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MPA Public Administration

Explore and engage with the services that the international public depends on.

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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This is a unique opportunity to study for a professional qualification designed to enrich your knowledge of international service delivery in government and non-profit organisations.

By exploring the critical issues that drive policies in government and on the ground, you’ll understand how they support people’s everyday needs in countries around the world.

Grow and define your career with this internationally recognised course that provides you with the knowledge and critical thinking to make a tangible difference, wherever you plan to take your career.

Public Administration is a fascinating subject area. I'm interested mainly in how policies are designed and implemented, the impact they have on society and why some policies succeed or fail.
Lisa, MPA Public Administration

Leading research

We're ranked eighth in the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework results.

Spanning the discipline

From early modern political thought to contemporary international security, from post-conflict development to global financial governance, from the politics of gender to the politics of the environment, you can benefit from expertise on a huge range of topics

International experts

Our academics lead research in many political areas, including conflict, security and development, political economy, international politics, political theory and public policy. Our staff advise governments and organisations globally and regularly contribute to news and current affairs programmes.

Course content

This course will help you to approach key developments in public administration with a critical and creative mind to progress your practice to the next level.

You'll study 180 credits in total. The course consists of:

  • four core modules (20 credits each)
  • two option modules (20 credits each)
  • independent policy report (60 credits)

Two core modules, Managing Public Finances and Strategic Planning, will be delivered by York Management School, giving you a fresh perspective on these aspects of public administration.

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.

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

Option modules

You'll choose two further 20-credit modules from a wide range of choices. This selection will allow you to develop expertise in the areas that you feel most passionate about.

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

Dissertation

During the summer term and vacation you will consolidate your interests in a 10,000-12,000 word policy report (60 credits) on a topic of your choice.

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:

  • What Thailand can learn from the experience of the UK's National Health Service
  • Electronic Surveillance Policy in the United States: A Multiple Streams Analysis of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
  • The cutbacks on television entertainment programmes Policy in China: a view on the policy formulation
  • Has stronger accountability improved educational achievement of students in K-12 public schools in the US? An evaluation of the impact of No Child Left Behind (2001)
  • Rewiring Public Services In The City of York: A Critical Analysis
  • A study of food policies for obesity prevention- Applicability of food-related tax to Korea
  • Research on the housing co-operative scheme as an alternative for affordable housing: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Sweden
  • How to reduce regional disparities in China: Lessons from European regional policies
  • A comparative study of underground systems in London and Beijing: What lessons can China learn?
  • Disappointment over the quality of England's graduate workforce: employers' fickleness or inherent cultural or systemic problem?
  • Evaluation of the third sector policy in Japan
  • Influence in a changing climate: INGOs and Network Governance in sub-Saharan Africa
  • What is the appropriate role of the federal government in solving America's present educational crisis?

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.

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, planning and management and apply different theoretical perspectives from policy analysis
  • Explain and demonstrate to different audiences the application of public policy and management concepts, drawing on an understanding of strategic planning and on appropriate skills and tools
  • Construct and clearly present persuasive, analytical and critical written reflections that effectively communicate sustained policy analysis to academic and policy making audiences
  • Undertake independent research on policy 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 recommendations
  • Engage with shared learning across several disciplines and develop an understanding of the values of tolerance, sustainability and inclusivity

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,020£9,120

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

You may incur some additional expenses for books, but these costs are optional as most of the texts you'll need are available in the University library. If the resources you need aren't available, you can borrow via inter-library loans and order new books to our library for free.

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 additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

A vibrant learning community that provides a truly rich and rewarding experience.
Rhonda, MPA Public Administration

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.

Teaching format

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one supervision. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Politics in Derwent College on Campus West. Over half of your teaching will be in Derwent College. The rest of your contact hours will be nearby on 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 submit six essays; three are submitted at the beginning of Spring Term and three at the beginning of Summer Term. Essays are usually around 4,000 words long.

Your final Policy Report of between 10,000 - 12,000 words is submitted at the beginning of September.

We offer the opportunity to present your Policy Report at our research seminar presentation workshops. These are not formally assessed (not credit bearing), but they give you the chance to hone your presentation skills and to get verbal feedback from your tutors and peers.

Careers and skills

From social and political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a Masters in Public Administration leads to a broad range of career opportunities.

Our students have found work in central or local government, non-governmental organisations, community and voluntary organisations, social enterprise, higher education, accountancy and banking organisations, law firms, media companies and international and global development bodies.

Our students go on to careers in international organisations, the media, law, the civil service, politics, journalism and business.

This course is an excellent pathway to careers in a wide range of private and public sector organisations, and for further academic study in international relations and political science.

Career opportunities

Recent graduates work for the police, in government relations and for leading international charities. Popular employers also include:

  • Local councils
  • Civil Service / Home Office/ House of Commons
  • UN
  • 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

  • Reflective independent learning
  • The ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly
  • The capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments
  • Excellent written and oratory skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamworking skills
  • A flexible and open-minded approach to work
York is fantastic. It has great scenery, superb architecture, and the kindest people in the world. It's been an enriching experience studying Public Administration, which has taught me a lot about strategic planning, critical thinking and leadership skills, and satisfied my strong interests in the third sector, administration and policy implementation.
Yaqi, MPA Public Administration

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent. We are willing to consider applicants with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. Additional information may be requested.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

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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