• Online Master of Science degree (MSc)

    Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance

  • Why choose the MSc in Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance?

    Our Online MSc in Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance is a professional programme, delivered in collaboration with the International Compliance Association (ICA) for those seeking career-enhancing postgraduate qualifications. 

    This programme is specifically designed for students from around the world who already hold the ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance and wish to build on their international legal and GRC knowledge.

    The course is structured to meet the demand from firms for highly-skilled legal and GRC professionals (covering Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing, Regulatory Compliance, Risk and Legal areas). The link between legal skills and core GRC skills is extensive. The merging of these areas will create a range of professionals that are more in line with the modern demands and pressures being encountered in the financial services sector.

    The MSc will focus on the mix of professional skills required to apply regulations in practice – analysis, drafting and presentation skills, among others – so that you are equipped with the knowledge you will need as you build your international career.

    We know what it takes to succeed on the constantly changing global, legal and financial services stage. Everything we do is geared towards teaching in a professional, practical context so you can enhance your professional skills and career prospects as a modern professional.

    • Enhance your career with a qualification that reflects cutting-edge approaches to international law, regulatory risk and compliance
    • Learn the professional skills required to apply regulations on the global stage in the field of GRC
    • Gain practical experience from tutors with international experience
    • Benefit from modules designed in conjunction with leading professional law firms
    • Study via online distance-learning course
    • Receive a professional, recognised and valuable Master’s degree
    Who should apply?

    Applicants are required to hold the International Compliance Association (ICA) Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance.
    Those who have successfully completed the diploma receive 80 M-level credits of APL for this course. 

    Complete in up to two years - via supported online learning

    Our MSc allows you to study over 24, 18 or 15 months and no attendance is required at our centres. This flexible method of study means you can fit your study around existing work or other commitments.

    Individual tutor support

    Students are allocated a specific law tutor (a qualified lawyer) for each module to give them feedback on tasks and provide one-to-one support. On successful completion of each unit, you’ll receive an exemplar covering both the law and other professional skills, such as an example client letter where the task involves advising a client in writing.

    • Modules
      Other Modules
      International Business Organisations

      Learn the fundamentals and structure of business organisations and what drives company law.

      • Examine and understand partnerships and company formation
      • Consider company decision-making and directors’ duties
      • Understand dealings in shares, debt finance and security
      • Examine the fundamentals of company law in legal systems around the world, through
        consideration of the UK registered company
      Key skills development

      Commercial awareness, writing, presentation, analysis.

      International Public Companies Practice (recommended)


      Examine the legal framework in which the world’s most powerful listed companies operate.

      • Understand the different methods by which a public company becomes listed
        on a stock market by undertaking an Initial Public Offering
      • Review the law and practice of the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market and other
        markets and the role of financial services regulator
      • Learn about the controls listed companies and their management are subject to
      • Look at rules governing the buying and selling of a listed company’s share
      • Understand corporate governance and the key role of institutional shareholder
      • Study equity finance for listed companies through secondary shares such as rights
        issues and the role of underwriting
      Key skills development

      Analysis, interpretation drafting, presentation.

      International Capital Markets and Loans Practice (recommended)


      The principles behind the two principal methods of raising company finance: bank borrowing and issuing debt securities.

      • Practical tasks to illustrate the key stages of a European cross-border syndicated
        lending transaction, including the due diligence position, market standard
        precedent facility agreement and taking of security
      • Look at the different ways in which companies can raise finance from bank in accordance with the principles of Islamic finance
      • Study how to raise debt on the capital markets by issuing debt securities such as
        bonds or notes
      • Detailed examination of the European directives and regulations that govern such
        issues, notably the Prospectus Directive and the Prospectus Regulation
      Key skills development

      Understanding a wide range of legal sources, documentary analysis, report and letter writing.

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      Other Modules
      International Intellectual Property Practice

      This module teaches the fundamentals and structure of international intellectual property practice and includes an introduction to the various intellectual property rights and the international agreements in place to cover them. It also makes a comparison of UK and international rules on the following: passing off, trademarks, copyright, database right, data protection, design rights, patents and confidentiality.


      You’ll learn the fundamentals of intellectual property and how it can be used to protect and licence ‘products of the mind’ using the rules of law around the world.

      • Detailed examination of the main forms of intellectual property protection, including trademarks, passing off, design rights, copyright, patents and confidentialit
      • Become familiar with intellectual property rules in the UK and other major jurisdictions,
        such as the US, mainland Europe and the Far East
      • Gain a truly international perspective by examining major worldwide conventions
        which harmonise intellectual property rules around the world
      • Detailed case study on exploitation of intellectual property by way of licensing,
        including redrafting a patent licence to comply with European Union regulations
      Key skills development

      Understanding legal principles, practical exercises such as trade mark searches, patent searches, drafting copyright licences and writing letters of advice on alleged infringements.

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      International Competition/Anti-Trust Law and Practice

      This module teaches the fundamentals and structure of international anti-trust practice and covers abuse of dominant or monopoly position, anti-competitive agreements, investigations and enforcement of competition law and merger control.


      Gain an understanding of the main aspects of UK, EU and US competition law – and its impact on the commercial world.

      • Examination of economic principles that underpin competition law, as well as the
        legal framework in the UK, EU and US
      • Study the sources of competition law and where legislation, case law and guidance
        can be found
      • Analysis of the main areas of competition law, including anti-competitive agreements, abuse of market position, mergers and the relationship between competition law and intellectual property
      • Consideration of competition law in other countries, including Australia and South
      Key skills development

      Commercial awareness, legal writing, presentation, research, analysis.

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      International Mergers and Acquisitions Practice

      This module teaches the fundamentals and structure of international mergers and acquisitions practice. It includes types of acquisitions, preliminary documentation and the structure of a sale and purchase agreement.


      Understand a step-by-step examination of the process of acquiring a private company where the business or organisations involved are from different countries.

      • Understand the different kinds of acquisition structure
      • Study EU merger control, choice of law, risk allocation, requirements for cross
        border signing and completion, plus protection for employees in European
      • Look at the impact on the process and documentation when the acquisition is funded through private equity
      • Work with real documentation covering due diligence investigations, a sale and
        purchase agreement, disclosure processes and completion agendas
      • Consider different approaches to mergers and acquisitions in other jurisdictions,
        including in common law and civil law jurisdictions and the impact of civil code
        concepts such as good faith through the various stages of an acquisition
      Key skills development

      Legal and commercial analysis, drafting documents, advising clients.

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      International Joint Ventures Practice

      This module teaches the fundamentals and structure of international joint ventures practice. It covers an introduction to international joint ventures, capital and funding (of corporate joint ventures) and competition and regulatory controls.


      Consideration of the legal and commercial implications of entering into an international joint venture.

      • Examine the different kinds of joint venture (structural or contractual)
      • Understand the financing and documentation needed to establish a joint venture and ensure its successful operation
      • Use actual joint venture documentation
      • Consider options for leaving or terminating a joint venture
      • Study how international competition laws and intellectual property rights affect joint
      • Look at different types of international joint venture around the world
      Key skills development

      Writing and drafting, research and analysis, understanding clients’ commercial needs.

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      International Arbitration Practice

      This module teaches the fundamentals and structure of international arbitration practice. It covers the arbitration agreement, commencing proceedings, the arbitral tribunal, the award and the costs of the arbitration and recognition and enforcement of the award.


      The procedures for, and benefits of, resolving claims by arbitration – with an emphasis on client-focused commercial advice and practical problem solving.

      • Thorough grounding in the principles of arbitration law, including the rules of
        major international arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, LMIA, UNCITRAL and the
        IBA guidelines on conflict of interest and taking evidence in international arbitration
      • Examine key pieces of domestic arbitration law in England and Wales such as the
        Arbitration Act 1996
      • Understand the relationship between institutional rules and the substantive
        arbitration law of the seat of arbitration
      • Tackle real-life challenges of an international arbitration lawyer such as advising on the suitability of arbitration, drafting an arbitration agreement, preparing evidence, advising on an appeal against an arbitration award and advising on an application for enforcement of an arbitration award pursuant to the New York Convention
      Key skills development

      Advising a client, drafting agreements, preparing evidence.

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      International Commercial Law

      Considers the key aspects of the law relating to international sales, concentrating on issues common to the most important jurisdictions and the differences between them.

      • Examine common rules and the most important conventions of international sales
      • Understand the regulations governing the seller’s principal obligations in the UK, US and other international conventions
      • Learn what’s involved in excluding liability
      • Look at vendor financing and differences in approach to retention of title under UK and
        German law
      • Study international shipping terms, the financing of international sales and EU
        regulation of electronic commerce and commercial agency
      Key skills development

      Writing, presentation, research, analysis.

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    • Part I (ICA)

      Students will have studied 80 (M-level) credits in Governance, Risk and Compliance as part of their Professional Postgraduate Diploma in GRC awarded by the International Compliance Association (ICA).

      Part 2 (University of Law)

      The MSc component will consist of a series of modules comprising 100 (M-level) credits. This will be broken down as follows:

      • 3 modules x 20 credits = 60 credits
      • Dissertation = 40 credits
      • Total = 100 credits

      To ensure you get the most out of your studies, you must study International Business Organisations as your first module.

      The remaining two modules are chosen by you to allow you to tailor your studies to your needs, however we recommend studying International Public Companies Practice and International Capital Markets and Loans Practice.

      Students receive up to seven hours of supervision via e-mail from a University of Law tutor during each module, and a further three hours of supervision when working on their dissertation.

      MSc Programme Demands (pdf)

      Course assessment

      The MSc is assessed via:

      • Module assignments
      • Professional Practice Dissertation (Supervised) (PPDS)
      Module assignments

      There are nine units per module, eight of which are supervised by a University of Law tutor, the ninth is a module assignment. Each of the eight supervised units require approximately 15 hours of study over a period of 2.5 weeks. Each unit requires a written submission to the supervising tutor: the tutor provides feedback on each submission, but this does not form part of the assessment of the module.

      At the end of each of the three modules which you need to study with The University of Law, you will be required to submit a module assignment (3,000 to 5,000 words) and students have up three weeks to complete this assignment.

      Professional Practice Dissertation (Supervised) (PPDS)

      Students are required to produce a dissertation/paper/report (maximum 7,500 words) on a topic of their choice, to be selected from one of the areas of University of Law module study.

      Students will have the opportunity to have up to three hours of supervision by email from a University of Law tutor during the period over which the dissertation is produced.

      The PPDS provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate the ability to carry out in-depth and intensive investigation into a specialist area of legal practice and to present the findings in a formal report.

      The PPDS does not have a formal study module and the University of Law does not set any titles for it. Instead, students will identify a specialist area of practice based upon a broad practice area of law which they have studied with the University of Law (this could be a current issue or development in that area) and will propose their own title on this area. This will be submitted to The University of Law for approval along with an outline of content and approach. Once approval is given, a supervisor expert in the chosen area will be appointed for each student.

    • MSc in Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance course start date:

      Monday 9 January 2017 

      No attendance at our centres is required.

  • Features

    Enhance your career with a qualification that reflects cutting-edge approaches to international law, regulatory risk and compliance
    Learn the professional skills required to apply regulations on the global stage in the field of GRC
    Gain practical experience from tutors with international experience
    Benefit from modules designed in conjunction with leading professional law firms

    Study via online-distance learning course

    Receive a professional, recognised and valuable Master’s degree

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