Skip to main content

Postgraduate Taught

MPA Master of Public Administration

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
Up to 3 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations

Dr Stephen Greasley
Web: Enquire online
0300 555 6060 (UK)
+44 (0)1392 723192 (non-UK)

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • Engage with big questions of how government should respond to public pressure and key issues facing the public sector such as effective leadership, performance management, governance and decision-making
  • 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
  • Learn from research-active academics, together with real-world case studies, ensuring 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

View 2024 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

Get a prospectus


Programme Director: Dr Stephen Greasley

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 20 for Public Administration in the Shanghai Rankings of Academic Subjects 2022

Employability focussed

Top 10 in the UK for Politics

9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Top 100 in the world for Politics

QS World University Subject Rankings 2024

Entry requirements

We are looking for students with a good Honours Degree (2:1 or above) in a social science subject (including Business and Management) ideally with experience of working in government or in public policy more broadly. If you have not worked in public policy or administration you should use your personal statement to demonstrate your commitment to a career in public service and we will consider your application.

If you have a high 2.2 and do have experience of working in government or the public sector we would also welcome an application from you.

Please note, if we receive an application which we deem more suitable for one of our other programmes, such as the MSc Public Policy, we may make an offer for that alternative programme instead.

The applied studies programme is designed for public officials who are sponsored by the organisation they work for (for example their department) and is available if your organisation has an agreement with the University, otherwise please apply to the one year MPA.

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

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

You will study a range of MPA specific modules which introduce you to general ideas about the design and operation of government, the process of policy making, as well as some specific policy issues and tools. You will engage with big questions of how government should respond to public pressure, understand and solve policy problems while at the same time getting into the details of particular challenges facing government.

Small group teaching provides opportunities to network with practitioners working in a variety of roles and organisations from the UK and overseas. As well as providing you with a strong background in the study of government and policy the programme offers the opportunity for you to explore cutting edge ideas related to behavioural public policy, sustainable development, diversity in government and systems thinking.

The MPA equips you with core skills. Mid-career professionals with government sponsorship can take the extended MPA with Applied Studies which provides you with the opportunity to research and seek solutions to issues and challenges you face in the workplace. You will also study in more depth topics such as such as leadership, change management, policy appraisal, and evidence-based policy.

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.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time

With Applied Study

Prospective students enrolling in 2024/25 will pay £30,300 tuition fees in total. Year 1: £24,300, Year 2: £6,000 (9 months).


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

Programme structure

Your course will normally be delivered in a mix of intensive teaching blocks and weekly sessions, this depends on the specific module selected.

Intensive modules will consist of:

  • A preparation period (guided readings and preparatory research)
  • Three to four days of intensive seminars, lectures/talks and workshops spread over up to three weeks
  • Post-teaching period (reflection, task completion, preparation of assessed work)

Non-intensive modules meet once a week through term time.

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
  • Reflective journals, presentations from visiting speakers with public sector experience
  • Field trips to local or regional public bodies

You will benefit from excellent online learning resources including lecture notes, articles, and presentations.


The programme includes an induction to welcome 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 be available to answer any of your questions.

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:

  • 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 policy making and delivery
  • The latest thinking on 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. In each year of the degree, we have welcomed students with extensive experience working in the public sector and on policy issues.

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 of sponsoring organisations such as:

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

Read more


Who is this course for?

This degree is most suitable for applicants with experience of working in public management or governance broadly defined, for example:

  • national, regional and local governments and their partner organisations
  • not-for profit bodies
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • charities
  • companies working with government
  • consultancies
  • think tanks
  • research institutes
  • campaigning organisations

Many of our students have already embarked on a career in public service, but we do accept students who have demonstrated a commitment to a role and career in public governance, NGOs, and international organisations.


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