Executive Master in Public Finance

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This program is taught in Dutch

About the program

Politics, policy and administration can no longer function without management. High-quality service demands knowledge, insight and creativity from the modern government official.

Seeing as the government works with citizens’ money, good management means that they should ask themselves whether or not these means are being used well: what is the social surplus value of the money that was spent? Was it enough, too much, too little? Have the means been used for the right causes? Should goals be adjusted? What information do the financial data give on the past and present year for the next budget cycle?

This program wants to support public managers that aim to handle government finance in a new way.

We want to focus on an improvement of the efficiency, effectivity and quality of financial management, by linking financial management to the strategic cycle within governments on different levels.

Through a combination of social factors and micro and macro insights, you will reach sound and financially well-based management decisions. Additionally, you will gain a thorough insight into diverse other aspects of government management, you get to know the most recent research findings, can measure your own experiences to the theory and experiences of others, and you develop your leadership skills.

Learning objectives

After following this program:

  • You will have a broad and thorough knowledge of the most recent management methods and techniques;
  • You can use your gained knowledge on your own and in a team to distinguish, get to the bottom of and analyze policy problems, deliver verbal and written reports on them, and make a significant contribution to solving them;
  • You can develop solutions for public policy problems, critically examine them (ethical, social and juridical), substantiate them and get them accepted;
  • You can efficiently function and excel in a leading or facilitating (staff) position on different management levels;
  • You have enough theoretical foundation to contextualize the policy elaboration, execution and evaluation;
  • You can read/understand/formulate/analyze a budget;
  • You have insight into the use of economic accounting in relation to the budget;
  • You understand the financial cycle and can fit it in with the strategic cycle.


The Master in Public Finance is built up modularly and contains a total of 60 credits (+/- 30 credits a year). The modules exist of thematically grouped lectures and seminars, in which the advanced scientific knowledge is confronted with recent tasks and challenges for the government. The topicality of each module is carefully guarded.

16 of the 60 credits are dedicated to public finance.

For (at least) 29 credits you have to take classes from the classic program of the Master in Public Management : 22 credits for obligatory classes, 7 credits for classes you can choose.

To close off your program you will write a master’s thesis on a topic that you choose yourself, this makes up for 15 credits.

The modules public finance (16 ECTS) follow the strategic cycle’s logic:


  • Policy preparation (4 ECTS)
    Economic and social – public context
  • Policy elaboration (4 ECTS)
    The budget
  • Policy execution (4 ECTS)
    Executing the budget – the accounts
  • Policy evaluation (4 ECTS)
    Policy evaluation, budget and accounts

You can also follow these modules as a whole without the general courses, these combined modules then form the Postgraduate in Public Finance.

Curriculum (2)

Furthermore, you will have at least 29 ECTS from the following courses:

Academic year 2: 2018-2019
  • Skill lab: leadership (4 ECTS)
Academic year 2: 2019-2020
  • General and strategic management (3ECTS)
  • Performance measurement systems (3 ECTS)
  • Politics, policy and organization (6 ECTS)
  • Management law (6 ECTS)
You can choose 7 credits from these classes :
  • Communication management (3 ECTS)
  • IT-governance (3 ECTS)
  • HRM (3 ECTS)
  • Innovation & change management (4 ECTS)
  • International summer school public management (3 ECTS)
  • Multi-level governance (3 ECTS)
  • Network organizations (3 ECTS)
  • Proces & project management (3 ECTS)
  • Strategic communication (3 ECTS
Master’s thesis (15 ECTS)

The master’s thesis is the final piece of the program and can be sought in a project from your own work environment. Its topic is related to public finance, but can be chosen freely. The goal is that opportunities for optimization and enhancement can be found in the project. That way, the master’s thesis yields a direct return for your company.

You will work on the thesis during 2 academic years, supported by a supervisor.



The Master in Public Finance is a government recognized master-after-master program. After successfully finishing the exams and master’s thesis you will obtain the ‘Master in Public Management, option Public Finance’ diploma. This program is accredited by NVAO.


The government managers and their employees who draw up the policies in their organizations, who defend these policies to political governments and/or executed them and have to give account to them, financially and with regards to content.

For all government levels (local, Flemish, Federal).


How can I help you?

Ellen Verschooren, Director Business Development Public & Social Sector

Next steps

Need advice in selecting the right program? I'm here to help.