• Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Queen Mary University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Loughborough University London Featured Masters Courses
  • Arden University Featured Masters Courses
  • Loughborough University Featured Masters Courses
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Featured Masters Courses
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Featured Masters Courses
Barcelona Technology school Featured Masters Courses
Imperial College London Featured Masters Courses
FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses

Public Administration (International Development) - MPA

Course Description

Globally recognised qualification in public services management with a focus on international development.


The Masters of Public Administration is an internationally recognised qualification acting as the public service equivalent of an MBA.

This course is ideal for early- and mid-career professionals working in international development. During your studies you'll develop the skills and knowledge you need to work in large organisations and to lead development projects in complex and uncertain situations. You will learn to examine and influence the policy process across multiple layers of governance and analyse the varying approaches used in different countries.

By choosing this part-time online course you will be able to combine your study with your career and family. You'll also be studying with one of the top universities in the world, with teaching and support from experienced academics and practitioners. Our Department is ranked 25th in the world and 4th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2016). All our courses are run directly by us, so you can always count on coherent and strong support from your academic tutors, personal supervisor and a dedicated support team.

You'll study alongside peers working in similar organisations around the world. You'll be able to actively engage with them and share your ideas, learning and experience as you progress through the course. You'll also be in a position to immediately apply your learning and insight to your work and your organisation.

Course content

Our MPA in International Development will enhance your capacity to influence and lead the development agenda at a national, regional or international level. You'll develop your capacity for critical analysis of the complex problems that you tackle in your work. You'll also develop your skills as a manager or leader in your field.

During Year 1 you'll explore the foundations of development theory, policy and practice. In Year 2 you'll combine studying further core content with a choice of topics to match your interests or area of work.

As you progress through this two year course you will apply your learning in the workplace. We'll encourage your development as a reflective practitioner throughout this process, with support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor.

Towards the end of the course you'll start to prepare for your dissertation which will allow you to explore an area of particular interest.

You can also study for a shorter period of time and graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

To graduate with an MPA degree you will need to take 140 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 40 credits. You'll study these modules to a schedule. This will allow you to participate online with academics and fellow students from around the world.

Year 1: foundation
In the first year you'll study 80 credits with these modules:
-Social and Political Issues in Development (20 credits)
-Governance and Public Administration (20 credits)
-Policy Analysis and Process (20 credits)
-Reflective Practice for Professional Development - Part One (10 credits)
-Digital Government: Policy and Practice (10 credits)

Year 2: specialisation and dissertation
In your second year you'll study a combination of taught modules and work on your dissertation. You will start the year studying this module:
-Leading and Managing Organisational Change (20 credits)

You'll then have a choice of studying one of the following modules:
-Globalisation and Social Policy (20 credits)
-Project Management (20 credits)
-Public Service Reform: Economic and Political Perspectives (20 credits)

You will also need to complete a dissertation, as well as modules designed to develop your professional and research skills:
-Reflective Practice for Professional Development - Part Two (10 credits)
-Dissertation Workshop (10 credits)
-Dissertation (40 credits)

As you progress your assignments will help you apply theory to practice. You'll be able to combine academic work with case studies or examples relevant to your work.

Building on these experiences, your dissertation will be an individual project that explores a topic of your choice under guidance from a dissertation supervisor.

One of your taught modules, the Dissertation Workshop, will help you prepare for your dissertation. You'll learn how to plan and schedule your independent literature-based research project. With the help of your designated dissertation supervisor you'll work on finding the appropriate scope and focus for your project, and develop a workable structure. You'll also receive feedback on draft chapters and guidance on conducting your literature review and research.

Your dissertation is worth 40 credits and will be 12,000 words long.


This course is ideal if you have some experience of working in international development and seek professional development to work towards your career goals. It's also ideal if you're working in the social or public sector and would like to work in international development. A key strength of the course lies in allowing you to develop your skills while continuing to gain experience in a relevant professional field.

Visit the Public Administration (International Development) - MPA page on the University of York website for more details!

Student Profiles

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships - 5 Awards

The University of York is hoping to be awarded Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSCUK) for students joining the online Masters in Public Policy and Management programme, or the MPA in International Development, commencing their studies in September 2017. The Commonwealth Scholarships are administered by CSCUK, working as the UK arm of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The awards themselves are funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). The CSFP are working towards partnerships between developed and developing countries aimed at combining academic excellence with the desire to make a real difference in some of the world’s poorest countries.Please note: due to the high demand for these scholarships candidates will only be considered if they have a strong academic record at undergraduate level and clear evidence of a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrated through their Future Career Plans and Home Country Benefit statements on the application form.Please visit our website for up to date information about the scholarships.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Standard fee: £11,410 per year - Lower band £9,470 per year


1. have not previously had the opportunity to study at post-graduate level
2. are living and working in developing countries of the Commonwealth
3. are working in or with public organisations, including NGO’s, aid agencies and local/national government departments, and can demonstrate throughout their application that they are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals
4. can dedicate at least 15 hours each week to their studies with a number of study sessions being over 2 hours in length
5. meet the University Entry Requirements for the programme
6. Some countries have an English language requirement

Application Procedure

Full instructions for the Electronic Application System (EAS) are contained on the Scholarship Commission's website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/distance-learning/info-candidates/please see further details on our website - link below

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. If you don't have experience of undergraduate study we may consider your application if you have a suitable professional background. You should also have professional experience in the public service field. This could be in roles in local or national government, or in non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, the voluntary and charitable sector, and private sector roles which support or deliver public services.

Last Updated

20 February 2017

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of York

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Cookie Policy    X