Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) Programme

IACA is the first international organization and educational institution to offer a global, postgraduate degree programme in anti-corruption and compliance: the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS). The MACS brings together professionals from around the world with related work experience in the public and private sectors, international and non-governmental organizations, media, and academia. 

The MACS programme is a modular postgraduate academic degree programme delivered over two academic years. Designed as an “in–career” programme, MACS has a compact structure, accommodating working professionals from both the public and private sectors. The programme offers a series of interdisciplinary modules that concentrate on concepts and applied perspectives for preventing and countering corruption and establishing solid components of compliance. Students also develop a Master’s Thesis for which a supporting course in research methods is incorporated into the modules.

The programme includes subjects encompassing the public and private sectors as well as cross–cutting themes relating to law, anti-corruption enforcement, and prevention. The programme utilizes lectures, case studies, interactive sessions, group work, and stakeholder discussions to identify best practices in anti–corruption and compliance. MACS modules are complemented by panel discussions, study visits, and other special events. Programme delivery combines distance learning with in–class sessions, ensuring effective knowledge transfer and the immediate applicability of the knowledge and skills acquired. Classes for at least one of the MACS modules take place outside Austria in cooperation with one of IACA’s international partner institutions. The prior off-site modules took place in Brazil (with the Office of the Controller General), Georgia (with the Ministry of Justice), and Malaysia (with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission). The programme is completed with the successful submission and defence of the Master’s Thesis.

The MACS programme is designed for those who welcome the opportunity to study under some of the world’s most renowned experts in anti-corruption and compliance, in a participatory, international environment, and within a group of motivated and committed individuals in order to deepen their understanding of corruption and compliance, better support their work, and add greater value to their organizations and societies.


The MACS programme brings together professionals from all regions of the world and from diverse professional backgrounds. The minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Undergraduate degree equivalent to a Bachelor degree from a recognized institution
  • A minimum of three years of professional experience involving, in whole or in part, functions and activities related to anti–corruption and/or compliance
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.

MACS Programme Modules 

All admissions are for the completion of the entire MACS programme, including all modules and the Master’s Thesis.The MACS programme runs over the period of two academic years and consists of seven modules and a Master’s Thesis. Each module has a ten to twelve-day in-class phase taking place at approximately three–month intervals. Most of the in-class phases take place at IACA’s campus in Laxenburg, Austria, but one or more of these phases may be held at other locations worldwide. In addition to an in-class phase, each module also has a pre-module and a post-module self-study (distance learning) phase.

Four modules are completed in the first academic year. Three modules and the Master’s Thesis are completed in the second academic year.

Each of the seven MACS modules carries 14 ECTS credits. The Master’s Thesis carries 22 ECTS credits.

Module Structure

Pre–Module Phase


The pre–module phase is designed to prepare students, through self-study, for the challenges of the in-class phase by providing a common standard of familiarity with terminology and the relevant academic contents and perspectives.

During the pre–module phase, students will complete written assignments testing the required knowledge before the classes begin.


  1. In-class Phase

The in–class phase expands and utilizes the knowledge acquired in the pre–module phase. Students are guided by lecturers who provide more in-depth knowledge and practical tools.

The in-class phase involves interactive lectures and other teaching methods such as group work, case studies, presentations, simulation exercises, and panel discussions to enhance knowledge and practical skills and apply them through practical exercises and interactions with peers and other professionals. Personal attendance is mandatory for the in-class phases of all modules and the Master’s Thesis defence.

  1. Post–Module Phase

During the post–module phase, students work on assignments that reflect the overall learning outcomes of the module and provide them with the opportunity to apply and review the newly acquired knowledge and skills.


Modules Overview


Representative Courses and Themes

Module I

Concepts and Issues in Corruption

  • Introduction to the Study of Corruption
  • The Politics of Corruption and Reform
  • Drivers of Personal and Organizational Dishonesty
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective
  • Research Methods I
  • Team Building

Module II

Sociology, Criminology and Political Science of Corruption

  • The Sociology and Criminology of Corruption
  • Corruption, Power and Politics
  • Corruption and Development
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective

Module III Corruption, Law and International Initiatives

  • International Anti-Corruption Instruments and Initiatives
  • National Anti-Corruption Laws
  • The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption
  • Corruption and Human Rights
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective
  • Research Methods II

Module IV

Economics of Corruption

  • Economic Theories and Models of Corruption
  • Economic Consequences and Effects of Corruption
  • Behavioral and Institutional Economics Approaches to Anticorruption
  • Game Theory and Corruption
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective

Module V Corruption, Compliance      and the Private Sector

  • Corruption in the Private Sector
  • Corporate Governance
  • Compliance Systems and Strategies
  • Internal Investigations and Risk Management
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective

Module VI

Anti-Corruption Enforcement   and the Public Sector

  • National Anti–Corruption Strategies
  • Investigating and Prosecuting Corruption Cases
  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Asset Tracing and Recovery
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective
  • Research Methods III

Module VII Corruption Prevention and the Future of Anti-Corruption

  • Anti-Corruption in Local Governance
  • Public Interest Whistleblowing
  • Corruption and Fraud Prevention in the Non-Profit Sector
  • Lessons from Successful Anti-Corruption Reforms
  • Anti–Corruption Agenda: Prevention and the Future
  • The Practitioner’s Perspective
  • Level of Study


  • Department

  • Teaching Language


  • Duration

    2 Years and 0 Months

  • Tuition Fee

    28820 - Euro

  • Learning Mode

    Blended Learning

  • Discipline


  • Start Term


  • Country