Postgraduate Module Descriptor


POLM230: Managing Public Organisations: Strategy, Finance and Budgeting

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims to provide an introduction, understanding and working knowledge of the key concepts, theories and structures of public sector strategy, finance and budgeting for public organisations. This focus includes working or managing in government organisations, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, think tanks and companies regulated by government.

The module aims to link research, evidence and practice including expertise from real world organisations, and provides skills and knowledge for considering theory, practice and implementation of strategy, finance and budgeting. It explores the sources of public and private finance, the role of public, private and third sector (or non-governmental) institutions in the provision of public services. It aims to develop knowledge of public sector budgeting of different kinds (for example incremental, zero based, activity based budgeting), and financial management (for example use of financial statements, audit) and the relationship with strategy and accountability to stakeholders.

The module applies these concepts and methods using an exploration of contemporary public finance issues (for example in the context of budgetary pressure and the politics of austerity, analysing the role of tax and other sources of revenue). In this way, the aims are to provide understanding of the key concepts of public sector strategy, finance and budgeting. It aims to provide basic skills developed from these concepts to help students taking the module to research about, work in, or manage organisations in public sector contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. critically examine and explain the core requirements for understanding strategy, finance and budgeting in a public sector context;
2. identify examples of best practice in public sector strategy, finance and budgeting including in terms of accountability, audit and regulation; and evaluate their transferability to other jurisdictions;
3. understand core texts on the subjects of strategy, finance and budgeting;
4. explain the dynamics behind the structures, usage and modernisation of public sector strategy, finance, budeting with reference to a range of theoretical models.
Discipline-Specific Skills5. appraise and critically evaluate government reports and public policy;
6. synthesise and comment critically on a corpus of academic literature;
7. link public policy, administration, strategy, finance and budgeting concepts and theories to real world examples.
Personal and Key Skills8. undertake independent/self-directed learning (including time management) to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment;
9. work as a participant or leader of a group and contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives; and
10. reflect on the process of learning.