Academic Programmes

Structure and Curriculum

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

The MACS programme runs over two academic years with seven modules and a Master Thesis. Each module runs in 12 weeks. The modules comprise of several 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.

The interactive classes of four modules are delivered virtually, and three modules are delivered on campus (with the possibility for students who are unable to travel to participate online).

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:  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 MACS modules. IACA may change the sequence of the modules and/or modify the module themes and courses.

Master Thesis

The MACS programme is completed with the successful submission and defence of a Master’s Thesis. The Master’s Thesis is an academic paper of 25,000 words demonstrating conceptual and analytical approaches to a topic related to corruption, anti-corruption, and/or compliance and applying knowledge to practice.

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

International Anti-Corruption Academy

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

© 2023 IACA. Developed by IACA.

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

© 2023 IACA. Developed by IACA.

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