MASTER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

The Master in Public Administration (MPA) is a 1.5-year full-time program designed for professionals seeking rigorous education and training in public administration. 

The mission of MPA program is to provide mid/senior level practitioners with academic and professional education which will inform their working practices and raise the standard of governance in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

The Program schedule implies an evening/weekend learning format which is designed to fit any lifestyle helping students to integrate their studies with personal and/or professional responsibilities.

Program Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the Program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Utilize theories, research and leadership skills to examine a wide variety of private and public problems;
  2. Analyse and evaluate how the network of agencies is organized and the interrelationships between private, public and non-profit organizations;
  3. Analyse the impact of social, economic, political forces on private, public and non-profit institutions;
  4. Develop management strategies, and maintain professional and ethical integrity;
  5. Utilize the knowledge of financial, legal, marketing, and human resource issues of organizations;
  6. Use information technology to improve organizational management and administration;
  7. Evaluate, interpret and communicate information;
  8. Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.

The Program structure includes the following key components:

  1. Orientation Week. It is the first week in MPA program. The purpose is to prepare students for the program, and forge bonds among them as classmates. Before arriving for the Orientation Week, students must have submitted all required documents and have completed any pre-assigned work.
  2. Core Courses – courses that all MPA program students are required to complete within the program.
  3. Elective Courses – courses that MPA program students can select from among alternatives. Elective courses are subject to change as they are based on students’ interests/preferences, faculty availability and program design.
  4. Master’s Project with an Overseas Component.

The Master’s Project is a final requirement for students on the MPA program. It may be conducted as a public policy or management exercise. In both cases, it is expected to be an exercise in which students will be able to apply relevant knowledge and skills gained during the MPA program including: defining and structuring the problem; organizing data; defining and carrying out analysis of the issue; developing specific action recommendations; and defending their findings publicly. The Master’s Project is an opportunity for students to focus on a policy problem of their own preference in greater depth than is available in a classroom setting. The Master’s Project will include identification of a public policy problem, preferably in the Kazakhstan or Central Asia context, its analysis from a theoretical or empirical prospective, and in case of practical exercise, formulation of a policy proposal and a feasible program of implementation. 

The overseas component (Singapore Component) normally takes place at the end of the first academic year (Summer semester), where students learn about Singapore’s approaches in long-term urban planning and development through lectures and learning journeys, reflect on the lessons learnt and whether/how they could be applied or adapted to the context of Kazakhstan. This can be particularly useful for students who are working on their Master’s project.

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MASTER IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION CURRICULUM

The core curriculum focuses on  the application of public administration theories to inform practice; an understanding of the economic context in which the public sector operates including issues of strategic management and leadership; how public sector organization measure their performance; and, a basic grounding in research skills to help students complete a Master’s Project’. It comprises 5 core modules, Master’s Project, and 5 electives. Each core/elective module equals to 8 ECTS credits and Master’s Project equals to 12 ECTS credits. The total number of credits in the program in 92 ECTS.

MPA curriculum*

Year 1: Semester 1

Module

ECTS Credits

MPA 602 – Public Administration in Theory and Practice

8

MPA 603 – Economic Applications for Public Managers

8

MPA 605 – Research Methods for Decision Making

8

SEMESTER SUBTOTAL:

24

Year 1: Semester 2

Module

ECTS Credits

MPA 607 – Accountability, Financial and Performance Management

8

MPA 608 – Strategic Management and Leadership

8

Elective 1

8

MPA 699 – Master’s Project with an Overseas Component

0

SEMESTER SUBTOTAL:

24

Year 1: Semester 3 (Summer)

Module

ECTS Credits

Elective 2

8

MPA 699 – Master’s Project with an Overseas Component

0

SEMESTER SUBTOTAL:

8

Year 2: Semester 4

Module

ECTS Credits

MPA 699 – Master’s Project with an Overseas Component

12

Elective 3

8

Elective 4

8

Elective 5

8

SEMESTER SUBTOTAL:

36

TOTAL

92

*Order of the modules can be reconsidered by the School

MPA 602 – Public Administration in Theory and Practice

The module examines public administration from a traditional perspective, and provides students with an understanding of the model in practice. Combining historical, contextual and theoretical perspectives, this module gives students a comprehensive overview of the discipline and focuses on the practical implications of public administration theory.

MPA 603 – Economic Applications for Public Managers

This module will focus on applications of the principles and concepts of microeconomic theory to public sector management decisions and policy analysis. This is a module that is designed to help current and prospective professional managers and practitioners in the public, private and non-profit sectors address real-world issues and problems from an economic perspective. 

The following topics will be considered in this module: consumer theory and demand analysis, the theory of production and cost analysis, the theory of markets and distribution, market failure and cost-benefit analysis. A combination of theory, on the one hand, with application, on the other, using case studies and empirical materials and problems based on real-world situations demonstrates to students the power of microeconomics theory as an aid to decision-makers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors of the economy.

MPA 605 – Research Methods for Decision Making

MPA 605 is a core module in the Master in Public Administration and prepares the students to succeed in many of the other modules in the program. In the course of the module, students will learn about the logic of social scientific inquiry, analytical thinking, data collection, data analysis, and the components and the structures of a research paper. The Module is delivered sequentially. In the first stage students will learn about the components of a policy research paper. In the second stage students will learn about the link between theory and data that underpins and informs empirical research and data analysis. In this stage of the module students will develop a better understanding of the logic of inquiry, of data and data sources, and of the analytical skills that policy analysts needs to conduct research and write research papers. In the third stage students will examine policy research, analysis and writing. These three stages will prepare students to draft a research proposal.

MPA 607 – Accountability, Financial and Performance Management

Upon completion of this module, students will have a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities related to governments’ financial accountability and the tools used, as well as market failures, population ageing, inequality, and, budgeting and revenue administration.

MPA 608 – Strategic Management and Leadership

The module is designed to expose students to foundational theories, conceptual frameworks, methodologies, and public strategies. Students will examine various theoretical constructs as a means of becoming more aware of their own leadership styles, and apply strategic models to improve leadership and management skills in others. Students will identify and apply strategic models to analyze public problems, formulate strategic solutions, and make sound decisions.

MPA 699 Master’s Project with an Overseas Component

The Master’s Project is a final requirement for students on the MPA program. It may be conducted as a public policy or management exercise. In both cases, it is expected to be an exercise in which students will be able to apply relevant knowledge and skills gained during the MPA program including: defining and structuring the problem; organizing data; defining and carrying out analysis of the issue; developing specific action recommendations; and defending their findings publicly. The Master’s Project is an opportunity for students to focus on a policy problem of their own preference in greater depth than is available in a classroom setting. The Master’s Project will include identification of a public policy problem, preferably in the Kazakhstan or Central Asia context, its analysis from a theoretical or empirical prospective, and in case of practical exercise, formulation of a policy proposal and a feasible program of implementation. 

A complete list of courses, including electives, can be found on the Registrar’s website https://registrar.nu.edu.kz/course-catalog