Public Administration, master, 2 år

  • Lengde2 År
  • Studieplassar15
  • SpråkEngelsk
  • StudiestartHaust
  • Studiepoeng120



The two year MPA program advances knowledge of organization and public policy through rigorous training in methodology and in addressing contemporary governance challenges. It is designed for students and young professionals to pursue and advance a career in public, private, and non-profit sectors.


The master's programme leads to the degree of Master of Philosophy in Public Administration (MPA). It is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits).

Mål og innhald

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.

Fagleg profil

Public Administration is the study of administration, organization and politics. As a field of study it has a political science orientation with particular emphasis on theories of democracy, organizations and organized action. The programme aims to develop knowledge of and insight into a) the relationship between organizations and individuals, and b) the relationship between organizations and their environments. It draws on theoretical and empirically-based research on formal organizations.


The MPA program develops analytical skills through application of relevant theories of organization and institutions and designing appropriate research methods to assess, diagnose, and address contemporary and complex governance and policy issues and their implications.


The MPA programme is characterized by pluralism of methodology. The students will be introduced to critical issues in the philosophy of the social sciences and the methodological basis for conducting scientific research. The students will receive training in different research strategies and have the possibility to choose between different methods particularly relevant to the theme and empirical foundation of their thesis.


The Master thesis enhances the ability to conduct independent and original research based on empirical data and develops skills in designing and presenting research findings in different venues with students, research community and practitioners.

The master thesis comprises a major part of the MPA degree. Students analyze contemporary issues in public policy, organizational change and development, administrative reforms, and governance challenges. It is empirical in its orientation where relevant theories and methodology are combined to analyze a social phenomenon

During the second year (3rd and 4th term), the students write the AORG351 Master's Thesis in close collaboration with their respective supervisors. Dissertation seminar may be arranged depending on the needs and progress of the thesis. The Master's Thesis shall be submitted in the fourth semester and the deadline for submission is 1st of June in the spring semester. Submitting on a different date may be granted based on individual application. The length of the AORG351 Master's Thesis is normally stipulated to about 120 typed pages, using 1.5 line spacing and font size of 12.

Studiestart - semester

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

Kva kan eg bli


Through scientific work and presentations students will have developed analytical skills and competence to work with and carry out research on organizational issues, democracy, politics, administration and service delivery. The competences acquired throughout the MPA are well suited for positions where organizational design and leadership are required, but also for management in public administration, private firms and voluntary organizations. The student will also be able to give advice on organizational issues in the private and public sectors.

Kva lærer eg


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


Oppbygging av studiet

Master's Programme in Public Administration (krav 120 SP)
Kursdel (krav 60 SP)
Obligatorisk emne
AORG320BOrganization Theory101
AORG322BPublic Policy101
AORG323BQualitative Methods101
AORG321BQuantitative Methods102
AORG332Forskingsdesign 102
Vel eitt av emna
AORG325Skjøn og paternalisme 102
AORG326Politisk organisering og flernivåstyring102
AORG327Kunnskap, politikk og styring102
AORG328Leadership in Organizational and Cultural Contexts102
Master Thesis (krav 60 SP)
Obligatorisk emne
AORG351Master's Thesis in Public Administration603–44
SP = Studiepoeng, S = Semester, A = Anbefalt semester

Korleis søke


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.


Follow the guidelines on how to apply depending on which applicant group you belong to.

Studiestart - semester

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

More information