SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1L208685
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

The aims of the module are principally two-fold. On the one hand, it aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the nature and workings of local government, taking into account its history, structure, political and administrative operation, finance and relationships with central government. Special emphasis will be placed on local government in Scotland, although this will not be to the exclusion of recognising both differences and similarities with local government in England and Wales. On the other hand, it aims to develop students critical skills in analysing the various roles played by local government, and the numerous problems that it confronts in performing these.


Background: Contemporary History of Local Government; The Nature of Local Government.Structure: The Structure and Reform of Local Government.Management: The Management of Local Government.The `Politics' of Local Government: Councillors and Officials; Political Parties, Elections, Pressure Groups; Political Parties, Accountability.Finance: Income and Expenditure; Budgeting; Local Taxation.Value for Money: CCT; Auditing; Best Value; Performance Indicators.Central-Local Relations: The Practice and Analysis of the Relationship between Central Government and Local Government.Policy Areas: Education, Housing.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module, the student should be able to:(i) describe the nature, structure and processes of local government in Britain, and in particular the system of local government in Scotland(ii) comprehend the major debates, themes and issues pertaining to the contemporary system of local government, and show awareness of the problems confronted by local government in meeting the various demands placed upon it, and(iii) satisfactorily complete essay-type assignments, make both formal and informal contributions to seminars and answer a range of essay questions on material covered by the syllabus.Transferrable skills accruing are oral and written communication, assimilation of information, analysis and problem solving.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered over one semester and there will be three lecture hours per week and one seminar per fortnight. Lectures will provide students with an introduction, to main themes and issues, whilst seminars will allow group discussion on specified topics - thus allowing students a substantial degree of autonomy and self-direction in terms of their input into these. At the beginning of the semester, students will be given a booklet which lists a wide range of general and specialist reading on the range of issues covered by the Module. Students will be encouraged to utilise this, base for Reports/Essays/Seminars/Examinations, but will also be encouraged to adopt a self-directed approach and supplement this through use of the internet, relevant quality newspapers, journals etc.

Indicative Reading

H. Elcock, Local Government: Policy and Management in Local Authorities, Routledge, 3rd Edition 1994J. Fenwick, Managing Local Government, Chapman and Hall, 1995W. Hampton, Local Government and Urban Politics, Longman, 2nd Edition, 1991R. Kerley, Managing in Local Government, Macmillan, 1994D. King and G. Stoker (eds), Rethinking Local Democracy, Macmillan, 1996N. Mallabar, Local Government Administration - In a Time of Change, Business Education Council, 1991A. Midwinter and C. Monaghan, From Rates to the Poll Tax, Edinburgh University Press, 1993A. Midwinter and D. Wilson (eds), Local Democracy and Local Government, Macmillan, 1996J. Stewart and G. Stoker (eds), Local Government in the 1990s, Macmillan, 1995G. Stoker, The Politics of Local Government, 2nd Edition, Macmillan, 1991D. Wilson and C. Game, Local Government in the United Kingdom, 2nd Edition, Macmillan, 1998.K. Young and N. Rao, Local Government since 1945, Blackwell, 1997

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 60.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Independent Learning (FT) 78.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Independent Learning (PT) 84.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 40.00 40% n/a
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 40% n/a