• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Michael Di Francesco
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. All students participate in interactive, real-time classes.

This course surveys key concepts and frameworks, institutions, processes and techniques of contemporary public financial management (PFM), with a special focus on the expenditure budget process. PFM frameworks and practices permeate the systems, rules and information that govern the everyday decision-making and accountabilities of public officials. The course investigates public officials’ roles in managing and accounting for public resources, and the political and administrative setting in which priorities for public spending are negotiated and determined. The course will concentrate on the Australian system of government with coverage of contemporary evidence-based resource allocation and management practices, and policy development and evaluation approaches. Where appropriate, this will be complemented by relevant international and/or comparative experience,

This is a course principally on the politics, institutions, practices, and policy impacts of public budgeting and resource management. It is not a course on public finance, public economics, or public accounting. No previous knowledge of finance, economics, or accounting is assumed.

This course will explore the application of key concepts and practices through case studies and scenario-based syndicate learning exercises. It will provide students with tools to understand and critically appraise the effectiveness of contemporary PFM practices in the context of prevailing approaches to public administration, public policy, and governance.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the institutions and politics of public financial management and accountability in the Australian system of government, and how these frame the roles and responsibilities of public officials.
  2. Critically engage with relevant practical and theoretical literature on the design and application of public financial management as an international applied discipline.
  3. Critically appraise key public financial management systems applicable in the Australian system of government.
  4. Critically analyse the application and effectiveness of contemporary evidence-based approaches to fiscal strategy, public budgeting, fiscal federalism, public service delivery, and public accountability.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to think analytically, communicate persuasively, and work collaboratively in the applied discipline of public financial management.

Other Information

The course is delivered using a mixture of lectures, case studies, syndicate group discussions. Participation in and preparation for classes is essential.


Indicative Assessment

  1. Quiz One (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Syndicate Exercise (1500 wds) (25) [LO 2,4,5]
  3. Quiz Two (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Individual Research Report (3000 wds) (45) [LO 2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

See Wattle.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
8980 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View
8981 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 Online View

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions