Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM004M: Public Sector Finance for Managers (MPA ONLY)

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will include the following topics in the order indicated:

1. What is public sector finance and how does it differ from that in the private sector?

2. Models and approaches to understanding public sector finance from a manager’s perspective

3. Current issues in public sector finance

4. Accountability and ethics in public sector finance

5. Basic calculations and spread sheets, how to understand a finance officer

6. Comparing Policy Instruments:

Public Spending

Audit and Accountability

Strategic Budgetary control and budget setting

Teaching of subject knowledge will be through a combination of preliminary directed learning (one week), compulsory reading of core texts, three intensive teaching days using lectures, linked tutorials, external speakers and workshops.

Students are provided with a module handout consisting of background material to inform lecture and tutorial topics. In addition the dedicated MPA webpages will have timed downloads of material and links to key reading and directed learning. Students are required to submit an essay to deadline at the end of week 3.

The essay is returned individually in week four with detailed feedback.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Ten Lectures (one hour each)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Two Workshops (2.5 hours each)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3One Guest Presentation (3 hours)
Guided independent study82Reading, thinking and preparing for lectures and workshops
Guided independent study100Assignment preparation

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).