Postgraduate study
Business, Accounting, Leadership & Management

MA Financial Investigations and Financial Crime

Developed in partnership with the National Crime Agency, this programme is for qualified financial investigators working in the police, public or private sectors. It builds on your professional training and experience, and integrates theory and practitioner knowledge.

Course information


  • 3 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September at Teesside University Darlington campus
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384491

Contact details


You study topics such as company structures, financial investigation and asset recovery, money laundering, organised crime in the UK, terrorism and terrorist finance, and principles and practice of management of financial crime.

Stage 1 builds on initial investigation training with a specialist financial crime module and an introduction to research in the subject, along with a choice of options depending on background at entry.


Core modules


You will integrate your learning and development and synthesise knowledge and understanding of theory and practice through its application to organisational issues, which are demonstrably concerned with development within the organisation. You are supported throughout the process by a supervising tutor who will monitor progress and ensure that you are appraised of your on-going performance. Usually the dissertation should be completed within one year.

Financial Crime

This module examines the context of fraud and financial crime in the public and private sectors. It develops knowledge of the law relating to fraud and financial crime and an understanding of multi-agency investigations and the impact of incentives.

Knowledge Development and Research in Financial Crime

This module aims to develop knowledge and skills in identifying the development of knowledge in fraud and financial crime, and begin to develop critical skills in evaluating existing academic and professional literature. You will consider ethical and professional issues relating to your work and begin to recognise issues of confidentiality and potential conflict.

Research Methods for Financial Crime

This module aims to develop knowledge and skills for designing, conducting and reporting applied research to support the modules and the dissertation. It will engage with practical issues of proposing research, collecting and analysing data, and placing this in the context of existing work.


and one module depending on your entry route

Company Structures

This is a module intended for practitioners in financial investigation or fraud and introduces topics such as company formation, structure and types, governance, regulatory and financial structures and reporting at national and international levels.

It evaluates the context within which an organisation controls its financial activities, evaluates the effectiveness of financial arrangements and develops professional skills and knowledge in the area of financial investigation; the relationship between law enforcement, companies and financial services institutions in relations to assets, money laundering and asset recovery.

Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery

This module examines the way in which law enforcement authorities investigate allegations of money laundering, and also the structure and processes which regulated institutions are expected to have in place (from powers that govern criminal investigations through to the processes and procedures which individual institutions would need to have in place, with an awareness of the variations from routine inspections to investigations). It will evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the regulated sector and its relationships with law enforcement.


and three optional modules

Assets Recovery

This module seeks to provide students with an holistic view of the processes and challenges in identifying, securing, investigating and recovering criminal assets within and between jurisdictions in both the developed and developing world. Equally, it ensures that students have a sufficient knowledge of the context in which assets recovery exists, namely, the money laundering, crime and corruption climates which create the illicit funds.

Money Laundering

This module examines the issue of money and anti-money laundering legislation and practice in a wider social context - locally and globally.

You examine the concept of money laundering, and the history and rationale of contemporary anti-money laundering legislation (UK and international).

You also consider the implications, efficiency and ethics for reporting suspicious transactions within financial institutions. You can then place your existing knowledge of money laundering within a wider social context.

Organised Crime

You will learn what organised crime is and how it is organised, to understand the interlocking elements. You will critically evaluate the academic approaches to organised crime concepts and reflect on applying these concepts to practitioner perspectives. You will also synthesise the concepts and theories with practice, further developing your knowledge of how organised crime impacts on economic crime.

Principles and Practice of Management in Financial Crime

This module allows you to explore the context of management in modern organisations, and be able to evaluate the practices of your own organisation in the light of theory and expert opinion. It then allows you to apply such knowledge to managing financial investigations, including broader issues such as managing opinion.

Terrorism and Counter-terrorist Finance

Terrorism needs funding. This module will help you understand the interlocking elements of the problem and policies. You will examine what terrorism is, the nature of the threat, its organisation and how it is funded. You will also look at the policies used to counter it (laws and practices at national and international level) and the problems it may create for individuals, communities, societies, states and international relations.

Trends and Jurisdictions

This module moves away from the UK environment and places the work within the global context. AML law and regulation is complex and varies widely. The module studies the roles and responsibilities of transnational regulatory agencies, such as FATF and Egmont, and how devices such as country risk weightings and Politically Exposed Person (PEP) lists are used by financial services institutions.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

Teaching is carried out in two-day blocks supported by directed reading, web-based activities, investigation in the workplace and regular contact with the module tutor. Contact sessions are based around inputs from experienced practitioners and academics. On progression to the dissertation you will be allocated a tutor who will support you in your investigation and preparation of the written dissertation.

How you are assessed

The focus of assessment is on case studies and work-based assessment using reports and essays. The purpose of the taught stage is to assess you in ways which are directly applicable to the work environment. This emphasis is continued in the dissertation, which is a sustained piece of investigation in a relevant topic of your choice.

Career opportunities

This programme provides further development for financial investigators seeking to develop their career in law enforcement, major organisations investigating fraud or in professional services organisations.

We offer you opportunities to earn while you learn that let you study with us full-time while working with an organisation – gaining work experience to put you even further ahead in the job market. You could use the company as the subject of your dissertation, which is potentially valuable to the company as well as to you. In the past, for some students, the value of this to the company has been realised through payment of the tuition fee (or a part of it).

Entry requirements

You must be working in a relevant financial investigation role and have passed the Financial Investigation (FI) course with NPIA and the Enhanced Financial Investigation (EFI) course with NPIA.

Those students who have not attended the EFI course will be required to take an on-line examination (supported by provided pre-reading) arranged by NPIA.

Applicants with other but similar qualifications obtained, for example under the auspices of the former Assets Recovery Agency and applicants with dissimilar qualifications may still be eligible for entry and will be considered.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

Course information


  • 3 years

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September at Teesside University Darlington campus
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384491

Contact details

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