MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Risk Management

Unit code MGDI71432
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No


All projects, and, in today’s market, most services, must undergo a risk assessment before they can be approved and implemented. Students in fields such as project management and finance need to understand the processes of risk management since most organisations and funding agencies demand a risk assessment before a project or investment is sanctioned.

This course is designed to develop a systemic understanding of risk analysis and management processes at corporate/organizational, strategic business unit and project levels.

Circumstances permitting, teaching and assessment will be organized as below with three components:

1. Coursework assignment to Convenor’s specification

1000 words – individual -25%

2. Workshop group assignment: - 25%

3. Two hour unseen examination - 50%


This course is designed to develop a systemic understanding of risk analysis and management processes at corporate/organizational, strategic business unit and project levels. The development of this understanding includes analysis of risks involved in projects and other types of investment, in particular, the impacts of those risks and the management of such risks.


The topics below indicate the content and organization of the learning process.


1: Introduction to the concept of risk and uncertainty and sources of risk

2: Evaluation of Risk Management and the Risk Management Process

3: Tools and Techniques used in the risk management process

4: Qualitative and Quantitative techniques used in risk management

5: Risk Management at Corporate Level

6: Risk Management at Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Level

7: Risk Management at Project Level

8: Risk management of portfolios of investments and modelling

9: Development of Questionnaire and analysis of results

10: Case Studies  

Teaching and learning methods

Introduction by convenor in first week of semester. Welcome document and method of study sent to all students.

The course unit follows a blended learning strategy including,

a. Introductory session

b. 8 units of self-directed learning activities, based on online units of work, supported by online discussion board and tutor

c. 21-hour block teaching event over three days, including a mix of formal presentations, individual and group workshop activities based on case studies available via the Intranet, and assessed work

Knowledge and understanding

- Describe and discuss key concepts in projects and other types of investment, including risk, uncertainty, risk source and risk management

- Understand how to undertake a risk management assessment

- Be able to assess and manage risks at different levels of an organisation

Intellectual skills

- Differentiate and appreciate different types of risk analysis (qualitative and quantitative)


Practical skills

- Understand the importance and operation of the tools and techniques used in risk analysis

- Understand the role of the risk manager at each level of the organisation


Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Ability to use a structure and process for performing risk assessment and managing its application in a range of contexts

- Skills in presenting a risk assessment orally.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 25%
Set exercise 25%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided via online discussion board, workshop discussion and via Blackboard.

Recommended reading

Required Reading

Merna, T.  Al-Thani, F.F., (2008) Corporate Risk Management, (2nd Edition) Wiley, London

Suggested Reading:

- Merna, T. (2010) Corporate Risk Management, (Faisal Al-Thani) (KINDLE)

- Peter Simon, (ed.) (1997) PRAM: project risk analysis and management guide Norwich: APM Group Ltd.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 21
Work based learning 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 121

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anthony Merna Unit coordinator

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