Online Masters of Public Administration

Course details: Details | Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

Earn your Online Masters of Public Administration (MPA) and make a lasting impact on society with a practical understanding of public leadership and a global perspective. Further your career with theory and applicable strategies gained through the University of Birmingham’s advanced online platform. It is a modern solution for today's globally minded postgraduate, offering informed insights and flexibility to meet the demands of your schedule.

Our online MPA course is taught through the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) and led by course director Catherine Staite, recently ranked the 45th most influential person in local government by the Local Government Chronicle. INLOGOV sets the standard for progressive thinking in the public sector, and helps give students access to an international network of industry leaders and experts.

Recently named the University of the Year in both The Times and The Sunday Times, the University of Birmingham has been challenging the leading minds of tomorrow and empowering them with real-world knowledge for more than a century. We continue this tradition today with our online Masters in Public Administration.

To find out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration, please click here.

Course details: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

Advance your public service career and drive meaningful change globally with an Online MPA. Add to your current skill sets with knowledge and practical tools rooted in proven strategies and the experience of our international body of module leaders. To offer proactive support during your studies, this course also provides a personal tutor who will help you to further your understanding and your professional goals.

Conclude your MPA with a dissertation that connects you with other members of our diverse student body to bring the theories and understanding you've cultivated to life with the functional application of proven strategies in private and non-profit sectors.

Organised and delivered by the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), our leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management, an MPA from the University of Birmingham also brings with it research excellence recognised by our membership in the Russell Group, an organisation of 24 universities dedicated to the best in research, teaching and learning, and an invaluable resource for professional networking.

Master public administration with our leading-edge postgraduate online learning course, strengthen your foundation in governance and managerial discipline and learn to effectively bring about societal change on a local, regional, national and global level.

To find out more about our Online MPA, please click here.

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Why study this course

  • Build a practical understanding of public management and governance
  • Further skills for the effective navigation of managerial leadership
  • Participate in joint learning of different types of global governance
  • Develop individual strategies for public service career development
  • Actively apply theoretical knowledge through real-world scenarios
  • Gain an international perspective of strategy and practices

To find out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration, please click here.


The University of Birmingham's MPA is a 30-month, 180-credit course that has 12 taught modules and a research-based dissertation.

Year one focuses on the first six compulsory core modules, these are:

Compulsory core modules continue in year two with:

When the taught modules have been completed, a dissertation is submitted to fulfil the requirements for the award of the degree. The subject of the dissertation can be related to your work environment or to an area of interest to your employer, which may encourage them to support you with time for study or financial assistance.

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

For pricing information, please click here.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

  • At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent
  • Academic and professional qualifications or industrial experience of the applicant are normally taken into account
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Two references
  • Personal statement

International students:

Standard English language requirements apply with the exception of Graduate Diploma students who must have IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.

How to apply

Further information about applying online can be found on the How to apply link pages. 

To learn more about how to apply, please click here.

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

The University of Birmingham's virtual learning platform presents Online MPA students with a superior environment for their online studies. We have moved beyond the traditional classroom structure, taking full advantage of digital media with modules that draw on interactivity, active student participation and social connectivity with faculty and peers around the world to provide a more dynamic, global learning experience.

Rather than simply reading lecture transcripts and sending in assignments, the University of Birmingham's online students engage with the curriculum directly using:

  • Video Lectures: Access content any time and from any device
  • Interactive Assignments: Actively participate in learning exercises
  • Real-Life Case Studies: Gain skills you can apply immediately
  • Social Interaction: Connect with peers, professors and tutors online
  • Digital Resources: Rely on support for any of your admissions, enrolment, technology or career needs

To find out more about our Online MPA, please click here.

Our Online Masters of Public Administration is ideal for candidates wishing to pursue careers in public policy or strategic management in government organisations or public agencies at local, regional, national or international levels. It also enables public managers to broaden their careers, facilitating a move to a different department within the public or voluntary sector or a move into consultancy.

It is estimated that public administration positions at the senior, managerial and professional level will grow more than 42% between 2007 and 2017.1 This presents a considerable opportunity for candidates who have the right level of education and global expertise. With an online MPA from the University of Birmingham, you put yourself in a position to build on your career, set yourself apart in the job search and become the calibre of candidate national, regional and local governments and other public sector organizations are hiring.

Furthering Your Career in Public Service

We support all of our students as they strive to meet and exceed their career goals after their studies. Thanks in part to the University of Birmingham's membership in the Russell Group and our own Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), the UK accounts for 15.9% of the world's most highly cited articles even though it only represents 0.9% of the global population and 4.1% of researchers.2

When you study to complete your MPA with the University of Birmingham, you surround yourself with a faculty of global experts at a university that leads through its research. You also gain access to the international network of links in both the public and private sector that comes with it.

  • UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Working Futures 2007–2017, Evidence Report 2. R Wilson, K Homenidou, L Gambin, ISBN 978-1-906597-04-7. UK Commission for Employment and Skills, 2008.
  • Higher Education Commission. Too Good to Fail: The Financial Stability of Higher Education in England. Policy Connect, 2014.

To find out more about our Online MPA, please click here.