Masters in Public Administration (MPA)

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.

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

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: UK/EU students can choose between full time (12 months) and part-time (24 months) study

Start date: September


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

This is an international masters programme, for aspiring public service professionals and for all those seeking to further a career in governmental organisations, public agencies or the management of public services, 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, France, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan,  Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan, St Kitts, St Lucia, 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.


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: Romania (2009), Turkey (2010, 2011), Germany (2012), Austria (2013), Azerbaijan (2013).

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for public service managers and professionals in central or local government, or in organisations acting in partnership with government, and in particular those seeking to broaden their career profile within the state sector.


Fees and funding

Fees for 2015 - 16:

  • UK/EU full-time: £10,620
  • UK/EU part-time: £5,310
  • International full-time: £14,140

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

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: 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 

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 and teaching

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.




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.