1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Managing Public Finances
  4. Print

Managing Public Finances (PADM90003)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePADM90003
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Managing Public Finances is one of the core subjects in the Melbourne Master of Public Administration. The Melbourne MPA is an interdisciplinary, globally-focused degree program for managers that work within or with government. This subject provides the theoretical and analytical tools for understanding the nature and practice of finance in relation to public administration and management, drawing on the disciplines of economics and finance. Key ideas that will be explored in this subject include budgets, performance, reporting and decision–making and how these relate to broader notions of governing in complex institutional and policy environments.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Acquire an understanding of key concepts in public finance;
  • Understand the importance of finance to the public manager in both a strategic and operational sense;
  • Understand the complexities of developing and executing budgets, evaluating performance, and decision-making; and
  • Appreciate the local, national and global aspects of these issues.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • A comprehensive understanding and appreciation of key concepts in public finance;
  • A sound understanding of the interconnectedness between finance and politics, economics and law, as they apply to public management processes and decisions and shape the public manager’s environment;
  • A high-level ability to combine the theory and practice of public finance in a meaningful way in order to address managerial challenges and reflect critically on one’s own professional practice;
  • A high-level ability to combine professional skills such as analysis and decision-making with discipline-based expertise and to apply this complex synthesis to the practice of public finance; and
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills necessary to a range of professional activities relating to public finance.

Eligibility and requirements


Please note that to enrol in this subject:

  • Students must be admitted to the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Administration (Enhanced), Graduate Certificate in Public Administration (Advanced) or Specialist Certificate in Public Administration unless written permission is obtained from the program coordinator.



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Previous study in public policy, political science, management, law, business, economics, international relations, non-profit management or cognate area.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • Assessment Task 1: Written report providing recommendations for reform of a country’s approach to Public Financial Management (2,000 words) due one week after the teaching period ends (40%)
  • Assessment Task 2: Written analysis providing an assessment of a country’s approach to Public Financial Management (3,000 words) due four weeks after the teaching period ends (60%)

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend 100% of classes in order to pass this subject and regular class participation is expected.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • August
    Principal coordinatorStephen Kinsella
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours35 hours total
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Pre teaching start date 4 July 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents will be required to access the LMS and the readings provided during the pre-teaching period.
    Teaching period 1 August 2019 to 7 August 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 July 2019
    Census date 1 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail16 August 2019
    Assessment period ends 4 September 2019

    August contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 50 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. A waitlist is maintained for this subject if it is full. Please email government-aso@unimelb.edu.au regarding availability.

Further information

Last updated: 3 April 2019