Local Government

The BA (Hons) – Local Government is a four-year, part-time programme that combines study of subjects critical to contemporary public management with subjects particular to local government. In addition to learning about the economic, legal and HR issues that affect public administration broadly, students obtain specialised knowledge about such matters as the powers of local authorities, local government finance and local government systems outside Ireland. This degree programme includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level.

Bachelor of Arts (HONS) – Local Government

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Key Facts

Delivery Method

  • Evening lectures at the IPA.
  • A blend of distance education and weekend seminars at the IPA.

All delivery methods involve attendance at some weekend seminars at the IPA.

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a Leaving Certificate with a minimum grade C in two higher level papers and grade D in four other subjects. The papers passed must include Irish, English and a third language.

OR

Mature students (students over 21 on January 1 of the calendar year of entry) may enter a programme without the above qualifications. 

Duration

Four years of part-time study

Interim Awards

  • Year One – Certificate in Public Management. 
  • Year Two – Diploma in Public Management.

Accreditation

NUI

Place on NFQ

Level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degree) what is this?

Commences

September 2018

Application Deadline

September 2018

Fees

The cost of the programme is €2,980 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees), payable in one or two instalments. 

Progression

Students can progress to the MA (Local Government Management) or other graduate programmes.

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The Programme

The BA (Hons) – Local Government is a four-year, part-time programme that combines study of subjects critical to contemporary public management with subjects particular to local government. In addition to learning about the economic, legal and HR issues that affect public administration broadly, students obtain specialised knowledge about such matters as the powers of local authorities, local government finance and local government systems outside Ireland. This degree programme includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level.

Is This Programme for you?

This honours degree often attracts staff from local authorities who want to obtain a third-level qualification while remaining in full-time employment. As students take a mix of common subjects and subjects specific to local government, they are able to understand the issues facing local authorities in relation to broader economic and management theories and practices. 

Subjects

Year One: Certificate in Public Management

The first year is both a stand-alone qualification – Certificate in Public Management – and part of the four-year degree programme.

Economics

This introductory-level course explains the main theories and principles of economics. No prior knowledge of economics is presumed. The course covers both micro and macroeconomics and addresses such topics as the laws of supply and demand, how market prices are reached and monopolies and competition.

Law

Public servants must understand the fundamentals of the legal system. This course focuses on the fundamentals, explaining the Irish legal system and the main provisions of the Irish Constitution. Students explore, among other topics, the structure of the court system, practice and procedure in the courts and the rights that the Constitution affords citizens.

Politics, Government and Public Administration

This course is divided into two parts. The first is largely concerned with the institutions of government and the Irish political system. The Irish institutions and systems are compared to those in other countries. The second part of the course focuses on Ireland’s system of public and social administration, explaining how the civil service is organised and the management of social welfare services, healthcare, education and housing.

Principles of Management

This course provides a solid grounding in the key principles of modern management theory. It explains the origins of contemporarymanagement science and details the most important elements of management, including leadership, HRM and change management. 

Year Two: Diploma In Public Management 

The second year is both a stand-alone qualification – Diploma in Public Management – and part of the four-year degree programme.

Local Government

Students will explore the legislation, policy frameworks, and key issues in the main services that local authorities are mandated to deliver. Attention is paid to, among other service areas, roads, planning, housing and environmental services.

Economics

This course builds on the fundamentals of economics explored in the Certificate year by exploring both micro and macroeconomics in greater depth. Students will learn about the economic rules and theories that relate to the operation of markets, the distribution of wealth, the allocation of resources, labour supply and inflation.

Organisation and Management

An organisation’s structure is a determining factor in its operation. This course explores current thinking on organisational structure and the role of management in the creation and maintenance of the most appropriate structure. Among the specific topics addressed are the different schools of organisation theory, the design of effective organisations and the significance of the internal culture and the external environment to an organisation’s work.

European Studies

Ireland’s membership of the EU is plainly of huge importance to public management. This course explains the key facts of EU membership, addressing the history of the EU, the power and responsibilities of its institutions, the decision-making process, key EU policies, and different perspectives on the EU’s development and reform. 

Year Three

Local Government and Finance 

This course covers a number of key themes in local government reform and explains how local authorities obtain the funds necessary for their operation. It considers, among other things, some of the newer roles of local authorities working with others at local level. On the financial side, the course considers efficiency reforms, the growth of grants, funding options and the capital expenditure of local authorities. 

Economics

This year’s course focuses on public sector economics, a field critical to public servants at various grades. The topics addressed include economic growth, forecasting and planning, the finances of central and local government and the preparation of budgets.

Financial Management

This course provides students with a clear understanding of standard accounting techniques and the proper management of an organisation’s finances. It is designed for those with no background in accounting.

Administrative Law

Administrative law is a public law subject that deals with the lawful exercise of power by government and state agencies. Students of this course will examine the laws regarding the civil service, the separation of powers, judicial review and legal compliance. 

Year Four

Comparative Local Government

This course compares the system of local government that pertains in Ireland with that in other countries. Using both a thematic approach and case studies of specific examples from abroad, it provides a comparative analysis of such key issues as local government finance, duties, citizen participation, and leadership.

Economics

The study of economics in the final year of the degree turns to economic policy and policy analysis. The course explores such topics as industrial and regional economic policy, economic integration, globalisation and issues around financing and control.

Strategic Management

Strategic management is the study of how organisations meet their objectives and effectively respond to change. This course focuses on strategic management in the Irish public sector, but it covers concepts common to both the public and private sector.

Public Policy-Making

This course is concerned with policy-making and the response of the modern state to the challenges it faces in a globalised world. It explores issues around the management of the political economy of the modern state and public policymaking in the Irish state. Students will learn about, among other things, how states have responded to the emergence of a global economy, attempts to regulate the market and multi– level governance in Ireland. 

Assessment

Students submit assignments and sit examinations.

Prospectus

Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 / 2019

Full details of IPA undergraduate programmes are also available in our prospectus, which can be viewed or downloaded here.

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