Taught course

MPA Public Administration (distance learning)

University of Portsmouth · School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. Preferably, applicants will have experience of working in a managerial role in a public sector organisation. Applicants may be subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content


Are you a professional looking to step up into public sector leadership and management? A Master's degree in Public Administration can give you the knowledge, skills and experience you need to advance your career and take on ambitious roles in areas such as national policymaking and ministerial advice.
You can study this MPA Public Administration degree course full-time or part-time alongside work via distance learning, so you can fit your studies around your work schedule and apply your learning to your role in real time.
You'll cover public policy, service delivery and administration from an inter-cultural, inter-professional and inter-organisational perspective. You'll unpack specialist subjects, such as procurement, project management and corporate governance. You'll also learn transferable skills that will be valuable throughout your career.
We'll provide public sector expertise, support and work-based strategies so you can become an expert in your field and take your skills and knowledge straight into your job. Once you graduate, you'll be able to explore new opportunities in public administration leadership and management, or to seek promotion in your current line of work.
Course highlights
  • Gain the specialist public sector knowledge and skills you need to advance in your career, including public policy, strategic management, leading change and new ways of working
  • Compare policy processes and outputs within specific fields, including health, education, welfare, economic development, defence, policing and intelligence
  • Complete a live strategic plan based on your own workplace that you can put into action in your existing or next role
  • Learn from academics with frontline public sector experience and hear from industry expert guest lecturers, including Members of Parliament and local authority experts
  • Have the opportunity to do a work-based placement with a local authority or public sector institution, such as Hampshire County Council or Portsmouth City Council
Careers and opportunities
This Master's in Public Administration is designed to turn ambitious public sector workers into managers and leaders within their field of public administration.
You'll gain the specialist skills, expertise and insight to pursue higher level public sector roles, as well as lifelong transferable skills that you'll be able to apply to complex issues, both systematically and creatively, throughout your career.
When you graduate, you'll be ready to seek new roles in public sector leadership and management, or to aim for promotion in your current public sector career. You'll be able to work with self-direction and originality, and contribute to public administration in local, regional or central government, or in an organisation working in partnership with the Government.
Graduates of this course have gone on to work in areas such as:
  • ministerial advice
  • central government policy units
  • government partner organisations
  • charitable foundations
  • Graduates of this course have gone on to work for organisations such as the:
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD)
  • European Union (EU)
  • Local Government Association (LGA)

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For information about fees and funding your studies, please visit: https://www.port.ac.uk/study/masters-and-postgraduate-taught/fees-and-funding

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPA
    full time
    12 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

1 year full time distance learning, 2 years part time distance learning

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566