Entry requirements

A first- or upper-second class undergraduate honours degree in a social science or humanities discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

Associated with the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption, this interdisciplinary MA is unique in the UK and explicitly looks at issues of corruption and governance. It also breaks new ground in encouraging you to take up a three-month internship within non-governmental organisations, regulators, government offices or businesses, with a view to putting the theory learned in the seminar room in to practice.

The course is designed to develop your understanding of what corruption is, where it flourishes, why it proliferates, what challenges it poses for policy-makers and the business community and, ultimately, what can be done to counteract it.

This MA is for you if you have an interest in the study of corruption and governance issues, no matter what background you come from – legal, business, sociological, anthropological or political science. It should also be of interest for existing practitioners in the field. The MA addresses challenging issues of how different disciplines define corruption and how this can lead to very different anti-corruption approaches. It introduces analytical and theoretical tools, allowing you to analyse corruption across time, space and discipline and, importantly, aims to offer you practical experience of tackling corruption in the real world.

Armed with these tools, you choose from a wide range of interdisciplinary options, allowing you to examine specific examples of corruption across the developed and developing world, ranging from systematic abuses of power by parties, politicians and civil servants to small-scale, petty misdemeanours. The role of business (for example, corporate social responsibility strategies, the introduction of ‘business ethics’ programmes and so on) can also be analysed.

You have the opportunity to undertake a threemonth internship with an organisation active in the field. This might be with Transparency International in London, or with another organisation/body working in this area. Sussex has already developed links with a variety of organisations that are willing to take our students as interns, but you also have the option of organising your own internship if you wish.


All modules are assessed by 5,000-word term papers, presentations and exams. You also write a 15,000-word dissertation in the summer term. The internship is assessed by a 5,000-word report on what you did and how this links into theories of corruption, anti-corruption and/or good governance.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Autumn term

You take:

  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Analysing Corruption
  • Anticorruption
  • Research Methods in Corruption Analysis.

Spring term

You choose either one (if you opt for an internship) or two of the following options (this list is not exhaustive):

  • International Crimes
  • International Transnational Offending
  • Political Parties and Party Systems
  • Corruption and International Business
  • State Capacity and Natural Resources
  • Tackling
  • Corruption
  • The State in East Asia: Corruption, Theft and Collapse.

Summer term

You write a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/law-politics-and-sociology/corruption-and-governance-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters scholarships

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations20
Written coursework / continuous assessment30
Dissertation30 (20000 words)
Internship - assessed by a 5,000-word report20

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 877648