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The introduction of an Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), program will provide students with the opportunity, skills and knowledge to coordinate and implement coherent policy alternatives, in order to implement successful cost-effective programs. The ‘executive’ element of the proposed EMPA program is primarily designed to educate working executives, managers, and other business leaders in a cohesive learning environment that is designed to fit the variety of different students’ schedules. The EMPA program requires students to attend blocks of lectures, and then complete a large portion of the work on their own time. Because module schedules are preset at the beginning of the program, the EMPA will not seek to use elective modules in its initial cohorts, however, as the market evolves this may be reconsidered.

The Executive MPA is taught within a truly global context and requires students to complete modules in a step-lock method, synchronously attending modules with the same classmates for the duration of the program.

The delivery of the EMPA, in Arabic supports the UAE government mission to emphasize the importance of the Arabic language. The ability to deliver the EMPA in Arabic brings a competitive advantage to MBRSG, and fills a significant gap in the service delivery of such bespoke higher education provision. The Executive MPA has been designed to meet the needs of currently employed, high-achieving professionals and who have demonstrated leadership potential from the public sector.

Program Mission

The Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), is specifically tailored to meet the professional challenges and time constraints of mid-career professionals in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The program consists of block teaching direct contact sessions held on (extended) weekends every four to six weeks, as well as directed independent learning (DIL) that takes place between weekend sessions. The Executive MPA program tackles challenges of governance and management in a unique forum for exchange, learning, and professional development. The flexible program can be completed full-time in one academic year or over a period of two academic years while working.

Teaching and Learning

MBRSG believes that active learning and full student engagement is the most successful pedagogical approach. The learning, teaching and assessment approaches used throughout the program will encourage collaborative engagement among students. MBRSG aims to provide students with prompt feedback on their learning as well as reflective opportunities through which they can enhance their learning. Students will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of the program. Interactive lectures, guest lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work, class discussions, directed independent learning, online learning resources via the Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard), self- access and field trips are some of the learning activities that will add value to the student experience in the EMPA. Such active approaches are intentionally student-centered, foster involvement and engagement in all aspects of teaching and learning. The EMPA program will require active participation in learning activities and engagement with fellow students both individually and collaboratively.

In class learning will be supported by technology. Increasingly, lecturers will be using existing and emerging learning technologies to engage students in Virtual Learning activities. This will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools such as podcasts, wikis, etc. At MBRSG the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is facilitated through Blackboard which will allow students flexible access to a diverse range of online resources, quizzes, discussion forums, learning materials and collaborative tools with which you can interact and learn with your peers.

The delivery of each module is designed to allow students to actively engage with the material and critically reflect on the delivered content. Modules are delivered over staggered weekends, which allow time for reflection between delivery sessions. Each day comprises of a minimum of six hours direct contact. Following the intensive teaching sessions, the students are assigned Directed Independent Learning (DIL) tasks which will reinforce and extend the taught content. Students are also expected to include self -access study time for critical analysis and reflection on content, before resuming for a final two-day period. For the duration of the program students will be working on assignments that measures their applied and analytical skills.

Students will receive detailed module handbooks each year with information on teaching and learning strategies, assessment methods and reading materials. The academic faculty, the Library, the IT Office and the Student Affairs teams will provide any required support to students studying at MBRSG.

Program Objectives and Outcomes

Students successfully completing the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), program will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and evaluate the ethical and cultural dimensions of policy making and management in the public sector
  2. Determine and evaluate organizational and management theory, process, structure and systems in the public sector.
  3. Synthesize the purposes, design, functions, and character of government organizations, market, and civil society and the interactions among them
  4. Utilise advanced problem solving skills to utilise knowledge from the external and domestic factors and drivers that determine the policy space
  5. Appraise and assess the role of global political and economic institutions and events in driving local outcomes
  6. Decide on effective leadership and teamwork skills to solve complex/advanced public organizational problems and communicate policy decisions.

Program Content

The six (6) Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) , core modules have each been designed to extend the students’ knowledge of the variety of public administration functions, processes and strategies, in a context that will engage new ideas and concepts. The addition of an elective module ‘Global Governance’ (EMPA 1507) will enable Executive MPA students to complete their studies entirely within the UAE or to participate in an enhanced international context.

Students wishing to study EMPA 1507 are able to do so as an alternative to EMPA 1508. The Executive MPA modules will challenge existing practices, and the student’s personal management style. The EMPA proposes to enhance strategic thinking skills and the capacity to reflect critically on what works, and why.

Within the Executive MPA, students will experience fresh perspectives from their fellow students, faculty member and guest lecturers, as well as gaining an international perspective on public sector issues. The debate and discussion, both in the classroom and in subsequent online debate, will provide a powerful test-bed for ideas and potentially also a valuable source of professional advice. The Executive MPA has synergies with both the UAE Vision 2021, and the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 where priority areas are encouraged to be engaged in Government Excellence.

Admission Requirements

  1. A minimum equivalent cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale for full admission or 2.50 (on a 4.0 Scale) for Conditional Admission. or its established equivalent, in the applicant’s recognised Bachelor’s degree program.
  2. English requirment: a minimum EmSAT score of 950, a minimum TOEFL score of 450 on the Paper-Based, or 133 on the Computer-Based, or 45 on the Internet-Based test, or its equivalent in a standardized English language test, such as 4.5 IELTS or another standardized, internationally recognized test approved by the Ministry of Education.
  3. Arabic requirment: EmSAT score of 1250.
  4. A letter “to whom it may concern” which states that the applicant holds a senior managerial position.
  5. An applicant who meets the above requirements should have a minimum of six (6) years of documented professional managerial work experience (gained prior to admission).

Proficiency Requirements

Prior to enrolling in the Executive Master of Public Administration program students must demonstrate proficiency in basic statistics and research methods. These requirements can be met by passing an undergraduate university level subject in statistics and/or research methods. Students who have not demonstrated previous proficiency in basic statistics and research methods will be required to take the Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy during their first semester of academic study. Furthermore, these students will be limited to enrolling and studying one Core Module, in addition to the Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy, in their first academic semester as part of their Executive Master of Public Administration program of study.

Orientation and Online Post Graduate Academic Skills Course

 The aim of the MBRSG Orientation Session is to introduce students to the range of services that are available to postgraduate students, as well as to provide them with essential information about registration and enrollment. It is also an opportunity for students to get acquainted with each other. During these sessions, faculty members will guide you through essential knowledge and skills to enhance your progression through the programs.

We propose that induction will answer many of the questions that students may have about what being a postgraduate student at MBRSG. The Orientation Session will be delivered the weekend prior to the commencement of the first semester of study. All new postgraduate students are required to attend.

In support of students at the commencement of their graduate studies or at what may be a return to an academic environment after a period away from higher education, MBRSG requires that all new students admitted to a graduate program attend the Orientation Session.

There are a number of activities built into the first year of your experience at MBRSG to enable you to adjust to the learning environment and attain the desired level of progression.  You will also be invited to complete the online Post Graduate Academic Skills Course which is designed to make you aware of the academic skills required to succeed at the Post Graduate Level. You will learn about vital academic skills such as critical thinking, academic reading strategies and writing for academic purposes, to help you in your study at MBRSG. This should be completed prior to registering on your core modules in the first semester of your learning journey.

Once you have started studying you will have access to a number of academic enrichment resources via Blackboard to support your development of transferable academic skills throughout the duration of your program.

The dates for the Orientation Session dates to be held during the 2023/2024 Academic year are as follows:

  • Fall Semester 2023
    • Saturday 19th August 2023
  • Spring Semester 2024
    • ​Saturday 27th January 2024 (TBC)

Academic Workload

An Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program student may enroll in up to a maximum of three (3) Modules, which is the equivalent of sixty (60) CATS credits, per semester, with the approval of the Director of Academic Affairs. It is envisaged that most graduate students will enroll in two (2) Modules, or the equivalent of forty (40) CATS Credits per semester. The Director of Academic Affairs may approve a student’s request to enroll in a third Module, in an academic semester, subject to School Timetabling constraints, and considering whether the student has achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 (or equivalent) in their undergraduate studies and/or a minimum an overall average grade of 70% (Pass with Distinction) in their current EMPA studies. Students who are working full-time are unlikely to be given approval to study a full-time load.

Progression and Academic Standing

In accordance with the MBRSG Student Academic Progression Policy, students studying in the Executive Master’s in Public Administration (EMPA) program must maintain a ‘Good Academic Standing’ to progress through their program of study in order to successfully meet the graduation completion requirements. Student’s must maintain an overall average grade of Pass with Merit (B) under the European Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS) Credits system, failure to do so will adversely impact a student’s progression and may lead to a period of Academic Probation or ultimately dismissal from the program should academic performance fail to improve.

Careers and Employability

The transformational nature of the Executive MPA equips graduates with transferable skills and knowledge which will enhance their career prospects and open up options in the area of public policy. MBRSG Executive MPA alumni will occupy positions in the public and private sectors, international organizations and think tanks around the world.


Module Description

EMPA1501 Comparative Public Administration and Governance (20 CATS Credits)

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and theoretical foundations of the comparative of public administration and governance systems that regulate the work of administrative bodies in the Arab countries and Gulf States. The module introduces the challenges of governance reform as well as some of the key issues and problems confronting public sector management, such as globalization, modernization, accountability, ethical action, public engagement, decentralization, results-based policy delivery and public-private partnerships .In this regard the module covers different topics including the concept of comparative public administration and a review of the most important global and regional models in management developments. Students also study the impact of the global environment on administrative reform experiments in the Arab countries and the Gulf States. The module also distinguishes the impact of the political, legal and social environments on the design and the work of administrative bodies in the Arab countries. This module enables the student to gain an overall picture of the most important trends of administrative reform and development globally, regionally and locally using a comparative approach. The Comparative approach also helps students to identify similarities and differences in the administrative systems and governance models under study. Accordingly, students can decide on how to benefit from the experiences of other countries in the field of administrative reform of the governance system at the regional and local levels.

EMPA1502 Human Resources and Performance Management in Government Organizations (20 CATS Credits)

This dynamic and interactive module is designed to help students improve their understanding of the importance of the human capital in government organizations. The module also helps participants to better design and run performance management systems for the employees in their organizations. Managerial practices with regard to human capital and performance management strategies and techniques are brought into sharper focus in an attempt to explain how to recruit, motivate, manage and measure the performance of public employees. The module builds upon students’ knowledge and understanding in the areas of organizational behavior and leadership, encouraging them to evaluate their own experiences and to discover the link between interpersonal skills, performance management, and organizational goals. The theoretical discussions of HR models and performance management will be accompanied by case study analysis and group discussions of genuine organizational problems. Combining the theoretical and practical aspects will enable students to develop general frameworks of understanding and apply these frameworks to solve organizational and performance issues in a wide range of administrative situations.

EMPA1503 Public Finance and Government Funding (20 CATS Credits)

Public finance issues are central to economic and political landscapes worldwide, as one of the primary functions of government is to generate resources from its people, and in return to spend the money to improve their lives. However, while the concept of “money from the people, for the people” is quite simple conceptually, there is little agreement on how best to raise and spend public funds in practice. The module covers: the role and size of the public sector, including the rationale for public sector interventions such as market failure and distributional concerns; key factors determining a nation’s fiscal architecture; public resource mobilization via user charges and taxation, including the economics of taxation, taxation of income (personal and corporate income tax), wealth (property tax), and consumption (sales, excise, and value added taxes), tax incentives, tax compliance and enforcement, and tax reform; public expenditure policy, including assessment of government social protection programs, mega-projects, public sector efficiency and effectiveness, and the role of the private sector in the production and provision of public goods and services; fiscal balance and deficit financing; and fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations. The module will also explore public finance challenges for both national and sub-national governments in coping with the impact of the recent global economic crisis.

EMPA1504 Public Policy Analysis (20 CATS Credits)

The module explores the different traditions and theories of public policy analysis and the importance of using such theoretical frameworks for the analysis and understanding of governance and development. Its focal aim is to explore various analytical approaches and tools in the way in which policy-making and policy evaluation within the public sector are necessarily different to the approaches adopted in private sector and third sector organizations. The module also seeks to examine how complex structures and institutions can be explained in ways which are meaningful and have an academic and practitioner interest in the UAE, MENA and beyond the Arab region.

EMPA1505 Administrative Leadership and Institutional Performance Management (20 CATS Credits)

This module introduces students to theories and practice of administrative leadership in public sector organizations and the impact they make on institutional performance management. The way in which administrative leaders undertake their duties influences organizational performance and in turn the ability of employees to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Thus, this module considers the interrelationship between organizational performance and leadership in government. The module discusses resolving strategy paradoxes to create competitive advantage. The impact of leadership styles and dynamics on organizational performance will be studied to determine how different leadership practices affect organizational performance in public organizations. Class discussions and activities will focus on the analysis of administrative leadership and organizational performance in the context of the GCC as well as comparing this experience with other nations. Case studies will help students to underscoring the pitfalls of ineffective administrative leadership and how weak and poor leaders may hamper the efforts for achieving organizational and institutional goals.

EMPA1508 Advanced Topics in Contemporary Public Administration (20 CATS Credits)

This is an elective module within the Executive Master of Public Administration. The module aims to develop the student's academic, professional and personal knowledge of the latest contemporary issues and topics in public administration, where it specifically discusses what is "new" in the field of Public Administration. This seminar module will provide a broad investigation of contemporary strategies of public sector. The module will examine recent developments in the interaction of politics, institutions, and governance, in light of digital transformation, innovation, and anticipatory governance, and how it shapes the effectiveness of public administration.  It will draw on examples from financial, health, safety, criminal, and environmental regulation. The course takes the form of an interactive discussion seminar. The discussions are structured around the readings which are specified in advance for every weekly topic. The literature must be read by all participants. Each student must, in addition, read at least one of the selected additional readings (each student should choose a different text) which will be presented and discussed during seminars. The students are also strongly encouraged to bring in materials for discussion from their own field of research and relate the themes discussed in the course to the
development of their Master Dissertation.

EMPA 1507 Global Governance (20 CATS Credits)

This module will investigate diverse policy issues and the equally diverse structures of governance and diplomacy regulating them at the international, transnational, state and sub-state levels. The program will equip students to understand, explain and practice governance and diplomacy in the contemporary global era. Inter-Governmental Organizations provide important channels of communication between states and mechanisms for galvanizing international action on issues of global concern. They are also important actors in global governance The module will include a study visit for students that will reinforce classroom teaching by enabling MBRSG students to learn more about the subject of Global Governance encouraging intercultural competency and understanding, and developing knowledge of the international community, and a sense of global understanding within the field.

The module will address three key 'gaps' that are referred to in global governance discussions:
  1. The jurisdictional gap, between the increasing need for global governance in many areas - such as health - and the lack of an authority with the power, or jurisdiction, to take action.
  2. The incentive gap, between the need for international cooperation and the motivation to undertake it. The incentive gap is said to be closing as globalization provides increasing impetus for countries to cooperate. However, there are concerns that, as a Country lags further behind economically, its influence on global governance processes will diminish.
  3. The participation gap, which refers to the fact that international cooperation, remains primarily the affair of governments, leaving civil society groups on the fringes of policy-making. On the other hand, globalization of communication is facilitating the development of global civil society movements
EMPA901 Dissertation (60 CATS Credits)

The Dissertation is designed to enable MBRSG Master’s candidates to integrate, apply and extend the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their module work. The subject matter for the dissertation should also be based upon skills and concepts acquired during the taught part of the program. However, in order to satisfy the requirements for a Masters level dissertation, it will be necessary for the candidate to develop, enhance and apply these concepts through demonstration of independent research skills beyond the level achieved in prior module-work. To this end, candidates will conduct substantive original research on a public administration, public management or contemporary policy issue of importance to the region. The outcome will be the development and presentation of the research results and recommendations.

Apply Online

Online Application for Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)


MBRSG ensures that all applications are considered on academic merit in accordance with the admission criteria. MBRSG applies ethical practices in respect to all applications and no discriminatory practices are tolerated.

Please read the following admission requirements carefully before completing the Online Application Form

  1. Applications must be completed and submitted by the applicant themselves.
  2. All questions marked with an asterisk (*) must be answered, or the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
  3. First-time users of the MBRSG Student Management System must register to create an account. Once you have selected either full-time or part-time below, you must choose a login username and password of between six and nine alphanumeric characters.
  4. You may save your application and complete it at a later time if necessary.
  5. Applications can be made at any time, however to be eligible for the next (upcoming) semester, it must be submitted by the deadline set by the admission office
  6. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as our postgraduate programs are often capped at 30 students per semester. If the semester you selected is full, MBRSG may consider your application for the following semester.
  7. When completing your online application, you must send the following in PDF or JPEG format:
    1. Provide attested official university and college degrees and transcripts (back and front), from a recognized Bachelor’s degree, earned in a discipline appropriate for the prospective graduate degree, with a minimum (equivalent) Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.0 Scale) for full admission or 2.50 (on a 4.0 Scale) for Conditional Admission
    2. Provide your equivalence certificate from the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates for degrees completed outside the United Arab Emirates.
    3. Provide a current (no more than 2 years old) Official standardized test score(s) original document issued for EmSAT or TOEFL or Academic IELTS scores as required to satisfy the English and Arabic language proficiency requirement, relevant to the graduate program of study:
      1. English requirement: a minimum EmSAT score of 950, a minimum TOEFL score of 450 on the Paper-Based, or 133 on the Computer-Based, or 45 on the Internet-Based test, or its equivalent in a standardized English language test, such as 4.5 IELTS or another standardized, internationally recognized test approved by the Ministry of Education.
      2. Arabic requirement: EmSAT score of 1250.
    4. Applicants will be expected to have a minimum of five (5) years of documented professional managerial work experience (gained prior to admission).
    5. Provide your passport (including page with Ethbara Number if an Emirati National) and one passport sized photograph.
    6. Provide your UAE Family Book (if applicable).
    7. Provide your Emirates ID (if applicable).
    8. Provide your current CV or resume.
    9. Provide a one-page essay explaining your interest in the program and how you see it benefiting your career
    10. Provide two (2) recent recommendation letters supporting your application.
    11. UAE Nationals, male applicants are to provide a “To Whom It May Concern” letter stating no objection to complete their studies or that they have completed the National Service program from the Authority of National Service and Reserve.

      Exempted from this are the categories below:

      1. UAE Nationals working in Military, Ministry of Interior, and Police after providing a work certificate from their HR department.
      2. UAE nationals who are not required to join the National service program i.e.  Male applicants born on or before 29th of May 1984
    12. Provide your full name in both English and Arabic. (This is a regulatory requirement)
    13. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview at MBRSG.
  8. An Offer of Admission made to an applicant will only be valid for the academic semester applied for.
  9. Applicants who are offered full-admission to a graduate program may study on a full-time or part-time basis.
    1. Part-Time students will be limited to studying a maximum of two (2) modules per academic semester.
    2. Full-time students will be able to study a maximum of three (3) modules per semester (pending seat availability).
  10. Applicants who are offered conditional admission to an MBRSG graduate program will (normally) be limited to studying two (2) modules in their first semester, pending satisfying the specific condition(s) of admission detailed in the offer of admission letter.
  11. Applicants who accept an offer of admission must attend the Orientation Session prior to the start of the semester.
  12. Applicants will be required to take the (ASM001) “Foundation Course for Research Methods in Public Policy” during their first semester of academic study. It is a not for credit Module but will appear on the student’s academic transcript.
  13. Applicants who wish to defer their admission should contact the Admissions and Registration Section prior to the start of the applicable semester by sending an official e-mail. Approval of a deferral request will be considered and students informed accordingly.

For additional information or inquiries, please contact the Admission and Registration Section at


If you wish to submit a formal Application Form for Admission to the Executive Master of Public Administration  (EMPA),  please click the Full-Time Online Admission link.

Admission for Fall 2024 will be open by the first week of March 2024

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