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Short online courses in public administration

Online Public Administration Webinar:

We would like to invite you to an Online Public Administration webinar hosted by the Programme Director, Dr Philip Whiteman. This session is a chance for you to ask questions and gain a feel for effective online learning with the University of Birmingham.

Friday, 21st April 2023
01.00 p.m. (GMT)

Register Here

Study the latest practices, strategies and global perspectives, to prepare yourself for the changing demands of 21st-century public service with a short postgraduate micro-credential course in public administration.

Quick Facts


international – students studying overseas in more than 50 different countries1


total course fee for an 8-week programme.


the UK’s leading academic centre on local governance and strategic public management

Centred on the application of new technology and new ideas from around the world, the University of Birmingham’s 8-week 100% online postgraduate micro-credentials offer busy working professionals the tools to get ahead in the ever-changing field of public service.

By choosing to study with us, you will be joining one of the world’s most prestigious universities, with full access to our renowned lecturers and thriving global community of students. As well as being acknowledged globally for our academic performance, we are the second-most-targeted university by the UK’s top employers (2020).2 The School of Government, which runs the courses, was also recently awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN for Equality and Diversity (2020).3

The School draws on insights from the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), an academic department for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. These insights are key to understanding the public service practices, strategies and global perspectives necessary to effect positive change and expand your career opportunities in public service.

Courses cover everything from leadership and performance management to managing public money and public service governance. Each course is designed to hone the specialist skills you need to support your career goals and continuing professional development (CPD). This makes it perfect for professionals who are unable to commit to a long-term programme of study.

At the end of the course, you will receive a postgraduate micro-credential certificate worth 10 credits, and a transcript highlighting your new credential. You can use these credits to apply for advanced entry to the University of Birmingham’s full Online Masters of Public Administration (MPA) qualification.

Immersive online experience

As well as providing the highest levels of convenience and flexibility that 100% online learning offers, the programme is full of interactive elements, like video and group activities, which bring the content to life.

Rather than trying to replicate a campus-based setting online, we’ve built this programme from the ground up, drawing on the latest technology to create a truly unique and immersive student experience.

The online learning environment is not only a window to programme materials, it’s an opportunity to connect directly with your lecturers and other professionals like yourself.

Experience Online

Explore our featured short courses:

Leadership in Public Services

Exploring the concept of leadership and the changing demands on public service leaders, this course helps to hone a set of individual and highly practical leadership skills.

Next start date: October 2023

Apply now

Performance Management

Gain the practical skills and knowledge necessary to apply theoretical frameworks and data to drive performance management.

Next start date: October 2023

Apply now

Partnership and Collaboration

Understand the dynamics of inter-organisational collaboration in public service and government.

Next start date: January 2024

Apply Now

Strategic Management

Learn how to strategically plan and manage policies, practices, resources, services and communities, drawing on appropriate examples from the private sector.

Next start date: January 2024

Apply Now

Democracy, Governance and Participation

Study the influence of representative democracy and the challenges in changing societies around the world, exploring models of participation and government.

Next start date: February 2023

Apply Now

Managing Public Money

Examine how the economy works and its role in government, and acquire key skills in budgeting, finance, cost/benefit analysis and more.

Next start date: February 2023

Apply Now

Managing in a Political Environment

Understand the value of political leadership in public service management, learning how to manage the interface between political and managerial leadership.

Next start date: May 2023

Apply Now

Programme and Project Management

Explore the practical aspects of programme and project management and how it is used to implement new strategies and change in public services around the world.

Next start date: August 2023

Apply Now

Public Management and Governance in a Changing World

Serving as an overview of the development of public service governance, this course examines the challenges and pressures on public bodies and governments to deliver public services.

Next start date: August 2023

Apply Now
‘Anyone wishing to advance their career in public administration need not look any further, as the MPA modules are easy to access anytime, anywhere on mobile devices. The MPA is versatile, exciting, workable and you have freedom to study when it is convenient to you.’

Admissions requirements

To be eligible to apply, you will need to have obtained (or be predicted to obtain) an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university OR an equivalent qualification from a recognised institution. Professional applications may also be considered. Please speak to a recruitment coordinator to discuss your eligibility.

Choose a programme to apply for, by selecting from the titles above. Fill out your online application, saving your progress as you go.

To apply, you will need to submit the following:

Tuition details

Cost per course: £1,250*

Total credits: 10

Payment method: Card

The fee includes any online resources, including full access to the online learning platform, course materials and required digital reading materials. The fee does not include any personal expenses for new technical equipment or office supplies.

* Prices are subject to change each academic year.

Frequently asked questions

Since you will be joining a live course, the student experience is much like any other online masters programme. You will be working collaboratively with other students from your course and wider programme.

We recommend 15 hours of study per week for a full eight-week course.

To study online, you need to meet a set of minimum technical requirements.

As a student enrolled onto a short course, you will have the same level of access to materials as a student studying the full masters programme.

You will have access to our dedicated online student services team, who are available to help you with any queries you may have.

Yes. You will be sent your transcript confirming your new qualification and a University of Birmingham postgraduate micro-credential certificate worth 10 masters credits.

Visit our FAQ page


  1. Updated 11th February 2020. Country names categorised using information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [online] Available at: [Accessed 11.02.2020]
  2. UNKNOWN (2020) The graduate market in 2020. High Fliers Research Limited [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 08.06.2020]
  3. UNKNOWN (2020) The School of Government receives Athena SWAN accreditation [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21.02.2020]