A flexible MPA that can be studied from anywhere in the world
This programme has been designed to break down geographical barriers to study with entirely online delivery that ensures it can be studied from anywhere in the world, from any location, on desktop or mobile devices.
It is a Masters degree that has been specifically designed for the busy lives of working professionals, with academic content accessible at the times that suit you, enabling you to study around your work and family life. You can apply what you learn to your role as you study and continue to progress in your career in parallel. You will study in an interactive online learning environment and collaborate with fellow students from all over the world, providing a unique opportunity to grow your global professional network.
You will learn with our highly experienced team of experts from a Department that is globally recognised for excellence in research and teaching in this field. In 2021, the University of York was proud to be ranked 22nd in the world for social policy and administration in the QS World University rankings.
What you will study
Drawing from contemporary scholarship and current practitioner approaches used across the globe, you will learn how to analyse and influence multi-stakeholder policy processes and lead development projects, programmes and organisations. Designed for development practitioners in governmental and non-governmental organisations in the UK and internationally, this online course prepares you to meet the challenges of development in complex and demanding contexts.
Career opportunities and progression
This programme enables you to develop your knowledge and skills in the field of international development, public administration and public policy. It enables you to take on roles with higher degrees of leadership responsibility and strategic impact. York MPA graduates go on to a wide range of roles, including in government, international NGOs and charities, the NHS, leading consultancies and accountancy firms, universities, banks, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- Part of the elite Russell Group of major research-intensive universities
- Ranked Top 20 in the UK (THE World University Rankings 2021)
- 22nd in the world for Social Policy and Administration (QS World University Rankings 2021)
- Top of the Russell Group for academic support (NSS 2020)
- Over 20,000 students and 4,000 staff from 150 countries
- Top 150 in the world (QS World University rankings 2021)
- Ranked 10th for research impact (Times Higher Education’s ranking of the most recent Research Excellence Framework)
- Students should normally have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and the professional experience outlined below.
- If they don't have experience of undergraduate study or only of a lower standard, the application may be considered if they have a suitable professional background, as outlined below.
- Students should have professional experience in the public policy/public service/public administration/international development field. This could be in roles in local or national government, or in non-governmental, intergovernmental or international organisations, the voluntary and charitable sector, and private sector roles which support or deliver public services or which interact with policy making. The extent of experience should be at least on an early career level, with some degree of involvement in organisational decision making or with a clear career path towards such responsibilities.
- If you earned your undergraduate degree outside of the UK, you should check that it is equivalent to a 2:1. Our country specific pages can help you to find out.
- If English isn’t your first language you may need to provide evidence of your ability, such as:
- IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
- PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
- CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
- TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
- Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components
- Duolingo – minimum overall score of 115
You need to have completed the test within two years of the start date of your programme. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.
- You will not need to provide evidence of your English language abilities:
- If you’re from a specified majority English-speaking country
- If you’ve completed a degree in English in a specified country within two years of your intended start date
Global Poverty & Inequality
In spite of efforts to reduce global poverty and a stronger awareness of the unequal distribution of wealth, poverty and inequality remain as substantive social problems. This module looks at the causes and drivers of global poverty, and provides you with the skills to analyse both the problems themselves and the policies that seek to tackle them.
Theories of Development Governance
This module examines the concept of ‘good governance’ in development discourse and practice, exploring the theoretical debates and practical implications of the good governance agenda in the Global South.
Social and Political Issues in Development
This module introduces the key themes and concepts within the field of international development, highlighting their evolution up to the formulation of the sustainable development goals, and exploring the impact of actors and organisations on development discourse and practice.
Ethical Social Leadership & Public Value
Social leadership is crucial for ensuring ethical conduct of organisations as well as for the pursuit of public value. This module introduces you to the importance of ethical social leadership, how it is developed, and how it can contribute to the pursuit of organisational ethics as well as wider public value.
Leading and Managing Change
This module explores the theory and practice of managing change in organisational contexts. The overall aim is to develop your capacity and confidence not only in initiating and responding to change, but in taking control of change situations, helping you to deal more effectively with change within your own organisation.
Policy Analysis for a Complex World
This module explores and analyses the complexity inherent in contemporary social and public policy development and reform. It critically examines the role of ideas, interests, institutions and actors in the policy process and explores the wider social, economic and political processes that shape contemporary policy making. It equips you with the conceptual and analytical tools to undertake advanced applied policy analysis in a range of local, national and international policy settings.
Social protection is about enabling individuals to deal with risks they can hardly manage by themselves, in order to create conditions for a degree of social wellbeing. Social protection may look different from country to country, but there are a range of underlying principles and challenges that apply in any case, and that are explored systematically in this module.
Public-Private Partnerships in Public Services
The delivery of many public services involves a partnership between the public and the private or voluntary sector, which creates both opportunities and challenges. This module unpacks these, and equips you with the knowledge and skills to critically evaluate public-private partnerships in their many guises.
Exploring Policy Research
Effective policy-making and public administration depend on good research. This module enables you to critically reflect on the strengths, limitations and appropriateness of different research approaches and techniques, and you acquire the skills needed to evaluate and commission research for public policy and administration contexts.
This module prepares you for your Independent Study Project. It outlines the requirements for this project, covers key advice for its successful completion, and provides support in developing a precise and detailed plan, enabling you to start effectively on your study project in the following term.
Independent Study Project
The Independent Study Project is designed to assess your ability to define and investigate a researchable question or thesis, drawing on academic knowledge and skills acquired during your studies as well as your own professional experiences and practice.