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Who is this programme for?

The MSc in Compliance is designed to give Compliance and other control professionals the knowledge and skills they need to implement effective compliance structures and enhance the overall internal governance structures of organisations.

This programme will provide participants with the multi-disciplinary skills to participate more effectively in compliance management and to understand a practical application of compliance best practice.

It is ideal for those who work in a control function within a financial services organisation and will be of particular interest to Compliance managers and senior managers together with those aspiring to these roles.

How you will benefit

This programme will support your personal and professional development. It will;

•Provide you with the opportunity to develop comprehensive knowledge and expertise across a broad curriculum in Compliance and regulatory risk.

•Develop an in-depth understanding of the requirements and responsibilities of ensuring robust compliance within financial services firms, while maintaining the trust of customers and wider stakeholders.

•Develop your thinking on key business challenges and ethical dilemmas faced by management when striving to improve business performance in regulated environments.

•Advance your ability to blend theory and practice in complex and specific situations to improve business performance.

•Enhance your business judgement, critical analysis and problem solving skills.

Entry requirements

Students admitted to the MSc in Compliance must have completed an undergraduate degree programme in a relevant area in a business, legal or cognate discipline with a minimum Honours 2.2 and at least 3 years' relevant work experience.


- Applicants who do not hold a primary degree but have relevant work experience at a middle or senior management level are eligible to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Professional designation

Individuals who complete the MSc in Compliance are entitled to apply for the designation 'Fellow of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland' and use the designatory letters FCOI. Continued use of this designation is subject to meeting ACOI's Continuing Professional Development requirements. FCOI is the highest-level designation the ACOI offers its members.

Professional Body Membership

You must be a current member of The Institute of Banking, or become a member, to register for this programme. Membership is currently €40 per calendar year.

Continuous Professional Development

If you hold an Institute designation or a designation managed by the Institute CPD hours may be awarded on successful completion of this programme


24 months part-time.


Postgraduate courses are delivered on a part-time basis and students can register for a maximum of two modules per trimester. Each 10 ECTS module comprises of up to 30 delivery hours per trimester.

Further enquiries

Adam Burns - Programme Manager

Subjects taught

Modules and learning outcomes

01 Ethics and corporate governance (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module looks at the corporate governance best practice principles and their application in both a financial services and a general organisational setting. It also aims to provide students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ethical dimension of corporate governance and, in doing so, stresses the importance of corporate culture to the longevity of organisations. In considering the behaviours and decision-making processes of individuals, groups, and specifically those charged with governing organisations, the module offers approaches for dealing with common ethical dilemmas and ethical crises.

02 Managing for compliance (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

Compliance is a core function in financial services firms and is recognised by regulators as an essential part of the control infrastructure. Indeed the role of compliance and indeed the compliance manager/officer as a trusted adviser to the business has become a key differentiator for many firms. This module examines the development of compliance as an assurance function and evaluates its strategic role in an organisation in aligning with the business and delivering value. It also focuses on specific issues relevant to managing a compliance function to ensure it fulfils its assurance role within an organisation.

03 Financial / white-collar crime prevention (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

The module considers the offence of financial/white collar crime which is committed by or against an individual or corporation and results in a financial loss. The various forms this crime can take are examined and best practice techniques to manage and control such risks are discussed. The module will introduce a number of topics and suggested methodologies but also requires input from your professional experience to develop a best-practice approach in order to counteract, hinder and ultimately safeguard individuals and corporations from fraud in the financial system.

04 Data protection policies and procedures (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

Irish and EU data protection law will change when the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies in May 2018. This will impose heavier compliance burdens on data controllers and grant subjects enhanced rights. Controllers will be held accountable and have to keep records, conduct impact assessments and appoint Data Protection Officers. Supervision and enforcement will be enhanced. This module will provide students with the tools to understand and navigate an increasingly complex and challenging environment for the controllers and processors of personal data.

05 International financial services regulation (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module discusses the rationale for financial services regulation. It also provides a framework of the regulatory landscape from a local, European and global perspective. You will be able to critically analyse and evaluate the regulatory response in the wake of the global financial crisis. The topic of balance between prudential and customer driven regulation is investigated.

06 Designing an internal governance framework (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

The module seeks to establish a best practice approach in the design of internal governance frameworks for financial service providers. This applied module considers all aspects of the three lines of defence model and the board director's interaction with this framework. This module will build on the Ethics and Corporate Governance module in exploring how good governance should be embedded in the organisation. These considerations are placed in the context of the organisation implementing strategy devised by the board of directors within the risk culture and risk appetite.

07 Research methods and methodology (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

The purpose of this module is to prepare students to be able to plan and execute an action based research project. It begins by developing students' ability to synthesise a literature review. It then develops their ability to understand, critique and select an appropriate methodology, and generate data with the aim of evaluating findings from an academic and professional perspective.

08 Applied project (NFQ level 9, 20 ECTS)

The applied project provides an opportunity to integrate your learning from previous modules. It is a comprehensive project with a strong focus on practical application. By assimilating all the skills and knowledge you have acquired from the programme, the project's aim is to enable you to critically evaluate an existing compliance framework. It will also enable you to design and make recommendations on how to develop an optimal compliance model and integrate it effectively within the internal governance framework of the organisation. Note: The Applied Project is double-weighted (20 ECTS rather than 10 ECTS) and accordingly, the workload is double that of a standard module.



The MSc is accredited and awarded by UCD (at postgraduate level 9).

Students who leave the programme on successful completion of the first six modules are eligible for the exit award Graduate Diploma in Compliance from UCD (postgraduate level 9).

Assessment method

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment and written exams. The pass mark is 40% in all modules in line with UCD academic policy.

Application date

Closing date Wed 23rd January 2019.

Course fee


The fees are €5,100 for the first academic year (€12,200 for the programme in total).

This programme has IFS Skillnet funding available for certain companies. You should check if your company has IFS Skillnet approval.IFS Skillnet price is €3,600 for the first academic year (€8,900 for the programme in total). Note: students without IFS Skillnet funding should apply using the Enrol Now button above.

Enrolment and start dates

Please contact the course provider for the next enrolment and start date.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!