MBA Public Service

Please note that this course is currently under review for 2016.

The MBA Public Service is a structured personal and professional development programme designed for current and future leaders working across the public, voluntary, third and commercial sectors. It is primarily targeted at middle to senior managers working in the UK across a range of public sector organisations such as the NHS; local and central government; the police; probation and the prison service. With its blend of generic management and specialist public service modules, however, the programme is also designed for a wider market of individuals in private and third sector jobs, in particular those involved in the delivery of contracted out public services.

Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes nor to the immigration status of prospective EU students starting in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

The programme comprises eight taught modules and a research based dissertation, providing a blend of the fundamental management disciplines with issues of particular relevance to public service delivery. Five core management modules, covering strategy, marketing, HRM, finance, and international business, are drawn from the Business School’s UK Executive MBA and three specialist public sector management modules, covering governance, leadership and service commissioning, are drawn from Masters programmes delivered by the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) in the School of Government and Society.

The programme is primarily targeted at middle to senior managers working in UK public sector organisations such as the NHS, local and central government, the police and the prison service. With its blend of generic management and specialist public service modules, however, the programme is also designed for a wider market of individuals in private and third sector jobs, in particular those involved in the delivery of contracted out public services.

Why study this course

  • Long tradition and established track record of teaching business
  • The Birmingham MBA is triple-crown accredited
  • Established international reputation of School and University
  • State-of-the art teaching and learning facilities in purpose-built complex
  • Research led – cutting-edge research feeds directly into teaching
  • Personal development programme and opportunities
  • Highly diverse multinational student groups
  • International syllabus with focus on the issues of globalisation
  • Generalist and specialist programmes
  • Excellent career management support
  • Friendly approachable academic and administrative staff dedicated to provide continuous support for your studies and other needs
  • Excellent IT provision including a wireless network for laptops
  • Based in a beautiful building with extensive landscaped grounds
  • Campus accommodation guarantee scheme for international students
  • Access to all the social, support and academic facilities of the University


The programme comprises taught modules and a 10,000 - 12,000 word research-based dissertation. 

As well as these modules, students will also participate in a Dissertation Skills Workshop.

The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Module Dates

View the MBA Public Service provisional module dates for 2015/16.

Fees and funding

MBA Fees

Learn more about fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships  

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

MBA Scholarships

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. As part of the UK’s Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement, the government has reconfirmed its commitment to loans for postgraduate Masters degrees as part of the 2015 Spending Review.

The government-backed student loans will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.  Detailed criteria and information regarding the application process is expected in early 2016.  For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page

  • Questions about funding? Use our Student Help knowledge base to find the answer.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second class honours degree or a GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale or an equivalent professional qualification, and a minimum of three years experience with evidence of management. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this in more detail. 

Learn more about entry requirements

Additional information:

Participants can begin the MBA at various times throughout the year. The programme is campus-based, delivered part-time on an intensive, block modular basis. It comprises eight taught modules and a research based dissertation, providing a blend of the fundamental management disciplines with issues of particular relevance to public service delivery.

International students:

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements. Our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any band); TOEFL IBT 88 (21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing); Pearson Academic Test of English 59 (in all four skills).

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:  

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


  • Core taught elements in functional business disciplines. As a research-led School, the latest thinking and techniques can be rapidly incorporated and teaching kept at the cutting edge
  • Classes and seminars supplement lectures, where fuller analysis and discussion takes place and important business skills, such as analysis, argument and synthesis, can be developed
  • Case studies are used as a means of relating theory to practical situations and students will often work in small groups with other students on assignments designed to develop problem solving and interpersonal skills
  • A series of industrial seminars, given by outside speakers from industry and commerce, provides contemporary ‘real world’ perspectives on the business environment – past visitors to the School have included Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (and a former professor of the University of Birmingham) and Sir John Bond, Chairman of HSBC Holdings
  • Cross-Cultural Management skills are developed in a variety of workshops and Issues in Global Competitiveness are the focus of a specialist series of seminars
  • Researching and writing a project develops skills in information gathering, analysis and report writing
  • A supporting programme of consultant delivered career-development workshops allow you to reflect on the impact of what you have learnt on your future career development

An MBA alumni, who is now a Marketing Director at Thomson Local, discusses his time studying a Birmingham MBA.

From the very start of your MBA, you receive bespoke advice from our employment consultants. Through one-to-one coaching, our industry experienced they work with you to clarify your aspirations and support you in your future career, jointly developing a winning employment strategy to take you to the next level and to open doors to a range of potential employer.

Employer engagement

Whilst on your MBA you will have the opportunity to engage with top international companies. Our MBA students have participated in a range of activities with employers including BP, GE, IBM, Accenture, Capgemini, Unilever, Deloitte and HSBC.

Group and individual activities to enhance your skills

Throughout the programme, you will have the opportunity to be involved in group and individual activities all aimed at helping you to develop the skills and techniques which lead to highly successful employment outcomes.

A few examples of these activities that you will undertake throughout your MBA programme include online profile building, Careers in Consultancy networking event, Distinguished leaders alumni seminar series, mock assessment centre, skills coaching, and video recorded interview practice.

Careers in Business

Careers in Business is a dedicated service for postgraduate Business School students. We’ll help you in all aspects of your career management, from planning your job-seeking strategies, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and developing your essential employability skills. At the start of your programme you will receive an email from our team, giving details of how you can access Careers in Business Online. Please get in touch to find out how our Careers in Business team can support you.

Career development advice

Our consultants offer an individual advice service, which includes:

  • Career review and objective setting
  • Job-seeking strategies
  • CV review
  • Application advice
  • Interview and selection advice
  • Working in the UK
  • International work enquiries

Skills coaching

Employers aren’t just looking for great qualifications. They want to see high-quality personal skills too, such as team working, leadership, presentation and interpersonal skills. Our Skills Development Consultants offer individual appointments to help you shape and hone these qualities.

Keeping you up to date

Our Employer Liaison Team regularly undertakes initiatives to attract employment/ project opportunities into the Business School. You can find information about vacancies and other openings on Careers in Business Online and on Business School noticeboards, as well as through the Careers and Employability Centre vacancy database .

Careers events and workshops

This is your chance to find out about employment opportunities, develop your skills and network with industry professionals. Our range of career management, personal development and employer events are a great opportunity to discover what’s open to you upon graduation – just sign up to the events to take part.

Using the Careers and Employability Centre

Postgraduate students in the Business School are very welcome to use the services provided by the Careers and Employability Centre such as online vacancy listings, employer presentations and fairs and accessing online careers information. You can use the Careers in Business team for individual appointments, CV checking, mock interviews and other job search-related activities.