Mode of StudyPart-time by distance learning
Duration2 years part-time by distance learning
Start dateSeptember 2023
Are you ready to take the next step in your central, regional or local government career? This 2-year senior leader MPA Public Administration Master’s degree apprenticeship allows you to build your skills and get your MPA qualification while you work full time.
The course is work-based, and you'll typically spend about 20% of your working week studying. You'll need to do some additional studying outside of work time. The Government or your employer pay your tuition fees – so it doesn’t cost you anything.
You’ll develop your strategic leadership and management capabilities and get the knowledge you need to take on ambitious new roles. You'll cover public policy, service and administration from inter-cultural, inter-professional and inter-organisational perspectives.
You'll also study specialist areas relating to public administration, such as the legal system and corporate governance, and learn transferable skills that will be valuable throughout your career. You’ll have many opportunities to put what you learn into practice, as you’ll be completing the course alongside your job.
When you finish the course, you'll have the confidence to take on more challenging leadership roles in the future and become more effective in your existing role.
Qualifications or experience
- A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. A strong profile of relevant professional experience and/or training and demonstration of academic ability to achieve at postgraduate level, will be considered.
- All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass – please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you may be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.
- Applicants may be subject to interview.
I'm an employer interested in this degree apprenticeship for my staff
There's more information for you about degree apprenticeships in general on our information for employers page, or you can contact us directly.
If you have an employee, or employees, in mind, that's great; if you are creating a new opening, we can help you shape and promote the role.
You and your employer
When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:
- You need to be 18 or over
- You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency:
- you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
- you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
- you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
- You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
- Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
- Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed
If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Critically examine how public policies are made and implemented
- Gain specialist knowledge in fields that match your career aspirations
- Learn how to solve complex issues with a creative approach
- Boost your ability to lead and manage strategically
- Cover topics such as citizenship, the legal system and corporate governance
- Compare policy processes and outputs in specific fields, including health, education, welfare, economic development, defence, policing and European integration
- Examine public policies, management systems and administrative systems from an international perspective
- Assess the effectiveness of public organisations
- Complete a personal project on a topic of your choice
- Get a learning manager from the University and a workplace mentor
- Access our Library resources, including electronic resources which you can accessed from anywhere with a web connection
- Have access to the University's student support services and community including study support and the Students’ Union
- Receive feedback from and take part in discussions with lecturers and other students
Careers and opportunities
You can put the skills you’ll learn on this course to use wherever your public administration career takes you.
Previous Portsmouth Public Administration students have gone on to take up senior roles in local and central governments, and with United Nations and other non-governmental organisations.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
What you'll study on this Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship (MPA Public Administration) degree course
On this course, you'll study modules worth a total of 180 credits. You'll study 2 modules in year 1 and 3 modules in year 2.
We’ll introduce you to different ways of delivering public services with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. You’ll develop an understanding of the impact of contextual forces on public organisations.
Modules currently being studied
Core modules in this year include:
- Public Management and Administration - 30 credits
- Strategic Public Management and Leading Effective Change - 30 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Comparative Public Policy - 30 credits
- Dissertation / Major Project - 60 credits
- Partnerships, Problems and Probity: Solving Complex Social Issues - 30 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you do this course via the campus-based route, you'll study alongside public sector professionals from around the world, giving you the chance to learn from both our qualified academic staff and experienced practitioners. As part of the course, you'll also attend talks by speakers from a variety of public bodies.
You'll also get an induction, master classes, and specialist talks on campus. We’ll support you through online tutorials, in person, on the phone or over Skype throughout the course.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- briefing documents
- analytical reports
- research-based projects
Course costs and funding
The course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £14,000 paid over 2 years.
The cost of End-Point Assessment (EPA) is included in the total tuition fees. Your employer will also need to pay the End Point Assessment (EPA) fee. The cost of the EPA varies. This is in addition to the tuition fees.
Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information about the EPA.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Additional course costs
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
I'm applying with my current employer
If you're already in full-time work, and your employer is interested in you studying this course, get them to contact us and we'll work out how to work together.
If your employer isn't interested yet, you might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.
Employer contact form Information for employers
I'm looking for a job with a Degree Apprenticeship role
If you're not in full-time employment, or your current employer is not interested in degree apprenticeships, you'll need to find a role that does offer a degree apprenticeship. You can search the gov.uk list of open degree apprenticeship vacancies, or contact us with your details and we'll let you know when degree apprenticeship vacancies come up.
When you apply for a role that includes one of our degree apprenticeships, you'll follow the company's standard recruitment process for the job, while we assess your academic suitability for the course.
Search degree apprenticeship roles (gov.uk) Contact us
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.