SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Risk management

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1

The objective of the course is to provide students with fundamental knowledge about how to use financial tools to manage risk. The risk management tools covered by the course include portfolio analysis; bonds and the yield curve; financial derivatives including forwards and futures, options (and how to use them to hedge); and Value at Risk (VaR), etc. The course provides theories and concepts regarding risk management tools that are mainly derived based on financial firms. The application of these risk management tools to both financial firms and nonfinancial firms is also covered when necessary.     

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

This course enables students to:

  • Understand fundamental theories and concepts regarding financial tools that can be used in risk management
  • Understand and analyse the movement of real life financial markets reported in financial magazines and newspapers
  • Understand how to use some standard risk management tools to solve risk management problems for financial firms
  • Understand how some standard risk management tools can be applied to nonfinancial firms


This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.

This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:
Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:

  1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
  2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
  3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted

Suggested reading

  • EJ Elton, MJ Gruber, SJ Brown and WN Goetzmann, Modern Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis, 8th ed., New York, Wiley, 2011.
  • JC Hull, Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets, 7th ed., New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2011.
    (Alternatively, you may use the more complete exposition, which is technically more advanced, in JC Hull, Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives, 8th ed., New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2012).
  • M Crouhy, D Galai, R Mark, Risk Management, New York, McGraw Hill, 2001.
    (Alternatively, you may prefer to use the more concise textbook by the same authors: M Crouhy, D Galai, R Mark, The Essentials of Risk Management, New York, McGraw Hill, 2006).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules