Taught 100% online, study Sussex’s MA Corruption and Governance at a time and place that suits you.
Course start dates:
There are six start dates every academic year, providing maximum flexibility for our students;
January | March | May | July | September | October
Course fee: £11,450
The Corruption and Governance MA provides a distinct approach to the study of corruption and anti-corruption. Approaching the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective, you’ll focus on three fundamental questions: what is corruption, what causes it and what should be done to combat it?
Drawing on expertise from the renowned Centre for the Study of Corruption, you’ll examine corrupt behaviour and activity within regional, sectoral and organisational contexts.
If you'd like to find out more about learning online with Sussex book a call with one of our Admissions Advisors.
This Masters is taught 100% online and is part-time. The course can be completed in a minimum of two years and maximum of four. Students have the opportunity to pause their studies if their work or life commitments require*.
You can also study an on campus version of our Energy Policy Masters on a full or part time basis, find out more.
*Maximum break time applies.
As a student studying Corruption and Governance at Sussex you’ll be exposed to a distinct interdisciplinary approach to the subject area. This is the only Masters to bring academic analysis from law, anthropology, economics, development studies, sociology and political science to the study of corruption and anti-corruption training.
Exploring relevant case-studies, you’ll unpack the corruption problem and explore potential solutions in the context within which they exist. You’ll gain both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to understand the complexities of defining, measuring and counteracting corruption within a multitude of sectors and from a global perspective.
As a graduate of this course you’ll be equipped with the intellectual and practical tools to help you fight corruption.
This course is part-time and can be completed in a minimum of two years and maximum of four. Students have the opportunity to step on and off the course, pausing their studies if their work or life commitments require*.
*Maximum study break times apply to this course
N.B. This course is currently going through university validation with details of the course, such as module titles, subject to change.
Defining what you’re analysing is key to conducting rigorous social science. However, defining what corruption is, is not easy. That has not stopped many people from trying to do precisely that and this module introduces the most prominent of the definitions in contemporary use. This module also crosses disciplinary boundaries by then using a variety of case studies to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses as well as the practical utility of the most well-known of those definitions.
There are now multiple ways of measuring corruption. This module begins by introducing the most well-known of the aggregate indicators of corruption (Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, CPI, the World Governance Indicators’ ‘Control of Corruption’) before explaining why in reality they have only limited usage. Newer, more focussed measures of corruption are then assessed, as are some of the now larger array of proxy indicators of corrupt practice.
Why does corruption exist? For some, it is an integral part of human nature. For others, it is something that is learned and ingrained over time. This module assesses the ‘rational choice’ approaches to understanding why corruption takes place, before contrasting these with more constructivist understanding of why corruption occurs. This will be supplemented by case study analysis of a low and high corruption country.
Every government now claims to want to fight corruption. There is subsequently no shortage of anti-corruption tools and mechanisms out there. This module unpacks the logics of anticorruption in international, national and local arenas. It also begins to unpack what works, what doesn’t and why.
A new wave of initiatives that put people at the centre of anti-corruption thinking has swept the world. This involves empowering individuals to report back on corrupt experiences they may have had, helps them see deep inside government to probe for corrupt practices and allows them to increasingly shape their own lives away from the clutches of corrupt powerholders. This module assesses the impact of people-power initiatives
Stories about corruption abound. This module assesses the narratives and metaphors that go hand in hand with corrupt practice, explaining how corruption is talked about and reported upon. This module illustrates that corruption remains a complex phenomenon with unclear boundaries, and that the use of metaphorical devices not only illuminates but also hides some of its attributes
Over the last 20/30 years a range of international actors have ‘discovered’ corruption. This module introduces the anti-corruption efforts of those actors (UN, OECD. World Bank etc.) before evaluating their relative successes and failures.
An increasingly diverse body of literature looks at the relationship between gender and corruption. For some corruption has an inherent male bias. For others, the relationship is more complicated. This module assesses these competing perspectives before analysing to what extent increasing gender equality can also be an effective anti-corruption tool.
Compliance has become one of the buzzwords of global capitalism. This module explains why ever more companies have compliance strategies and evaluates their successes in helping to mitigate against corrupt practice in international business
Is it a coincidence that states with multiple natural resources appear to have some of the most severe corruption challenges? If so, why? This module helps students understand why certain states fall in to the ‘natural resources trap’ whereas others – Norway, for example – manage to avoid it.
This module enables students to assess the impact of money on political processes. Whilst perceived wisdom has it that money helps shape and influence political outcomes, in reality the relationship is more complicated than that. The module will introduce a number of models for financing politics, before evaluating their respective impacts. The module will help students understand that no matter how you fund political life, corruption challenges will remain
Students will undertake a project linked with anti-corruption issues within a specific firm, organisation or setting. The project will enable students to introduce a given (anti-) corruption ‘problem’, evaluate strategies for counteracting it and then assess attempts to enact change.
Assessments will take place throughout each module and must be completed within the module teaching period for students to progress through the course/to the next module.
Professor of Politics
An expert in politics and the study of corruption, Dan has written widely for publications including the Washington Post, South China Morning Post, The Conversation and the New Statesman. He is also a regular contributor for the BBC and CNBC.
Dan regularly works with and advises practitioners in the anti-corruption community. He has conducted consultancy work for the UK Cabinet Office, the Saudi Arabian anti-corruption commission and the South Korean anti-corruption commission.View profile
Senior Lecturer in Politics
As Director of Sussex's Centre for the Study of Corruption (SCSC) in 2018, Liz engages widely with anti-corruption practitioners in international organisations, governments, the private sector and NGOs - in the UK and overseas.
Liz has written several reports for Transparency International and advised the UK Department for International Development on its International Anti-Corruption programme and the UK Cabinet Office on the 2017-22 National Anti-Corruption Strategy.View profile
Moletsane contributes regularly to the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption blog, the Pambazuka News and various platforms dedicated to the analysis of African Politics, (Anti-) Corruption, Political Behaviour and Political Conflict. Moletsane teaches Political Science at the National University of Lesotho, in Maseru. He has acted as a consultant for, among others, the Global Integrity, International Idea and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbHView profile
A higher second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree* or above from any UK university or international equivalent. Your qualification should be in a social sciences, humanities or business-oriented subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.
Applicants whose first language is not English (and whose first degree was not taught in English) need to supply evidence of IELTS (Academic) Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).
Course fee: £11,450
Cost per module: £955
Course fees will remain fixed for 24 months from the student’s first enrolment. Thereafter, the course fee will rise at a rate of 2.5% per calendar year (subject to rounding for administration purposes).
Please visit our fees and funding page for more information on funding for master’s students.
*Modules 1-11 = £955, module 12 = £945.
A limited number of scholarships worth £2,000 are available to students applying to this course.
The Corruption and Governance online course is also available to be taken as a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert).
The PG Cert is made up of the first four modules of the course and provides students with the key foundations and understanding of what corruption is, what causes it and how to tackle it.
Module 1: Defining corruption
Module 2: Measuring corruption
Module 3: Explaining corruption
Module 4: Fighting corruption
Students studying the Postgraduate Certificate who would like to progress to the fall Masters will be accepted onto the Masters course following successful completion of all four modules.
PG Cert cost: £3,980 (£995 per module)
Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis
Professor Dan Hough, Course Leader for MA Corruption and Governance online, talks about how his research will help the Met clamp down on international crime.
How the Centre for the Study of Corruption is helping the Metropolitan Police
"The MA has helped me develop tools for communicating anti-corruption messages, and the multicultural nature of the class coupled with the international nature of the course enabled me to learn problem-solving skills from an international perspective."