IACA’s IMACC is a two-year programme consisting of six modules and a final project or thesis.

Four modules are completed in the first academic year, followed by two modules and the final project or thesis in the second year.

Each module has three phases: pre-module, an in-class session, and post-module (see Module Structure). Intensive in-class phases (either seven or ten days) allow for maximum learning opportunities within a condensed period of time. Classes take place approximately every three months at the IACA campus in Laxenburg, Austria (Vienna area) and, for study visits, possibly other locations worldwide.

The IMACC degree comes with a total of 120 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), enabling enrolment into PhD programmes if desired.

IACA is recognized by the Republic of Austria (the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy, acting in its capacity as ENIC NARIC AUSTRIA) as an institution of post-secondary education (in accordance with art. 51 para. 2 subpara. 1 of the Universities Act 2002 – UG, BGBl. I no. 120/2002, and art. 4 para. 4 of the Universities of Applied Sciences Studies Act – FHStG, BGBl. no. 340/1993, as amended). IACA programmes and their final diplomas are recognized in the sense of the EU's Bologna Process. Additional information on recognition is available here.


The pre-module phase is designed to prepare students, through self-study, for the in-class phase by providing a common standard of familiarity with terminology and the relevant academic disciplines and practical perspectives. A written assignment is included in each pre-module phase.

The in-class phase allows students to expand and utilize the knowledge they have acquired in the pre-module phase. Students are guided by lecturers who provide additional in-depth understanding and tools to prepare them for the practical use and application of the material in their own professional setting.

The in-class phase features lectures, case studies, interactive games, group work, and stakeholder discussions. In addition, five modules include a Compliance Lab that will give participants practical tools and methodologies for effective anti-corruption compliance management.

 During the post–module phase, students work on projects that reflect the overall learning outcomes of the module and allow them to review and apply in practice their newly acquired knowledge and skills.



IMACC curriculum at a glance (PDF)

International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC)


Module I

The module sets the stage for the entire IMACC course. Students will be introduced to anti-corruption studies relevant to the business sector and review the pertinent definitions, concepts, and terminology. They will then move to the causes and motivations that drive and sustain corruption in different cultural and sectoral contexts. The main focus of the module will be on the economic analysis of corruption, including its consequences, and the behavioral sciences applied to the study of corruption and its prevention. A course on research methods will help students to successfully complete their assignments throughout the programme and lay the foundation for research and writing of their final project or master’s thesis.

Module II

The module will provide students with the ethical and legal foundations of an effective anti-corruption compliance programme. In the first part of the module, students will learn how to define, implement and promote core values in their organizations. Special attention will be given to the specifics of culture and values in different regions of the world. In the second part of the module, students will study international and national laws applicable to designing and implementing anti-corruption compliance programmes. The implementation of international standards, including ISO 37001, will be a key topic. Experts from law enforcement and supervisory bodies will discuss the application of anti-corruption laws to specific cases. The module also includes the Compliance Lab where participants will design a value-based anti-corruption compliance programme.

Module III

The module will concentrate on the best practices in designing and implementing an effective anti-corruption compliance programme. The first step in the process is conducting an informed and thorough risk assessment and management to develop a programme that best serves the needs and meets the challenges of the organization. Moving further, students will discuss developing codes of conduct, conducting due diligence, and the key elements of a successful anti-corruption compliance programme. Major compliance risks, such as gifts and hospitality, donations, procurement, conflicts of interests, and other issues will be addressed. The development of practical skills and compliance tools, including special IT solutions and big data analytics, will also be part of the module. In the Compliance Lab, students will interactively learn how to conduct due diligence.

Module IV

The module delves deeper into the management of anti-corruption compliance programmes. Students will study and discuss effective interaction with CEOs, Boards, and employees, and the principles of proper internal and external communication. They will learn how to mitigate risks with localized compliance policies and to work with supply chains in challenging business environments. There will be a discussion of the legal, ethical, and psychological aspects of interaction with whistleblowers. Special compliance challenges in small and medium-sized enterprises as well as a variety of approaches to monitoring and evaluation of anti-corruption compliance programmes are included. Students will have an opportunity to further learn from each other in the Compliance Lab which will focus on the Bank of Good Practices. The module also includes an interactive workshop to discuss the methodology and framework of anticorruption compliance benchmarking.

Module V

The focus of the module is on how to respond when things go wrong and immediate actions are required. Students will study and discuss how to handle crisis management, plan and conduct internal investigations, and use a variety of forensic tools. Interacting with law enforcement and supervisory bodies, including self-disclosure, is an important segment of this module. Drawing on revious modules, students will study and discuss the types of information to be shared with the authorities in various jurisdictions and, where appropriate, with other organizations and actors. Corporate and individual liability will also be examined. The Compliance Lab will focus on conducting internal investigations.

Module VI

The module is dedicated to the growing trend of fighting corruption through alternative mechanisms: public-private collaboration and collective action. The module will focus on the practical aspects of initiating collective action, building trust, creating incentives for different stakeholders to successfully implement collective action initiatives, and establishing a transparent system of monitoring and evaluation. In the Compliance Lab, students will design a collective action model for a particular industry. A course on research methods will help students in designing, researching, and writing their final project or master’s thesis. Students will also participate in an international conference on anti-corruption compliance benchmarking.


Students will complete the programme with the successful submission and defence of a faculty-guided project or thesis. A supporting course on research methods and academic writing to help participants with their final project or thesis is included in the curriculum.

Combining theory and practice, the final project will develop a proposal for tackling a particular challenge in the area of anti-corruption, compliance, and/or collective action. Through it, participants will contribute to their own areas of work, organizations, and industries.

For those wishing to pursue a PhD, there is also the option of a master’s thesis.


 schedule imaccc 2017