Male operator in control centre

Mode of Study

Part-time by distance learning


4.5 years part-time distance learning

Start date

September 2023


In an increasingly global society, understanding crime and the risk it presents is critical to managing security and preventing threat.

If you’re already working in security, or want to break into the field, this flexible BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management distance learning degree course will give you an advanced understanding of topics that have a critical impact on society. Study anywhere that suits you while developing your potential as a security professional in disciplines such as strategic and operational management, risk management, security management, business continuity management, cyber security, investigations and counter fraud.

Developed by leading researchers in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in collaboration with the private security sector, you'll learn to understand crime and risk at a specialist level through study of the latest security and risk management techniques, processes and approaches. You'll graduate with enhanced career opportunities and the ability to contribute more value to your current employer. 

Course highlights

  • Develop academic and professional expertise in the security sector
  • Specialise in areas that are relevant to you, by choosing modules that match your interests and career ambitions on topics such as organised crime, victimisation, rehabilitation and contemporary terrorism
  • Be taught by leading academics from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, including Professor Mark Button, Director of the Centre for Cybercrime and Economic Crime and Dr Nick Pamment, whose team has adapted forensic fingerprinting techniques to fight illegal wildlife trafficking
  • Study on a course that inspired an Imbert Prize award-winning dissertation from the Association of Security Consultants, on the topic of the use of handcuffs and restraints in the private security industry
  • Have the option to convert relevant prior learning or work experience from previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses into credits and complete the course in less time
  • Get a Certificate of Higher Education after 18 months and a Diploma of Higher Education after 36 months, if you're unable to complete the full course

Benefits of distance learning

  • Work from anywhere, at your own pace, in your own time – with interactive online learning materials hosted on our virtual learning environment, Moodle, and available 24/7 on any device – find out how distance learning works
  • Access to over 600,000 ebooks, 55,000 online journals, digital newspapers and a postal loan service from our University Library – see all library support for distance learners
  • Invitations to online forums where you can discuss your studies with other students and your lecturers
  • Access to all student support services via email, phone, online chat or video call


Graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

Recognised by:

This course is in the top 10 for Tourism, Transport, Travel and Heritage Studies in the Complete University Guide League Tables 2022.


Join a webinar about our Criminal Justice distance learning courses

Join a live webinar on Monday 15 May from 6.00pm - 7.00pm to learn about this course, and our other part-time Criminal Justice distance learning courses.

We'll introduce you to three of our undergraduate courses:

Book now

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management (Distance Learning) degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • There are no specific qualification requirements, we will assess your application on its own merits. Applicants without relevant Level 3 qualifications will be required to produce a short written artefact to better assist the course leader as to the suitability of the applicant.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Careers and opportunities

96% of course graduates are in work or further study 15 months after they graduate and 90% of those graduates are in highly skilled work in welfare, protective services and housing, as managers, directors, senior officials and public service associates. 

What's more, 93% of course graduates find their work meaningful. So the skills you’ll learn on our course are in high demand and are likely to set you up for progression into a senior professional role you're passionate about.

10% of our graduates go onto further study alongside their work, and you could also continue your studies to a PhD or other postgraduate qualification, such as our Risk, Crisis and Resilience Management Master's and a Professional Doctorate in Security Risk Management.

What sectors can you work in with a risk and security management degree?

When you finish the course, you’ll boost your career prospects and be prepared to take on professional roles across any sector that requires risk and security management.

Areas you could go into include:

  • the civil service and armed forces
  • intergovernmental organisations (such as the United Nations)
  • international charity organisations
  • intelligence
  • law enforcement and local authority
  • security risk analysis
  • crisis and disaster management
  • counter fraud
  • private security
  • information security

Graduate destinations

Previous graduates have gone onto roles with companies such as Control Risks (global risk consultancy) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Futureproof your career

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Risk and Security Management degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. As a distance learning student, you'll study modules worth a total of 80 credits each year. This will be a combination of core modules, worth 40 credits each, and optional modules worth 20 credits each.

A degree is split into three levels (level 4, level 5 and level 6), each made up of modules worth a total of 120 credits. Completing all three levels of this course takes 4 and a half years.

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


Core modules include:

  • Criminal Justice and the Legal System (Level 4; 40 credits)
  • Essential Skills for Criminal Justice Studies (Level 4; 40 credits)

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules include:

  • Organisational and Security Management (Level 4; 40 credits)
  • Risk and Crisis Management (Level 5; 40 credits)

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules include:

  • Research Methods and Analysis (Level 5; 40 credits)

Optional modules include (Level 5; 20 credits each):

  • Advanced Investigation and Operational Policing
  • Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response
  • Cybercrime and Security
  • Forensic Psychology: Investigation
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation
  • Organised Crime
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders
  • Victimology - Victimisation and the Criminal Justice System

 Core modules include:  

  • Corporate Security (Level 6; 20 credits)
  • Internet Risk and Security (Level 6; 20 credits)

Optional modules include (Level 6; 20 credits each):

  • Counter Terrorism and UK National Security
  • Critical Issues in Public Protection Policing
  • Internet Risk and Security
  • Major Crime Investigation
  • Organised Crime
  • Victimology - Victimisation and the Criminal Justice System

Core modules include:

  • Dissertation (Level 6; 40 credits)

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


This course is delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials via Moodle, our online learning environment.

You'll get to chat with fellow students, discuss and present your work and keep in touch with tutors. You'll get plenty of support throughout your studies, including help on writing and structuring essays, and how to undertake research.

These allow you to meet staff and other students, and take part in traditional forms of learning such as lectures and tutorials.

Meet our staff members.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through essays and reports, with essay titles provided at the beginning of the academic year. You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2023 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and International students – £3,080 per year (years 1-4) and £1,540 a year (year 5) (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £3,080 per year (years 1-4) and £1,540 a year (year 5) (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

You may need to pay additional travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, of £50–£500 to attend our optional campus induction events and study days.


How to apply

Apply for this part-time course using our online application form.

Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.