International Public Management

School: School of Social Policy and School of Government and Society
Health Services Management Centre and Institute of Local Government Studies

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Five full days attendance

Location: Birmingham – 2016/17; Melbourne – 2017/18.

Module convenor: Catherine Needham (HSMC) and Catherine Mangan (INLOGOV)

This module provides a unique opportunity to study alongside students from the University of Melbourne and to take an internationally comparative perspective on public management. It compares key concepts in local government and health systems in the UK and Australia and facilitates an advanced analysis of the governance and management of public services in both countries. Sessions will cover themes including commissioning, leadership, partnerships, community involvement and workforce redesign. There will be an opportunity to acquire skills in comparative analysis, and to broaden knowledge of international issues in local government and health.  The module allows plenty of time for discussion of case studies with Australian students about some of the key challenges are that they facing in the design and delivery of public services. We will encourage students to explore these links in some depth in class, through reading, and in the assignment work.

Students taking this module will be expected to contribute and participate fully in group discussions and submit an assignment based on their learning from others during the group presentations.

Student numbers on this module are limited. Students wanting to take the module are required to submit a 300 word statement in advance of starting the module about why they want to study International Public Management and what they hope to get out of it.


  • Understand and critically examine the policy context and political environment in health and local government services in comparative international perspective
  • Explain the different public management systems and challenges in two or more countries
  • Critically evaluate how health and local government systems in two or more countries respond to similar and different challenges
  • Demonstrate understanding of key theoretical models underpinning comparative aspects of public policy

Teaching style

  • Lectures and seminar-style presentations from University faculty and external contributors with class discussion
  • Individual interaction with module convenors/personal tutors for tutorial support as required
  • Participation in simulation exercise/group task (for negotiation skills development)
  • Personal reading for, preparation of and feedback on written assignment


The module will be assessed through the completion of two written assignment:

  • 2 x 3,000 word assignments (each 50%)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.