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Local Government Management

The MA – Local Government Management is a two-year, part-time programme that explores the key issues in local government. It seeks to raise the level of analysis in Irish local government management and to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective management in the local government field. On completing the first year of the programme, students receive the interim award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management.

Is This Programme For You?
This programme will be of great interest to local authority officials working across a variety of sectors. It combines core public management subjects and those that are specific to local government in Ireland. Delivered through a blend of distance education and intensive weekend seminars and workshops at the IPA, it can be taken from anywhere in Ireland.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants for Postgraduate Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, MA, MEconSc and MSc programmes must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.


Two academic years.

Delivery Method
A blend of distance learning and weekend seminars at the IPA campus in Dublin.

Careers or further progression

Students may enter the first year of the MA (Postgraduate Diploma) in September or January. Those who enter in September can, on successful completion of the academic year, proceed to the second year. Those who enter in January can finish within the calendar year and proceed to the second year the following September.

Further enquiries

Tel: +353 1 240 3600

Subjects taught

Year One

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management
Interim Award
The first year of the MA programme is divided into two
semesters and each semester is devoted to the study of three

Semester One
- Economics
- Managing Human Resources
- Finance

Semester Two
- Organisation and Strategy
- Research Methods
- Managing Service Delivery/Managing in Europe

Year Two

Semester One

Local Government Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation
This course explores theories on the role of local government in the policy process. It focuses on five key themes: policy making and strategic planning, community and networks, service delivery, the regulatory environment, and organisation and change. A case study on housing is also included.

Local Government Financial Management and Accountability
This course considers the particular financial management considerations that apply to local government in Ireland. Among the topics addressed are the sources of funds available to local government, budget management and financial governance.

Leadership and Management
In this module, students will explore how theories and practices current in both public and private sectors can apply to local government management. It examines strategy and strategic thinking, leadership and learning in a strategic context, changing organisational culture, and performance management.

Semester Two
In the second semester of year two, students write a dissertation on a specific local government management issue. Students must successfully complete the taught courses before moving to the dissertation phase.


Accreditation: National University of Ireland
Place on NFQ: Level 9 (Major Award).
Award: Master of Arts
Interim Award: Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management

Assessment method

The programme is assessed by means of assignments, examinations and a minor dissertation.

Application date

Apply Online from August 2020, students can apply online at

Apply by Post
Please complete the application form and return it to the IPA, together with:

• One copy of your degree or relevant qualification
• One passport-type photograph
• The semester fee
• A letter from your employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA.

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.

Course fee

The cost of the programme is €5,000 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees, all seminars, textbooks and course material), payable in two instalments.

Enrolment and start dates

Commences: September 2020.

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