University of Exeter logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 21.1k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 21.1k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

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    The Master of Public Administration at Exeter is designed to help you meet the challenge of shaping and delivering effective public services in a climate of continuous change. The Exeter MPA takes an international perspective to equip you with the skills and understanding you need to operate effectively in an increasingly global environment.

    You will have the opportunity to benefit from the latest ideas on public policy, administration, regulation and leadership while learning alongside practitioners working in a variety of roles and organisations from the UK and overseas.

    The MPA is relevant whether you are working in local, regional, or central government, or for a charity or public-private partnership. It addresses some of the key issues facing the public sector such as effective leadership, anticipating and responding to change, performance management, governance and ethical practice and sustainability,

    The MPA is run by the Department of Politics with expertise from the University of Exeter Business School and draws on the work of academics who have an impressive reputation for research and whose ideas are published around the world. We have a long history of working with ministries and national governments, and members of our team have been involved with organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Commission, Competition Commission, the Department of Work and Pensions, the OECD and the Treasury.

    Our flexible modular programme, block teaching and excellent resources are designed to meet the needs of both those studying full-time and busy professionals aiming to manage part-time study with full-time employment.

    While equipping you with core skills, the MPA will provide you with the opportunity to research and seek solutions to issues and challenges you face in the workplace. You will also have the option to choose from topics such as such as leadership, change management, regulation, public policy, sustainability or project management. The involvement of leading practitioners from the public and private sector, together with real-life case studies, will make sure learning is relevant and informed by best practice.

    On completion of the programme you will have an understanding of strategies for delivering public services effectively, efficiently and ethically and have gained an understanding of the comparative social, historical and financial context of public administration and public sector organisations. You will know how public policies are developed, implemented and evaluated in different systems and countries around the world.

    The Exeter MPA consists of a mixture of three core modules which provide the theoretical foundation for the degree; five optional modules enabling you to specialise in areas of interest; and either a dissertation or at least one work-based research project involving a piece of original research on a subject of your choice. There is the flexibility to take 30 credits outside of the programme in a relevant subject.

    Please note it is possible for modules to change to reflect new ideas or to meet student demand, so check our website for the latest details.

    Core modules
    * Management and Governance: Comparing Public Administration around the World (POLM200) (15 credits)
    * Policy and Politics: the theory and Strategy of Delivering Public Services (POLM201) (15 credits)
    * Public Sector Finance for Managers (POLM206) (15 credits)

    Optional modules
    A choice of five modules from a list which may include the following:

    * The Politics, Policy and Practice of Sustainable Development (POLM207) (15 credits)
    * Global Governance and Administration (POLM208) (15 credits)
    * The new Public Management: Principles, Practice and Prospects (POLM209) (15 credits)
    * Policy Analysis and Evaluation (POLM210) (15 credits)
    * Regulation and Reform: Analysis and Policy (POLM211) (15 credits)
    * Risk, Responsibility, Regulation: Whose Policy Is It Anyway? (POLM054) (15 credits)

    Working under the supervision of an academic supervisor, you can work on an original piece of academic research relating to a subject of your choice. This will be presented in the form of a 16,000-word dissertation (POLM202)


    Two work-based research projects
    Instead of a dissertation you can choose to complete two work-based projects. Each project can address a particular issue or problem you or your organisation has identified in your place of work. In effect, you will be able to research and write about any new or difficult public sector management issue related to your work environment and deliver the project in the form of a report of practical use to your employer.

    * Work based Project 1 (POLM203) (30 credits)
    * Work based Project 2 (POLM204) (30 credits)

    Free Option(s) (up to 30 credits)
    If only one work-based research project is chosen, modules worth 30 credits in total may be chosen from the portfolio offered by the Politics Department or School, subject to availability and approval by the Programme Director. If the student decides (with approval of the Programme Director) to take 30 credits outside of the MPA programme e.g. in the Department of Politics, those modules will be delivered to a traditional timetable.

    Part-time and Modular students
    Must take the following modules in their first year: POLM200
    Either POLM201 or POLM206
    Any remaining core module must be taken in the second year.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    A good Honours Degree (2:1 or above) and experience of working at a managerial level in a public sector organisation. Exceptions may be made for candidates with exceptional experience or relevant professional qualifications. Individuals who do not meet the criteria may be required to submit examples of work or to participate in an interview. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 7 TOEFL iBT® test: 100

    £1,000 scholarships for University of Exeter undergraduates progressing directly to postgraduate study in 2013

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