Blended online course

MSc Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies (top-up)

  • Qualification: MSc
  • Duration: 12 months, part-time
  • Delivery: Online with 3 practical masterclasses (in-person or online)
  • Workload: Approx 20 hours per week
  • Next enrolment: February 2022
  • Fees: £10,000 (UK/EU/International)
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Introduction

Gain the digital edge in financial crime and compliance

As digital technologies and systems advance, so do the nature and organisation of financial crime and compliance risks for business. In the face of increasingly sophisticated financial crime concerns, such as illicit finance, corruption and fraud within digital societies and economies, it is crucial to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to understand and respond to these challenges.

We created our top-up MSc in Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies with these issues firmly at the forefront. Our part-time, flexible, blended master’s was developed with the ICA, ensuring that you build on your expertise with the latest global standards to combat evolving digital threats.

Key features

Learn leading and up-to-date knowledge

Benefit from ICA's compliance expertise and the University's Department of Criminology reputation at the forefront of financial crime and fraud research.

Transform your business operations

Enhance your knowledge and turn science into practice to drive corporate strategy, policy and processes.

Build a global network

Meet your international peers, academics and ICA subject experts at our three-day practical masterclasses.

Developed in association with the International Compliance Association (ICA)

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Benefits of our collaborative approach

  • Be enriched by the joint expertise of our Department of Criminology’s leading financial crime research and ICA’s externally-verified qualifications, globally recognised as benchmarks of excellence within the industry.
  • Study academic themes underpinned by real-world developments, empowering you to develop an understanding of contemporary, international frameworks and strategies.
  • Boost your career by drawing on the latest specialist knowledge to sharpen your tools and open new opportunities professionally.

Key information

  • Course approval

    This course is currently pending approval and is subject to change. If you wish to be notified about any potential changes, please complete our contact us form.

  • Delivery

    A mix of online content with three-day practical masterclasses three times a year.

  • Practical masterclasses

    The practical masterclasses have been designed to enrich your study experience, deepen your applied knowledge and support the networking element. Held in week four of each unit, these three-day events will give you the unique chance to engage in workshops and network with peers, academics and ICA experts. The masterclasses will take place in Manchester, UK but will be streamed or recorded for those unable to attend.

  • Duration

    MSc (top-up): 12 months, part-time.

  • Enrolment dates

    February. The next intake starts in February 2022.

  • How to apply

    For more information on how to apply and what documents to submit with your application, please visit our application and selection section.

  • Workload

    Approx 20 hours per week.

  • Course director

    Dr Nicholas Lord, Professor of Criminology, Criminology Research Director.

Fees and funding

The February 2022 academic year tuition fee is £10,000 (UK/EU/International).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us. Learn more about paying in instalments .

The advertised fee covers your tuition. It does not cover your accommodation, travel costs or any other expenses that you may incur when attending face-to-face conferences/workshops/masterclasses/field trips.

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Course overview

Who this course is for

This MSc is designed for professionals with senior management functions in business with strategic and decision-making responsibilities for financial crime and compliance risks. This is an executive top-up course, so you’ll need an ICA Postgraduate Diploma in Governance Risk and Compliance or Financial Crime Compliance, and ideally have at least 10 years’ of experience in practice.

In this course, you’ll benefit from The University of Manchester Department of Criminology’s leading academic work around financial crime and fraud. Delivered flexibly online, you can seamlessly integrate your learning into your life and work schedule. With three practical masterclasses per year, you’ll have the opportunity to make professional connections and get involved in interactive workshops with ICA SMEs to deliver governance and compliance best practice. 

Through this course, we’ll equip you with the knowledge, expertise and skills needed to refine your own professional and scientific development. By translating ‘science into practice’, you will directly contribute to the enhancement of your business organisation, informing corporate strategies, policies and decisions in relation to governance, compliance and financial crime risks.

This course is also a stepping stone for those considering to study for a PhD.

What you will learn

  • Develop a theoretical and conceptual toolkit for determining the most plausible explanations for risk, threats and transgressions inside and outside your business.

  • Recognise the complexity and multiplex nature of the business world within which regulatory and governance problems, and financial crime risks occur.
  • Gain knowledge of how to interact with regulators and enforcement authorities, including information sharing and self-reporting of internal failures.
  • Acquire advanced level knowledge on business risks and opportunities related to digital trust and digital security.
  • Obtain expertise on the range and nature of insider and outsider financial crime risks in relation to people, technologies, data and information, and be able to develop strategies for mitigation and development for specific cyber-security incidents.

How it will benefit your career

  • Inform strategy creation and operational policies to make your organisation more efficient, robust and compliant, and in turn protect customers, investors and reputations more broadly.
  • Recognise business vulnerabilities that emerge in relation to workplace and individual data security as new technologies are integrated into strategic decision-making and policy creation.
  • Develop advanced skills for formulating original research questions and designing research projects that can feed into your strategic decision-making.
  • Build on your confidence to interact with co-employees, advocacy organisations, governmental bodies, with regard to the foundations of your approaches and proposals to prevention, intervention and reduction in the sphere of financial crime and compliance risks.

Where and when you will study

You will study online and have the chance to attend three in-person practical masterclasses in Manchester, UK, lasting three days each. The masterclasses and workshops will be streamed or recorded for those unable to attend.

Online learning materials will consist of a mixture of video and audio files alongside written text and instructions accompanied by interactive engagement activities and tasks.

Enjoy the freedom to study flexibly and at your own pace. There are three units that last 10 weeks each and 20 weeks for the dissertation.

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Webinar: Introduction to the course

Course units

  • Unit 1 - Compliance and Financial Crime Risk – Analysis and Explanation (20 credits)

    Learn about theories of compliance and regulation that can be applied to understand risks (what, why and how), victimisation (patterns and trends), and enforcement and governance (risk assessment vs. crime control vs. regulation vs. social justice).

  • Unit 2 - Digital Technologies, Financial Crimes and Compliance (20 credits)

    This unit provides advanced insights into issues that arise in business in relation to digital trust, digital security and digital vulnerabilities, with a particular focus on financial crime and compliance risks. 

  • Unit 3 - Data, Evidence and Intelligence on Financial Crime and Compliance (20 credits)

    Learn about the processes and approaches that underpin the production of evidence and intelligence on financial crime and compliance. Learn how to evaluate the reliability and robustness of financial crime and compliance data, and how these data can be used for informing your company policies and strategies. 

  • Project (60 credits)

    The MSc Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies course has a mandatory dissertation component made up of three optional pathways. You can indicate which dissertation option you’d like to select during your Unit 3 studies. 

Course structure

This part-time, blended, top-up course is specifically designed for working professionals in the financial crime, governance and compliance fields keen to complete a practical course that will aid career development.

The flexibility of this course allows you to gain valuable insight into the real-world applications of your learning as you continue to work.

You take the units in a predetermined order at your own pace, tailoring the course to your interests and commitments. You can only complete one unit (10 weeks each and 20 weeks for the dissertation) at a time.

You will study the course material entirely online whilst benefiting from professional and academic support, plus the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with your international peers. There are also three practical masterclasses held each year in Manchester, UK to reinforce the topics covered and further support your development. These sessions will be streamed for those unable to attend in person.

You will enjoy a richer experience by seamlessly integrating work with study, and gain the unique opportunity to enhance your organisation with the latest best practice.

Course learning aims

By the end of the programme, you will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • acquire a theoretical and conceptual tool-kit for determining the most plausible explanations for financial crime risks, threats and transgressions inside and outside your business,
  • recognise the complexity and multiplex nature of the business world within which regulatory and governance problems, and financial crime risks occur,
  • build on your professional knowledge and experience with theory and concepts to make sense of workplace deviance and inform strategy creation and operational policies to make your organisation more efficient, robust and compliant, and in turn protect customers, investors and reputations more broadly,
  • gain knowledge of how to interact with regulators and enforcement authorities, including information sharing and self-reporting of internal failures,
  • acquire advanced level knowledge on business risks and opportunities related to digital trust and digital securityrecognise business vulnerabilities that emerge in relation to workplace and individual data security as new technologies are integrated into strategic decision-making and policy creation,
  • obtain expertise on the range and nature of insider and outsider financial crime risks in relation to people, technologies, data and information, and be able to develop strategies for mitigation and development for specific cyber-security incidentsacquire the vocabulary to interact with professionals and experts from the digital world, including computer and data scientists, programmers, and other technologists,
  • enhance knowledge on producing evidence-based research on governance, compliance and financial crime risks within your business,
  • develop advanced skills for formulating original research questions and designing research projects that can feed into your strategic decision-making,
  • acquire systematic approaches for critically engaging with high level methodologies to enable you to evaluate data and findings from social research, policy and practice,
  • have the confidence to interact with co-employees, advocacy organisations, governmental organisations, and so on, with regards to the foundations of your approaches and proposals to prevention, intervention and reduction in the sphere of financial crime and compliance risks.

Teaching and learning

This is a blended learning course with three practical masterclasses per year. The taught units are delivered via a virtual learning environment (VLE) where you can access all course materials, online reading lists, podcasts, and the University's extensive online library. You will receive an induction to the virtual learning environment at the start of your course.

The course material is highly engaging and includes video content, audio files and textual materials. You can also use the virtual learning environment to discuss issues raised in the course materials with your course tutor and fellow students. Throughout your studies, you will receive consistent support from a dedicated Student Support Advisor and the Manchester Academic Team.

Each course unit complements others, reinforcing key ideas and issues whilst introducing new materials. The teaching material is designed with working professionals in mind and will enable you to complete the programme part-time alongside your employment. You will be able to work at your own pace as you engage with the unit content.

The three practical masterclasses will take place in week four of each unit and will offer interactive, practical, case study based workshop activities. The sessions will also involve unique masterclasses from the ICA subject matter experts on related and topical issues. Attendance in-person is highly recommended but if you are unable to join us in Manchester, UK you can join the workshops and masterclasses online.

Coursework and assessment

The assessments involve a mixture of written coursework (e.g., short essays or reflective contributions), recorded presentations (e.g., using PowerPoint), and online tasks (i.e., quizzes, short reflections and analyses on the content of the weekly session).

Feedback on formative and summative assessments will be provided in written form via Blackboard with optional one-to-one meetings with the teaching staff.

The project is extremely flexible, allowing you to choose between three 60-credit dissertation options. You can indicate which dissertation option you'd like to select during your Unit 3 studies.

  • Option A - long dissertation (12,000-15,000-word independent thesis),
  • Option B - short dissertation (6,000-8,000-word thesis alongside three 10-credit short modules on research and practice, available via the online learning environment), or
  • Option C - group dissertation (submission of alternative content based on group data including an individual research report (ca. 3,000 words), a group/team report including evidence of contribution (ca. 5,000 words), an end of dissertation presentation (20 mins, equated to 3,000 words), and a personal reflection on the process (ca. 2,000 words)).

You will be allocated supervisors for your dissertation projects and will have an opportunity to have at least two one-to-one meetings.

Admissions information

From your initial expression of interest right through to graduation, you’ll receive all the support you need. We can support you with enrolment and subject assistance, administrative logistics and fee options, online learning skills, workload management and special circumstances.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

If you have successfully completed the ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Crime Compliance or ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance , you can apply for this course.

Please note: the maximum number of credits we can transfer from your ICA qualification is 60.

English language

If you have a degree/qualification that was taught and assessed in English by an education provider, you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency.

English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Please select MSc Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies Online Learning - February intake from the dropdown list.

Please note: we are currently making changes to the application form. You can apply to the course as normal but you will have to select December 2021 as an intake date to submit your application. We will amend your intake date to February 2022 once we've received your application and any other relevant documentation.  

Advice to applicants

To speed up the application process, please submit the following documents with your online application form:

1. Copies of official ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma certificates (see entry requirements for details of qualifying courses), showing the subjects taken and grades obtained.

2. At least one reference, academic or professional, on official headed paper or stamped by the referee.

If you need any support with your application, please contact us at studyonline@manchester.ac.uk .

Additional cost information

Additional expenses

The advertised fee covers your tuition. It does not cover your accommodation, travel costs or any other expenses that you may incur when attending face-to-face conferences/workshops/masterclasses/field trips.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website.

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.