Law of financial crime


This course exists due to the large number of requests for it by students. In the wake of the recent global financial crisis a huge amount of financial crime has been exposed to view ranging from the Bernard Madoff collapse right through to the PPI mis-selling scandal and the prosecutions for insider dealing. This has become a very hot topic and a fascinating time to study not just how the law works in the UK but also how should the criminal law, financial market practice and financial regulation all interact. In this course we will also be investigating where criminal law works better and where financial regulation works better when tackling the kinds of abusive practices that we are concerned about. We will also discuss the line between what is criminal and what is unethical and where that boundary should be.  One of the strengths of this course is that you are not just learning the law, and you aren’t just learning how to use that law in practice. You’re also reflecting on what that law means and where that law will go in the future.

[Please note: this course replaces 'Fraud, corruption and money laundering']

Module A: Insider dealing and market abuse


  • The sources of the law on insider dealing
  • The EC context of market abuse: insider dealing and market abuse
  • The purpose of the law on insider dealing, and whether or not insider dealing ought to be
  • criminalised
  • Insider dealing offences under Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1993
  • The power of regulators
  • Market abuse regulation

Module B: Fraud and market manipulation


  • The development of the criminal law of fraud
  • The economic and historical context of the law on abusive practices
  • Market manipulation offences
  • Fraud Act 2006 offences
  • Theft Act 1968 offences

Module C: Money laundering


  • The purpose of money laundering regulation
  • The international dimension
  • The context of money laundering regulation
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 offences
  • Terrorism Act 2000 offences
  • Money Laundering Regulations 2007
  • The efficacy of money laundering regulation
  • Civil recovery

Module D: The nature of the law on financial crime


  • The sources of the law on financial crime
  • The objectives of the law on financial crime
  • The economic and historical context of the law on corruption
  • The role of information and transparency in financial criminal law
  • The EC Market Abuse Directive
  • The role of the regulators in prosecuting criminal offences
  • The role of criminal law in supporting financial regulation in the UK
  • Other criminal offences under Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
  • The underlying objectives of the criminal law in relation to finance
  • Civil recovery


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you complete Module A, B and C before Module D.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • Common Law
  • Corporate and Securities Law
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Economic Regulation
  • Financial Services Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Criminal Justice

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Study Material

Academic Co-ordinator

Professor Alastair Hudson

Professor Alastair Hudson

Professor Alastair Hudson FHEA, FRSA, is the Course Convenor for: Commercial Trusts Law, Securities Law, Equity and Trust in Context, International and Comparative Trusts Law, Law on Investment Entities, Private Aspects of the Law and Finance and Law of Financial Crime.

Alastair is an English barrister and academic. He was Professor of Equity & Law at Queen Mary University of London for fourteen years. Between 2012 and 2014, he was Professor of Equity and Finance Law at The University of Southampton. He is a National Teaching Fellow, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was voted UK Law Teacher of the Year in 2008 and was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award 2014 by the University of Southampton for "Overall Outstanding Lecturer."