Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM007M: The New Public Management: Principles, Practice and Prospects

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. the origins of NPM in the UK [Seminar 1]

2. public and private management [Seminar 1]

3. dissemination – the ‘NPM countries’ [Seminar 2]

4. cases – decentralisation and agencification [Seminar 3]

5. cases – performance management [Seminar 5]

6. cases – PFI and contract working with companies [Seminar 4]

7. cases – leadership in administration [Seminar 5]

8. the trajectory of change [Seminar 6]

9. towards a synthesis [Seminar 6]


Seminar 1: The New Public Management: Theoretical and Conceptual Underpinnings + presentations.


Seminar 2: The Worldwide Diffusion of the NPM Approaches: Mechanisms and Driving Forces + students’ presentations.


Seminar 3: Features of the NPM: The Case for Decentralisation and Agencification + students’ presentations.


Seminar 4: Features of the NPM: The Case for PFI and Contract Working With Companies+ students’ presentations


Seminar 5: Features Of the NPM: The Case for Performance-Based Management and Leadership + students’ presentations.


Seminar 6: Does NPM Work? An Evaluation and Future Directions + students’ presentations

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 Teaching Activities186 x 3 hour seminars
Guided independent study82Reading, thinking and preparing for lectures and workshops
Guided independent study80Planning and completing written assignments
Guided independent study20Researching and devising group presentation

Online Resources

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