The MPA is an international masters programme, aimed at those who aspire to a career in public management or policy-making in government, public agencies or non-governmental organizations working with government, whether at local, regional, national or international levels, worldwide. Since the programme was founded in 2009 it has attracted students from Azerbaijan, Brunei, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Georgia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, South Sudan, St Kitts, St Lucia, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

The aim of the MPA programme is to provide public managers, and those involved in public sector policies and services, to acquire a clear foundation of knowledge about the nature, role and development of the public sector and current trends in its evolution, and the skills and understanding required for further career progression with the public sector.

The programme intended to provide students with:

·       A rigorous and culturally-sensitive understanding of the key concepts and issues underpinning the practice of public administration internationally.

·       The ability to critically analyse structures and processes in public administration and service management.

·       A thorough understanding of the processes of public policy and management and the factors that may influence the success or failure of public policies.

·       An understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in government.

·       A critical understanding of public finance at international, national and sub-national levels.


The programme consists of three compulsory modules, three optional modules and a dissertation. The dissertation is on a topic of your choosing, within the overall subject area of Public Administration.


Who is the programme for?

The programme is for those who seeking to embark on or advance a career in management or policymaking in the state/public sector. The normal admission requirement for our taught postgraduate programmes is a good first degree or an equivalent professional qualification. Work experience in the public sector is desirable, but not essential, for admission to the MPA programme. Candidates without a first degree who have substantial work experience in public administration may be considered for admission (subject to interview and/or written statement).

 Core modules are:


·       Making Policy

·       Public Management and Leadership

·       Managing Public Money


Optional modules include any three from the following list (or any other modules provided within the School of Government and Society):


·       Aid Management

·       Conflict in Developing Countries

·       Conflict Humanitarian Aid and Social Reconstruction

·       Critical Approaches to Development

·       Development Management

·       Development Politics

·       Disability and Development

·       Gender and Development

·       Governance and State Building in Developing Countries

·       Human Resources / Managing People in Times of Global Changes

·       International Political Economy

·       Introduction to Development Projects

·       Introduction to Disaster Management

·       Knowledge Management and E-Governance

·       Non-Governmental Organisations in a Changing International Context

·       Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development

·       Poverty Inequality Interventions and Approaches

·       Public Economic Management

·       Religion and Development

·       Rural Poverty and Development

·       Social Analysis of Inequality, Poverty and Development

·       State and City in Europe and Asia

·       Transforming Development for Sustainability

·       Urban Poverty and Development


Course Type

Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught



UK/EU students can choose between full time (12 months) and part-time (24 months) study


Study options

Postgraduate full time, Postgraduate part time


Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

This is a process by which the University gives credit for learning achieved by an individual before entry to a programme of study:


·       Previously assessed and certificated – this learning may have been previously assessed and certificated by an education provider, in which case it is known as ‘prior certificated learning’

·       Acquired outside formal systems – it may also have been acquired outside formal education and training systems (for example, through work experience) and is therefore known as ‘prior experiential learning’

·       Claiming for APL – if you feel that you have sufficient qualifications and/or experience to give you partial exemption from a programme of study at Newcastle you are welcome to make a claim for APL: please note, however, that you must first make a separate application for admission using the accreditation of prior learning form which can be found in the related links on this page.


·       Full details of the University's policies and procedures with regard to accreditation of prior learning can be found in the related links on this page.

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