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Public Management

The Programme
The MA – Public Management is a two-year, part-time programme that combines instruction in key subjects in public management with an opportunity for students to research and write about a specific topic in the public management field. It aims to raise the level of analysis of Irish public management and to develop more efficient and resourceful public sector managers.

On completing the first year of the programme, students receive the interim award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management. Six modules are covered in the first year, three before Christmas and three after. Students study course material and attend intensive weekend seminars at the IPA campus. The second year of the course is devoted to the preparation of a dissertation on a topic of particular relevance to a student's professional life. Working under the guidance of an IPA supervisor, students apply the ideas and principles they encountered in their first year to an agreed public management issue. In so doing, they obtain significant, transferable competencies and skills in research and critical analysis.

The research methods module that students take in their first year helps prepare them for the dissertation phase. Their abilities to research and write a postgraduate thesis are further developed through a four-day seminar/workshop at the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe.

Is this programme for you?
This programme is suitable for students working in all parts of the public sector, from large central government departments and local authorities to small public agencies. The programme is delivered through a blend of distance education and intensive weekend seminars and workshops at the IPA. Students can, therefore, pursue this programme no matter where they live and can remain in full-time employment.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants for Postgraduate Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, MA, MEconSc and MSc programmes must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.


Two academic years.

Delivery Method
A blend of distance learning and weekend seminars at the IPA campus in Dublin.

Careers or further progression

Students may enter the first year of the MA (Postgraduate Diploma) in September or January. Those who enter in September can, on successful completion of the academic year, proceed to the second year. Those who enter in January can finish within the calendar year and proceed to the second year the following September.

Further enquiries

Tel: +353 1 240 3600

Subjects taught

Year One
Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management
Interim Award
The first year of the MA programme is divided into two
semesters and each semester is devoted to the study of three
key subjects in public management. (See pages 10-11 for more
details on the subjects).

Semester One
• Economics
• Managing Human Resources
• Finance

Semester Two
• Organisation and Strategy
• Research Methods
• Managing Service Delivery/Managing in Europe

Year Two
In the second year of the programme, students write a dissertation. The topic they address will be relevant to their professional formation and interests and determined on foot of advice and support from their IPA supervisor. A seminar at the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe —which takes place at the start of the academic year—prepares students for their research.


Accreditation: National University of Ireland
Place on NFQ: Level 9 (Major Award).
Award: Master of Arts
Interim Award: Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management

Students who commence an IPA programme in the academic year 2018-2019 will graduate with a qualification accredited by the National University of Ireland (NUI). IPA postgraduate programmes sit between levels eight and ten on the ten-point National Framework of Qualifications.

Assessment method

Students are assessed by means of assignments, examinations and a dissertation.

Application date

Apply Online from August 2018, students can apply online at

Apply by Post
Please complete the application form and return it to the IPA, together with:
• One copy of your degree or relevant qualification
• One passport-type photograph
• The semester fee or
• A letter from your employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA.

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.

Course fee

The cost of the programme is €5,000 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees, all seminars, textbooks and course material), payable in two instalments.

Fees cover seminars, distance education manuals, essential textbooks and matriculation and examination charges. When fees are being paid by the participant's employer, the IPA will
invoice the fee for each semester separately.

Enrolment and start dates

Commences: September 2018.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!