SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Public Governance, Accountability and Transparency

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

Public governance is pervasive in today’s societies. Policy decisions that affect the lives of billions of individuals are made through venues and processes where governments interact with multiple entities, from business associations to multinational companies, and from NGOs to citizens. At the same time, governments are put under increased pressure to make decisions in accountable and transparent ways.

This module will cover many aspects of public governance, accountability and transparency. We will start the course by looking at the systems and processes of government, at the differences and relationships between the public and the private section, and at public policy decision-making. We will turn our attention, then, to issues that arise from stakeholder management and risk management in government. After the Reading Week, we will pay attention to issues related to fraud and corruption, internal control systems, auditing, ethics and integrity in the public sector. We will conclude the course by looking at the role of policy and programme evaluation in government.

The lectures will be very interactive. Students will be expected to participate actively through individual tasks and group discussions, where they will develop skills and capabilities about applying theories and methods to tackling public governance issues. Empirically, the course will look at public governance issues in various domains, from healthcare to education and from water and sanitation to the regulation of emerging technologies. In classes, students will be required to analyse and present assigned case studies.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Understand the role of public governance
  • Explain how accountability and transparency are achieved in the public sector
  • Critically appraise the role of internal control systems and auditing to ensure accountability and transparency in the public sector
  • Critically appraise the role of ethics and integrity in public sector entities

Method of assessment

  • A Portfolio of 2,500 words at 40%
  • One essay of 2,500 words at 40%
  • One 30 minute presentation at 20%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted.

Suggested reading



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