Master of Public Administration (MPA)





1 year full-time

Start date

May 2021, Sept 2021

Why study Master of Public Administration at UWS London?

Live and learn in the heart of London
You’ll study political science and public policy in one of the world’s best loved university cities.

Build vital links with employers
Our academics will help you build links with industry partners via the Oxfam partnership.

Learn from a highly experienced team
You’ll be taught and supervised by experts in the field of public policy, politics and crisis management.

Get an outstanding student experience
Our students and graduates rate us 90% for overall satisfaction (International Student Barometer 2018/Student Barometer Graduate survey).


You will complete five core 20-credit areas of study and a further one optional area of study for the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip). This ensures that all students can pursue their chosen specialisms on solid intellectual and disciplinary foundations. You will then complete your MPA by carrying out an extended research project dissertation.

For the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) stage, you will study the following core areas of study:

  • Contemporary Social Issues
  • Crisis & Communication
  • Crisis Leadership & Management
  • Applied Research Methods in Social Science
  • Policy Analysis & Practice

To complete the PgDip stage, you will select one further 20 credit area of study from a menu of social science options. Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master’s area of study:

  • MSc Social Sciences Dissertation (60 credits)

The master’s dissertation gives you the opportunity to specialise in an area of public policy, leadership, administration and governance that interests you, while under academic supervision. You will also have the opportunity to enhance your CV by undertaking a work-based project as part of your final dissertation with a partner organisation (e.g. NGOs, campaign groups, public agencies, third sector organisations, etc.).

What is a Master of Public Administration all about?

Make an impact in your public or third sector career with a Master’s qualification in Public Administration. With a rigorous focus on both social sciences and crisis communications, this course will give you the theoretical and practical understanding needed to take your career to the next level.

This high level, specialist qualification will equip modern public managers and policy-makers with the skills required to make a decisive contribution to solving global public policy issues.  The programme combines a rigorous social science focus on governance, public administration, public policy and politics with a strong grounding in public sector management and communication.

Our MPA has a strong international focus and is ideal for professionals looking to progress into a global career. 

Whether you’re looking to enter the world of public management or policy making, or uplevel your current work experience by expanding your sector knowledge, this course will help you develop the knowledge, skills and connections you need to take those vital next steps.

You will gain:

  • An understanding of public management, leadership and administration within a global and comparative context
  • The opportunity to develop expertise in the area of public management, public leadership, public administration, and governance that interests you
  • A deep awareness of crisis management within an organisational context
  • The chance to enhance your employability with career-relevant content through innovative learning and assessment
  • The opportunity to study within a diverse international community of learners

Where will this course take me?

An MPA provides a cross-section of skills for professionals looking to work in public, third sector, and even private organisations at management or leadership level. It’s a highly versatile qualification that can lead to a range of top-level positions for individuals looking to make a real impact.

MPA graduates may go on to work as local government analysts, programme coordinators, statisticians, policy analysts, CSR managers, HR managers and many other positions with a connection to public management, governance or policy.

Join one of the 600 highest ranked universities in the world* (*Times Higher Education World University rankings 2020)

Why study for a Master of Public Administration?

This qualification is ideal for anybody looking to improve their understanding of public policy and governance and develop the skill-set needed to enter the job market at a high level. The role of policy-makers and public managers is changing quickly, and this course has been designed to reflect the increase in demand for managers skilled in policy analysis, public administration and management, crisis communications, and evaluation. 

Public sector, third sector and civil service roles are a natural progression for our graduates, but an MPA can lead to private sector roles too. The leadership and management skills you will develop, teamed with a deep understanding of governance and public policy, will allow you to step into many organisational roles involving people, policy and impact.

This course is more than just theory, it’s been carefully designed to set you up for a career. The teaching team have years of practical experience and insight to share, and will help you build links with our industry partners via the Oxfam partnership, as well as other civil service and public sector bodies. You’ll also be able to expand your professional CV by undertaking a practice-based project as part of your final dissertation in collaboration with a public or third sector organisation.  

Topics you will study include:

  • Contemporary Social Issues
  • Crisis & Communication
  • Crisis Leadership & Management
  • Applied Research Methods in Social Science
  • Policy Analysis & Practice


Who is this course for?

  • Graduates looking to move into a career in public policy and governance
  • Professionals with relevant industry experience who are looking to expand their current skills and knowledge and progress to a higher level

Applications for this course will be considered on an individual basis.

Further Information

You have the option of graduating with a generic award of MEd Educational Studies or you can complete one of the specialisms available:

You should hold a relevant Honours degree (or equivalent) at 2:2 or above. Relevant subjects include: Social Science, Business, Health, Law or Social Work.

Applications will also be considered from those with a degree in another discipline or other professional training or experience relevant to the programme, at the discretion of the course leader.

Students are taught and assessed through a combination of lectures, tutorials, exams and essays.

You’ll complete five taught core modules, plus one option, followed by an extended research dissertation, which may be practice-based.

The course is 16% scheduled learning and 84% independent study.

Assessment is 100% coursework based.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • Overall score 6.0
  • No sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)

The course is of 1 year’s duration (full-time) and 2 years (part-time). Intakes in January, May and September.

UK/EU students

International (Non-EU)

At the time of writing, the course fees for September 2021 onwards may be subject to revision.

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Apply now

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don’t have to complete the application in one session – you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Most courses don’t have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.

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Once you have read about us, picked your chosen course and understood how to apply please complete our enquiry form by using the relevent button below, and one of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Application guide

Information to explain how you can apply and make your UWS application as smooth as possible for all our courses.



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