module specification

GI7032 - Public Management and Public Finance (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19, but may be subject to modification
Module title Public Management and Public Finance
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 200
74 hours Placement / study abroad
90 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 35%   Seminar Presentation / Podcast
Coursework 65%   3,000 Word Report
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Evening

Module summary

The module provides an advanced examination of the management of public services principally in the United Kingdom, as well as an introduction to current issues and developments in public finance and the budgetary process in public sector and non-for-profit contexts. It places the current public management reform agenda within a broader historical, theoretical, and institutional framework. The module examines key components of, and developments in, the management of public services including: finance; regulation; performance and quality management; human resources; and ethics.

This module aims to:
- Explore theoretical and practical implications of the emergence of new public management (NPM)
- Provide a context within which to understand the contemporary design, resourcing and delivery models in the public services
- Examine developments which aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, legitimacy, sustainability and social impact of public service transformation.
- Introduce basic concepts around budgetary planning, execution and control.


This module will address the following topics:
 Theories of Public Management LO2
 The Institutional Governance of Public Services LO1
 Alternative modes of public service delivery. Co-Design, Co-creation and Co-production of services LO2,LO3
 Performance and quality management LO1
 Investing in a workforce for the future LO1,LO2,LO3

 Public Finance in Theory and Practice LO4
 The Budgetary process in perspective I LO4
 The Budgetary process in Perspective II LO4
 The Regulatory State: Audit, Inspection and the Regulator LO3,LO4

 The Ethical Agenda of public service transformation LO2,LO3,LO4
 The Future Management of public service management LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module teaching is based on weekly lectures (or block teaching in the summer term) and seminar classes, where specific group-work exercises have been developed to provide students with an opportunity to examined in more detail some of the main conceptual and methodological issues covered in lectures.

The approach to teaching is based on facilitating the application of concepts, methods and principles to practice-related contexts, and students’ integration of learning in relation to real world scenarios. This approach to teaching aims to develop students’ ability to think critically about data and evidence, and to draw appropriate inferences in accordance with the stated learning outcomes.

The above teaching methods will be complemented by students’ independent study on the module. Students will be required to read, on a weekly basis, recommended chapters in the core textbook, or to access other relevant educational material.

The module will be using WebLearn - guidance will be given during the module about how to best use this. It is designed to support students learning providing access to wider reading and resources to help to prepare for each session e.g. websites, policy documents and articles and or to revise and deepen knowledge after sessions e.g. lecture notes. Students are encouraged to use other learning resources such as the Library and the Academic Mentors and WebLearn.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate systematic understanding and critical awareness of the core features of public services drawing on current research on the interplay between public, private and non for profit spheres [LO1]
2. Critically evaluate changing approaches to the management of the public services and asses the practical implications on the funding and delivery of public services [LO2]
3. Demonstrate systematic understanding of contemporary developments in public service reform and awareness of the changing nature of public value creation and consumption [LO3]
4. Critically analyse distinctive features of the budgetary process and apply core principles in different contexts: central government, local government, non for profit sector [LO4].

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed through two instruments:

1. A Seminar Presentation / Podcast commenting on management approaches of public service organisations (20 minutes) (35%) [LO2, LO3, LO4].
2. A 3,000 word Portfolio Report assessing the budgetary implications of public sector reforms (65%) [LO1, LO2, LO3];

These are designed to ensure that a depth and range of knowledge is acquired and demonstrated. They also provide an opportunity to further develop a variety of transferable skills. The report provides an opportunity to exercise initiative in topic choice and to undertake guided independent learning. The seminar presentation will provide an opportunity to demonstrate critical awareness in relation to the particular topic under consideration, exercise transferable skills and develop a degree of specialisation within the module syllabus.


Core reading:
Burnham, J. and S. Horton (2013) Public Management in the United Kingdom: A New Introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Buggeln, M., Daunton, M. & Notzenadel A. (eds.) (2017) The political economy of public finance: taxation, state  spending and debt since the 1970s / Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Gruber, J. (2016) Public finance and public policy / New York: Macmillan Education, CLASS NO     336 GRU.

Flynn, N., (2017)  Public sector management. Los Angeles : SAGE, CLASS NO     351.41 FLY.

Pollitt, C. and G. Bouckaert (2011) Public Management Reform - A Comparative Analysis: New Public Management, Governance and the Neo-Weberian State, 3rd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Walker, R. M., Boyne, G. A., & Brewer G. A (eds.) (2010) Public Management and Performance : Research Directions / Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Additional reading:
Bovaird, T. and E. Löffler (Eds.) (2009) Public Management and Governance, 2nd Edition, London: Routledge.

Burnham, J. and R. Pyper (2008) Britain’s Modernised Civil Service, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cairney, P. (2016) Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Christensen, T. and P. Laegreid (Eds.) (2007) Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms, Farnham: Ashgate.

Cullis, J. G. (2009) Public finance and public choice: analytical perspectives / Oxford : Oxford University Press, CLASS NO     336 CUL.

Hillman, A. L., (2009) Public finance and public policy: responsibilities &                 limitations of government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, CLASS NO336 HIL.

Hughes, O.E. (2012) Public Management and Administration: An Introduction, 4th Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moran, M. (2003) The British Regulatory State: High Modernism and Hyper-Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Moran, M. (2011) Politics and Governance in the UK, 2nd Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Osborne, D. and T. Gaebler (1992) Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, London: Penguin.

Peters, B. Guy (2010) The Politics of Bureaucracy, 6th Edition, London: Routledge.

Richards, D. (2011) “Changing Patterns of Executive Governance”, in Heffernan, R. et al. (Eds.) Developments in British Politics Nine, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Online resources:
Cabinet Office (UK Government)
United Nations Public Administration Network
World Bank: Administrative and Civil Service Reform; Governance and Public Sector Management