MPA Public Administration (Distance Learning) at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

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Course summary

Overview Are you a professional looking to step up into public sector leadership and management? A Master's degree in Public Administration can give you the knowledge, skills and experience you need to advance your career and take on ambitious roles in areas such as national policymaking and ministerial advice. You can study this MPA Public Administration degree course full-time or part-time alongside work via distance learning, so you can fit your studies around your work schedule and apply your learning to your role in real time. You'll cover public policy, service delivery and administration from an inter-cultural, inter-professional and inter-organisational perspective. You'll unpack specialist subjects, such as procurement, project management and corporate governance. You'll also learn transferable skills that will be valuable throughout your career. We'll provide public sector expertise, support and work-based strategies so you can become an expert in your field and take your skills and knowledge straight into your job. Once you graduate, you'll be able to explore new opportunities in public administration leadership and management, or to seek promotion in your current line of work. Eligibility This course accepts UK, EU, and international students. What you'll experience

  • Gain the specialist public sector knowledge and skills you need to advance in your career, including public policy, strategic management, leading change and new ways of working
  • Compare policy processes and outputs within specific fields, including health, education, welfare, economic development, defence, policing and intelligence
  • Complete a live strategic plan based on your own workplace that you can put into action in your existing or next role
  • Learn from academics with frontline public sector experience and hear from industry expert guest lecturers, including Members of Parliament and local authority experts
  • Have the opportunity to do a work-based placement with a local authority or public sector institution, such as Hampshire County Council or Portsmouth City Council
Careers and opportunities This Master's in Public Administration is designed to turn ambitious public sector workers into managers and leaders within their field of public administration. You'll gain the specialist skills, expertise and insight to pursue higher level public sector roles, as well as lifelong transferable skills that you'll be able to apply to complex issues, both systematically and creatively, throughout your career. When you graduate, you'll be ready to seek new roles in public sector leadership and management, or to aim for promotion in your current public sector career. You'll be able to work with self-direction and originality, and contribute to public administration in local, regional or central government, or in an organisation working in partnership with the Government. Graduates of this course have gone on to work in areas such as:
  • ministerial advice
  • central government policy units
  • government partner organisations
  • charitable foundations
Graduates of this course have gone on to work for organisations such as the:
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD)
  • European Union (EU)
  • Local Government Association (LGA)
During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate. Course structure This Master's degree will take:
  • 1 year (full-time study)
  • 2 years (part-time study)
You can expect:
  • 1 optional live online seminar each week for each module you study, held at times when as many students as possible can attend. These will also be recorded. All core material is available online at all times so you can create your own study schedule.
  • 20 to 25 hours of independent study each week if you study full-time, or 12 to 14 hours each week if you study part-time.


Full-time Core modules

  • Comparative Public Policy (Dl) (30 credits)
  • Partnerships, Problems and Probity: Solving Complex Social Issues (30 credits)
  • Public Management and Administration (Dl) (30 credits)
  • Strategic Public Management and Leading Effective Change (Dl) (30 credits)
Optional modules
  • Dissertation/Major Project (Masters Public Administration) (Dl) (60 credits)
  • Project Management: Tools and Techniques (30 credits)
  • Work Based Project (30 credits)
Visit our course page for full module details and for part-time module information. We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You'll be assessed through:

  • work-related assignments
  • essays
  • online presentations
  • reports
  • dissertation or report
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. This includes group discussions, peer review activities, and virtual seminars. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. Preferably, applicants will have experience of working in a managerial role in a public sector organisation. Applicants may be invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 169.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 169.
TOEFL (iBT)91 with a minimum of 20 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 20 in Writing.
PTE AcademicAn overall score of 61 with a minimum of 54 in each skill.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £4450 Year 1
England £4450 Year 1
Northern Ireland £4450 Year 1
Scotland £4450 Year 1
Wales £4450 Year 1
Channel Islands £4450 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £4450 Year 1
International £4450 Year 1

Additional fee information

Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation.
MPA Public Administration (Distance Learning) at University of Portsmouth - UCAS