Skip to main content

Postgraduate taught

MPA Master of Public Administration

UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
Up to 3 years part time
Entry year 2020

Professor Oliver James
Web: Enquire online 
0300 555 6060 (UK)  
+44 (0)1392 723192 (non-UK)

Entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

View full entry requirements

Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations


  • We take an international perspective to equip you with the skills and understanding you need to operate effectively in an increasingly global and constantly changing environment
  • You will benefit from the latest ideas on public policy, administration and regulation while learning alongside practitioners working in a variety of roles and organisations from the UK and overseas
  • The involvement of leading practitioners from the public sector, together with real world case studies, ensures learning is relevant and informed by best practice
  • Our comprehensive programme induction helps you adjust to postgraduate study and enables you to get to know the academic team and your fellow students in a relaxed and informal environment
  • Gain a qualification which is recognised around the world and is taken seriously not only by prospective employers but also by organisations who want to retain and progress skilled managers

Apply online

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

Get a prospectus

5th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research

Research Excellent Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 3* and 4*

11th for Politics in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Top 100 worldwide for the subject in the QS World University Rankings 2020

Entry requirements

A good Honours Degree (2:1 or above) and experience of working at a managerial level in a public sector organisation. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience or professional qualifications, we would welcome your application.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

  • Pearson

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Individuals who do not meet the criteria may be required to submit examples of work or to participate in an interview. 

Candidates for the MPA with Applied Study must have proof of employment in and sponsorship from a public sector organisation. Entry to this programme will be agreed between the University and the sponsoring organisation. 

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Read more

Course content

The MPA at Exeter is designed to help you meet the challenge of shaping and delivering effective public services. It 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, financial crisis management, anticipating and responding to change, performance management, governance and ethical practice, risk and decision-making and sustainability.

The MPA is run with expertise from senior civil servants and leading financial consultants. It 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 advised organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Commission, the Department of Work and Pensions, the OECD and the Treasury.

While equipping you with core skills, the MPA with Applied Studies 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 modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


UK/EU fees per year:

£18,600 full-time; pro-rate credit-based part-time

International fees per year:

£18,600 full-time; pro-rate credit-based part-time

With Applied Study

Prospective students enrolling in 2020/21 will pay £25,000 tuition fees in total. Year 1: £18,875, Year 2: £6,125 (9 months)

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes


Teaching and research

Programme structure

Depending on your choice of options, either the majority or your entire course will be delivered in intensive teaching blocks.

Intensive modules will consist of:

  • Preparation period of one week (guided readings and preparatory research)
  • 3-4 days of intensive seminars, lectures/talks and workshops
  • Post-teaching period (reflection, task completion, preparation of assessed work)
  • Fast marking turn-around with individual feedback

Teaching methods

Content and delivery will include not only traditional teaching methods, such as lectures, seminars and workshops, but depending on your choice of modules may involve: 

  • Task-oriented work including case-study work
  • Computer networked experiments, simulations or models
  • Reflective journals and the negotiation of learning contracts
  • Presentations from visiting speakers such as senior civil servants, chief executives, leading consultants and public figures
  • Field trips to local, regional and national public bodies such as the Welsh Assembly 

You will benefit from excellent online learning resources including lecture notes, articles, and presentations. Some work can also be submitted and marked online.


The programme includes an induction to introduce you to the Exeter MPA and help you adjust to postgraduate study. We will provide practical help and advice on subjects such as study and research skills and time management and be available to answer any of your questions. You will have the chance get to know the academic team and your fellow students in a relaxed and informal environment.

Read more

I had been serving my country as a public official at the Office of the Judiciary under the Court of Justice of Thailand for almost six years before I started the MPA. I would certainly recommend the Exeter MPA to someone who considering studying in the field of public administration.

The programme is dynamic and open for independent study. Modules are kept up-to-date with the current challenges in public administration, and are well facilitated with the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE), giving access to all essential materials students need online.

The Exeter MPA is an excellent programme to personally transform you by learning and sharing ideas and experience with the Faculty, your classmates and other members in the community at Exeter. If you are looking for change in your life for a brighter future, or a way to contribute positive change in your career or organisation, the Exeter MPA programme is the right programme for you.

Read more from Kritsanant


Master of Public Administration graduate from Thailand

Information for employers and sponsors

Employer benefits

The range of opportunities offered by the core and elective modules allows participants to plot a course which best matches your immediate business priorities as well as individuals’ professional development needs. Your organisation will benefit from:

  • A training programme which has been awarded a place to supply the UK public sector by the Crown Commercial Service
  • Increased knowledge and skills relevant to management competencies
  • An understanding of key skills that underpin the requirements of modernising public sector organisations
  • Enhanced knowledge and skills in strategic financial management and delivering efficiencies
  • Best practice solutions to issues faced by public sector organisations in the UK and overseas

Working together

We are keen to work with you to help you and your managers get the best out of the Exeter MPA and have a good track record of collaborating with sponsors and employers.

We have worked successfully with national and regional government departments to provide training to groups of middle and senior managers. Our expertise in this area includes teaching public administration to cohorts of students from government bodies in Korea and Turkey, in addition to arranging bespoke training on specific issues such as auditing and ethics.

Organisations we have worked with

We have experience of delivering continuous professional development programmes to organisations such as the armed forces, police service and education authorities. We also have experience of catering for individual students who have been sponsored by employers such as local government, the emergency services and the not-for-profit sector.

How we can support your organisation

We aim to take a flexible approach to programme delivery and will be happy to discuss any specific requirements such as: 

  • Agreeing learning outcomes
  • Negotiating work-based projects to deliver business improvements
  • Tailoring assessment around specific management competencies
  • On-site training
  • Single module delivery or bespoke training
  • Competitive fee packages for groups of students from the same employer


Read more


We have a long history of teaching public administration and public policy to postgraduates at Exeter. Students have gone on to careers in regional governments, ministries, embassies and other organisations around the world.

Employer-valued skills

The need to develop management and leadership skills is being recognised as increasingly important within the public sector and this has been reflected by the introduction of management competencies and a growing demand for formal qualifications for senior management positions.

There are many reasons to study for the Exeter MPA including: 

  • Enhancing your opportunities for career progression
  • Obtaining a wider perspective of the environment in which you work
  • Developing strategic decision making and leadership skills
  • Improving your confidence and credibility in the workplace
  • Gaining more knowledge about other people and other organisations
  • Networking and sharing experiences with public sector colleagues 

Careers support

Our careers advisory service provides expert guidance to all students to enable them to plan their futures through psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.

Read more