SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN325754
Module Leader Siobhan White
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Accounting for the Public Sector, or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module picks up on a number of the theoretical and practical issues facing the public sector, which were introduced in earlier years, and examines these in greater depth and in a more critical way. Extensive use is made of journal articles and current, emerging theories are critically reviewed The module will examine the policy and guidance which governs public sector financial reporting. It will review capital funding and accounting in the public sector with particular reference to local authorities and the NHS. External financial statements will be used to contextualise reporting and audit requirements in the public sector. Current developments in the field will be reviewed in detail such as performance measurement, public private partnerships, the global funding crisis and government reform. The majority of topics will also be considered from an international perspective, comparing similar practices and policy issues in different governments worldwide.


HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT - Public Sector Reform - Forces for Change - The Reform Agenda GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY - Models - Current Practice SUPREME AUDIT - Framework for Public Sector Audit - Principles of Public Audit / Public Audit Model - Current Developments VALUE FOR MONEY & BEST VALUE - Legislation - Current Arrangements - Future Developments PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT - Measurement & Management - Evaluating Indicators - Theoretical perspectives PUBLIC SECTOR FINANCIAL INNOVATIONS - PFI / PPP Conceptualisation & Development - Variants of PFI/PPP PUBLIC SECTOR FUNDING & REFORM - Prudential Borrowing Framework - The Scottish Budget and responses to financial pressures - Austerity Issues

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:- critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex issues in the field of financial reporting, accountability and performance reporting in the public sector- analyse and interpret the external financial statements of local authorities, NHS Trusts and Central Government- debate issues surrounding public sector supreme audit- demonstrate an understanding of the implications for financial reporting of methods of capital accounting and financing, and the complex funding issues therein- conduct individual and group research into particular topics of the course- demonstrate developed communication skills by report writing and oral presentation

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The theoretical concepts and practical applications of the subject will be taught in lectures and seminars. Teaching and learning will comprise 1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 seminar per week. Students will be introduced to theoretical concepts, principles and issues through lectures. Seminar sessions will be participative and student controlled when debates take place. These will be mainly student led, where participants will present, either individually or in groups, the results of their research into selected topics. Students will be given a 'research question of the day' and will be expected to engage in directed learning around the topic. Seminars will be contextualised to relate the student groups to particular public sector organisations. The purpose of the seminars is to reinforce and extend individual and group learning from the foundations provided by the lectures and to develop appropriate and transferable skills. Supplementary tutorial/clinic sessions will be programmed where necessary to deal with further identified needs of students. Understanding will be further developed through directed study using interactive problem solving exercises, self-assessment opportunities to monitor progress and weekly reading. Feedback strategy - Students will be provided with feedback on all forms of assessed work within three weeks of submission. They will also receive feedback on all group or individual contributions to the module. The feedback that they receive is designed to: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment Students will be asked to identify strengths and weaknesses in their own work in relation to the criteria set out in the marking template before handing the work in for marking. B: Encouraging teacher and peer dialogue The lecturer will review feedback at the tutorials where coursework and other work done by students will be handed back. In reviewing personal transferable skills such as presentation skills individually and in small teams the lecturer will provide constructive instant feedback in discussion with the rest of the class. Students will also be encouraged to discuss the comments they have been given with their peers and suggest strategies to improve their performance next time. C: Clarifying good performance A marking template is available for all student course and exam work, which will be handed out in advance and discussed with students in a tutorial prior to completion of the assignment. Anonymous examples of good, bad and indifferent work from previous cohorts of students will be handed out, together with markers' comments. D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance In providing feedback, the lecturer will provide action points for students to follow to enable them to improve their performance. At feedback sessions in tutorials students will be asked to identify their own action points, based on the feedback they have just received to involve students more in the generation and planned use of feedback. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. S tudents are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

Books and Journals: Asquer, A. (2017). Public Sector Revenue: Principles, Policies and Management . Routledge. Van Helden, P and Hodges, R. (2015 ). Public Sector Accounting and Budgeting for Non-Specialists . Palgrave Macmillan. Flynn, N. (2012) Public Sector Management. 6th Edition, Sage Publications Ltd. Burnham, J. and Horton, S. (2012). Public Management. 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan. Bandy, G. (2014). Financial Management and Accounting in the Public Sector . 1st Edition, Routledge. Jones, R. and Pendlebury, M. (2010). Public Sector Accounting , 6th Edition, Prentice Hall. Coombs, H.E. and Jenkins, D.E. (2001). Public Sector Financial Management , 3rd Edition, Cengage Learning. Rogers, M. (1995.) Public Sector Accounting . 1st Edition, Stanley Thornes. McCabe, W., McKendrick, J., Rolfe, T. (2001) Financial Reporting and Accountability in the UK Public Sector , 1st Edition, CIPFA Public Money & Management (Journal) Financial Accountability & Management in the Public Services (Journal) International Journal of Public Sector Management The Journal of Finance and Management in the Public Services Public Administration Review Local Government Studies Online sources: <> <> <>

Transferrable Skills

Report Writing Skills - reflected in the presentation of coursework. Oral Communication Skills - reflected in individual presentations and contributions to group presentations. Participate in and lead group discussions - reflected in contributions to group presentations and seminar activities. Gathering, analysis interpretation and evaluation of ideas, concepts, qualitative and quantitative data - reflected in coursework and examination performance. Critical understanding of established theories and concepts - reflected in individual and group presentations and coursework performance.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning 114.00
Lectures 24.00
Assessment 50.00
Seminare 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 35% Group Debates and Participation
coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Case study report