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MPA Master of Public Administration (International Development)

Examine the services and organisations that are helping to establish developing countries across the world.

2018/19 entry

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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By investigating how policy is made, from development to deployment, and identifying the challenges that lie in public organisations throughout developing countries, you'll be able to provide solutions that make a difference.

From leadership and strategy to performance and human resources, this course will help you build a set of highly sought-after skills that will prepare you for managerial roles in the developing world. Our graduates have gone on to work for development charities, parliament and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as many other international organisations, both public and private.

You'll be taught by academics at the forefront of research across a number of political areas such as conflict, security and development, political economy, international politics, political theory and public policy.

Leading research

The Department of Politics placed 8th overall in the UK in Times Higher Education's ranking of the the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

International experts

Our staff advise governments and organisations globally and regularly contribute to news and current affairs programmes.

Course content

You'll take a total of 180 credits, made up of five core modules, one option module and culminating in an independent policy report. Option modules cover a wide range of topics, from the politics of the poor and governance and public management to governing for the environment, allowing you to explore your personal interests to a much greater depth.

Two core modules, Managing Public Finances and Strategic Planning, will be delivered by York Management School, giving you a fresh perspective on the topics and a more interdisciplinary outlook on international development.

Taught modules will run throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms, with the policy report being completed during the Summer Term and vacation.

Modules

Core modules

You'll study five core modules:

Option modules

You'll also choose one option module (20 credits) to develop your particular research interests. Recent modules have included:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

During the summer term and vacation you'll explore a topic of your choice to a much deeper level, through the production of a 10,000-12,000 word policy report (60 credits).

You'll have regular meetings with your assigned policy report advisor, who will help guide you through the process and support you in the exploration of your chosen topic. You'll also have the opportunity to present your policy report at our research seminar presentation workshops.

Previous policy report titles include:

  • The relationship between U.S. government donors and international non-profit organisations: A comparative analysis of the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations
  • Challenges of Public Administration reform in Afghanistan on corruption and development in Afghanistan
  • Understanding China’s policy towards Africa, its impact and policy implications
  • ProÁrbol: achieving sustainable development in Mexico through the Payment for Environmental Services (PES)
  • A comparative study of health care systems in Brazil, India and China: what lessons can China learn?

The York approach

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.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • identify and understand the critical issues that drive policy-making by looking at how policies are managed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.
  • use intellectual reasoning and systematic empirical testing to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of concepts specific to public policy and apply different theoretical perspectives from international development.
  • explain and demonstrate to academic audiences the application of public policy and international development concepts, drawing on an understanding of strategic planning and on appropriate skills and tools.
  • construct and clearly present persuasive and critical written reflections (essays and policy report) that effectively communicate sustained policy analysis to academic audiences.
  • undertake independent research on policy and international development related topics by: conceiving and operationalising research questions; building on specialist expertise in public policy; using relevant concepts and tools to gather and interpret policy data; and draw appropriate conclusions and policy reccomendations.
  • engage with shared learning across several disciplines and develop an understanding of the values of tolerance, sustainability and inclusivity.
I really feel that after doing the MPA-ID I have the foundation and the confidence to be a positive influence in the field.
Rebecca, MPA (International Development)

Fees and funding

Fees information

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.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one supervision. We take a personal approach to learning, with much of our teaching conducted in small groups. Typically you can expect 7.5 hours of contact time per week in the Autumn and Spring Terms.

Teaching location

The Department of Politics is located in Derwent College, on Campus West. Most teaching takes place in Derwent College seminar rooms and at other locations across Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll submit six essays of around 4,000 words: three at the beginning of Spring Term and three at the beginning of Summer Term. Your final policy report will be submitted at the beginning of September.

Careers and skills

The skills you'll acquire through the study of public administration and international development will leave you well prepared for further study or work in a wide range of sectors, from social and political research to journalism, marketing and HR.

Career opportunities

Recent graduates have gone on to work for a large variety of organisations:

  • Civil Service / Home Office / House of Commons
  • United Nations
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • NHS
  • Professional services / Accountancy firms - notably PwC, EY, KPMG
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Oxfam
  • Barclays
  • Universities
  • IBM
  • Development charities including the International Committee of the Red Cross

Transferable skills

  • The ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent written and oratory skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamworking skills
  • A flexible and open-minded approach to work

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
Degree

Applicants should have, or be expected to obtain, a 2:1 BA degree or international equivalent. We are willing to consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly when the student has high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. If you are applying with a lower qualification, you must include a written work sample with your application.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all requirements

Applying

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.

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