MEng Computer Systems Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Essential Risk Management for Business

Unit code MCEL63402
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 Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? Yes



- To understand what is risk, risk awareness, to identify risks, how risk is measured (quantification), the tools and methodologies for managing risk facing the business enterprise, how to apply these in individual enterprises and across business sectors (SME) and how to implement risk decision making for value creation.

- Understand the importance of integrating risk in enterprise moving away from the more traditional approach of ‘silo’ risk management applicable to their business.

- Develop ideas and skills that are applied to practical situations.

- Explore how risk may be identified and analysed and tackled in order to identify and develop tactics to eliminate or mitigate risk.

- Provide individuals with the ability to develop a risk management model that demonstrates how value and opportunities are created, delivered and captured for appropriate and relevant stakeholders.




Introduction to Business and Enterprise

Overview of what is business, enterprise.


Introduction to Risk:

Purpose for risk management process.

Risk – developing a common language and terminology.

Types of risk and risks affecting: product, customer, market, intellectual property risk.

Psychology of risk and risk/hazard perception.


The individual entrepreneur/business person and risk:

Financial risk, career risk, family and social risk, emotional well-being (psychic risk), risk comfort zone.


Risk Management Process:

Identify the riskiest parts of the business plan and systematic approach to risks.

Assessment: identification, analysis, evaluation, risk uncertainty (likelihood-probability-frequency) consequences.

Mitigation – treatment; preventive and reactive measures to respond to risks (elimination, reduction, risk transfer).

Communication and consultation.

Lessons learnt.



Tools for risk and planning:

Risk criteria and prioritisation, identifying risk indicators.

Event Tree Analysis (ETA), Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA).

Application of BowTie for entrepreneurs to evaluate risk responses, hazard, threat, risk barriers, consequence (understanding the reason behind policies, activities, procedures  and standards). Use of software tool BowTieXP Analysis by GCE Risk Management Solutions.



  • Introduce the students to the area of risk and in particular risk management in business and enterprise.
  • Provide them with the ability to take a holistic approach to risk in the enterprise, and how to manage it in order to gain value for the business. The holistic understanding would incorporate communicating effectively the risk across all the business sectors and levels.
  • Explore the management of risk within the enterprise concept and its effective application.
  • Understand the importance of ownership of risk in an enterprise, understanding the perception of risk from clients and investors perspective and use this knowledge as a strength and opportunity for the business.


Learning outcomes

Category of outcome

Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Define and understand; what is risk and why it is important to embrace risk and its management in business and enterprise.
  • Describe the various tools and methods for risk identification and management.


Intellectual skills

  • Realising the philosophy behind risk in the real world, and that the risk is embedded within the enterprise and the entrepreneur, by successfully applying the tools and techniques.
  • Discuss the various mechanisms by which risks can form an opportunity and create value for both the owners, market  and other stakeholders.


Practical skills

  • Communication: how risk can be measured, application of traditional and ‘next generation’ tools and techniques and their limitations.
  • Communication: how risk can be managed to minimise implications, potentially increase value for the business plan and drive value from the risk management process.
  • Use of software that provides  a state-of-the-art risk management solution.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Knowledge of fundamental project management.
  • Communication skills, ability to communicate risk in an intuitive and visual manner, to increase risk awareness and effective applications to the potential enterprise/innovation/business and R&D.



Teaching and learning methods

Facilitated learning activities 30 hours.

(including but not limited to lectures, teamwork, individual activities)


Blackboard content for this unit includes: unit spec, assessment, lecture notes, supportive information.


The unit includes the use of software by CGE Risk Management Solutions. The strength of this software is that it provides a state-of-the-art risk management solution. This involves collaboration with CGE by incorporating the software in the unit. CGE offer eLearning for the basic method and modules for the standard features of the software; at the end of the modules there is a certificate of completion/attendance. Students can finish each module within a time frame of around 2 hours.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 60%
Oral assessment/presentation 40%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback is the feedback given to help you to develop and improve with the unit of study.

The formative assessment is reviewed and comments are returned to you via Blackboard.


Additional formative feedback is available to you through the following means:

•           Attending lectures, joining discussions about case studies and doing short work tasks set within the lecture session.

•           Your lecturer will reply to brief individual questions at the end of each lecture session, if there are a few minutes to spare.

•           Your lecturer will provide brief replies to your e-mailed enquiry.

•           Your lecturer may feedback messages to the whole class via Blackboard if the point that you have raised could be of benefit to the whole class.



Recommended reading

Main texts:

  1. Simple tools and techniques for enterprise risk management, Robert J Chapman Institute of Risk Management (2011).
  2. Running Lean – Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works. Ash Mauria (2012). Chapter: 1, 3, 4, 5.


Further suggested reading:

  1. Kuratko D.F. (2007) Introduction to entrepreneurship. Chapter: 1, 2, 7, 12, 13, 14.
  2. Risk Management: Helping Director's to Control the Risks that Threaten You and Your Business. IOD Director's Guide, (2006), by Institute of Directors
  3. The Psychology of Risk by Glynis Breakwell (2008). Chapter 1 and 3.
  4. Philosophy of Risk By John C. Chicken, Tamar Posner (1998)
  5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. J. Bessant and J. Tidd (2015). Chapter 8.
  6. Fraser J.R.S., Simkina B. J, ’The challenges of and solutions for implementing enterprise risk management.‘ Business Horizons (2016) 59, 689-698.
  7. Integrated Cost-Schedule Risk Analysis, David Hulett (2016) Chapter: 1, 2.
  8. Enterprise Risk Management: Today's Leading Research and Best Practices for Tomorrow's Executives, J.F. Fraser and B.J. Simkins (2010)
  9. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Taleb (2010).


Additional material will be provided in lectures where relevant.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kassandra Papadopoulou Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Your Feedback

Units are reviewed annually, at the end of the second semester.

Please complete the standard university unit questionnaire.

If you have any comments about the unit please always contact the unit lecturer in the first instance.


Informal Contact Methods

Office Hours: email the lecturer

Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self assessment questions): see ‘Feedback Methods’ section.

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