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Financial Crime - LAW00042M

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sarah Wilson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module provides an analysis of financial crime as it is defined in domestic and international discourses, with particular emphasis on key terminology utilised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF): financial crime financial sector crime and financial abuse . It looks at UK responses to particularly financial sector crime in an increasingly international context, where domestic approaches are also very strongly influenced by pan-European policymaking. It also draws extensively on practitioner work as well as academic work carried out by the module leader, with the practice-facing work often involving working on new cases both domestic in relation to the UK and also international. Overall the module will cover:

  • UK legal definitions of financial crime , and the influence of European approaches and an increasingly international context;
  • Financial crime as it is understood in policy discourses and as academic subject matter;
  • The 2007-8 global financial crisis as a turning point for financial crime enforcement;
  • The UK architecture for responding to financial crime: institutional structures and substantive provisions, drawn from criminal enforcement and regulatory frameworks and beyond; and
  • The influences on the UK architecture from European policymaking and the international platform.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  1. Identify the current UK regulatory architecture for responding to financial crime
  2. Explain the UK architecture for responding to financial crime in the context of European and international influences and dimensions
  3. Identify the central debates informing understanding of UK responses to financial crime drawn from academic commentary and policy discourses
  4. Explain how and why the global financial crisis 2007-8 is regarded as a turning point for financial crime enforcement both for the UK and also on European and international platforms
  5. Address questions raised in respect of financial crime in light of different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, and to interface these with questions arising from policy discourses; and
  6. Assess the likely challenges arising for effective management of financial crime in the twenty-first century, and particularly post-crisis.


Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Assessment preparation is embedded in several different ways. In the emphasis on developing individual narratives of interest and experience from the outset; from the flexibility built into seminar discussions; and subsequently from revision activities and the opportunities for one-to-one assessment appointments for feedback on ideas and proposed directions


Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students receive written feedback which reflects on the content of their submissions and the arguments made. It also makes suggestions for improvement, and endeavours to have a 'feed forward' function for further assessments, and especially the forthcoming dissertation element

Indicative reading

IMF Financial System Abuse, Financial Crime and Money Laundering
Background Paper
(Washington DC, 2001)

S Will et al How They Got Away With It: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown (Columbia, 2012)

R Tomasic The financial crisis and the haphazard pursuit of financial crime (2011) Journal of Financial Crime, 18 (1), 7.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.