Masters in Public Administration (MPA)

Course details:Details | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

The MPA is an international masters programme, aimed at those who aspire to a career in public management or policy-making in government, public agencies or non-governmental organizations working with government, whether at local, regional, national or international levels, worldwide. Since the programme was founded in 2009 it has attracted students from Azerbaijan, Brunei, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Georgia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan, St Kitts, St Lucia, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

The aim of the MPA programme is to provide public managers, and those involved in public sector policies and services, to acquire a clear foundation of knowledge about the nature, role and development of the public sector and current trends in its evolution, and the skills and understanding required for further career progression with the public sector.


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.

Course details: Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

The MPA is an international masters programme, aimed at those who aspire to a career in public management or policy-making in government, public agencies or non-governmental organizations working with government, whether at local, regional, national or international levels, worldwide. Since the programme was founded in 2009 it has attracted students from Azerbaijan, Brunei, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Georgia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan, St Kitts, St Lucia, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

The programme intended to provide students with:

  • A rigorous and culturally-sensitive understanding of the key concepts and issues underpinning the practice of public administration internationally.
  • The ability to critically analyse structures and processes in public administration and service management.
  • A thorough understanding of the processes of public policy and management and the factors that may influence the success or failure of public policies.
  • An understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in government.
  • A critical understanding of public finance at international, national and sub-national levels.

The programme consists of three compulsory modules, three optional modules and a dissertation. The dissertation is on a topic of your choosing, within the overall subject area of Public Administration.

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There is a one-week field trip at the end of the second term, which aims to study, through a series of meetings with public officials and country experts, the system of public administration in the country visited and the degree to which it meets the strategic challenges faced by that country. Countries visited in previous years include (in some years two trips were organized due to numbers): Romania (2009), Turkey (2010, 2011, 2014), Germany (2012, 2014), Austria (2013, 2015), Azerbaijan (2013).

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for those who seeking to embark on or advance a career in management or policymaking in the state/public sector.

The normal admission requirement for our taught postgraduate programmes is a good first degree or an equivalent professional qualification. Work experience in the public sector is desirable, but not essential, for admission to the MPA programme. Candidates without a first degree who have substantial work experience in public administration may be considered for admission (subject to interview and/or written statement).

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Modules

Core modules are:

Optional modules include any three from the following list (or any other modules provided within the School of Government and Society):


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

Fees for 2016 - 17:

  • UK/EU full-time: £11,070
  • UK/EU part-time: £5,535
  • International full-time: £14,850

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.
Learn more about fees and funding.

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.

Scholarships and studentships
IDD offers up to four bursaries up to the value of 50% of students' fees (Home or EU). Please contact the Department directly for more information (tel: +44 (0)121 414 5034; email: idd@bham.ac.uk). Scholarships may also be available.

International students can often gain funding through charitable foundations, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

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

Entry requirements

The normal admission requirement for our taught postgraduate programmes is a good first degree or an equivalent professional qualification. Subject to interview and a written statement, candidates without a first degree who have work experience relevant to the study of local policy and politics, may be admitted.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

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

Learning, teaching and assessment

An interactive approach is used, with an emphasis on group work discussion and presentations, reinforced by lectures and seminars. Problem-based case studies from practice are used extensively. The programme's six modules are assessed by a combination of written assignments and examinations (or time-limited assignments), plus a dissertation in which the student prepares a longer piece of research-based work, with guidance and support from an academic supervisor.

 

Careers

The MPA is ideal for candidates wishing to pursue careers in public policy, the strategic management in government organisations or public agencies, at local, regional, national or international levels. It may also enable public managers to broaden their careers either through moving to a different area of the public or voluntary sectors or through moving into consultancy.