Masters in Public Administration (Finance)

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

The MPA is an international Masters’ programme, aimed at people who are pursuing (or would like to pursue) a career in public administration in government, public enterprises or non-governmental organisations, whether at local, national or international level.  The MPA bridges theory and practice, enabling students to acquire the skills and understanding needed for effective management and strategy in government. The programme is delivered in a highly motivated international learning environment.

The Finance pathway enables managers in the public sector and not-for-profit sector to update and improve their understanding of financial and economic management. The programme is particularly designed for those working in finance ministries, finance sections within sectoral ministries, development banks, local government, public enterprises, aid providers, non-governmental organisations, and research and training organisations who wish to participate at a strategic level in financial management decisions.


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

The MPA is an international Masters’ programme, aimed at people who are pursuing (or would like to pursue) a career in public administration in government, public enterprises or non-governmental organizations, whether at local, national or international level.  The MPA bridges theory and practice, enabling students to acquire the skills and understanding needed for effective management and strategy in government. The programme is delivered in a highly motivated international learning environment.

The aim of the Finance pathway is to enable public sector managers to update and improve their practical skills in financial and economic management. The aim is to enable managers to participate on financial management at the strategic level in their organisation rather than to focus on detailed technical skills like bookkeeping. The programme is particularly designed for those working in finance ministries, finance sections within sectoral ministries, development banks, aid providers local government, public enterprises, non-governmental organisations, and research and training organisations who need to understand the principles of financial management and work with operational staff like accountants. This is primarily a public sector management, not a  business management, programme, although some of the themes covered are relevant to both sectors.

The approach taken within the programme is practical and introduces theories and conceptual models where they help understand and solve practical problems. Students analyse practical cases, using real data as far as possible to provide excellent experience and develop required skills in public economic and finance management.

The programme includes development of understanding of the role of the state in managing the economy and public finances; managing monetary, exchange rate, fiscal, trade and environmental policy; budgeting and control. The programme considers the issues associated with working with the private sector; and, in designing, planning, financing and evaluating projects. New approaches to reform of financial management including performance budgeting and improving accountability receive string attention. There is a special focus on decentralised service delivery reflecting IDD’s long experience on working in decentralised systems.

Why study this course

This is an MPA programme aimed at people already working within, or closely with, the public sector or not-for-profit sector, or wanting to join the sectors, particularly within developing or newly industrialised countries. The programme has:

  • A strong international focus, using real examples and practice from many countries and being relevant to many countries, and with an international student body.
  • Includes a study visit, to learn about public administration and strategy in a particular context, with meetings with a range of public sector and associated bodies. There are two locations to choose from each year – destinations in recent years include St Petersburg, Guangzhou, Vienna, Berlin
  • Is aimed particularly at applicants with experience and interest in financial and economic management within the public sector. However, no prior experience or study in economics or financial management is required or assumed.
  • There is a wide range of optional modules to choose from.
  • The dissertation can be written on any relevant subject, with the final topic agreed between the student and their assigned supervisor. It allows students to make an in-depth study of a topic of interest to them.

Modules

This pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of your MPA taught content from a wide range of optional modules.

 The programme has two 20-credit core modules:

Students take a further 80 taught credits and complete a 60-credit dissertation. Full-time students complete the programme in 12 months

See the module choices in:

IDD module outlines

Fees and funding

IDD taught postgraduate fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £9,000 £4,500
Overseas students £16,290 -

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

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The Postgraduate Student Loan has increased its maximum loan amount to £10,280. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. see the departmental scholarships and funding pages. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

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

Entry requirements

  • An upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US Grade Point Average is 3.0) or
  • A lower second-class Honours degree from an approved university with excellent work experience.
  • Adequate capacity in written and spoken English. Find out more about international entrry requirements.
  • Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate's work experience can also be taken into consideration.

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

Making your application

International students requiring visas
Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date. A a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.

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

Teaching takes place over two ten-week terms, utilizing a range of teaching and learning methods, including short lectures, problem solving, role play and group work. This is followed by the study trip and completion of the dissertation.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods are used, with both formative and summative assessment. Assessment methods may include essays, policy briefs and presentations. A dissertation of no more than 12,000 words is also required.

The knowledge and skills gained in the programme will equip graduates for jobs in international, national and local government and non-governmental organisations.

See what some of our alumni are doing now and what they thought about studying with us at IDD.