MSc in Compliance

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. 


Members who complete the MSc in Compliance, and who commit to completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours, qualify to become Fellows of the ACOI and to use the designatory letters FCOI. This is the highest designation the ACOI offer its members.


The programme consists of 7 modules and an Applied Project, as follows:

  • Ethics and Corporate Governance (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • Managing for Compliance (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • Financial / White Collar Crime Prevention (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • Data Protection Policies and Procedures (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • International Financial Services Regulation (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • Designing an Internal Governance Framework (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)
  • Research Methods and Methodology (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)


  • Applied Project (NFQ Level 9, 20 ECTS)


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.


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).


 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. 


You must be a current member of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland, or become a member, to register for this programme.

Membership is currently €150 per year.


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


Assessment of modules is a combination of project work, continuous assessment and written exams. The Applied Project module is 100% project based.

The pass mark is 40% in all modules in line with UCD academic policy.



Holders of the MSc in compliance are invited to apply to become a Fellow of the Compliance Officers in Ireland (FCOI). Continued use of the FCOI designation is subject to meeting annual CPD requirements.


This programme has received Summit Finuas Network funding since its inception in 2013. Funding for the next programme intake is subject to Network funding approval.

The Summit Finuas Network is part of the Finuas Networks Programme, managed by Skillnets Ltd, whose aim is to support the sector in maintaining Ireland’s position as a top international financial services centre, through ongoing investment in the development of the skills and expertise of this workforce. This recognition of the programme highlights the need for suitably qualified persons in an area considered as strategically important. For further information about the network, please click on image below. 





“Having completed the Professional Diploma in Compliance, the MSc in Compliance was the  next logical step for me. The modules Corporate Governance, Designing an Internal Governance Framework, Data Protection and Managing for Compliance were particularly relevant to my job. The lectures are delivered by a mix of academic and practitioner lecturers. It is accessible to those not working directly in compliance but a background or interest in compliance would be an advantage”.

Fiona Murphy – VHI


Further Information 

FCOI MSc in Compliance


T: (01) 779 0200

Suzanne McInerney BA. MA, M.ED

Programme Manager


T: (01) 6116534

 How to Apply

  • First become a member of the ACOI
  • Once you receive your receipt of membership with your ACOI membership details, you can then apply for the programme.