Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration will enable you to gain a wealth of relevant knowledge and skills required for a rapidly developing state in Africa.

1.5 years
NQF Level 9
180 credits

Key features

  • Accredited and Registered
  • Cutting-edge curriculum
  • Flexible structure
  • Online support
  • Affordable and Accessible
  • Internationally benchmarked
  • Multicultural Faculty and support
  • MPA Degree distance learning


The MANCOSA Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is a highly regarded programme providing postgraduate training for employees in the public sector and the non-government organisation (NGO) sectors. It seeks to blend a traditional Master’s level qualification with the practical skills needed for the public sector environment.

The MANCOSA Master of Public Administration degree programme also offers students a wealth of relevant knowledge and skills required for a rapidly developing state in Africa. The programme will provide access to higher education for people who choose careers in the field of public management, commerce and business management and provide a vertical articulation pathway from the existing MANCOSA Bachelor of Public Administration and Bachelor of Public Administration Honours programmes.

The MANCOSA Master of Public Administration programme is varied in its content and style and is academically challenging and stimulating as an NQF level 9 qualification. The MPA examines the inter-relationship between public, private and non-governmental sectors, where relevant, and particularly focuses on the new public management context which emphasises issues such as good governance and administration.

The MPA brings together a select and relatively small group of students from a range of nationalities and with different experiences, together with academics and adjunct academics with extensive experience of working in the public sector.


The MANCOSA MPA Programme:

  • Apply specialist technical knowledge, of the theory, principles and practice of service to the public, including make appropriate interventions
  • Demonstrate specialist knowledge of public administration to engage with, critique and improve current practices
  • Analyse and evaluate conceptual (theoretical) and contextual (applied) approaches to financial management, economics and planning in the public sector
  • Synthesise, analyse, and apply relevant research, public policy, theories and principles of public administration, including the application of research methods and techniques to critically evaluate public programmes and policy alternatives, including providing solutions to complex practical or theoretical problems
  • Synthesise the concepts associated with ethical behaviour and social responsibility, including demonstrating competence to make autonomous ethical decisions, which engages students in a meaningful effort to effect ethical public service, drive social change and promote social justice
  • Critically evaluate leadership qualities, analyse and apply the rule of law in administrative procedures, as well as diverse roles in effective administrative decision making
  • Understand and apply ethical implications of decisions and actions across diverse cultural, political, and temporal perspectives and be prepared to choose and act with integrity in their careers
  • Evaluate the process for sustainable planning for change and the various means of production in the public sector, provide independent leadership on ways to maximise public sector efficiency and effectiveness.

Programme structure

Duration: 1.5 years

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Public Policy Development Analysis
  • Strategic Public Sector Governance
  • Research Methodology and Applied Statistical Techniques

Semester 2

  • Public Administration and Development Management Theory
  • Advanced Financial Management in the Public Sector
  • Programme Planning and Project Management

Year 2

Elective: Choose 1 module:

  • Public Sector Leadership and Change Management
  • Professional Ethics for Public Service Managers
  • Development Economics
  • Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
  • Sustainability and Disaster Management


  • Dissertation

Admission requirements

  • An Honours Degree or Postgraduate Diploma; or
  • A Bachelors NQF level 8 degree; and
  • Five years working experience, of which two years are in a supervisory/managerial capacity.

It is possible in exceptional circumstances to gain entry to the programme on the basis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For further information on this alternative admissions route, contact a student consultant at MANCOSA.


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MANCOSA serves as an innovation hub for executive education, undergraduate and postgraduate management programmes to meet the requirements of professionals in both the private and public sectors.

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