Insights into the MCA
This is what you can expect in our online Master's programme

On this page we give you a small insight into our English-language online Master's programme.

Curious now? You can find an overview of the study programme here. For more detailed information visit the MCA website of the University of Münster.

MCA Progress Report: March 2023

In October, we had a new intake of 17 MCA students. After working hard for three months, they recently sat their first exam and we are pleased to report that they all passed! We are now half-way through Module 2, which deals with international customs instruments and European customs legislation.

The lecturers this year have been very diverse, hailing from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Italy, China and Spain and representing renowned universities and international organisations specialising in customs and trade. This year, we are also introducing guest lectures and moderated round-table discussions dealing with highly topical developments. In particular, we are looking to invite experts from India, South America and Africa, to give their views on developments in customs and trade.

Countries are gradually relaxing their corona measures and it is now possible to teach face-to-face again. Although the MCA will remain an Online course, we are looking into the possibility of arranging study visits to Münster,  Brüssels and Geneva as a means of complementing the Online modules. This will allow international students to visit international trade organisations, network with each other and, of course, get to know their Alma Mater, Münster University.

We will post further updates as the course progresses. If you are interested in finding out more about the MCA course, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Start date and new timetable

The MCA programme is due to start in October 2022 and we have recently posted the new timetable.

We have made some amendments to the timetable that are worthy of mention: In Module 3 (European and International Taxation), we have placed greater emphasis on the OECD-BEPS Initiative. In Module 4 (Trade Facilitation and Supply Chain Security), we underline the importance of private sector and Customs IT solutions. Last but not least, Module 5.1 is orientated towards the creation of a Global Trade Compliance Strategy and Module 5.2 expressly deals with the implementation of an Export Management Compliance Programme (EMCP).

The next course will also feature additional input from private sector experts, particularly regarding the implementation challenges relating to new legislation (e.g. relating to the protection of human rights in supply chains, environmental protection, trade sanctions and embargoes) and the use of IT solutions.

Finally, the examination for Module 6 (Transfer Project) will now be a presentation rather than a written report. This ensures that the course includes all types of skills: problem-solving and application, research and methodology and oral presentation.

If you are interested in applying for the programme in October, please contact us for further information!

Academic Support

Undertaking a Master course represents a significant investment of your time, money and energy. It is therefore important that you have sufficient support to cope with the challenges of the MCA programme as well as any unforeseen difficulties that may arise during the 20 months of the course.

The MCA course offers the following support:

  1. The Head of Studies takes part in lectures moderating discussions and helping the lecturer ensure that everyone understands terms and concepts. He is also on hand to answer any questions you have on the academic requirements and procedures. During the introductory phase, the Head of Studies will explain the concept, structure and aims of the course, the examinations as well as your rights and obligations under the Examinations Code.
  2. Transfer project: You will be allocated a customs expert of many years’ legal and practical experience to give advice on the development of your transfer project
  3. Master’s thesis: You will be allocated a university professor, specialised in your subject of research, who will advise you on the concept (abstract) and scope (contents page) of your thesis. In addition, you will have workshops where you can present the results of your research to the other students and benefit from a group discussion on your findings under the auspices of a university professor.

The Examination Code of the WWU Münster takes account of the personal circumstances of participants, providing for extensions to deadlines in the event of any health or family issues and ensuring the equalisation of any disadvantages to people suffering disability or chronic illness.

How much work does the MCA course involve?

The MCA course seeks to balance academic and workplace demands. Thereby, it ensures the workload of the course is realistic.

Tasks for phase 1 (14 months)

  • Online lectures: three Saturdays each month. Participants are also given sufficient time to prepare for lectures and exams. August is a lecture-free month.
  • Exams: three hours in total and held after each module (in practice, every other month).
  • Extended essay: after module 5, participants have 6 weeks to write an on a compliance and/or export control topic of their choice.
  • Transfer project and report: participants use the knowledge gained in lectures to carry out a project at their workplace and describe their approach in a report.

Tasks for phase 2 (6 months)

  • Research and write the master’s thesis

Monthly workload

Here you can find an overview of the monthly workload.

Assuming there are 45 working weeks per year, the approximate weekly workload is:

  • 15 hours for lectures and exams
  • 5 hours for the transfer project and report
  • 20 hours for the master’s thesis

teaching Concept

The MCA is specifically designed for customs practitioners: It is both academic, providing participants with theoretical knowledge, and practical, explaining how to apply this knowledge at the workplace.

The timetable allows sufficient time for the preparation and follow-up of each lecture.

Lecturers are university professors and academics with many years’ experience of customs practice.

Teaching methods
Lecturers utilise different teaching forms e.g. ‘chalk and talk’, problem-solving, role-plays, discussions, strategic development and forecasting.

Structure of a typical lecture

  • Lead-in
    Brief overview of subject; participants encouraged to share existing knowledge/experience
  • Objectives
    The lecturer states the aims and outcomes
  • Examination
    Presentation of topics and learning materials as follows:
    • The law: The major legal provisions, their requirements and definitions are presented
    • Objectives: The purpose and specific aims of the provisions are explained.
    • Application: The lecturer simulates the practical application of knowledge using by means of individual and group tasks.
  • Strategic reflection
    The results of the examination are discussed by the group. Problems and pitfalls are identified and strategies proposed. Future developments are discussed.
  • Wrap-Up
    The lecturer summarises the contents, the most important principles, rules and issues as well as strategies and approaches to deal with problems and pitfalls. Remaining questions are answered.


  • Presentations and preparatory handouts (provided in advance)
  • Official documents
  • Legal texts
  • Access to Online library of the WWU Münster (including Westlaw, HeinOnline)
  • Advice on how to access local university library

thanks to the following experts

In November 2021, the lecturing phase of the MCA course ended. We would like to express our thanks to the following experts who supported our course this year.

  • Prof. Dr. Frank Altemöller, Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Customs and International Trade Law, WWU-Münster: “Overview of WTO Law”, “Risk Management and Supply Chain Security”, “Change Management”, “Writing a Master’s Thesis”.
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Apolte, Chair of Economic Political Analysis, Centre of Interdisciplinary Economic Research, WWU Münster, “Global and Regional Trade”.
  • Prof. Dr. Elisa Baroncini, Professor of International Law, Department of Legal Studies, University of Bologna"The EU Approach to the Crisis of the Appellate Body: The MPIA and the International Rule of Law”
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Becker, Director of Institute, Institute of Public Economics I, School of Business and Economics, WWU Münster, “Economic Analysis of Taxation”.
  • Verena Becker, Head of GPM Transport Management, Cologne, “Customs and Digitalization, Information Management”.
  • Massimo Boschi, PhD Candidate, Legal Department, University of Bologna“Overview of international Commercial Instruments”
  • Alexander Groba, Head of Customs, Export Control and Foreign Trade, MTU Aero Engines, Munich, “Compliance with EU and German export control law”
  • Dr. Kerstin Harden, Senior Researcher, Institute of Customs and International Trade Law (ICTL), “Comprehensive Revision of the Revised Kyoto Convention: Intermediate Results and Future Perspectives.”
  • Frank Heijmann, Director of The Netherlands National Committee on Trade Facilitation & Head of Trade Relations, expertise ”Trade Facilitation, Enforcement and Logistics”, “Information Exchange: Data Pipeline and Mutual Recognition Agreements”.
  • Dr. Carsten Höink, Rechtsanwalt, Steuerberater, Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter der AWB Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH, “European Tax Law: Import VAT”.
  • Prof. Dr. Santiago Ibáñez Marsilla, Professor of Tax Law, University of Valencia: “WTO Customs Valuation”, “Transfer Pricing”
  • Prof. Dr. Andre Janssen, Prof. Dr. Andre Janssen, Chair of Private Law, Radboud University, Nijmegen “International Contracts with special emphasis on International Sales Contracts”
  • Prof. Dr. Māris Jurušs, Customs and Tax Department, Riga Technical University, “Value-Added Tax”
  • Ping Liu, Former Director, Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate, WCO, “Overview of the Harmonized System”
  • Alexandra Lopez-Casero, Partner at the U.S. law firm, Nixon Peabody LLP: “US export controls law and practice”
  • Michael Lux, attorney and consultant on customs, anti-dumping, VAT, excise and international trade law; former Head of Unit Common Customs Tariff, Customs Procedures, Customs Legislation, DG TAXUD, European Commission; lecturer on “Overview of Customs Legislation”, “Rules of Origin” and “New Developments in European Customs Law”; student advisor for transfer projects; author of “UCC – Text edition and introduction“ and numerous other publications (
  • Prof. Dr. Bartek Makowicz, Director of Viadrina Compliance Center, Faculty of Law, European-University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder) “Overview of Compliance”, “Compliance in Enterprises” and “Whistleblowing”
  • Lisa Meltendorf, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Olaf Meyer, Professor of Contract Law and Contract Drafting, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FRA UAS), “International Commercial Law”
  • Prof. Dr. Quentin Michel, Director of the European Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Liege, Belgium: “Developments in international non-proliferation regimes, work of the Chaudfontaine Group”
  • Arne Mielken, Managing Director, Customs Manager Ltd, London, UK, "Brexit: How We Got There and What It Means."
  • Prof. Dr. Pietro Ortolani, Professor of Digital Dispute Resolution, Radboud University, “The Settlement of International Disputes”
  • Prof. Dr. Sandra Rinnert, LL.M (Georgetown), Head of Customs Law, Federal University of Applied Sciences, “Union Customs Code: System and Application”, “New Developments in EU Customs Legislation”.
  • Prof. Dr. Achim Rogmann, Professor of Public Economic Law, Brunswick European Law School (BELS), Ostfalia University“Overview of customs instruments”, “Regional Integration”, “Update of the Revised Kyoto Convention”.
  • Michael Tomuscheit, Managing Director, AWB-Consultung GmbH “Case Studies: Strategic Use of Customs Procedures to Save Costs”
  • Jon Walden, senior customs expert, “Customs & Trade Facilitation”, “Incoterms 2020” “Impact of Brexit & Supply Chain Security”
  • Dr. Konrad Walter, Chief Legal Counsel, Export Control, SAP SE: “Compliance with export controls in companies: pitfalls, challenges and strategies/solutions”
  • Dr. Deming Zhao, Global Law Office, “Chinese export control law, customs law and practice”.

Conclusion of module 5 of the mca course

The final module of MCA lectures took place from August – November and dealt with the complex issues of compliance and export control law.

The module started with an overview of compliance and the common pitfalls confronting companies in practice. It then presented challenges in implementing compliance effectively in companies and examined new German legislation ensuring compliance with human rights standards. The first half of the module concluded by examining whistleblowing and the needs of change management.

The second part of the module started with an examination of new developments in non-proliferation regimes. This was followed by a presentation on compliance with export controls in companies, including pitfalls, strategies and solutions. The remaining lectures contrasted the export control regimes of the world’s leading economic powers: the EU, China and the United States.

This module left behind a mixed impression. Although the need for effective compliance with export controls was clear enough, compliance nowdays extends to all kinds of non-trade related issues, most notably environmental standards and human rights. Owing to their political importance, these are being increasingly framed as positive obligations. A picture emerges of a private sector in the West increasingly burdened by complex and onerous compliance duties, which can significantly impact companies’ competetiveness on the world market.

This module will be followed by a series of lectures on research methodology and argumentation, which seeks to prepare participants for their extended essay and Master’s thesis.

Request information material and registration form

If you are interested in applying for a place, just write a short e-mail to or fill out our contact form. We will gladly send you extensive information material as well as the application form.

MCA info flyer

Overview of course modules

Provisional timetable

Contact for questions

Katharina Harenberg

Coordination of Degree Programmes

T +49.251.83 275 92

Dr. Christopher Dallimore

Head of Studies

T +49.251.83 275 79


The MCA course has been recognised at national, European and international levels by:

  • AQAS e.V. agency for quality assurance in Germany.
  • World Customs Organization (WCO) as fulfilling its PICARD Professional Standards for Strategic Managers
  • European Commission as fulfilling the requirements of the EU Customs Competency Framework

EU Certificate

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The MCA is offered by AWA in cooperation with the WWU Münster, one of Germany’s leading universities.