Bachelor of Arts Honours in Public Management - Part Time - NFQ Level 8

This degree is a four–year, part–time programme that provides a comprehensive examination and analysis of subjects critical to contemporary public management. A highly–regarded qualification, it offers instruction in, among other subjects, law, economics, politics and social policy. It includes two interim awards: Certificate in Public Management (Year 1) and the Diploma in Public Management (Year 2). Students take four subjects in each year. 

Is This Programme For You?

Yes, if you work in the wider public service and would like a broad understanding of the subjects that determine public management. Many students work in the civil service but the programme also attracts students from the local and voluntary sectors, the healthcare sector and from state–sponsored bodies. Some were unable to pursue a third–level qualification at an earlier point in their career and now wish to do so while remaining in full–time employment. 

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.


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

Interim Awards

Year One: Certificate in Public Management

Year Two: Diploma in Public Management 

Programme Subjects

Year One: Certificate in Public Management

The first year is both a stand–alone qualification – Certificate in Public Management – and the first stage in the four–year degree programme. See the Certificate in Public Management page for more information.


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 competition.


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 contemporary management 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 the second stage of the four-year degree programme. See the Diploma in Public Management page for more information.


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.

Social Policy

This course explores the history, organisation and management of Ireland’s social infrastructure. It considers such matters as expenditure trends in social services, OECD reports on Ireland’s social policy, EU social policy and the factors that influence domestic social policy.

Year Three


This year’s course focuses on public sector economics, a field that is 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 principles of taxation.

Financial Management

This course provides students with a clear understanding of standard accounting techniques and the proper management of an organisation’s finances. Designed for those with no background in accounting, it addresses, among other things, double–entry book-keeping, the measurement of profits and the regulations governing financial statements and disclosure.

Administrative Law

Administrative law is a public law subject that deals with the lawful exercise of power by government and state agencies. It seeks, in short, to establish the manner in which public bodies can affect the lives of citizens. Students will examine the laws regarding the civil service, the separation of powers, judicial review and legal compliance.

Human Resource Management

This course covers several specific topics in the HRM field, including manpower planning, performance management, managing change, health and safety issues, employment legislation and strategic management.

Year Four


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 sectors.

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.

Employee Relations and Law

This course addresses the key topic of employee relations, examining how such relations can determine an organisation’s success or otherwise. It considers the main provisions of employment law, participation and partnership in the workforce, health and safety legislation and managerial strategies for healthy employee relations.


The degree is assessed by means of assignments and final examinations.


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

Course Practicalities


Four years of part–time study: Course begins in September


National University of Ireland


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

For further information or Application:

Persons interested in pursuing this course/programme should contact either:

Sinead McNamara; Email: or Phone: (01) 240 3616


Maragaret Morrin ; Email: or Phone: (057) 862 3161

*Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board reserves the right to refuse course admission and/or completion.

Qualification Award

NFQ Level 8 (Honours Bachelor of Arts)


Portarlington FETC

Bracklone Street


County Laois


  • Study Room
  • Free Parking
  • Disabled Parking
  • Canteen

Centre Opening Times

Monday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

* Bank Holidays and Public Holidays – Closed



Margaret Morrin, Centre Director



(057) 8623161


Portarlington Further Education Centre, Bracklone Street, Portarlington, County Laois, R32 CX71,Ireland

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