Public Management and Governance

The public sector is facing a raft of changes and challenges, including growing demand for services, top-down reforms, and austerity.

At the same time, delivery of public services has never been more complex, with an infusion of different sectors and organisations with responsibilities in this area. It is therefore essential that our public managers and leaders are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate through this environment in order to exercise good governance for the customers they serve.

This module will provide you with an advanced understanding of the governance and management of public services (whether delivered by a government, not-for-profit, or business), and of the key trends and debates affecting understanding in this area. You will be equipped with a range of theories, concepts, and frameworks that can be used to make sense of the tensions, contradictions and complexity public organisations face, with ample opportunity to apply this learning to your workplace and own experiences throughout the course. Topics that will be covered include modes of governance; principles of good governance; partnership working; and the nature of public accountability.

Content will be delivered in our innovative blended format; the first part of the module will be taught through our bespoke online learning environment, providing you with the flexibility to learn where and when you want. For the second part of the module, you will be on campus at the University of Birmingham, applying your online learning to group problem-solving tasks and scenario-based exercises.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Understand and critically evaluate the theory and practice of public management and governance, with a particular focus on the UK.
  • Critically assess the role of the state in relation to the shape of public policy and public services.
  • Understand and appraise the political and democratic context within which public management and governance operates.
  • Assess the challenges for public management and governance, both in the immediate period and in the longer term.
  • Demonstrate analytical and problem solving skills in relation to complex public management and governance issues.