organisation of enterprises, governments or markets increase or decrease risk? What are the techniques for risk shifting in markets, firms or societies? What are the tools available to managers and regulators for controlling risks?

The design of the programme will allow students with prior training in diverse disciplines and with a range of professional backgrounds to acquire a broad knowledge of risk management and regulation, and to deepen their competency in a chosen area of specialisation.

You will need a degree of at least upper second class standard from a UK university, or its equivalent. We assume that applicants will have some knowledge of mathematics and statistics. Interesting applicants with weak backgrounds in this regard will be required to take an LSE Summer School course. If your degree is not from a UK university, you must submit a GMAT test score with your application. Decisions will not normally be made in the absence of this test result. We generally look for a GMAT score of over 650; exceptionally we will consider a GRE score of over 700/155. Conditional offers may be made in the absence of a final test score. If you are a graduate from a UK university, you should note that you may be asked to take either a GRE or GMAT test.

Programme details

This is an interdepartmental programme which is administered through the Department of Finance.

Key features of the programme include:

  • Teaching by internationally renowned faculty from several departments and with practitioners expert in the area.
  • Multi-disciplinary exposure to different approaches to risk, its management and regulation through teaching and your own independent study.
  • The possibility of an optional internship at a leading bank to gain hands-on risk management experience.
  • An opportunity for students with prior training in diverse disciplines and with a range of professional backgrounds to acquire knowledge on risk management and regulation, and to deepen their competency in a chosen area of specialisation.
  • Wide ranging coverage of topics in the area combined with a rigorous, in depth exploration of others.

You will take the core course Management and Regulation of Risk, a half unit finance course, one full unit equivalent quantitative course, one full unit equivalent qualitative course, and a fifth half unit equivalent course freely chosen. 

Applicants from developing countries may be eligible to be considered for one of the Lord Dahrendorf Scholarships (sponsored by Deutsche Bank). For more information, please see the Department of Finance website|.

Compulsory courses

(*half unit)

One from:

  • Asset Markets A* explores the fundamental concepts and tools underlying the asset markets side of modern finance.
  • Corporate Finance A*covers range of topics in corporate finance
  • Finance I* is a first course in financial analysis for students with a basic knowledge of management.
  • Another quantitative Finance course with the permission of the programme director.

Students choose courses to the value of two and a half units from a very wide range of options offered by the Departments of Accounting, Finance, Geography and Environment, Law and Management. The choice of electives offers students significant flexibility to tailor their degree to their academic and professional interests. More information on the types of available courses can be found at: lse.ac.uk/MScRiskAndFinanceStructure|

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations|.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

The programme equips students for career opportunities in: consulting, finance and banking, insurance, management, regulation and supervision, public administration. This programme is not a suitable preparation for the PhD Finance at LSE (see MSc Finance and Economics).


Application code: N4U3 (check availability|)

Start date: 2 October 2014

Duration: 12 months full-time only

Intake/applications in 2012: 32/532

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree in any subject, however should include some mathematics and statistics (see entry requirements|)

English requirement: Higher (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: Applicants without UK undergraduate degrees are required to submit GMAT or GRE score (GMAT is strongly preferred). For applicants with a UK undergraduate degree, submission of GMAT (or, exceptionally, GRE) score is recommended, but not mandatory

Fee level: £23,064

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support). Lord Dahrendorf Scholarships|

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions