Master of Public Administration MPA

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
MPA Public Administration
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.2 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
Other requirements
IELTS
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September or January
Campus
University Park
School/department
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
 

Overview

This course focuses on critical issues and key developments relating to public management, such as leadership, strategy, performance management and human resource management.
Read full overview

The MPA is an internationally recognised qualification and provides public service managers with the competencies and knowledge necessary for managing creatively in challenging policy environments. It is suitable for new graduates and those with managerial and/or public or third sector work experience.

With the current developments in countries around the world, this is one of the most exciting times to be studying anything to do with the public sector, governance and government, and the delivery of services to meet people's needs.

The aim of all of our programmes is to provide you with the skills, knowledge and tools to make sense of the world of public policy and management, so that you can analyse situations and problems, and use this to improve practice.

The course is designed to blend both practitioner and academic perspectives on public management, and the wide range of modules draws on examples from different countries around the world.

Key facts

  • This course features international curricula focusing on key public sector developments in the UK, the EU, the US and other countries
  • It is informed by world-leading research and reflects the expertise of staff in the fields of public management, policy analysis and social policy
  • The Research Methods and Research Management module allows students to develop their expertise and give particular consideration to their dissertations
 

Course details

This course consists of taught modules totalling 120 credits (which are taken during the autumn and spring terms) and a 60-credit dissertation (undertaken over the summer period). Modules are taught by a mixture of lectures, group work and class discussion. They are normally assessed by a 3,000 to 5,000-word essay (or equivalent).

The 15,000-word dissertation offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of their choice. Support for producing the dissertation is provided by a Research Methods and Research Management module and one-to-one supervision.

Past dissertation topics include:

  • Managing people in the public sector: recruitment and staff training
  • Impact of privatisation in the NHS on quality of care
  • Public procurement and corruption in Philippines
  • Central and local government interaction in budgetary process in Kazakhstan
  • Electoral systems/democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • China's monitoring system to deal with corruption of civil servants

We also offer a Public Administration PGDip. Students pursue the same programme of study as on this course, but do not undertake a dissertation. PGDip students can transfer to this course if they perform satisfactorily in the first semester (full-time) or in the first academic year (part-time).

 
 

Modules

Core

Dissertation in Public Administration

There is no taught element beyond supervision. You will be allocated a suitable supervisor taking into account your interests and professional experience and will have to produce a dissertation of 15,000 words.

 
Leadership, Strategy and Performance in the Public Sector

This module will examine the role of leadership in the public sector. It will discuss different concepts of:

  • leadership
  • organisational culture and change
  • performance in the public sector
  • the use of knowledge and information in organisation learning
  • performance improvement in public sector organisations
  • the use of strategy in the public sector

You will study different models and approaches to these concepts, how they are affected by and interact with the policy environment, and how they influence each other.

 
Managing People

This module will examine the concepts, models and practices of managing people in the public sector. It will study the development and approaches of how staff are managed in the public sector in a range of countries (eg UK and other European countries). The module will also investigate how public sector staff are recruited, rewarded etc and how their performance is measured.

 
Policy Analysis: Concepts and Theories

This module provides an applied, critical and informed understanding of policy-making and policy analysis in government.

It examines key concepts, models and theories of policy-making and policy analysis, and illustrates them by examining policy-making in Britain and other countries.

 
Public Management and Governance

This module will cover models of management and governance in the public sector. 

It will critically examine comparative and historic trends in managerial practices and theory and contextually relevant ideas about management and governance in the public sector, including specific professional contexts.

This will include critically exploring specific debates about the alleged move from public administration to new public management and new public governance, from hierarchical to networked and marketised forms of organisation, and those involving communities in the design and delivery of public services.

 
Public Sector Financial Management

The module will study the application of modern financial management techniques in the public sector at governmental, sectoral, organisational and unit levels. It will look at:

  • budgetary cycles
  • financial and budget controls
  • cash and accrual (resource) accounting
  • management of working capital
  • capital budgets and programmes
  • project appraisal
  • cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis
  • audit of public organisations

The module will look at both theoretical and practical methods, as well common developments in government policies.

 
Research Methods and Research Management

This module provides a general introduction to a range of key issues in the design and conduct of social research, plus guidance on writing both a dissertation proposal and a dissertation. The module combines more formal taught sessions with practical exercises, some of which are group-based.

By the end of the module you will be equipped with the methodological and practical skills to carry out independent research using a variety of research designs and methods.

 

Optional

You will need to choose a further 20 credits of optional modules from an approved list.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Funding

The Graduate School website has information on funding sources. The school also has information on funding.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

 
 

Careers

Graduates from this course have successfully pursued careers in the public and voluntary sectors as managers and policy analysts. The MPA is rapidly becoming a standard global qualification for public servants.

Internships and development

We continue to develop close links with the National School of Government, Nottingham Citizens and other public sector bodies to provide internship opportunities for MPA and MPP students. You will be kept up to date with any upcoming opportunities throughout your time at Nottingham.

I found the course very useful because the topics were relevant to my career interests. This has definitely given my CV more clout. It has broaden my knowledge and helped me improve transferable skills such as communication skills gained through writing essays and presentations.
 

Jennifer Beturin

Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school. The level of study fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market, allowing you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.

A postgraduate degree from The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,031 with the highest being £40,800.*

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

 
 
 
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The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD

 

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