Taught 100% online, study Sussex’s MA Corruption and Governance at a time and place that suits you.

A version of this course is also available to be studied on campus. 

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:  £12,240

Course overview

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.

This course is part-time and can be completed in a minimum of two years. You have the opportunity to step on and off the course, pausing your studies if your work or life commitments require, providing you complete the course within four years from enrolment.

You can also study an on campus version of our Corruption and Governance Masters on a full or part time basis, find out more.

Download the course leaflet. 

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.

Find out more about our alumni 

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.

Each module lasts for 7 weeks with the final module assessment deadline usually on the Monday of Week 8. Students should allow for 20 hours per week study time.

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.

The course uses multiple assessments methods to assess students’ knowledge, competence development and engagement through individual and groupwork exercises, such as written reports, simulations, essays, project reports, MCQs, and portfolios. An indication for the likely assessment methods of this module is given, though this may be subject to change.

  • Defining corruption
  • Measuring corruption
  • Explaining corruption
  • Fighting corruption
  • People power and anti-corruption
  • Narratives and metaphors of corruption
  • International actors and anti-corruption
  • Corruption and gender
  • Corruption in international business
  • The Natural Resources Curse: oil, gas and corruption
  • Money in politics
  • Project
Dan Hough

Professor Dan Hough

Professor of Politics, Head Of Department Of Politics and Course Director


Professor Elizabeth David-Barrett

Professor Of Governance And Integrity (Politics)

CSC Barrington B&W 2017

Professor Robert Barrington 

Professor Of Anti-Corruption Practice (Politics)

A lower second-class (2.2) 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.

Further information on applying for online Masters courses.

Applicants whose first language is not English (and whose first degree was not taught in English) need to supply evidence of IELTS (Academic) high level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Masters course fee: £12,240
Cost per module: £1,020

Fees can be paid at the start of the course or on a module-by-module basis, with students required to pay the first module fee of £1,020 to secure their place on the course.

Course fees will remain fixed for 24 months from your initial course start date. 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 your studies. 

20% Alumni discount

If you have previously graduated from an undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD course with the University of Sussex you will be eligible* for a 20% discount on this online course.

Find out more about the alumni discount and eligibility criteria.

*T&Cs apply.

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 full Masters will be accepted onto the Masters course following successful completion of all four modules.*

Course fees:
PG Cert cost: £4,020 (£1,020 per module)

Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis

Course duration:
The PG Cert can be completed in a minimum of 8 months or maximum of 20 months if you choose to take a break from study. 

*’Providing the University is offering the Masters at the time of transfer

How the Centre for the Study of Corruption is helping the Metropolitan Police

Professor Dan Hough, Course Director 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