Master of Public Administration MPA/PGDip

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
MPA Public Administration
Duration
MPA: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGDip: 9 months full-time, 18 months 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, and performance and human resource management.
Read full overview

It is an internationally recognised qualification and provides you with the competencies and knowledge to 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 around the world, this is one of the most exciting times to be studying the public sector, governance and government, and the delivery of services to meet people's needs.

We aim 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.

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

It features international curricula focusing on key public sector developments in the UK, EU, USA and other countries and is informed by world-leading research, reflecting the expertise of staff in the fields of public management, policy analysis and social policy.

Academic English preparation and support

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and support.

Our presessional courses take your English language and academic skills to the level you need to progress to postgraduate study without taking IELTS again. If you are looking to study MA Public Policy, MPA Public Administration, or MA International Social Policy, you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts

  • 78% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 100% of sociology and social policy postgraduates secured work or further study within six months of graduation
 

Course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules.

MPA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and an appropriate dissertation supervisor will oversee your progress.

Previous topics have included:

  • 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

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed through a 3-5,000-word essay or report.

 
 

Modules

Core

Dissertation in Public Administration (MPA only)

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 choose 20 credits of optional modules, subject to approval.

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

Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

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. 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

Recent graduates have 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 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 postgraduates move into a wide range of careers following their time in the school. The level of study develops vital skills and can give you a head start in the job market, enabling you to develop self-discipline and motivation that is essential for a variety of fields.

Employability and average starting salary

100% of postgraduates from the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,007 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £52,219.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

 
 
 
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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD

 

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