Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM226M: Public Sector Finance for Managers

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 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:
  7. Public Spending
  8. Audit and Accountability
  9. Strategic Budgetary control and budget setting

Teaching of subject knowledge will be through a combination of preliminary directed learning, compulsory reading of core texts, 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. 

The essay is returned individually 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 Teaching Activity14Fourteen seminars (one hour each)
Guided independent study 86Reading, thinking and preparing for seminars and assignments
Guided independent study50Assignment preparation

Online Resources

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