Academic Programmes

structure and curriculum

Each of the seven IMACC online modules carries between 13 to 15 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, and the Master's Thesis carries 21 credits. The IMACC degree therefore comes with a total of 120 ECTS credits, thus ideal for enrolment into PhD programmes.

The IMACC programme runs over two academic years with seven modules and a Master Thesis. Each module runs in 12 weeks. The modules comprise of core and stand-alone courses, composed of self-study readings, interactive presentations, discussion forums, self-assessment, group work, on campus and instructor-led virtual classes, written assignments, webinars, etc. Upon successful completion of the modules and the master’s thesis defence, the graduation ceremony takes place at IACA headquarters in Austria. The programme also offers an ongoing module on research methods, and an ongoing course on facilitating teamwork in the learning process.

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

Module structure

Each module is composed of various synchronous and asynchronous learning content. In the beginning of the module, students will receive entire asynchronous learning content through their e-Learning platform.

Synchronous Learning Content

On-Campus Classes: Modules will take place over 7 working days, during which classes are typically held from 9:00 to 17:00. Classes will include lectures, laboratories, group exercises and other practical activities. During these modules there are also visits to anti-corruption organisations to enrich the students’ experience and knowledge.  The online modules will have between 12 and 16 live classes (90 minutes each). These live sessions are split among the courses proportionally.

Webinar panel discussions: Each online module contains at least one panel discussion in form of a webinar. Webinar topics are chosen based on the content covered in the modules and announced to the students in the beginning of each module, along with the information on the speakers.

Live Group Activities and Simulation Games: Some courses may contain virtually organized synchronous group works and simulation games, such as investigation labs.

Asynchronous Learning Content


  • Learning Content: Reading materials & Visual presentations.
  • Self-Assessment Quiz (non-graded): Guides students through their learning contents.
  • Graded Assessments (Written assignment & Quiz): Each course of a module will contain a graded assessment, and the grade weight will depend on the weight of the course in the module (number of ECTS).
  • Complementary Learning Materials: Depending on the composition of the course, various complementary learning materials may be applied, such as case studies, group works, individual works, quick surveys, etc.
  • Discussion Forum: Each course will have a dedicated discussion forum. The discussion forum starts in the beginning of the module and continues to be open until the end of the module. The lecturers will encourage students to actively participate in the discussion forums.


The following topics are covered in the IMACC modules. IACA may change the sequence of the modules and/or modify the module themes.

A. Research and Writing in Anti-Corruption and Compliance

  • An Introduction to Writing Research Papers
  • Social Science Empirical Research
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Quantitative Research Methods

B. Facilitating virtual teams and learning process

C. Modules

Module 1
Introduction to Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action Studies


  • Understanding Corruption: Themes, Trends, Definitions, Consequences and Measurements 
  • Using Behavioural Science to understand Corruption and Design Anti-Corruption Policies 
  • Organizational Wrongdoing and Ethics Management 
  • Glimpses of International Initiatives in Anti-Corruption 
  • Corruption in Business sector and Rationale of Anti-Corruption-Compliance System 
  • The role of collective action in preventing and reducing corruption: Theories of Collective Action and Collective Action Problems
  • Methodology for Anti-Corruption Compliance Project Work and Group Tasks during Modules 
  • Introduction to Writing Research Papers 

Module 2
Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action: National and International Legal Frameworks and Initiatives 


  • International Anti-Corruption Instruments and Initiatives  
  • Transnational Application of Anti-Corruption National Laws: A Comparative Analysis 
  • The Role of Collective Action in Preventing and Reducing Corruption: International Initiatives
  • Anti-Corruption Compliance and Human Rights 
  • Anti-Corruption Compliance and Human Rights 

Module 3
Anti-Corruption Compliance: Systems, Policies, and Procedures 


  • Anti-Corruption Compliance Standards and Guidance 
  • Value based Compliance Systems and Developing Code of Conduct 
  • Risk Assessment, Third Party Risk, and Risk Management
  • Policy and Procedures, Internal Controls
  • Identifying, Minimizing and Managing Conflict of Interest  
  • AML/CFT - Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Protection: International Legal Framework & Initiatives 
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corruption 


Due Diligence: Third Party Intermediaries (Compliance Throughout Supply Chain), Merger & Acquisitions and Counterparties 

Module 4
Behavioral and Institutional Economics of (Anti)Corruption Compliance 


  • Behavioral and Institutional Economics Approaches to Anti-Corruption
  • Anti-Corruption measures in Procurement: Public and Private Perspectives
  • Compliance Management & Corporate Communication 
  • Localization of Transnational Standards on Anti-Corruption Compliance 
  • Quantitative Research Methods 


Auditing under ISO 37301 (Compliance Management System) and 37001(Anti-Bribery Management System) 


Module 5
Corporate Internal Investigation 


  • Corporate and Individual Liability for Corruption
  • Internal Investigation, Open-Source Investigation, and Crisis Management in Business Enterprises
  • Cooperation with Regulatory and Law Enforcement Bodies 
  • Case Studies on Internal Investigation 


Auditing under ISO 37301 (Compliance Management System) and 37001(Anti-Bribery Management System) 


Corporate Investigation: Conducting Investigation

Module 6
Anti-Corruption Compliance Systems: Ethics in Practice 


  • Anti-Corruption Compliance for SMEs 
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Anti-Corruption Compliance Programmes 
  • Ethical Decisions for Anti-Corruption Compliance Professionals 
  • Gift, Hospitality, Donations and Charity
  • Corruption and International Arbitration 
  • Whistleblowing and Whistleblower Protection
  • Integrity and Anti-Corruption in International Development: The World Bank Group’s Sanctions System 


Establishing Whistleblowing System as Part of Compliance System 

Module 7
Collaboration against Corruption, Systems and Technologies and Future of Anti-Corruption Compliance


  • The Future of Compliance 
  • Role of technology, Data Analytics and Emerging Technologies in Anti-Corruption 
  • Collaboration with Media: Business Media Relations 
  • International Anti-Corruption Initiatives against Corruption 
  • Research Ethics, Data-Analysis, Reporting Research


Designing a Collective Action Model

Master Thesis

The IMACC programme is completed with the successful submission and defence of a Master’s Thesis. The Master’s Thesis is an academic paper of about 25,000 words demonstrating conceptual and analytical approaches to a topic related to corruption and anti-corruption compliance preferably in the business sector, and collective action against corruption, with focus on applying knowledge to practice.

Each IMACC student of this class is assigned an experienced faculty supervisor to guide her/him in the research and writing of his/her Master’s Thesis. Master’s Theses are due in September of the second year of studies. Defence of the Master Theses takes place online in October and early November of the second academic year, followed by graduation on IACA campus, on or around 9 December, which is an International Anti-Corruption Day.


International Anti-Corruption Academy

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Laxenburg/Vienna, Austria  |  T: +43 2236 710 718 101

© 2022 IACA. Developed by IACA.


Laxenburg/Vienna, Austria  |  T: +43 2236 710 718 101

© 2022 IACA. Developed by IACA.

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