Add derivates expertise to your CV in just eight weeks.

Derivatives are a financial instrument used by virtually all financial institutions, from investment banks and large corporations to small financial companies.

Join our online Derivatives and Risk Management course to gain a deep understanding of derivatives, learning from our financial market experts.

  • Study basic derivative contracts.
  • Gain analytical skills and learn how to price derivatives.
  • Explore how derivatives are used in the risk management process.

Access this focused part of our MSc Finance with this online course that fits around full-time work.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

Provided you meet the degree entry requirements, you may be able to use the credits you earn on this course towards this MSc.

What you’ll study

In this online short course, you’ll examine key information about the derivatives markets.

You’ll study the ways in which derivatives are traded in financial markets.

You’ll also:

  • develop practical skills in quantitative analysis so you can price forwards, options and swaps
  • learn about the processes that govern derivatives valuation and the factors that influence derivatives prices
  • analyse the role of derivatives in risk management processes.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Explain the economics and structure of basic derivatives: forwards, futures, options and swaps, and other interest rate and credit derivatives.
  • Describe the structure and organisation of the derivatives markets and the mechanism of derivatives trading.
  • Communicate the principles and mechanism of derivatives pricing along with the factors that influence the valuation process.
  • Value options using the binomial tree model and Black-Scholes model, and use Excel spreadsheets to do so.
  • Identify how derivatives can be used for hedging purposes and provide practical solutions in this area.
  • Discuss the importance of derivatives in risk management.
  • Analyse the use of derivatives for risk management purposes in practical applications.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance-learning Derivatives and Risk Management course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Course materials are carefully planned and structured. You’ll have unlimited access to our custom-built study platform, designed for ease of use and communication. Also available as an app, you can study on computer, smartphone and tablet 24/7.

Guidance and support is one-to-one and unlimited. Your tutor will respond to any questions and provide feedback on your coursework within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.

You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos
  • online tutorials
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from experienced academics and researchers from the University of Aberdeen’s Business School.


This course is assessed entirely online via:

  • a 1,500-word research report with qualitative analysis (70% of your final grade)
  • a reflective review in the form of a 2,000-word essay (30% of your final grade).

Your course coordinator

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. Provided you meet the degree entry requirements, you may be able to use these credits towards our:

MSc Finance

  • Study part-time, online.
  • Gain a deeper knowledge of core financial theory.
  • Develop key skills in corporate finance, portfolio analysis, asset valuation, derivatives and risk management.

Build your learning

We have a range of online business and leadership courses you can use to build your skills, earn university credits, and gain postgraduate qualifications.


Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.