The Masters of Public Administration is an internationally recognised qualification acting as the public service equivalent of an MBA.
This interdisciplinary online course equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to analyse, influence and implement development policies and programmes. Drawing from approaches used in different countries, you will learn how to analyse and influence multi-stakeholder policy processes; and lead development projects, programmes and organisation.
Designed for development practitioners in governmental, non-governmental and international organisations this online course prepare you to meet the challenges of development in complex and demanding contexts. Throughout your time studying with us, you'll benefit from our strong and comprehensive support.
The design of the course and the support provided mean that you will be able to balance the requirements of your studies with your work and other responsibilities.
Up to 10 commonwealth scholarships available to help cover the cost of your studies
Our department is ranked equal 20th in the world and 6th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2018)
Our online mode of study means you will be working alongside your peers working in similar organisations around the world
The opportunity to study this course has been life changing for me, at least professionally, and has also impacted positively on my organisation.Edwin, Uganda
Our MPA in International Development will enhance your capacity to influence and lead the development agenda at a national, regional or international level. You will develop your capacity for critical analysis of the complex problems that you tackle in your work. You will also develop your skills as a manager or leader in your field.
During Year 1 you will explore the foundations of development theory, policy and practice. In Year 2 you will combine studying further core content with a choice of topics to match your interests or area of work.
As you progress through this two year course you will apply your learning in the workplace. We will encourage your development as a reflective practitioner throughout this process, with support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor.
Towards the end of the course you will begin your dissertation which will allow you to explore an area of particular interest.
You can also study for a shorter period of time and graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.
To graduate with an MPA degree you will need to take 140 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 40 credits.
You will study these modules to a schedule. This will allow you to participate online with academics and fellow students from around the world.
In the first year you will study 80 credits with these modules:
In your second year you will study a combination of taught modules and work on your dissertation. You will start the year studying this module:
You will then have a choice of studying one of the following modules:
You will also need to complete a dissertation, as well as modules designed to develop your professional and research skills:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
As you progress your assignments will help you apply theory to practice. You will be able to combine academic work with case studies or examples relevant to your work.
Building on these experiences, your dissertation will be an individual project that explores a topic of your choice under guidance from a dissertation supervisor.
One of your taught modules, the Dissertation Workshop, will help you prepare for your dissertation. You will learn how to plan and schedule your independent literature-based research project. With the help of your designated dissertation supervisor you will work on finding the appropriate scope and focus for your project, and develop a workable structure. You will also receive feedback on draft chapters and guidance on conducting your literature review and research.
Your dissertation is worth 40 credits and will be 12,000 words long.
Previous dissertation titles have included:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
My current position has really been the highlight of my career, and the educational background my Masters degree provided me with was exactly what I needed to be successful in this position.Rachel, Canada
|Part-time, distance learning (2 years)|
Higher band fee. Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
|Part-time, distance learning (2 years)|
This lower band fee applies to student based in developing countries, employers sponsoring more than one student per cohort, CIMA certified applicants, CIPFA members, City of York Council employees and Ministry of Defence personnel. Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
All reading materials are available via the course’s Virtual Learning Environment and the university’s extensive online Library.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
The University of York has been awarded 10 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK) for students starting this course in September 2019. For more information, please visit our department website.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
You will study online and can therefore study from wherever you are. It takes about 15 hours per week to complete all your readings and tasks. You can decide when you work on these weekly tasks, as all the activities can be completed around your schedule.
The three main kinds of activity you will be asked to do are:
You will be supported by:
You will take part in exercises and other tasks as you progress through each module. This will allow you to receive feedback on your progress and understanding.
At the end of each 20 credit module you will complete an assignment. Normally this will be a 3,000 word assessment. For the 10 credit modules you will work on a shorter written piece or journal, or will complete a dissertation plan.
It's cool how the technology really personalises the learning. I feel very connected to a class and that I am not alone. I really value the participation in unit discussions; it keeps our minds thinking about the material we have learnt, and allows us to put it into our own context. Also I find myself always looking forward to the feedback of others, so it really keeps students engaged.Hedy, USA
This course is ideal if you have some experience of working in international development and seek professional development to work towards your career goals. It's also ideal if you're working in the social or public sector and would like to work in international development. A key strength of the course lies in allowing you to develop your skills while continuing to gain experience in a relevant professional field.
Our current students and alumni work in roles in:
Many of our alumni have progressed in their careers either during or after their studies.
You should have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.
If you don't have experience of undergraduate study we may consider your application if you have a suitable professional background.
You should have professional experience in the public service field. This could be in roles in local or national government, or in non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, the voluntary and charitable sector, and private sector roles which support or deliver public services.
You will also need to ensure you have:
If your native language is not English you will need to show evidence of your English language ability. Some exceptions apply, but the standard accepted qualifications are listed below:
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
When you apply you'll need to write a personal statement, answering all the questions on this template and acknowledging the Requirements of Study: