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Financial Management

The MA – Financial Management is a two-year, part-time programme that explores key subjects in financial management. It seeks to raise the level of financial analysis in the public service and equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective financial management.

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 key topics in financial management. In the second, students write a dissertation on a specific financial management issue. Year two will normally only commence in autumn of each year. Students that do not wish to take all three subjects in any particular semester may choose to study one or two on a phased basis.

With relevance to those who work in both the public and the private sector, this programme will obviously be of particular interest to anyone who wants to gain some expertise in financial management. 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 fulltime employment.

Entry requirements

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

Designed to appeal to those who work in both the public and private sectors, this programme will be of particular interest to those who want to obtain some real expertise in financial management.


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. (See pages 10-11 for more
details on the subjects).
Semester One
- Economics
- Managing Human Resources
- Finance

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

Semester One
Financial Strategy
Value, risk, practical problems in capital budgeting, financing decisions and market efficiency, dividend policy and capital structure, options, debt financing, risk management, financial planning and mergers and acquisitions.

Public Sector Finance
Economics of tax, economics of debt, public financial procedures, evaluation of financial management reforms under Strategic Management Initiative, operational and service-based costing, cost variability, public sector budgeting, public expenditure reviews, financing of public sector capital expenditure programmes, public private partnerships and international developments in public sector finance.

Governance and Audit
Financial reporting requirements in the public and private sectors, accountability, internal audit, financial governance requirements and regulations, internal control systems and risk management and VFM auditing and performance measurement.

Semester Two
In the second semester of year two, students write a dissertation on a specific financial 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 (Financial Management) is at Level 9 (Major Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management

This programme is assessed through assignments and final examinations.

Assessment method

Students submit assignments, sit final examinations and complete a minor dissertation

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.

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