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Public Administration

Online Masters

Start date
March, June, October
2.5 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught

Lead positive change, study the latest international thinking and master unique public-sector strategies by studying our 100% Online Masters of Public Administration.

View a full transcript of the video on this page

Recent years have led to huge changes in the public sector across the globe – not just from a theoretical perspective, but also in terms of adapting to shifts in the global economy. INLOGOV’s 100% Online Masters of Public Administration seeks to cover all bases.

“There are parts of the world where the public sector is growing well, so we balance our content to ensure that it meets the needs of our entire cohort. What’s more, austerity is unlikely to last forever, so students learn about managing growth as well as reduced resources…” (Helen Hurford-Dawson, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham).

With content delivered by the prestigious Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) – the United Kingdom’s leading centre for the study of local public service management, policy and governance – the Online Masters of Public Administration is perfectly positioned to encourage progressive ideas and innovative thinking without having to set foot on campus.

It has been specifically designed for those who are seeking to take their career in public services further – whether it’s a move into a more senior role, a change in career, new department or shift into consultancy work. The online format meets the needs of working professionals who are balancing careers and personal commitments alongside their studies.

Further your career with a modern solution for today's globally minded postgraduate. Gain informed insights with the flexibility to meet the demands of your schedule.

Studying INLOGOV’s 100% Online Masters of Public Administration takes 2.5 years to complete. It’s a 180-credit course (which includes a 60-credit dissertation). 

To find out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration, download a course brochure today.


This is not a campus-based course that we’ve just put online; we’ve built this from the ground up, taking on board the current online environment and latest technology that we have available.

Ian Myatt, Director of Educational Enterprise, the University of Birmingham

Why Study this Course?

Studying the Online Masters of Public Administration would provide you with the ability to apply the latest theoretical knowledge to your career in real-time:

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


The Online Masters of Public Administration runs six modules a year. Each module lasts approximately 8 weeks and is worth 10 credits. Students enrol onto these modules one at a time and in a linear structure to ensure they grasp the fundamentals of public administration in manageable sections.

In the second year, students continue with a further six compulsory modules, allowing them to focus on core principles and build specialist knowledge in wider geo-political theory.

Benefit from a syllabus based on the latest insights and issues related to global public services with a course which has been carefully designed for the 21st century public servant:

Year one core modules

- Public management and governance in a changing world
- Leadership in public services
- Strategic management
- Managing public money
- Delivering services and outcomes
- Public policy research methods

Year two core modules

- Programme management
- Performance management
- Partnership and collaboration
- Democracy, governance and participation
- Managing in a political environment
- Managing the information age

Year three dissertation (60 credits)

Conclude your Online Masters of Public Administration with a dissertation which connects you with other members of our diverse student body and brings the theories and understanding you’ve cultivated to life.

The subject of your dissertation can be related to your work environment or to an area of interest to your employer, which may encourage employers to support time for study or financial assistance.


Fees and funding

For instant access to pricing information, please download our brochure.


International students can occasionally gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or via your home government. It’s good to do your research to find opportunities which you could be eligible for.

Postgraduate loans for masters students

The UK government has reconfirmed its commitment to loans for postgraduate degrees. Students are now able to receive up to £10,906 for taught masters degrees – and this includes students who wish to study online.

We can confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who intend to start their studies in 2018 or 2019 will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time (may be subject to annual increases for inflation) for the duration of their course. The Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan will also be available to eligible EU students for the duration of their course. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.


How To Apply

Use the ‘Apply now’ button and create an account. You will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for. Submit your application and supporting documentation online.

Alternatively, you can fill out a request for information or call a member of our Admissions Team on +44 (0)800 032 7101.  who would be happy to help guide you through the application process.

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

Our Standard Requirements

In order to be accepted onto the Online Masters of Public Administration you must possess:

  • At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Two references
  • A statement of purpose

“I’m not necessarily looking for someone who’s got a ‘double first from Oxford’. What’s more important is a strong interest and a professional background from practice – as well as qualifications from previous study. It’s about people who can contribute to the programme and not be ‘passive’ learners.”
Dr Philip Whiteman, Director, Online Masters of Public Administration, University of Birmingham

International Requirements

International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component


What it’s like to study the Online Masters of Public Administration

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 to provide a more dynamic 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: accessing content at any time and from any device
- Interactive assignments: actively participating in learning exercises
- Real-life case studies: gain skills you can apply to your organisation immediately
- Peer interaction: connect with peers, professors and tutors online
- Digital resources: rely on support for any of your admissions, enrolment, technology or career needs

“Students take the theoretical content they learn and use it in their day-to-day life - it’s public sector management based on real world examples and a qualification that will help on CVs and in career progression” (Helen Hurford-Dawson, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham).

In some modules, there are live lecture sessions, (known as connect sessions). These are interactive sessions that run for approximately 90 minutes. In each session, students have the opportunity to dissect learning, present their work and discuss case study exercises.

Online Masters of Public Administration students benefit from the same expert teaching as campus students:

  • You’ll be taught by our internationally respected course leaders.
  • Communicating and networking with fellow students in forums and via instant chat will be a regular feature to enhance your learning experience.
  • Undertaking assignments (reports, essays, presentations, quizzes, group work, simulations), with deadlines structured at reasonable intervals to help guide you through your student journey.
To find out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration, please download our brochure.


 Research has highlighted that our raison d’etre is to make a positive difference to people’s lives. If this is our primary purpose, to be successful we must re-evaluate our leadership approach and how best to achieve this goal. Gain the knowledge you need by studying our 100% Online Masters of Public Administration.

As 2016’s University of the Year for Graduate employment, we understand the value of career development and from the outset we support all students as they strive to meet and exceed their career goals.

To help public sector professionals, like you, make a greater impact in your sphere, you would have access to bespoke advice from our employment consultants, who offer one-to-one coaching on Skype (or other communication tools), and work with you to clarify your end goals. We understand how important it is to inspire students to maximise their potential and gain the skills, understanding and attributes to help make the greatest difference.

We want to ensure that you can also progress your career in this competitive economic climate and have designed our course content with a practical approach and with contemporary subject matter. It is this experience that will give you a commanding position when it comes to taking advantage of the career opportunities available.

Find out how you can make an impact in your sphere by downloading our brochure.

Professional Accreditation

Why should you choose to study online at the University of Birmingham?

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked 10th in Europe for Social Policy and Administration.
  • Taught through the prestigious Institute of Local Government Government Studies (INLOGOV), which is part of the School of Government, this department brings more than 40 years of experience in innovative thinking for public servants.
  • The University of Birmingham is a member of the Russell Group, an organisation of the UK’s top 24 research-led universities.
  • The University of Birmingham is also a member of Universitas 21, the leading global network of research-intensive universities.
  • Rated ‘Gold Standard’ (2017) by the Teaching Excellence Framework.
  • ‘Finalist’, Global Teaching Excellence Award (2017), Higher Education Academy.
  • The University of Birmingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in 2016 by both The Times and The Sunday Times.
  • Ranked 3rd in the United Kingdom for having the most CEOs amongst alumni (2016).
  • The University of Birmingham is amongst the top six in the United Kingdom for being most frequently targeted by the country’s top employers.

To find out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration, please download our brochure.

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