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Master of Public Administration (MPA)





1 year full-time


School of Education & Social Sciences

Start date

January, May, September

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).

During your Master of Public Administration, you will complete five core 20-credits 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 (20 credits)
  • Crisis & Communication (20 credits)
  • Crisis Leadership & Management (20 credits)
  • Applied Research Methods in Social Science (20 credits)
  • Policy Analysis & Practice (20 credits)

Optional area of study

  • Global Crisis Management (20 credits)
  • Power, Politics & Civil Society (20 credits)

Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master’s area of study:

  • 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.).

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.

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

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

The MPA programme equips 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. As such this award is a social science-led programme reflecting the changes in the public administration postgraduate and CPD market and discipline (i.e. an increased demand for skills development in policy analysis, public administration and management, and evaluation). The programme is also of key relevance for ‘executive students’ (e.g. civil servants and policy practitioners across sectors) who are currently working in policy roles and who seek to undertake study at postgraduate level as part of their professional development.

The MPA programme at UWS offers a unique focus on crisis leadership and communication. Leaders in the public sector, NGOs and international organisations are now, more than ever before, held to account for their performance for managing crises. Our MPA allows those working as leaders and managers at senior and middle levels of public sector and civil society organisations or those who are planning a career in public administration, to develop the intellectual and practical skills to comprehend, explain and manage crises within an organisational context.

Key features of the programme:

  • Focus on understanding public management, leadership and administration within a global and comparative context
  • Emphasis on crisis management within an organisational context
  • Employability and career-relevant content through innovative learning and assessment
  • Study within a diverse international community of learners

The academics who teach on the programme draw on their research networks for the benefit of the student experience through a combination of field trips to external organisations and the use of guest speakers from external bodies. The programme team support students to develop their own networks and to co-produce master’s projects with external organisations (e.g. through the UWS-Oxfam Partnership as well as our other partners).

You should hold an honours degree (minimum 2:2 classification) or equivalent within the broad area of the Social Sciences or a bachelor’s degree with significant and relevant work experience. Relevant subjects include: Social Science, Business, Health, Law or Social Work.

Where candidates do not meet the standard entry requirement, they must demonstrate that they have sufficient relevant professional or practice-based experience to undertake their chosen programme of study. They may be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the programme Admissions Officer/Programme Leader.

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)

For further information on English Language qualifications accepted click here.

For applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements above, there is an option to apply for the pre-sessional English language programme combined with chosen degree programme. Find out more here.

1 Year – Full-time

Intakes in January, May and September

Home students course fees

International students course fees

Find out how you can pay for your course fees here

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Apply now

Apply now through our online application system. Before applying, you should check that you meet our entry requirements, and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first step is to create a profile. Then, after submitting your completed application, you will be required to upload your supporting documents listed in our documents checklist page.

Most courses don’t have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, if you would like further information or guidance, enquire with us to speak with one of our admissions advisers.

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