BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management - University of Portsmouth
BSc (Hons)

Risk and Security Management

Developed in conjunction with the private security sector

Course Overview

Why take this course?

The BSc Risk and Security Management has been developed in conjunction with the private security sector. It aims to equip security practitioners, and those working in occupations with a significant security role, with the ability to understand and apply relevant approaches, techniques and processes from both general management and their own specialist management field. It includes questions of strategic and operational management, risk management, security management, business continuity management, cyber security, investigations and counter fraud.

People of all ages and backgrounds study with us, for a range of reasons, such as to gain a qualification, broaden their skills, enhance their career prospects, change career direction or challenge themselves. There are no formal entry requirements for this course, and individual applications are assessed based on the candidate’s experience and educational background.

All applicants should apply as soon as possible to reserve a place and ensure adequate preparations are made for the start of your studies.

ICJS Distance Learning brochure

Will this course suit me?

Students on the BSc Risk and Security Management range from 18 to 60 in age and come predominantly from the private security sector, military or police at a wide variety of career stages. In other cases our students are working in non-security fields and looking to build an entirely new career in security risk management. Most are seeking to progress within commercial or organisational security or make a transition into the private sector from the military or police, sometimes after 30 years’ service and in other cases much earlier in their careers. Our students come to us from across the UK and all corners of the globe, and are a diverse and interesting group.

We are keen to broaden the range of people who study with us, and offer a system to convert your prior learning in work or volunteering into university credit. Those who have completed an appropriate foundation degree can do the final year of this course and gain a full honours degree.

Students can also exit after 18 months of study and achieve a nationally recognised Certificate of Higher Education or exit after 36 months and achieve a nationally recognised Diploma of Higher Education.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our graduates progress to a variety of career destinations in risk and security management, or take advantage of both their degree qualification and the learning they have achieved to advance more quickly within their organisations. Students frequently report transferring the knowledge they have gained in their studies into the workplace and receiving positive feedback from line managers about their progression.

How do I apply?

Complete the University's online application form (not a UCAS form)


Neil Peacock, BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management student 2017

From the onset I quickly realised I had made the right choice; not only was the instruction and guidance academically first class, the back office support was exceptional.

Neil Peacock, BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management student 2017


BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management

Find out why our degree in risk and security management is the ideal opportunity to combine work and study that will boost your career prospects.

Browse all courses in Law and Criminology

Back to top

Structure & Teaching

Stage one

Core units currently include:

  • Studying Criminology
  • Introduction to Security Management
  • Introduction to Management
  • Introduction to Investigation
  • Introduction to Counter Fraud Studies
  • Introduction to Research Skills

Stage two

Core units currently include:

  • Risk Management
  • Business Continuity and Crisis Management
  • Information Security
  • Research Methods

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Anti-Fraud Strategies
  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Frameworks of Investigation
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation
  • Global, State and Corporate Security
  • Hate Crime
  • Investigation, Psychology and Law
  • Issues in Criminology
  • Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Penology
  • Police Operations and Policing Processes
  • The Fraud Problem
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice

Stage three

Core units currently include:

  • Corporate Security
  • Internet Risk and Security
  • Dissertation

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Business Administration in the Security and Justice Sectors
  • Contemporary International Policing Systems
  • Counter Terrorism and UK National Security
  • Criminal Justice and Minority Groups
  • Critical Issues in Public Protection Policing
  • Dangerousness and Dangerous Offenders
  • Interviewing and Evidence
  • Major Crime Investigation – Success And Failure
  • Organised Crime
  • Private Policing
  • Victimology and Victimisation

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Computer use

You will need to have use of a computer and access to the internet. You do not need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are obviously useful.

Course materials, discussions and seminars are contained in an online learning environment called Moodle. The tools and resources available in Moodle are designed to guide and support your learning and study. You can to access the resources in Moodle whenever or wherever you are (as long as you have access to the internet).

You will be introduced and shown how to access and make use of the tools and resources in Moodle during the induction period though ongoing support and assistance is available throughout your study on the course.

If you don’t have access to the internet you will be at a disadvantage since you won’t be able to make use of the tools and resources available. Moodle is designed to be used via a computer. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smart phone but the functionality will be limited and slower than if you use a computer.


You will receive high-quality course materials via our online learning environment. You will also be able to communicate with the tutors and other students through it, as well as present your work. Induction material received at the beginning of the course will introduce you to our online learning environment and the distance learning facilities offered by the University Library.

You will be invited to two annual events in Portsmouth: a two-day induction each September and a study event early in the new year. These allow you to meet staff and other students, as well as participate in more traditional forms of learning, such as lectures and tutorials.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 100% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 2% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 98% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 0% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 100% studying independently and 0% on work placement


All the units in this course are assessed by means of essays and reports. Assessment titles are provided at the beginning of the academic year. Unit materials often contain interactive exercises to encourage you to think and write about the issues being discussed, to test and encourage your learning.

You will receive feedback on your assessed essays, which will indicate what you need to do to obtain better marks in your next essay, alongside the criteria against which your essay was marked. As marks obtained in stage one do not count towards the classification of the degree, you will have time to hone your essay writing skills.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year two students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
Video Description

An animation that explains how you study on an Institute of Criminal Justice Studies distance learning degree and the benefits of studying at a distance.

Tutor's view


Dr Alison Wakefield
Risk and Security Management Course Leader

As academic qualifications in security risk management become increasingly important, we are proud to offer a degree tailored to the needs of today's security practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds. Its strengths include a relevant, up-to-date curriculum, excellent administration and support, and a strong, full-time teaching team with acknowledged expertise in the field.

Back to top

Facilities & Features


The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies was founded in 1992 and has since grown to comprise 50 academic staff and more than 1,800 students. Now an internationally- renowned focal point for the study of crime and criminal justice processes, it draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk and security.

Professional Links

Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the police service and criminal justice agencies ensure that our courses reflect the changing needs of the profession. You will benefit from these links by hearing guest speakers, listening to leading-edge research and being helped to find professional work placements.

Distance Learning

Our distinctive approach to supported distance learning, robust procedures for the accreditation of prior learning and modular award framework not only help facilitate access to higher education but also offer flexible and transferable platforms for life-long learning.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

You may be required to pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence to attend our optional campus induction events and study days. These may be in the region of £50 - £500.

Back to top

Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

This degree has been developed to meet the requirements of the expanding security industry, whose roles are becoming increasingly complex. This qualification will give you the skills required to enhance your professional capabilities and will also help to prove these skills to future employers. 

Given the broad range of issues considered and the skills acquired throughout the degree programme, you will graduate with a portfolio of knowledge and abilities that supports a diverse range of career development opportunities in this field.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Oneil Wildgoose, BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management student 2017

Each course through research opened my eyes to a changing world and provided me with the tools necessary to be a better security manager in this dynamic domain

Oneil Wildgoose, BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management student 2017

Back to top

Open days and apply now

Online application form

Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

Open days for distance learners

Undergraduate courses

We will be holding Virtual Open Days for our part-time distance learning courses. This is an exciting opportunity for you to talk to staff and to ask any questions about the degrees and the application process. Our 2018 Virtual Days will be taking place on the following dates:

  • 15 May 3-5pm
  • 19 June 3-5pm
  • 11 July 7-9pm
  • 15 August 7-9pm
  • 5 September 7-9pm

Register for a reminder

Postgraduate courses

We will confirm the dates of our Postgraduate Information Days for 2018 entry soon. Register below to get a reminder when booking opens.

Register for a reminder

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484