Master of Public Administration (MPA) - MA

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Why study this course?

Our Master of Public Administration (MPA) MA course is a well-established and prestigious programme aimed at those who aspire to begin or enhance a public service or voluntary sector career in public services, non-for-profit sector, government agencies or social impact-focused private and social enterprise organisations.

In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

Our Master of Public Administration (MPA) MA aims to equip you with the applied and professional skills needed to manage and affect change within your professional environment.

In particular, the programme places great emphasis on:

  • developing a variety of academic capacities and transferable skills in public administration and managementinstilling flexibility of thought and innovation as guiding principles to public service design and transformation
  • developing a commitment to lifelong learning and reflective practice

This course would be suitable for you if you’re a graduate working in public services and want to develop expertise in policy analysis, service transformation and design, capacity strengthening, institutional development and general and strategic management of public organisations. If you're a manager (or want to become one), our course will help you learn how to understand, analyse and manage change, as well as plan, assist and monitor effective implementation in complex and uncertain political and institutional environments in your sector.

You'll undertake an intensive year of professional and academic development of the highest standard. This includes the option of a work placement with an organisation from our wide network of public and voluntary sector employers.

Work placement

The work placement module is a key feature of our course. You’ll have a choice between directly experiencing work within a relevant area of public service in a London-based organisation, or undertaking a research placement workng on relevant public sector research in partnership with one of the progamme's members of staff over a substantial period.

The network of employers that offer work placements for you include:

  • the London Boroughs of Hackney, Harrow, Havering, Islington, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Westminster
  • government bodies such as the Department of Work and Pensions
  • voluntary sector organisations such as Thames Reach

Your work placement is an excellent opportunity for you to apply the knowledge acquired during class and develop your practical skills in the organisational context.

Meeting public sector demands

One of the greatest benefits of our London Met MPA is the thoughtful balance and interplay between theory and practice embedded in the course.

We've designed this course to meet the demands of an increasingly complex and changing governance landscape made up of government departments, local authorities, public agencies and voluntary organisations from Britain and abroad, as well as private organisations engaged in public service delivery. You'll be equipped to bring positive change to these types of organisations by developing the skills needed to become an innovative and adaptable professional.

We'll also introduce you to the latest strategic management and planning tools, to current trends in re-designing and transforming services, and facilitate a stimulating environment where you can learn for life.

Our teaching team

Our Master of Public Administration MA is taught by an experienced team who are active in the international research community, with interests in:

  • public management reform and capacity building in transitional countries;
  • comparative public policy and multi-level governance;
  • strategic management in public sector organisations;
  • corruption in transitional countries and local and regional governance.

Our teaching team is involved in civil service training, consultancy and advisory work for public sector organisations and is internationally recognised for academic research. They will use this experience to provide you with relevant, informative and contemporary case-studies.

There will also be expert practitioners from a range of public and voluntary sector organisations contributing to the course.

Teaching methods

You'll study through a blended learning approach that uses a variety of strategies. For example, you'll make use of our specially-designed research methodology focused on public policy and management research and analysis. You will be engaged in practical simulations, debates, produce bespoke reports of response to real on-going policy consultations.

You will be supported by the University's online Virtual Learning Environment, which will also enabling you to reflect on your personal academic development and access a wide range of multi-format resources that will aid your studies.

Are you applying from abroad?

Our course has historically attracted students sponsored by the Commonwealth and the governments of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Vietnam, and students from (amongst others) Afghanistan, Germany, Kosovo, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the USA. Many of our graduates from these countries have gone on to access managerial and decision-making positions in a range of public and voluntary sector organisations.

We want to help you to become a high-quality administrator and manager who will play a critical role in your home country. We’ll encourage you to achieve this through our interdisciplinary programme of study that is intellectually rigorous and relevant to your local context and organisation.


You’ll be assessed through a diverse range of methods including essays, reports, portfolios, individual or group classroom presentations and a dissertation.

Your dissertation is part of the 60-credit International Public Administration Project core module. You’ll be free to pursue individual research on a topic of your choice within public administration and public policy fields.

You’ll receive detailed verbal and written feedback on all assessments. We’ll give you significant tutorial support during your dissertation including dissertation workshops.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree in a relevant subject discipline

If you have lower qualifications but appropriate and substantial professional work or voluntary experience in a relevant area, your application may still be considered.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

What our students say

"Studying the Master of Public Administration course part-time while working full-time was challenging and rewarding. It involved the opportunity to share and learn different working practices and policies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA.

The MPA course is set up to test your skills and abilities. You're assessed through different methods such as regular presentations, written reports and essays. The feedback received from colleagues and lecturers was very insightful. The knowledge and skills I've gained have enhanced my career prospects at my current organisation and improved my future aspiration to work in the public sector in other parts of the world.

I would recommend the MPA as you are taught by experienced and helpful lecturers with varied backgrounds. Lectures are delivered in an interactive manner and the international background of the students makes for interesting, lively and informative debates throughout the lectures.”
MPA graduate

“I am proud that I have been part of London Metropolitan University. Through qualitative teaching and practical experience, it has prepared me professionally for the job market. As part of my master’s degree in Public Administration, I finished an internship at the London Borough of Redbridge. This has been a life-changing opportunity. I was able to learn a lot and practice the knowledge gained during the MPA in evaluating one of the Borough's employment projects. I was even offered a job!”
MPA graduate

"My MPA experience was the best work/study balance decision I've ever made. The course content and teaching was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the varied interactions with my globally-oriented coursemates.

During my work placement with the London Borough of Hackney's Policy and Research department, I had the opportunity to put to practice all the taught strategic public policy theories.”
MPA graduate

After the course

Our recent graduates have gone on to find roles in the central governments of Romania, Poland, Bangladesh and more. They can also be found in executive agencies and local government branches of the British government, as well as in a wide range of voluntary sector organisations in the UK and abroad.

You’ll be able to apply for a host of public administration job opportunities on graduation. Our course is also ideal if you’re currently employed in the sector and want to update your skills or progress on to further study.

Remember - your work placement will be an excellent opportunity for you to forge long lasting professional relationships within the sector. Our recent students have praised the work placement, highlighting it as the key link between the employability skills they developed and improvements in their career.

Summer school

We also run the International Summer School in Public Administration. Taught by the Master of Public Administration MA staff, this summer school has attracted students of politics, management and public administration since its inception in 2003.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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