Online Masters of Public Administration

Russell Group member

Bronze Athena SWAN

60% international students

INLOGOV-led programme1

Make Birmingham yours

Complete the form below for detailed programme and pricing information and to be contacted by phone and email.

Early bird discount

We are excited to be offering a 10% early bird discount from the first module for the October 2024 intake to those who have accepted an unconditional offer and are registered on the programme by 27th September 2024.

Make positive changes in the public sector

Advance with world-class learning at a top-100, leading university

As some of the best UK public administrators partner together through COVID-19 and beyond,2 a masters of public administration could be the right degree for you to earn. You’ll master skills that help large populations to heal. You can become a partner to start to rebuild fragile economies and fractured health systems through the learning you receive from a prestigious and trusted institution. The University of Birmingham’s Masters of Public Administration degree offers a convenient online format so that you can start working toward a better tomorrow today, applying your learnings in real-time in your current role. With advanced knowledge, you’ll be able to make positive changes as we look at life together through a global lens.

The University of Birmingham has the strength and variety of programmes to suit your individual needs and interests, backed by the academic expertise and influence, support and facilities of a top 100 public research and teaching university. You’ll benefit from both academic and personal development to achieve success and ensure your degree is an asset in your future prospects.

“Studying online has many advantages which include being able to study from the comfort of my own home, at times of my own choosing, with all the appropriate readings for each lesson available online. I also have the opportunity to get to interact with fellow ‘classmates’ via discussion forums and online webinars.”

Sharon Clayton, Online Graduate

More knowledge equals a better prepared public servant

Drawing on real-world expertise from both lecturers and external experts, the University of Birmingham Masters of Public Administration (MPA) online programme covers topics from leadership and governance to partnership strategy and public policy. This broad range of subject matter ensures the programme is relevant to your day-to-day work. By the time you graduate, you’ll have mastered how public management and governance work so you can navigate managerial leadership and global governance and turn theoretical knowledge into real-world scenarios. Below is a sample of what you’ll study through reading, interactive live lectures, discussion forums and group activities in an engaging, online format.

Public management and governance in a changing world

Gain an overview of the development and dynamics of management and the governance of public services. Focus on the role of the state in societies around the world and contemporary issues in the delivery of services by governments.

Leadership in public services

Learn the importance of leadership in public management and positions within government. Discuss the changing nature of leadership challenges in public service globally and develop effective and applicable leadership skills which you can apply to your career immediately.

Democracy, governance and participation

Develop a strong understanding of the theories that influence representative democracy and the challenges in changing societies around the world. Cover new forms of participation and models of government, both traditional and emerging.

Managing in a political environment

Study the role of political leadership in public management as well as the role of public sector managers in supporting this leadership, including the provision of expert advice. Apply the skills needed to manage the interface between political and managerial leadership.

Entry requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Online Masters of Public Administration, you will need to have obtained (or be predicted to obtain) an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university OR an equivalent qualification from a recognised institution.

International students

If English is not your first language, you will need to also supply an up-to-date English language certificate. We accept up-to-date Academic IELTS certificates with a score of 6.5, and no less than 6.0 in any of the elements.

A leader in distance learning

Enjoy the convenient online format offered by a world top-100 university and the 4th best university for Online Learning in the UK Uswitch 2022. You’ll be led by the same leading lecturers and faculty experts who instruct on campus. They’ll guide you through flexible online modules, immersive activities and lively discussions. Learn wherever, whenever it’s convenient, and graduate poised to step into your desired role with new knowledge and skills. We’ll even support you in your job search with our Careers Network, linking you to global opportunities to launch or elevate your career.

Start dates

February | June | October


2.5 years


The estimated total cost of this programme is £14,625. You can pay in full or in instalments of £1,125 on a module by module basis. All costs are listed to help you make an informed decision.

Programme fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change each academic year. The fees listed above are for the academic year 2024-25.

Learning Pathways

If you’re unable to commit to the full MPA programme, there are alternative qualification routes. You can exit with one of the following credentials:

  • Postgraduate Certificate — 60 Credits, 1 Year
  • Post-graduate Diploma — 120 Credits, 2 Years

Expand your public administration skills, one course at a time.

Lasting just eight weeks, short courses in Public Administration allow for you to specialise in a particular area of public service, completing with a microcredential certificate worth 10 master’s credits.

Shape communities in public or private sectors

Your goal is to help people, and with a masters of public administration degree, you can enter myriad roles with lucrative compensation. Depending on your interests and goals, you can enter an array of agencies with your MPA, including but not limited to the EPA, EEOC, FDIC, FEMA, NASA, NRC, SBA and more.3

Top 10 jobs for public administrators

  1. Strategic change manager
  2. Policy lead
  3. Policy and performance lead
  4. Senior policy officer
  5. Finance secretary
  6. Corporate officer
  7. Town clerk
  8. QA officer
  9. Assistant director of corporate services
  10. Regional security officer

Learn more today!

Request Info


  1. “UK’s leading academic centre on local governance and strategic public management.” Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV). Retrieved on June 21, 2021 from
  2. “Covid-19 and Beyond: Lessons from the Crisis.” Centre for Partnering Group. Retrieved on June 21, 2021 from
  3. “The Best Public Administration Careers for 2021.” Retrieved on June 21, 2021 from