The Masters of Public Administration is an internationally recognised qualification acting as the public service equivalent of an MBA.
Public service managers face an increasing pace of change, combined with pressures to deliver more with less, navigate a complex policy context and enhance performance while sustaining public service values. Designed for professionals in public and non-profit organisations and providing strong and comprehensive support, this online Masters programme will equip you to meet these challenges.
You will study three aspects of public administration:
You will learn how to analyse complex public management problems, lead change effectively, and develop your ability to manage through networks and partnerships. You will be able to shape and deliver the public services of the future, and move into more strategic roles in a wide range of organisations.
Over the course of the programme you will grow as a competent and reflective practitioner, both in your current role, and in preparation for more demanding roles in the future.
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.
Because I had undertaken a module on Strategic Planning I was asked by my organisation to lead on a national strategy. This has raised my profile and enabled me to be promoted to my current role.Katherine, UK
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
Our MPA will develop you as a professional public service manager. You'll develop your skills in analysis, decision-making and accountability. You will deepen your understanding of the ethos, culture, opportunities and constraints that govern public service delivery. You will develop your ability to lead and manage people through successful strategic and organisational change. You'll learn how to influence policy decisions to shape future service delivery and enhance your organisation's learning and performance.
As you progress through this two year course you will apply your learning in the workplace. We'll encourage your development as a reflective practitioner throughout this process.
Towards the end of the course you will start to prepare for 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'll complete 80 credits of study through the following modules:
In your second year you will study a combination of taught modules and work on your dissertation. You will start the year by studying this module:
You will then choose 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.
Throughout your studies your assignments will help you to apply theory to practice and to combine academic work with case studies or examples relevant to your work.
One of your taught modules, the Dissertation Workshop, will help you prepare for your dissertation. You'll learn how to plan and schedule your independent literature-based research project. With the help of your 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 any further 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.
This programme should be mandatory for everyone in the civil service, as it gives you the skills needed to be a modern-day civil servant.Anthony, UK
|Part-time, distance learning (2 years)|
Higher band fee. Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
|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
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
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).
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.
All reading materials are available via the course’s Virtual Learning Environment and the university’s extensive online Library.
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 reading and tasks. You can decide when you work on these weekly tasks, as all 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.
I've liked the experience very much. I felt really supported by both teaching and non-academic staff. I really enjoyed it.Valentina, Bulgaria
This course is ideal for people working in public and not-for-profit sectors as well as people working in for-profit organisations that deliver public services. It will enable you to develop the skills and understanding needed for management and leadership in complex public service environments.
Our current students and alumni work in roles in:
Many of our alumni have progressed in their careers either during or after their studies.
Having completed the York MPA course I feel empowered, connected and more able to add value to my organisation’s direction of travel.Ahmed, UK
You should normally have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. If you don't have experience of undergraduate study we may consider your application if you have a suitable professional background.
You should also 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:
When you apply you'll need to write a personal statement, answering all the questions on this template and acknowledging the Requirements of Study.
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.