Overview and entry requirements
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.
See School of Finance and Management
Why study MSc Public Financial Management at SOAS
- we are 5th in UK for graduate employability (Guardian League Tables 2021)
- 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
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.
Start of programme: October / January / April / July
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
- Bank Regulation and Resolution of Banking Crises
- Decentralisation and Local Governance
- 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
The MSc Public Financial Management is made up of six modules. Each module is studied in one of four 10-week sessions. You can only take one module at a time, but each module is typically available in at least two of the year's study sessions.
This gives you the flexibility to plan how you study during the year, enabling you to fit your study in with your professional, family and personal commitments.
Online academic tutor
You will be individually assigned an online academic tutor for the duration of each module with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session. You will also have a named administrator providing you with help and advice throughout your studies.
For each module, students will be provided with access to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.
Virtual Learning Environment
To make your experience as a distance learning student more complete and rewarding, we provide access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums.
The VLE also provides access to the module Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library and the SOAS Library.
For each module, you will sit a three-hour examination, held on a specified date in September/October (dates are communicated in May/June), and complete two assignments during the module study session. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online.
Examinations are weighted 70% and the assignments are weighted 15% each.
Fees and funding
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. Learn more
See our 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
Graduates from the Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS) will leave SOAS with advanced skills in communication, analysis, problem solving, and technical proficiencies required in the finance sector.
Our programmes are respected by employers all over the world, who value graduates’ knowledge and understanding of how the finance sector is tackling the major challenges facing global business.
Recent CeFiMS graduates have been hired by:
- Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Ernst & Young
- Euro Monitor International
- Financial Times
- HM Treasury
- Huaxia Bank, China
- International Rescue Committee
- JP Morgan, Chase & Co
- Publicis Media
- University of Oxford
- Western Securities Co. Ltd
- White & Case LLP
- World Food Programme
Find out at Careers Service
A Student's Perspective
The Finance & Financial Law program was fantastic in its ability to blend the relevance of legal constructs with the more technical elements of finance, without sacrificing depth for breadth. This approach was especially useful for those of us who had had exposure to finance and law, but not both at the same time, or in such an integrated manner.
How to Apply
Apply now using 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.