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Public Administration (DPA)

Course Description

Are you a senior manager within the public sector or local government who wants to draw together both the theoretical and practical aspects of professional and managerial experience? Focused on managerial and organisational practice, this programme provides opportunities for learning through collaborative processes, and enables you to take your new knowledge back to the workplace where it can be implemented to improve the quality of your practice.

Key features

Immerse yourself in the policies and theories surrounding public administration, through our two year taught programme. Build on your newly acquired knowledge and develop your research interests, by taking an additional two to three years to complete your thesis.

Equip yourself with the skills to facilitate in others the capacity to manage public resources cost-efficiently, cost-effectively and equitably.

Gain knowledge to guide, and contribute to, socio-political discourses at all levels, on the future roles of the state, civil society and the market in societal and local community governance.

Sharpen your knowledge and feel able to give sound policy advice to government across an array of policy domains.

Enhance your ability by applying theory to practice in the contexts of critical public policy and administration issues in a way that draws upon your extensive professional and managerial experience.

Benefit from direct involvement with the Plymouth Graduate School of Management research community.

Course details

Year 1: You will start the programme with an induction and introduction to doctoral research. You will then engage in reflective practice, reflexivity and participatory research, and identify and explain theory. History and philosophy of public policy and social sciences and understanding paradigms of inquiry will be covered before you begin to develop methodological approaches. You will then work towards your research proposal and thesis.

Year 2: You'll build on the knowledge and skills gained during your first year, and continue to study your chosen taught modules. After you’ve completed your second year, and the taught phase of your Doctorate, you’ll then have an additional two to three years to complete your thesis.


The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email .

Visit the Public Administration (DPA) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You'll need a bachelor degree with a second-class honours (or its equivalent) in a relevant field. Also extensive work experience which would normally be at least five years’ management experience in any sector that provides public services.

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