This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in fully supported environment. The programme can be completed to Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters level.
The programme is based on a number of principles that inform its structure, content and general approach, as follows:
- The policy process and the management of services are and should be closely connected. Most obviously, policy decisions determine what and how public services will be delivered. Just as importantly though, the way in which policies are implemented and delivered on the ground affects what policy outcomes can be achieved. This process in turn throws up issues and challenges that affect the policy agenda. The programme reflects these connections and tackles them in an integrated way.
- The wider context within which governments work is changing rapidly, and reflects global issues, governance and connectedness, the role of e-technology and rising demands and expectations. Managers of public services need to understand this wider context and the pressures it creates in order to function effectively and lead change within it.
- Those involved in public services can gain through learning and sharing experience with other students. While local contexts are very different, there are common themes and issues that cross these boundaries, and so learning that takes advantage of shared experience can add extra value to professional development.
Who is the programme for?
We accept participants from public sector and non-governmental organisations, and from private sector organisations that work with public services. This qualification will be relevant to you if you work in or are looking to develop skills and understanding in relation:
- Public policy: its development, implementation, delivery, analysis and evaluation.
- The management of public services: leading and managing change in public services, assessing performance and outcomes and influencing future policy decisions.
The roles of current students and alumni include:
- Policy and Research Officer in a national non-governmental organisation
- Policy officer in a local government authority
- Performance manager, government department
- Policy evaluation and advocacy officer, UN agency
- Programme Officer, UN agency
- Communications officer, international NGO
Themes and content
The programme addresses four broad themes:
- The policy process: how policy-making works and what influences this process.
- The implementation and delivery of public services.
- Issues that affect both policy-making and delivery - for example globalisation and information age government.
- Policy-making in a number of specialised areas - for example Environment, Work and Welfare, Social Security and International Development. Within these areas the programme adopts a social policy perspective, and draws on the latest thinking and research from the social policy field.
To give a flavour of the programme, here is a small sample of the kinds of questions that it addresses:
- Why do some issues get onto governmental policy agendas while others don’t?
- Why do policies fail?
- What should the role of evidence be in policy-making and what counts as “evidence”?
- What kinds of unintended consequences can arise from the use of performance measures and targets, and how can these consequences be alleviated?
- What is the latest evidence about the impact of public private partnerships on efficiency and effectiveness?
- How is global governance changing public policy-making and the delivery of services?
- What are the implications of information-age government for citizens and the state?
The programme is structured into three stages, each stage typically takes twelve months:
- Certificate: three compulsory foundation modules.
- Diploma: three further modules chosen from a wide range of electives.
- Masters: either a 60 credit Independent Study project, one additional elective module and a 40 credit Independent Study Project, or two additional elective modules and a 20 credit Independent Study Project.
For Module Outlines please click here.
|Certificate Stage||Diploma Stage||Masters Stage|
Three compulsory foundation modules:
- Public Management and Delivery
- Policy Analysis and Process
- Using Evidence
|A choice of THREE option modules suited to the PPM programme
- An 18,000 word Independent Study Project
- ONE option module and a 12,000 word Independent Study Project
- TWO option modules and a 6,000 word Independent Study Project
|Option modules |
- Public Policy and Management in the Information Age
- Leading and Managing Organisational Change
- Strategic Planning
- Globalisation and Social Policy
- Introduction to Research Methods (pre requistite module in term 6 if opting for the 18,000 word study project)
- The Economics of Public Service Reform
- Comparative Social Policy
- Labour Markets, Work and Welfare
- Organisational Learning and Performance
- Project Management
- Public Finance
Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about this mode of study.
- Flexible, fully supported, modular delivery.
- Taught exclusively online.
- Three stages: Certificate, Diploma, Masters. Each stage typically takes 12 months.
- Up to 8 modules plus an Independent Study Project.
- Part time study (approx 10-15 hours per week) allows participants to structure their learning around the demands of a career.
The following is a short summary of how online study works at York. We strongly encourage you to take a look at our full guide, including videos and an online demonstration containing example module content.
The key points about our approach are:
- These are not self-study programmes which leave you on your own. You will be part of an active learning community with regular contacts and activities.
- While the e-based approach means that our programmes are very flexible - you can study them anywhere and at any time - they also involve a structured approach to learning. You will be asked to take part in some tasks and activities each week.
- A key part of this weekly study pattern is a weekly discussion topic. You can join in with this discussion at any time during the week to suit you: you never have to be online at the same time as other people. You will join in with the discussions by posting your comments in a discussion forum. The forums are very simple and easy to use. They provide a reflective and supportive environment, providing all the benefits of studying as part of a community but without having to be in a physical classroom or even online at the same time as other people.
- As well as interacting with your fellow students in the forums, you will also have regular and structured contact with a dedicated and friendly academic and administrative team at York.
- The programmes are situated within a Virtual Learning Environment. This is a very convenient and user-friendly integrated website that provides access to study resources, discussion forums, the University of York Online Library and your University email account.
The York Team
A key feature of our programmes is the availability and quality of support that we offer through module tutors, academic supervisors and a dedicated administrative and technical support team..
We hold an optional annual two-day eMasters conference at York in September for all students registered on our Online Masters programmes. This optional event is an opportunity to study a theme relevant to the programme, use the University facilities and network with fellow students and academic staff. There is a modest charge which covers all expenses during the conference, including accommodation on the attractive park-land campus.
A good second class (undergraduate) degree or equivalent qualification. Applicants without undergraduate-level academic experience may also be considered if they have sufficient professional background.
Professional experience in the public service field. This includes roles in government at national or local level, non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, the voluntary and charitable sector, and private sector roles that support or deliver public services.
For those whose first language is not English:
- IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any element
- TOEFL iBT 87 with no less than 21 in each component
- PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English A and B, or Certificate in Advanced English A
Sufficient study time: 15 hours per week including the capacity to take part regularly in the online weekly tutorial group discussions. These are an essential part of the study process, as explained here.
Willingness to share your experience and be an active member of your tutorial group
A personal computer in your home with an internet connection (minimum 56k dialup). An office software suite compatible with Word and Excel formats
Class statistics for April 2013 cohort
53% Male and 47% Female
Average Age: 36
Age Range: 22 - 51
This class includes students from 12 different countries.