Course specification and structure
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PMPUBADN - MA Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Public Administration Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University, HSE Moscow
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Health, Social Care and Early Childhood
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader Brian Tutt

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The aim of the Masters in Public Administration is to equip present and future public service practitioners in both developed and developing countries with the skills and understanding needed to play a critical role as innovators and 'change agents' within their home environments.

As well as practising public administrators and those wishing to enter the profession, the course is particularly attractive to graduates working overseas, or those with an interest in international development and governance reform.

A key feature of this course is that it includes a work placement module. Every student is provided with a 25-30 day work placement in a London-based public service organisation. This provides an invaluable opportunity to develop a range of relevant transferable skills. Students will also benefit from the skills and support from our full time placement and employability officer dedicated to Governance and International Relations students.

The course has attracted students sponsored by the Commonwealth, by the governments of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Vietnam, and students from (amongst others) Afghanistan, Germany, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the USA.

A recent external examiners report stated: “the London Met MPA programme is a model of how to teach public sector policy and management to a national and international audience in a way that combines current policy relevance with state of the art academic thinking in this field.”

Course aims

1. provide a critical perspective on the concepts of public administration and public management reform in theory and practice;
2. equip students with the multi-disciplinary knowledge base and the transferable skills to act as effective public managers in a range of administrative environments;
3. provide students with an understanding of the broader national and international context within which debates and practices of public management reform are located;
4. enable students to apply academic course content into their own working context;
5. to help students develop research and evaluative skills to support an evidence based approach and to enable them to engage in critical reflective practice.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will be able to:

- understand and evaluate the main perspectives which seek to explain changes in public management and ‘governance’ globally, and integrate this understanding into improved practice
- understand the role and functions of the principal international institutions, including donors, which have an impact on national development
- understand the main debates around ‘development’ and approaches to it which have a bearing on practice
- explain and evaluate examples of the ‘New Public Management’ from the UK and elsewhere
- prepare appropriate advanced plans, strategies and implementation frameworks for public sector organisations
- commission, design, evaluate and carry out research projects in a public sector setting, including studies involving international comparisons
- write and present analytical reports which address both applied policy problems and theoretical questions
- explain and evaluate differences in working practices, techniques and culture between public service organisations in different countries.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

N/A

Assessment strategy

The course draws on a variety of teaching and learning styles, and they are in turn reflected in the variety of assessment tools employed throughout the course. Within the general principle of mixed mode formative and summative assessment, we use a diversity of assessment instruments: these include a range of written assignments (essays, reports, portfolios and the dissertation) and individual presentations.

Transferable skills have been embedded in the learning outcomes of the modules within the MPA. This includes formative assessments so that students can test and assess their own performance before submitting of presenting summative work. The MPA includes a 60 credit dissertation based on a topic within the students’ own area of interest.

Detailed verbal and written feedback is given on all assessments, and significant tutorial support is given during the dissertation.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The Public Service Placement module offers students the chance to experience directly the work of a relevant area of public service in an organisation over a substantial period of time. Through a sustained period of work-based experiential learning, and through exposure to and engagement with current professional practice in public administration, students will have the opportunity to become familiar with current practices and recent developments in public administration methods and processes, within a specific organisational context and policy area; to develop and strengthen their practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of public service systems and mechanisms; and to acquire a range of appropriate professional competencies and more general transferable skills in public administration work, which can support them in future practitioner roles as change agents in their own societies and future work roles.

Course specific regulations

N/A

Modules required for interim awards

Postgraduate Certificate in Public Administration: students must complete one of GI7003, GI7004 or GI7075, one further core or option, and one option or extension of learning module, equalling 60 credits.

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration: students must complete 3 cores (GI7003, GI7004 and GI7075), plus two options and one further option or extension of learning module, equalling 120 credits.

Career opportunities

Graduates can expect a host of public administration job opportunities in the contexts of transition and modernisation – the course is ideal for those already employed in the sector who wish to update their skills, or progress to further study.

The work placement is also an excellent opportunity for you to practice the skills and apply the knowledge acquired during the programme, but also to forge long lasting professional relationships within the sector. The network of employers that offer work placements for our students include: the London Boroughs of Hackney, Harrow, Havering, Islington, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Westminster; government bodies such as the Department of Work and Pensions, and voluntary sector organisations such as Thames Reach, amongst others. Students have praised the work placement for its relevance to their career development and the employability skills it fosters.

Our recent graduates have accessed positions in central governments in Romania, Poland, Bangladesh, in executive agencies and local government in the UK and in wide range of voluntary sector organisations in the UK and abroad – to name just a few.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree in a relevant subject discipline (applicants with lower qualifications but with appropriate and substantial professional work or voluntary experience in a relevant area will be considered)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 11 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L231 (Public Administration): 100%
Route code PUBADN

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7003 Strategic Planning and Change Management Core 20 NORTH AUT MON EV
GI7004 Researching Public Services Core 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
GI7075 Comparative Public Policy Core 20 NORTH AUT WED PM
GI7P06 International Public Administration Project Core 60 NORTH SPR NA NA
          NORTH AUT NA NA
GI7005 Public Service Placement Option 20 NORTH SPR NA NA
GI7020 European Integration Option 20        
GI7084 Multi-level Governance Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE EV
GI7085 International Administration and Development Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7001 Management of Health and Social Services Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7003 Health in the City Option 20 NORTH SPR THU EV
SH7029 Public Health and Health Promotion Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE EV
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Option 20 NORTH AUT THU EV

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7003 Strategic Planning and Change Management Core 20        
GI7004 Researching Public Services Core 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
GI7075 Comparative Public Policy Core 20        
GI7P06 International Public Administration Project Core 60 NORTH SPR NA NA
GI7005 Public Service Placement Option 20 NORTH SPR NA NA
GI7020 European Integration Option 20        
GI7084 Multi-level Governance Option 20        
GI7085 International Administration and Development Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7001 Management of Health and Social Services Option 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7003 Health in the City Option 20 NORTH SPR THU EV
SH7029 Public Health and Health Promotion Option 20        
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Option 20