Public Budgeting and Financial Management

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joachim Wehner CON4.10


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy and MPA in Public and Social Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 3 groups.

Course content

The course examines contemporary issues in public budgeting and financial management, and how they interface with public management drawing on comparative experience in OECD countries and elsewhere. Topics include: theories of budgeting; time horizons in budgeting; legal frameworks; fiscal rules; top-down budgeting; legislative budgeting; fiscal decentralisation; performance budgeting; budget transparency; budget reform; special issues in developing countries; accounting and auditing in the public sector; parliamentary scrutiny of audit findings.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 3 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

A full reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the course. Relevant items include: M Hallerberg, R Strauch and J von Hagen (2009), Fiscal Governance in Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; A B Wildavsky and N Caiden (2004), The New Politics of the Budgetary Process, New York, Pearson/Longman; A Schick (1998), A Contemporary Approach to Public Expenditure Management, Washington DC, World Bank Institute; M Power (1999), The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Exam (65%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) and other (10%) in the LT.

Consists of three parts: (i) an unseen three-hour written examination in ST (65%); (ii) a coursework essay of up to 3,000 words, due in the first week after the end of LT (25%); (iii) two application exercises, carried out in groups, together account for 10%.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2012/13: 38

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information