Public Administration and Development by distance learning MSc/PGDip

This programme provides public managers and administrators with the key skills they need to operate in the public sector in a developing or transitional country context. It is primarily for individuals with some experience, preferably including management, in the public sector.

The programme is currently distance learning only.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, distance learning

Study Options: Part time

Duration: MSc: 2–4 years; Postgraduate Diploma: 18 months–4 years

Start date: November, February and May intakes

Details

This programme provides public managers and administrators with the key skills they need to operate in the public sector in a developing or transitional country context. It is primarily for individuals with some experience, preferably including management, in a public sector context.

It explores:

  • Current trends in public administration and governance
  • Civil service reforms (working in partnerships, contracting, etc)
  • Leadership in public administration
  • Policy making
  • Public finance
  • How to adapt public administration concepts to a variety of economic, institutional, geographic and cultural settings
  • Communication and co-ordination in a global context

Offered through distance learning, you study via a web-based learning environment, using textbooks and other printed materials, complemented by our extensive electronic library, and an online discussion board where you participate in guided discussion activities with other students and your tutor

The programme is taught by a team of multidisciplinary specialists who work closely with students to address their individual interests and concerns. MSc students have an individual dissertation supervisor.

As a distance learning degree, the MSc Public Administration and Development takes a minimum of two years to complete: 18 months for the six taught modules and six months for the dissertation. There are three intakes per year: November, February and May.

The programme does not include any face-to-face element.

Modules

Each module includes six weeks of guided discussions to complement the readings and is worth 20 credits. Module assessment is assignment based (with two assignments per module). There are no examinations.

The programme comprises six assessed modules:

You will also complete an intensive online induction module at the beginning of the programme and an online research methods module to prepare you for the work leading to the submission of your 10,000-15,000 word dissertation.

Fees and funding

2014/15 fees:

MSc programme fee £10,260
PGDip programme fee £6,840
Single module fee £1,140

If a candidate is offered a place on the programme, we do request a £500 non-refundable deposit (which is discounted against the payment for the first assessed module) in order to secure a place on the programme. For our distance learning programmes, we do not distinguish between UK/EU and international studies. There is no deferential fee.

(Fees include all required teaching materials/textbooks, registration on the virtual learning environment (WebCT), access to electronic journals online via the University’s Library and academic tutoring.)

Scholarships and studentships

We do not have any scholarships for our distance learning programmes, although some of our students do manage to get funding from their employers to undertake our programmes.

For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk 

Entry requirements

MSc/PGDip:

  • An upper second class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US GPA is 3.0) or
  • A lower second-class Honours degree from an approved university with relevant work experience.
  • Adequate capacity in written and reading English. For those whose first language is not English, evidence of this capacity is required. Applicants should reach at least level 6.5 in the IELTS or 580/93 for TOEFL.
  • Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate’s work experience can be taken into consideration.

Learn more about entry requirements

If you are based in Bangladesh, Canada, the Caribbean, China, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Uganda, the UK, the USA, or Vietnam, you should apply via our agents, RDI (www.rdi.co.uk).

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

The programme is delivered online, using a web communications tools system (WebCT Vista) and this web environment is where students are expected to take part in online discussions and group activities, guided by a tutor.  All required reading is provided (either in hard copy or via our extensive electronic library, or via Internet links).

Course structure

In delivering our distance learning programmes, we have drawn on lessons learned by academic institutions about how to provide effective distance learning and use a blended learning approach:

  • An intensive online induction programme is included to familiarise students with the web-based discussion boards, the online library facilities and the requirements of the programme
  • Required reading materials are provided in hard copy
  • Discussions and group activities take place within an online learning environment
  • Students benefit from interacting closely with each other and their tutors even while they are separated by continents and time zones (we have students in Africa, the Caribbean, the US, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the UK)
  • Whilst discussion groups and access to the electronic library rely on the use of a computer, students are not tied to the computer for other reading materials
  • A short online research methods course is provided prior to starting the dissertation project
  • We pride ourselves on strong administrative, academic and pastoral support for students

Our distance learning courses use a variety of teaching and assessment methods: Hard copy teaching and reading materials

  • Textbooks and CDs / DVDs
  • Electronic access to the University’s extensive elibrary facility containing ejournals, ebooks and databases
  • Group online discussion activities (using WebCT, which is part of our 'virtual learning environment')
  • Dissertation
  • Individual reading and reflection

Each module takes six weeks to complete (with guided online discussions). The MSc does not include any face-to-face element. For the MSc, we have replaced exams with time-limited assignments (which take place over the weekend at the end of each module).

The course is assumed to be part time, and students study one module at a time.

Course requirements

IDD has designed its distance learning courses to be accessible for a working professional person and we have kept the technical requirements to a minimum. However, before you commit to distance learning, we recommend that you consider the following:

IT equipment: To complete a distance learning course successfully, you will need:

  • Extended access to a computer with Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, a media player software and a CD-ROM drive.
  • Regular access to the Internet for visiting the web-based discussion boards, email and some online library research (whilst this is obviously easier with broadband, we have many students who participate successfully through a dial-up connection).

IT skills: You will find this course less challenging if you are already a confident Internet user, although we are available extensively to coach you through becoming familiar with the web-based discussion format and to address other IT questions.

Time: This course requires that you read a good deal and regularly check into the web-based discussions during the six 'live' weeks of discussion for each module. If you are forced to miss some of the discussions for work or personal reasons, this can be coped with, but if you are regularly out of touch you will find it hard to complete the assignments to the required standard. Writing the assignments is also time-consuming.

Employability

Careers

The programme is designed for recent graduates preparing to work in international development and for professionals working for NGOs, donor or government funded development programmes.

Alumni

Currently more than 3,800 IDD alumni have taken their knowledge and experience to over 148 countries around the globe and are working in a variety of jobs in the public, private and voluntary sector.

International Development Graduation

We are extremely proud of the achievements of our alumni; many of them have gone on to do fantastic things post graduation including Concy Aciro (MSc Poverty Reduction, 2007) who won the University's alumna of the year award in 2008.

As a Member of Parliament and a leader, I will continue to use the skills and knowledge I acquired during my time at Birmingham and I am sure the experience will continue to support my efforts as both a Member of Parliament and in leading my constituents." Concy Aciro (2009)

See what some of our alumni are doing now and what they thought about studying with us at IDD.