Our MSc Public Financial Management programme will enable you with the conceptual tools and practical skills to analyse, understand, and play a role in the management of public financial resources.
The core modules of the programme will equip students with theoretical knowledge about programming, budgeting, collecting revenue and reporting about the financial performance of public sector entities. Elective modules will provide students the possibility to deepen their understanding of more specific areas such as, for example, development assistance and foreign aid, the role of capital markets and banks, management accounting and project appraisal. Along the way, students will develop capabilities to analyse, critically appraise and communicate which will provide valuable assets for their professional activity and career prospects.
The subject area of public financial management refers to all systems, processes and tools that public authorities employ to manage the financial resources in the public sector. Public financial management has various ramifications – for example, from the collection of revenue to the budgeting of expenditures, and from financial reporting to the auditing and evaluation of public entities and programmes. The prudent, efficient and effective management of public finances is vital for the delivery of public policies and services.
Why study MSc Public Financial Management at SOAS
- we're ranked 11 in the UK and 2 in London for Business and Management by the 2019 Guardian University league table
- programmes are delivered by a multicultural and international teaching body, who regularly publish in top international journals
- you will develop an excellent understanding of key issues shaping international business strategy
- we are specialists in the delivery of more that forty African and Asian languages. As the economies of the Global South continue to expand, knowledge of another language and other cultures will be a big asset in the world of commerce and international trade
- you will be joining our community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the outside world of academia
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Study Public Financial Management by Online Learning at SOAS University of London
This degree is suitable for people working in central Finance Ministries, or in financial management roles in line Ministries, sub-national governments or financial scrutiny functions in Parliaments or Supreme Audit Institutions. It will also be valuable for people working in consultancy and advisory functions, and in international financial institutions.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Start of programme: October / January / April / June
Mode of Attendance: Distance Learning
- 2–5 years
You will study six modules: three core modules and three elective modules selected from the lists below.
If you wish to complete the Dissertation you must study Research Methods.
- Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets
- Public Financial Management: Planning and Performance
- Public Financial Management: Revenue
- Financial Reporting (IFRS)
Financial Reporting (IPSAS)
- Bank Regulation and Resolution of Banking Crises
- Decentralisation and Local Governance
- Management Accounting
- Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships
- Project Appraisal
- Public Financial Management Audit and Compliance
- Public Policy and Management: Development Assistance
- Regulation of International Capital Markets
- Research Methods
- The IMF and Economic Policy
Find out more
To find out more about this programme including module details, please visit the MSc Public Financial Management section of the Centre for Financial and Management Studies website.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
Modules are typically made up of two hour lectures and a one hour seminar every week. Students are expected to be active in class seminars through presentations and participation to class discussion. Students are typically evaluated through a combination of presentations (that are weighted 10% of the marks), one assignment (30% of the marks) and one 2-hour examination (60% of the marks).
The MSc Public Financial Management requires students to do a dissertation which provides opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation.
- Allen, R., Hemming, R., and Potter, B. (eds) (2013), The International Handbook of Public Financial Management. London: Palgrave Macmillan
- Asquer, A. (2017), Public Sector Revenue: Principles, Policies and Management. London: Routledge
Pay as you Learn
Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you only pay for the module you are enrolling on.
If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. Click here to learn more.
Click here for a list of postgraduate scholarships.
Alternatively, we recommend students approach their local British Council, British High Commission or British Embassy, for information on local funding.
Dependent on nationality, employment circumstances and other factors, funding and sponsorship sources can include:
- United Nations (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, UNEP etc)
- Bilateral Aid Agencies (SIDA, GTZ, etc)
- European Union
- British Council
- UK Department for International Development / Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Educational and other charitable trusts
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
This degree is suitable for people working in central Financial Ministries, or in financial management roles in line Ministries, sub-national governments or financial scrutiny functions in Parliaments or Supreme Audit Institutions. It will also be valuable for people working in consultancy and advisory functions, and in international financial institutions.
A Student's Perspective
The friendly research atmosphere, extensive library resources and academic training courses will help to stimulate your inspiration, promote your talent, and push yourself to new academic heights.
How to Apply
To make an application, please complete our online application form. For more information about the application procedure and deadlines, and the supporting documentation required, please visit the admissions section of the Centre for Financial and Management Studies website.