SOAS University of London

Summer School at SOAS University of London

Public Financial Management

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • How to Apply


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Session 2: 4 July - 21 July 2017

Programme Description

The effective management of public finances is a fundamental function for every government and public sector organisation. This course provides participants with the theoretical knowledge and tools for reviewing, discussing, understanding and evaluating key themes about public financial management. Based on academic research and practical examples, students will learn how the governments and public sector organisations plan and administer public spending; how tax policies are made; what are the effects of taxation; what other means, apart from taxation, the public sector has for raising revenues; how financial performance is reported to the public; and how fiscal balance is attained. In tutorials, students will be required to present assigned tasks and discuss case studies of public financial management drawing from a variety of countries from all over the world.



A tuition fee of £1500 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 17 April 2017.
  • 15% discount for SOAS Alumni or if you take a combination of sessions 2 and 3. 
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions.
  • 50% partial fee waiver for current SOAS students (2 available per course)
  • Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.

Accommodation is available at an extra fee of £710 for 20 nights. For more details of how to reserve a room please visit our accommodation page.


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.


Contact hours: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-3pm, and 2 hours on one specified Friday over the 3 weeks.

Optional hours: In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of 'activities' relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). On Fridays, all courses open up one of their activities to all summer school students and these are optional. For example, if you have been studying a Development course, you may choose to join an activity belonging to a Politics, Economics and Environment course. All activities will be staggered throughout the day so that you have a chance to take as many as possible. Please note however that the Friday activity relating to the course you are registered on is compulsory.

Course Structure

Week 1: Budgeting and expenditure management in the public sector

  • Patterns of public spending and the budgeting process
  • The structure and the execution of the budget
  • Measuring and appraising performance in the public sector

Week 2: Raising revenues from taxes and other sources

  • Patters of public revenues and the principles of taxation
  • Types of taxes and tax policies
  • Revenues from non-taxation sources

Week 3: Financial reporting in the public sector

  • Financial statements and fiscal balances
  • A detailed view of assets, liabilities, and equity
  • A detailed view of revenues, expenditures, and income
  • Auditing and assurance in the public sector

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a class presentation (30%) and a 2000-2500 word essay (70%) to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.



Teaching and 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 financial management;
  • have detailed knowledge of component parts of public financial management: the planning and budgeting process; performance and performance appraisal in the public sector; tax policies; tax and revenue administration; principles of financial reporting; the fiscal balance and the consequences of fiscal imbalances.
  • understand current challenges and opportunities posed to the financial management of public sector organisations, such as issues related to control of public expenditures, design of effective tax and revenue policies, and attainment of the fiscal balance of public sector organisations.


How to Apply

Applications Now Open! Click to apply

Entry Requirements

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

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
    Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
    • 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.

Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £60 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

There are still a few places left on our courses and we are delighted to offer an extended deadline for applications:

  • Session1 and session 2 courses: 12th June
  • Session 3 courses: 3rd of July

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