About the Edinburgh MPA

NB: As of 3 September I work at Newcastle Business School and am no longer involved in the Edinburgh MPA. This text is presented purely as historical information about my previous role and should not be taken as current. For information about my current role please see the About Me section of this website.

Course aim

The Edinburgh MPA is a one year programme (2 years on a part-time basis) that aims to enable learners to build on their professional experience by engaging critically with, and reflecting on, key developments in public administration in order to more effectively deliver public service outcomes in a rapidly changing environment.

What is an MPA? Find out more here.

Course philosophy

The course is based on a philosophy of transformational learning and transformational change. Central to this is the role of public services in promoting social justice and equality. International examples will be used to provide thought provoking challenges to the way our public services are designed and delivered. Rather than reflect today’s public services, the state and society, the Edinburgh MPA aims to shape the public service landscape of tomorrow.

The student experience

The Edinburgh MPA offers an excellent student experience and includes an innovative ‘leadership exchange’ element, working with the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO), to enable all students to participate in an appropriate exchange within another public service organisation.

We benefit from being located in the administrative capital of Scotland. As such our students enjoy site visits to the Scottish Parliament and guest speakers come from across politics and public administration.

Course content

Students must undertake 6 modules (each 20 credits) plus a dissertation (60 credits) to complete the MPA.

Core modules:

  • International Trends in Public Administration
  • Gender and Equalities
  • Leading Change in Public Services
  • Workplace Learning (in association with ACOSVO)

Optional modules (students must take two):

  • Information Governance and Data Protection
  • Law and Public Administration
  • Multi-Level Governance in Europe
  • Social Justice and Critical Perspectives on the State
  • Strategic Internal Communications in a Digitized World

IMPORTANT NOTE: We continue to review and revise our MPA programme to make sure it is up-to-date and meets our student needs. As such the range of options and what options are available in any one academic year will vary. Please contact the co-directors for more information.

The timetable

Full-time students attend classes two days per week. In the first semester (September-December) they take International Trends in Public Administration; Gender and Equalities and Leading Change in Public Services. In the second semester (January-April) they take Workplace Learning (in association with ACOSVO) and two optional modules.

Part-time students attend classes one day per week. In the first semester (September-December in Year One) they take International Trends in Public Administration. In the second semester (January-April in Year One) they take an optional module. In the third semester (September-December of Year Two) they take Gender and Equalities and Leading Change in Public Services. Finally, in their fourth semester (January-April in Year Two) they take Workplace Learning (in association with ACOSVO) and their final optional module.

Each semester involves ten weeks of contact which is supported by online resources and independent learning. Classes tend to be scheduled for Thursday’s and Friday’s though this may vary.


We work closely with employers to ensure the practical relevance of our MPA programme. As an MPA graduate you can expect to gain employment in a range of governmental and charitable organisations. A recent survey showed that MPA graduates reported an average salary increase of 31% (see here).

Student testimonials

Find our what our students say about the programme by reading this interview.

More information

You can find out more about the MPA by listing your details in the below form:

You can also learn more about the Edinburgh MPA via the following links:

Edinburgh MPA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EdinburghMPA/

Edinburgh MPA Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdinburghMPA

Edinburgh MPA Website: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/courses/PGCourse.cfm?c_id=277

Edinburgh MPA FindaMasters Page: https://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i193d2166c40821/master-of-public-administration-mpa

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