Institution / Institute of Public Administration Ipa
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Public Management

The Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management is a oneyear, part-time programme that analyses public management issues using models and concepts from the social sciences and quantitative disciplines. It is both a stand-alone qualification and the first year of the MA programme.

The programme is divided into two semesters, each of which includes three subjects. Each semester is self-contained and the programme begins in both September and January. Students can specialise in a field of particular relevance to them. The programme is delivered through a blend of distance education and intensive weekend seminars at the IPA. Students that do not wish to take all three subjects in any particular semester can choose to study one or two on a phased basis.

Over the course of the year, students receive instruction in areas vital to the management of public services, including the cost-appraisal of projects, how to promote organisational change, public sector financial management and the huge significance of EU institutions and policies for Ireland.


1 Year

Distance education supported by weekend seminars

Delivery and Duration

The programme is divided into two semesters, each of which includes three subjects. Each semester is self-contained and the programme can be commenced in either autumn (September) or spring (January). It is delivered through distance education, so students can remain in full-time employment. All students attend some weekend seminars and at the IPA in Dublin.

Careers or further progression

Students who achieve an honours award can, if they choose, gain admission to the Master of Arts (Public Management) programme.

Further enquiries

57-61 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge,
Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 240 3600
Fax: +353 1 668 9135

Subjects taught

Semester One (September – December)
Efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector, project appraisal, taxation, cost-benefit analysis, sources of funds, regulation, risk and expected return, financial policy, capital asset pricing, portfolio theory, efficient markets and public goods.

Managing Human Resources
Individual differences, motivation theory, group dynamics, communication in organisations, politics and conflict, human resource planning and resourcing, performance appraisal, training and development, corporate culture, organisational change and job design.

Annual financial statements, discounting and compounding, investment appraisal, cost and management accounting, standard costing, ratio analysis, management of cash, stocks and debtors, business planning and budgeting, auditing, public sector financial management and company valuations.

Semester Two (January – April)

Organisation and Strategy
The nature and role of the State, pressures for change in states, models of policy-making, the limits of rationality, understanding organisations, contingency theory, markets, hierarchies, and networks.

Research Methods
Research strategy and design, sampling, designing questionnaires, depth interviews, random variables, hypothesis testing and mathematical techniques for quantitative testing.

Managing Service Delivery/Managing in Europe
Public service delivery in context, changing demands and challenges, quality management, consumerism, role of evaluation in public service management, devolved management in public service delivery and contracting. Ireland in the global context, economic and monetary union, the EU budget, structural funds, social policy, competition policy and managing in an evolving Europe.


Accredited by UCD
Level 9 (Major Awards) on the National Framework for Qualifications

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. This Postgraduate Diploma is at Level 9 (Major Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Assessment method

This programme is assessed through assignments and final examinations.

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, see page 34 of the brochure for more details

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