Centre for Financial and Management Studies

MSc Public Financial Management

Key information

Duration
Two to five years
Start of programme
October / January / April / July
Attendance mode
Distance learning
Fees

MSc: £10,920
Single module: £1,820

Course overview

Our MSc Public Financial Management programme will provide you with expert knowledge in all matters of public finance, ranging from budget and revenue policy, to financial reporting, audit and compliance. Taking a real-world approach to the application of theory and critical thinking, this programme examines where financial matters drive policy. Through the course you will gain the conceptual tools and practical skills needed to analyse, understand and play a role in the public finance sector.

Why study MSc Public Financial Management at SOAS

  • ranked 5th in the UK for graduate employability (Guardian League Tables 2021)
  • interact with talented students, renowned academics, influential business leaders and top policy makers from around the world
  • we are specialists in the delivery of more that 40 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 from 160 countries in sectors across finance, government, industry and international organisations. 

Entry requirements

You should have a recognised UK Bachelor's degree, or international equivalent, in a social science discipline. Qualifications in other subjects will be assessed on their merits. Your application may be considered if you have previous education and experience, equivalent to a degree-level qualification, which includes suitable preliminary training. 

Structure

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.

Core modules

  • Financial Reporting 
  • Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets
  • Public Financial Management: Planning and Performance
  • Public Financial Management: Revenue

Elective modules

  • Bank Regulation and Resolution of Banking Crises
  • Decentralisation and Local Governance
  • Dissertation
  • Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships
  • Project Appraisal
  • Project, Programme and Policy Evaluation
  • Public Financial Management Audit and Compliance
  • Public Policy and Management: Development Assistance
  • Regulation of International Capital Markets
  • Research Methods
  • The IMF and Economic Policy

Teaching and learning

The MSc Public Financial Management is made up of six modules. Each module lasts for 10 weeks. 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 your studies throughout the year, allowing you to fit your studies around 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, you 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, you will have access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which is a web-based 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 you access to each module's Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library and the SOAS Library.

Exams

For each module, you will sit a three-hour examination, held on a specified date in September/October, and complete two assignments during the module study session. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. Examinations and assignments are weighted 70:30.

Fees and funding

MSc Single module
£10,920 £1,820

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.

Postgraduate loans

If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. See postgraduate funding and finance for more information.

Look through the postgraduate scholarships available.

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
  • NGOs
  • Educational and other charitable trusts

Employment

As a graduate in MSc Public Financial Management you'll have the skills to work in management roles in: 

  • central Finance Ministries
  • line Ministries 
  • sub-national governments
  • parliament
  • consultancy
  • international finance institutions

Recent CeFiMS graduates have been hired by:

  • Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
  • Citi
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young
  • Euro Monitor International
  • Financial Times
  • HM Treasury
  • Huaxia Bank, China
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Investec
  • JP Morgan, Chase & Co
  • KPMG
  • Nomura
  • Oxfam
  • Publicis Media
  • Santander
  • UBS
  • University of Oxford
  • Western Securities Co. Ltd
  • White & Case LLP
  • World Food Programme

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