Study plan for MASV-PUBAD Master's Programme in Public Administration , spring 2018

Language of Instruction



Admission to the MPA program takes place only in the autumn semester.

Objectives and content

The objective of the Master of Philosophy in Public Administration (MPA) is to enhance the students' ability to conduct independent analyses of organizations, political and administrative structures and processes, and public policy. The programme strengthens students' analytical skills and provides a comprehensive training in methodology. Participation in various seminars and individual writing ensure that the motivation for and ability to work independently in an academic or a professional setting is enhanced.

The MPA Programme is equivalent to four semesters of study after completion of an undergraduate degree.

The programme is aimed at international self-financed students.

Exchange students under the Erasmus agreement and other guest students who fulfill academic requirements may on application be admitted to one or more courses in the programme.

Required Learning Outcomes

A candidate who has completed the MPA program should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The candidate

  • Has developed advanced knowledge of "the state of the art" as well as recent developments in the field of public policy, organizational and institutional theory, and governance
  • Can use the knowledge in analyzing contemporary policy and governance issues and can provide empirical and theoretical analysis on the basis of the history and distinct character of the academic field
  • Discuss basic concepts and methods of the discipline and identify relationships between theory and data
  • Can explain the relevance of both qualitative and quantitative methods in political science and public administration and discuss the relevance of positivistic, hermeneutic and discursive approaches as well as experimental research
  • Can discuss and critically evaluate the empirical works of others
  • Has obtained systematic knowledge of recent theoretical developments and research on organizations, public administration, public policy and governance.
  • Can analyze public policy and governance on the basis of organizational and institutional theories.
  • Has received rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as experimental method to conduct research in these fields of study.
  • Develops ability to discuss others' research in terms of choice of theories, use of methodology, and analysis of data.


The candidate

  • Has developed critical thinking and can conduct independent analysis in assessing, diagnosing and addressing policy and governance related issues and challenges
  • Can use organizational and institutional theories in conducting one's own research
  • Can provide critical analyses and applications of existing theories, methodological approaches and empirical work within the research field
  • Argue and apply different methods both qualitative and quantitative in research design and empirical analyses
  • Can use the knowledge to develop and conduct independent research
  • Has developed ability to critically think and conduct independent analysis of contemporary public policy and governance related issues and challenges.
  • Has developed ability to interpret theories and empirical based research and apply these in order to conduct one's own research.
  • Can carry out literature review and discuss critically different traditions, perspectives, and theories of organization and institutions for conducting an independent research.
  • Can discuss and argue for the choice of both qualitative and quantitative methodology in one's own and others' research.
  • Integrate different methods for developing a well-founded research design.

General competence

The candidate

  • Can discuss, analyze and apply the course materials to answer relevant research questions and objectives
  • Can apply the knowledge and skills to various and new areas of public policy and governance
  • Can make independent and professional assessments of relevant organizations and institutional arrangements
  • Can communicate and identify relevant problem issues and how to analyze them with regard to public policy and governance to different stakeholders of public policy and administration
  • Can contribute to the theoretical development of the academic field and the application of different methods in conducting research
  • Can provide practical applications of theory through written and oral presentations and in discussions with relevant actors in public policy and administration
  • Can independently discuss, argue, analyze and use different concepts and theories to answer research questions and address research objectives in the fields of public policy and governance
  • Can contribute to the development of scientific theory as well as to apply different research methods in conducting independent research
  • Can discuss and disseminate knowledge of the subject matter to students, academics and practitioners of public administration
  • Apply various perspectives of philosophy of science in research design and in one's own research
  • Discuss and argue for the choice of a particular research method as well as choice of different strategies of data analysis

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the M-Phil programme in Public Administration applicants must normally have obtained an undergraduate degree or Bachelor's degree of 4 years' duration, or have an equivalent educational background. The undergraduate degree must include 1, 5 years of full-time studies in relevant courses such as:

  • Political Science or related subjects
  • Public Administration
  • Organization Theory

All candidates will also be selected on the basis of achievements in previous studies. Admission is competitive; applicants should have excellent academic records. Minimum 2 nd Class, Upper Division/B or the equivalent is normally required in order to be considered for admission.

Teaching and supervision is conducted in English, applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide documentation of English language proficiency. If you are a native English speaker you are not required to provide a proficiency test. You are considered to be a native speaker of English if you are from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, The UK, USA or South Africa.

Sequential Requirements, courses

In the first semester, i.e. the autumn semester (August-December), students are required to complete three compulsory courses/seminars, in Public Policy (AORG322B), Organization Theory (AORG320B) and Qualitative Methods (AORG323B).

In the second semester (January-June), students are required to complete one compulsory course in Quantitative Methods (AORG 321B) and two compulsory seminars, viz. the seminars in Research Design (AORG332), and Research Field (AORG333). In the second semester there will be an assessment of students┬┤ ability to continue with the program.

In the third and fourth semester the students write the master thesis (AORG351).

Assessment methods

Combination of essay, School exam, home exam, oral exam and submission of a thesis

Grading scale

Grading A-F

Administrative responsibility

Dept. of Administration and Organization Theory

Christiesgt. 17, N-5007 Bergen

e-mail: post@aorg.uib.no

tel: + 4755582190

fax: + 4755589890