Public Service Commissioning MSc/PGDip/GDip/PGCert/GCert

Image for Public Service Commissioning MSc/PGDip/GDip/PGCert/GCert

This programme develops your understanding of the politics, principles, evidence and skills associated with public service commissioning and how these interact across organisational boundaries. It is designed for senior managers and policy-makers working in or with public commissioning organisations or with an interest in developing their careers in this direction.

We offer a flexible programmes and a wide range of optional modules (part-time students also welcome).

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: MSc: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PG Diploma/Graduate Diploma/ Certificate: 9 months full-time, 21 months part-time

Start date: September, May.

Details

Whether articulated as 'World Class Commissioning' in the NHS, 'Place-Shaping' in Local Government or 'End-to-End Offender Management' within the Criminal Justice system, it is clear that strategic commissioning is a core task of many public bodies today.

The first course of its kind in the UK, this programme is aimed at developing participants' understanding of the politics, principles, evidence and skills associated with public service commissioning and how these interact across organisational boundaries. It is designed for senior managers and policy-makers working in or with public commissioning organisations or with an interest in developing their careers in this direction.

This programme is jointly offered by the Institute of Local Government Studies and the Health Services Management Centre.

Who is the programme for?

This forward-thinking programme is designed to help the leaders of such organisations navigate the complex political, strategic and operational terrain that their roles present. It is designed for managers and policy makers working in or with public commissioning organisations and others wishing to develop their understanding of the commissioning role.

The programme can be studied part-time over two / three years or full-time in one year. Modules are scheduled particularly to suit part-time study in units of two of three consecutive days at our dedicated postgraduate teaching accommodation at the University of Birmingham.

Modules

MSc participants study four core modules, plus any two specialist option modules and a dissertation. Diploma participants follow the same module/sector stream choices as their MSc colleagues but are exempt from the dissertation element. Certificate participants choose one of the four core modules, plus any two other modules of their choice.

Compulsory core modules:

Optional modules from the following:

Fees and funding

Fees for 2014 - 15:

MSc:

  • Home and EU full-time: £8,910
  • Home and EU part-time: £4,455*
  • Overseas full-time: £13,665

PG Diploma

  • Home and EU full-time: £5,940
  • Home and EU part-time: £2,970*
  • Overseas full-time only: £9,110

PG Certificate:

  • Home and EU full-time: £2,970
  • Home and EU part-time: £2,970*
  • Overseas full-time only: £4,555

Graduate Diploma:

  • UK/EU full-time: £5,940
  • UK/EU part-time: £2,970*
  • Overseas full-time only: £9,110

*This is the first-year fee; second-year fees are liable to rise slightly with inflation/increases in University fees generally.

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk 

Entry requirements

The normal admission requirement for our other taught postgraduate programmes is a good first degree or an equivalent professional qualification. Subject to interview (and sometimes to a special test) candidates without a first degree may be admitted. Candidates without such qualifications who wish to complete an MSc may initially be registered for a Graduate Certificate/Diploma, and then, subject to satisfactory performance, their registration will be upgraded to Postgraduate level (Certificate/Diploma or MSc).

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Our approach to teaching and learning is participant-centred in two ways. First, the programme explores and makes links between the ideas, models and skills for public service and participants' own work experiences and organisational contexts. As a result, participants' contributions, in the form of discussion and exploration of case studies, are particularly important, and assist in the creation of an educational environment in which a significant component of the learning derives through interactions between programme participants.

Second, we recognise that different individuals learn best in different ways. Some will prefer lecture inputs for the frameworks, theoretical perspectives and challenge to thinking that these can provide. Others will tend to favour the more practical sessions and/or the time spent in syndicates with colleagues exchanging experiences and perspectives on issues under consideration or in addressing specific tasks, case studies and problem-solving.

Typically modules are assessed through a variety of essay-type and project-based assignments. From the outset, we provide participants with clear guidance on assessment work and individualised tutorial support is available throughout the programme to help each participant make the most of their studies with us. Participants studying at Masters level will be expected to write a dissertation – this may be linked to activities at their workplace.

Facilities

Departments from across the School of Government and Society are all based within the recently refurbished Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offers state-of-the-art teaching and research study facilities including free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.

Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.

The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.

Employability

Careers

Typical paths include career progression within the public sector, with the participant’s aspirations being more saleable with a supporting qualification. Transferability of skills also supports participants to change organisations or pathways within public and related sectors.

The qualifications will also support postgraduates seeking an entirely new career within the public sector, such as management.