High Risk Operations and Governance MSc MSc

  • Programme duration:  
  • Programme start: September 2020
  • Entry requirements: Entry is restricted to serving members of the police and UK armed forces


The MSc in High Risk Operations and Governance has been specifically designed for military personnel and police officers who are looking to work in complex and hazardous environments. The MSc focuses on stabilisation in post conflict areas, with modules covering conflict psychology, international relations, organisational behaviour and terrorism/insurgency. An increasing number of public and private organisations, as well as NGOs, are operating in fragile and conflict affected states. This course will enhance individuals' and organisations’ understanding of these environments and improve their ability to work effectively within them.

The MSc is delivered as credit bearing continuing professional development modules, which can be purchased one at a time.  Each module is taught through seminars over three working days with online support (e.g. discussion boards) for 10 weeks afterwards.

As the MSc consists of credit bearing CPD modules you are able to start the degree at any point through the year by registering for your first module. As the majority of the students have annual bursaries it is common for students to register for a number of modules at once and the dates are constantly updated with at least a year to plan your time and workload management.

For most modules there will be a single piece of assessed coursework that will be submitted 10 weeks after the end of the seminars. The pass mark for each piece of work will be 50% and there will be a second opportunity to submit the work if you fail the first time.

The maximum number of years that you can be registered is six and the most common duration of study is three years (due to funding restrictions). It is anticipated that operational and other requirements will result in periods where you are not studying and this is why we have adopted a truly flexible part time structure for this course.

Every student can potentially use Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) to reduce the number of taught modules that are needed for the MSc. In service training (e.g. Leadership Courses) or other external courses may qualify and potential students are encouraged to contact the course team to discuss this before registering. With our collaborative partners we have some pre-agreed RPL for their courses. Up to a third of the MSc (i.e. 60 credits) can be RPL, however in order to be used the credits must not have contributed to a previous degree qualification.  

You can build up your credits to achieve a number of awards:

  • Postgraduate Award (30 Credits),
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 Credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 Credits)
  • MSc (180 Credits) 

In order to qualify for the full MSc, it is necessary to pass the year-long (off campus, independent study) dissertation module which consists of a single research project completed under the supervision of a member of staff.

Why the MSc in High Risk Operations and Governance?

A unique programme

Due to our collaborative partnerships there is no comparable course. We have involved our external stakeholders throughout the design of this programme to ensure that it suits the needs of serving police and military students who are looking for career advancement or a change of career.


Our modules are mostly available as concentrated blocks of face to face teaching that affords students the ability to discuss the material with subject matter experts and their peers.

A Safe Learning Environment

The MSc is restricted to serving members of the police and military who apply through their employer. Most of the teaching staff have security clearance.


The University of Liverpool recognises the demands of service and the disruption that it can cause to academic study. We have developed student support packages that are available both on and off campus.

Enhanced Learning Credits

The University of Liverpool and the MSc in High Risk Operations and Governance are registered on the ELC system. In order to use your ELC entitlement you will need to register for modules over a three year period.

Why School of Psychology?

Breadth and choice

Reflecting our main research strengths, we offer one-year taught master's (MSc) programmes in:

  • Investigative and Forensic Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology.

For details of MPhil/PhD and MD opportunities in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, see our Postgraduate Research Opportunities.

Professionally focused

The Investigative and Forensic Psychology course is recognised by the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP, British Psychological Society) and counts towards Chartered Forensic Status.

Innovative research

As home to the Centres for Critical and Major Incident Psychology and Investigative Psychology, we continue to stretch the boundaries of psychological inquiry with innovative research activity.

Our partners

Our partners include local hospitals and schools, the Regional Neurological and Neurosurgical NHS Trust, Prison Psychology departments, national and international Police Forces and associated Law Enforcement Agencies. There are also close links with other University departments in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences; in particular, Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human Anatomy. Numerous collaborations exist between members of staff and their colleagues in other academic institutions both nationally and internationally.