PP4J5E      Half Unit
Fiscal Governance and Budgeting

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joachim Wehner

Dr Paolo de Renzio


This course is available on the Executive Master of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


There are no pre-requisites, but recommended advance reading is given below.

Course content

The course examines contemporary issues in fiscal governance and public budgeting in OECD countries and elsewhere. The focus is on executive and legislative actors and the institutional structures within which they make budgetary choices. Following an introduction to theoretical approaches to the study of budgeting, topics include medium-term frameworks, top-down budgeting, fiscal rules and fiscal councils, performance budgeting, legislative budgeting, fiscal decentralisation, budget transparency, audit and accountability.


A one-week modular teaching block.This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures delivered in one week. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and lectures delivered as online videos.

Formative coursework

One mock examination opportunity will be provided.

Indicative reading

Fiscal Governance in Europe by Mark Hallerberg, Rolf Strauch and Jürgen von Hagen (Cambridge University Press, 2009) introduces an important theoretical approach and is a good reference for several topics. The OECD Journal on Budgeting http://www.oecd.org/gov/budget/journal discusses current issues in applied budgeting. A full reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the course.


Essay (50%, 2000 words) and online assessment (50%).

Please note that online assessments take place on the third Friday after module teaching concludes. Essays are due on the sixth Sunday after module teaching concludes. Further details will be provided at the Executive MPA/ Executive MPP programme inductions.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills