University of Brighton

Masters in Public Administration
MPA (PGCert PGDip)

  • Course summary and entry requirements

    Course duration Help

    Full-time: 1 year

    Part-time: 2-3 years

    About the course

    This postgraduate programme offers both part and full-time students the opportunity to examine the rapidly changing context of public work, including the pressures of globalisation, and international examples of how local communities can maintain public value and traditions.

    The programme offers a critical social science appraisal of the international privatisation, marketisation and business reforms in the public sector. The course has core elements in managing public and voluntary organisations, partnerships and networks, participation and democracy, and strategy and planning in the public services. Local policy examples are examined in the context of different international examples of how localism evolves with national and international policy. There are also options to examine personal development and personal transformation as part of one's career development.

    Typical entry requirements Help

    Individual offers may vary.

    For non-native speakers of English:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in writing (or equivalent qualification).

    Degree and/or experience:
    Normally a good first degree or equivalent professional qualification and experience.

    Visit the school that delivers this course

  • Course content

    Areas of study

    Learning includes an examination of the political and democratic context of public work and the current discourse of adding 'public value' to the limited governmental, managerial and business approach of the last two decades. The organisational coverage has at its core an examination of the organisation of partnership working, the current inter-organisational complexity of the public sector and the impact of the market fragmentation on the network world of modern public administration. This will include an examination of the contradictions of 'collaboration' versus 'competition'.

    Students will find opportunities to examine the micro changes in public life, including the impact of policy and administrative changes on participation and democracy and the attempt to 'managerialise' most aspects of public life. This will include a critical deconstruction of concepts like choice, performance and strategy.

    The course includes a guided choice of research methods options in order to prepare students before they start their dissertation.


    Management in the Public Service Environment
    Partnership Interagency Working and User Involvement
    Strategy and Planning in the Public Sector
    Policy Analysis
    Policy Analysis
    Learning by Objectives
    Participation and Democracy

    One research module from:
    Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
    Principles of Social Research
    Doing Qualitative Research

  • Fees and costs

    The fees listed here are for full-time courses beginning in the academic year 2014-15. Further tuition fees are payable for each subsequent year of study and may be subject to small increases, in line with inflation.

    The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, and whether you study full- or part-time. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take.

    What's included in the fee?

    When costs such as health or criminal record checks, field trips or use of specialist materials are incurred as a mandatory requirement of the course they are included in your tuition fee.

    You may incur additional costs depending on the optional modules or activities you choose. The cost of optional activities is not included in your tuition fee and you will need to meet this cost in addition to your fees. Before you apply please check with the school that provides your course using the contact details on the left of this page for advice about what is included and what optional costs you could face so you can budget accordingly.

    Our website provides advice about funding and scholarships as well as further information about fees and advice on international and island fee paying status.

    Masters in Public Administration (Full time)  [L1BE001]
    UK/EU (Full Time)5,580 GBP
    Island Students (Full Time)5,580 GBP
    International (Full Time)11,840 GBP

  • Location

    Location Help Falmer

    Our Falmer campus is located on the edge of the South Downs National Park on the outskirts of Brighton. Approximately 7,000 students are based here.

    View campus maps and directions

    Living in Brighton

    Brighton’s rich mix of historic architecture, lively arts scene, varied shopping and cosmopolitan community make it a vibrant, enjoyable place to live. It is no wonder that many Brighton graduates choose to stay here.

    Social scene

    Alongside the traditional seaside attractions, Brighton is famed for its exciting social scene with a wide choice of pubs, clubs and restaurants.

    Music event on the beach


    The highlight of the city’s cultural year is the Brighton Festival. The event is held each May and is England’s biggest arts festival, which showcases arts and performance from around the world. Brighton is also home to the UK’s oldest working cinema, the Duke of York’s, which shows alternative and mainstream films. The city is also well known for its exciting music scene and hosts The Great Escape music festival.

    Burning the Clocks winter solstice festival


    Whether you take your sport seriously or just want to keep fit, Brighton offers all kinds of sports opportunities and facilities, on and off campus. You can also make the most of the location, and play volleyball, basketball and windsurfing down by the beach. The seafront is also the finishing point for the famous London – Brighton bicycle ride and the quirky veteran car run.

    Playing volleyball on the seafront
  • Career opportunities

    The course, while critically evaluating the public sector reforms of the last two decades, will also be of applied relevance to those working in the field as they face the current partnership, organisational and managerial reforms. The course will allow students to make better sense of the social contradictions in these reforms allowing them to emerge as more confident and informed practitioners.

    Visit the careers service website.