Course Structure

Course Structure

The MPA is designed as a course-work Masters. Students are required to complete a total of 8 modules of which 5 are core and 3 are electives. In addition a mini-thesis has to be submitted.


Core modules:

  • MPA 811 :Theoretical and Comparative Approaches to Governance, Public Administration and Public Management
  • MPA 812 :Advanced Public Policy Analysis and Management
  • MPA 813 :Global, Regional and Domestic Context of Governance and Public Administration in Contemporary South Africa
  • MPA 814 :Research Methods and Skills
  • MPA 815 :Research Seminar

Elective Modules (Choose 3):

  • MPA 816 :Programme and Project Management in the Public Sector
  • MPA 817 :Public Sector Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • MPA 818 :Managing Change in the Public Sector
  • MPA 819 :Public Finance and Budgeting
  • MPA 821 :Administrative Law
  • MPA 822 :Development Policy, Planning and Management
  • MPA 823 :Urban Development
  • MPA 824 :Rural Development
  • MPA 825 :Gender and Development Management
  • MPA 826 :Intergovernmental Relations
  • MPA 827 :Local Government Planning and Management
  • MPA 828 :Citizenship, Democracy and Development
  • MPA 829 :Bureaucracy and Democracy


Mode of Delivery:

The mode of instruction takes the form of intensive 2-3 week teaching blocks which will be held four times a year (in February, April, July and September). This should prove particularly attractive to part-time students, especially those who do not reside permanently in the Cape Town area.
In terms of contact with students in between the blocks, full-time students will keep in regular contact with staff, and will be encouraged to attend seminars and workshops. Part-time students who reside outside of Cape Town will keep in regular contact with staff via e-mail. The School is also in the process of building its distance and e-learning capabilities.
In line with the professional as well as academic orientation of the MPA degree, use will be made of experiential and interactive teaching and learning methodologies. These will include seminars, syndicate groups, case studies, role-play exercises and other activities, designed to develop critical thinking, problem solving and other related skills and competencies relevant to real working situations in the public sector. The use of such methodologies should help to ensure that the curriculum, whilst intensive and challenging for students, is not "over-taught" and does not become overly content-driven in character. At the same time, the increased practical focus of the course will not be achieved at the expense of academic excellence and theoretical understanding. A balanced and mutually reinforcing mix of practical and theoretical knowledge is one of the main aims of the new degree. In addition to the School's own experienced academic staff, lecturers from other departments and units, as well as practitioners from the public sector, will also be invited to contribute to lectures and seminars.

Contact Details UWC:

Belinda Du Plessis
School of Government, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road
Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
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