Skip to content

Online Master of Public Administration: curriculum

Curriculum Details

The Online Master of Public Administration is a 180 credit full masters programme which takes approximately two and a half years to complete. You will take six 10 credit modules in your first year, followed by six 10 credit modules in your second year, with each module lasting approximately 8 weeks in total. You will enrol onto these modules sequentially and will build specialist public services knowledge as you progress through your studies – helping you to meet the challenges of today’s evolving public sector environment.

You will complete all taught studies before you begin your dissertation. This is a 60 credit research project that will take approximately 6 months to complete.

Core modules


Gain an overview of the development and dynamics of management and the governance of public services. Focus on the role of the state in societies around the world and contemporary issues in the delivery of services by governments. Build a foundation of concepts and theories you can begin to apply throughout your course and in a professional setting.

Learn the importance of leadership in public management and positions within government. Discuss the changing nature of leadership challenges in public service globally and develop effective and applicable leadership skills which you can apply to your career immediately.

Drawing on appropriate strategic planning and management techniques from the private sector, study the variables that must be considered during the planning and implementation stages. This includes the importance of different stakeholder groups and how the use of data can inform and shape more effective strategic options.

See the importance of effective financial management in public sector organisations and define the concepts behind public economics. Concentrate on the changing role of finance and how that affects the support of new developments in public services. Gain key skills required to ensure the effective management of public money and explore real-world scenarios that can be applied directly to your professional life.

Research plays a crucial role in social policy. Learn both quantitative and qualitative research methods and employ real-world scenarios to impart skills which you can apply both during the module and in your professional life. Gain a detailed understanding of research ethics, tools and techniques in preparation for the programme dissertation.

This module concentrates on the theoretical concepts which underpin project management. You will focus on the role of project management in the implementation of strategy as well as practical perspectives on the management of courses and projects.

Learn the theoretical frameworks and data which underpin and support performance management. Gain practical skills and knowledge necessary for effective performance management in the public service sector.

Inter-organisational collaboration is of increasing importance in public service and government. Study the theories behind contemporary partnership and collaboration and gain the critical skills required for the successful development and maintenance of effective partnerships.

Develop a strong understanding of the theories that influence representative democracy and the challenges in changing societies around the world. Cover new forms of participation and models of government, both traditional and emerging.

Study the role of political leadership in public management as well as the role of public sector managers in supporting this leadership, including the provision of expert advice. Apply the skills needed to manage the interface between political and managerial leadership.

Given the increasing importance of information management, the digital medium and social media within public organisations, learn the latest developments in the gathering, processing and dissemination of data through computer systems and the managerial and organisational issues associated with ICTs and emerging e-Governance agendas.

This module aims to engage with key themes in contemporary international policy goals that directly impact the management and delivery of public sector services at different governance levels with a theoretical and empirical understanding of the development, change and nature of international policy goals, such as achieving sustainable development targets.
This module is subject to approval.

The dissertation is the final phase of your programme and your opportunity to research a topic which is of interest you or your employer. Your dissertation output is a culmination of everything you’ve learned throughout the programme.

Request more information or a consultation

Note: * Required field

Keen to learn more? Our expert team is ready to answer any questions you may have.