Institution / Institute of Public Administration Ipa
City scape

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. The second year of the course is divided into two semesters. In the first of these, students study three subjects essential to local government. In the second, students write a dissertation on a specific local government management issue.

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. The programme is delivered through a blend of distance education and intensive weekend seminars and workshops at the IPA. Students can, therefore, pursue this programme no matter where they live and can remain in full-time employment.

Entry requirements

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

This programme will be of particular interest to local authority officials working across a variety of sectors.


2 years
Distance education supported by weekend seminars

Further enquiries

Postgraduate Office,
Whitaker School of Government and Management,
Institute of Public Administration,
57 - 61 Lansdowne Road,
Dublin 4,

Tel +353 (0) 1 240 3600
LoCall 1890 20 26 26
Fax +353 (0) 1 668 9135

Subjects taught

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
key subjects in public management.

Semester One
- Economics
- Managing Human Resources
- Finance

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

Semester One
Local Government Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation
Local government policy development, the policy process in Ireland, local policy integration, understanding the central-local policy process and the local policy reform agenda.

Local Government Financial Management and Accountability
The financing of local government, budget management, financial governance, accrual accounting in local government, analysing capital projects and corporate governance.

Leadership and Management
Strategy and strategic thinking, developing strategies in the public sector context, leadership and learning in a strategic context, the concepts and practices of governance and quality and performance.

Semester Two
In the second semester of year two, students write a dissertation on a specific local government management issue.


The IPA is a recognised college of University College Dublin (UCD). From 2012, any student entering an accredited IPA Programme will graduate with a UCD award. The IPA and UCD are part of the wider National University of Ireland (NUI) network. The MA (Local Government Management) is at Level 9 (Major Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management

Assessment method

This programme is assessed through assignments and final examinations.

Application date

Please complete the application form at the end of the prospectus (or view link below) 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. Successful applicants will receive further details prior to the commencement of the programmes.

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.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!