Structure and Content
Students studying for the Postgraduate Certificate take the following modules:
The Public Service Manager: The aim of this module is to equip you with knowledge of management principles as a foundation for subsequent management modules.
The Political Environment: This module gives you an understanding of the political environment in which public services operate and to equip you with the necessary skills to respond to this environment.
Managing People: The aim of this module is to develop the skills required to enable managers in the public sector to manage their people more effectively.
Managing Finance: This module introduces the purpose and nature of financial statements and equips you with the understanding and skills necessary to prepare them. The purpose of budgets and their preparation is also considered.
The Economic Environment: This module considers the role of government, market failures, central versus local government provision of services, public expenditure and its growth, distribution of income and the relief of poverty.
Managing Information: This module concentrates on the business and management context of information systems and technology. It also considers a number of important issues relating to the management of information systems.
Marketing and Public Relations: This module aims to develop your understanding of the applications of marketing ideas and techniques within a public service context.
Decision Support Systems: This module introduces the use of decision support systems in improving decision-making. It emphasises the use of information and communications technologies, which increasingly enable managers to develop and use decision support systems directly.
Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma take the following modules:
Strategic Planning in the Public Service: This module introduces the role of strategic management in public service organisations, and enables you to use some of the techniques which have been developed for supporting strategic management in the public sector.
Strategic Financial Analysis: This module introduces you to the role of financial and business planning in the strategic planning process and identifies the main sources of finance available to public service organisations.
Managing Quality: This module aims to provide you with an insight into quality issues, including Total Quality Management. In addition you are introduced to quality standards, service standards issues and the service quality model as a means of measurement.
Continuous Improvement: This module introduces the modern concepts of continuous improvement within contemporary public services, particularly in local government and the NHS.
Research Methods and Dissertation Planning: This module aims to introduce you to research methods for managers and also show how these methods are used in practice. The programme covers the basics of qualitative and quantitative research as well as topic selection, access and data collection.
In addition to this, you will take three option modules chosen in consultation with the Programme Director. Recent options include Change Management, Risk Management, Managing Projects and Partnerships and the Management in Practice Case Study.
To complete the MBA you will submit a 15,000 word dissertation. This is usually a research-based investigation into a management problem or policy of direct relevance to you and to your employer.
Delivery and Assessment
The programme is taught on one afternoon and evening per week during semester and considerable emphasis is placed on active and participative learning using seminars, case studies, role play simulations and workshops as well as formal lectures. Assessment is by coursework only.
Programme participants are normally working in the public sector already. Many have gone on to more high-level strategic posts, such as Chief Executive of a voluntary organisation, Director of Education in a local authority or Deputy Prison Governor.