The University of Manchester launches MSc in Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies in association with the International Compliance Association



The University of Manchester, in association with The International Compliance Association (ICA) – part of Wilmington plc, has launched an MSc in Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies to equip compliance leaders of the future with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to respond to increasingly sophisticated financial crime concerns, such as illicit finance, corruption and fraud within digital societies and economies.

Exclusively available to holders of ICA Professional Postgraduate Diplomas, the first enrolment for the new part-time, flexible, blended master’s degree will be in February 2022. The University of Manchester will lead on the overall programme delivery, which is complemented by ICA managing the practical masterclass components of the course, covering compliance and how theoretical elements fit with current regulation. 

The course is delivered through a mix of online content and three practical masterclasses, in-person or online. The practical masterclasses will provide students with an opportunity to strengthen their learning, enhance their practical skills and connect with a global community of like-minded professionals. Held over three days, they involve talks by The University of Manchester academics and interactive workshops with ICA on related and topical issues. They will take place in Manchester, UK, but will be streamed or recorded for those unable to attend.  

Nicholas Lord PhD, Professor of Criminology, University of Manchester explains: “This Masters-degree course is designed specifically for working professionals in the financial crime, governance and compliance fields.  The flexibility and practical nature of content will allow participants to gain valuable insight into the real-world applications of their acquired knowledge as they continue to work. 

“By bringing academic, social scientific and criminological insight into the compliance world, senior and strategic managers can identify and understand the issues and implications that can occur within business if or when financial crime occurs, in addition to developing comprehensive risk strategies.”

The new MSc programme will be delivered in three specific units;

Unit One: Financial Crime and Compliance Risks
This will cover theories of compliance and regulation that can be applied to understand risks, motivations for compliance and non-compliance, and enforcement and governance. It will provide participants with a multi-layered, multi-level theoretical toolkit to understand individual motivations and propensities for engaging in risky practices. It will also consider how company cultures, structures and policies can inadvertently provide the opportunity for problematic behaviour, and how wider political-economic environments feed into individual decisions to engage in behaviours that could result in compliance risk for organisations.

Unit Two: Digital Technologies, Financial Crimes and Compliance
This 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. Students will learn about the impact of digital technologies in a hyper-connected world for business compliance risks and opportunities.

Unit Three: Data, Evidence and Intelligence on Financial Crime and Compliance
This enables students to learn about the processes and approaches that underpin the production of evidence and intelligence on financial crime and compliance. Participants will learn how to evaluate the reliability and robustness of financial crime and compliance data, and how data can be used to design intervention strategies and company policies.

The 12-month, part-time MSc in Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies also includes a dissertation component, which offers the opportunity for students to carry out their own research, working alone or in a group. 

ICA President, Bill Howarth confirms: “For twenty years, ICA has been helping raise standards globally through our range of courses but also going beyond training to affect behavioural change.  The new MSc programme is the pinnacle of the ICA education pyramid for compliance professionals of the future; we look forward to helping compliance professionals acquire specialist knowledge about business risks and opportunities related to digital trust and security while recognising vulnerabilities as new technologies are integrated into strategic decision-making and policy creation.”

For course information please see: MSc Financial Crime and Compliance in Digital Societies (top-up) | The University of Manchester  or for more information about ICA, visit or follow the organisation on Twitter: