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Managing the Public Sector: Theory and International Applications


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Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Session 3: 27 July - 14 August 2015

Programme Description 

The making of sound public policies and their effective implementation are pivotal in everyone’s understanding of what constitutes good government. This course offers the opportunity to review, discuss, understand, and evaluate key theme in contemporary international discourse about the policy process and the management of public programmes. Based on selected pieces of latest scholarly writings, students will learn the main theoretical approaches to the analysis of public policy and management issues and will develop a deeper understanding of the challenges that public managers face to deliver public value. In tutorials, students will develop their presentation skills and discuss public policy and management case studies drawing from a variety of countries from all over the world.

As part of the course students will visit the City of London Guildhall and watch film screenings including 'Orwell 1984', followed by class discussion. 



A tuition fee of £1400 will be charged per 3-week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £60 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 31 March 2015.
15% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please contact us for further information.


A limited number of rooms will be available at International Hall which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury. The cost for 20 nights is £870 (breakfast included) for a single room with shared bathroom*.  To reserve a place through SOAS, please tick the relevant box in the application form. *(If you would like a different type of room, please book with International Hall directly)


Please note that summer courses are not accredited by SOAS.

Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and an optional river cruise on the Thames for a small additional charge. Details about how to book will be communicated to you once you are registered. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends.


For more information, please fill out our enquiry form


The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Contact time: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities) 

Week 1: From public policies to the strategic management of public programmes

  • Theories of the policy process
  • Capacity building in the public sector
  • The strategic management of public sector organisations
  • Managing stakeholders and policy networks

Week 2: Designing, staffing, and controlling public service programmes

  • Organisational design and organisational change
  • Selection, training and retention of civil servants
  • Performance management and management control of public sector organisations
  • The role of leadership

Week 3: Challenges and opportunities for the delivery of public services

  • The co-production of public services
  • Innovation and innovation management
  • E-government
  • Transparency and accountability

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course worth 70% of the overall mark and a group presentation on assigned case study worth 30% of the overall mark. 

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Have knowledge of the fundamental theories for the study of public management
  • have detailed knowledge of functional areas of public management, such as strategic management of public sector organisations, management of stakeholders, organisational design and the management of organisational change, human resource management in public sector organisations, performance management and management control
  • Understand current challenges and opportunities posed to public sector organisations, such as issues related to the co-production of public services, innovation and innovation management, e-government, and transparency and accountability

How to Apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • Participants have to be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
    • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.

Apply Now

Application deadline for the summer school courses is 24 May 2015.

A Student's Perspective

It is only at SOAS is where you would find your Jamaican friends enjoying listening to classic Arabic music at the student’s union, the Japanese classmates enthusiastically taking part at the African societies’ activities, and prayer rooms where students from different faiths would gather in one place in full peace.

Erum Abdullah Al-Howaish