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The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the premier professional degree for students seeking to advance their career in public / private service or nonprofit management. The MPA program will guide you to develop knowledge, skills and competencies needed to analyze, develop and implement policies and programs that address important issues related to the public sector and society. The MBRSG MPA program provides you with an opportunity to study the key management and policy challenges facing the UAE and the region. The program aims to develop your critical thinking, analytical skills and leadership potential, ensuring sensitivity to the ethical and public value concerns that are central to the field of public administration and policy. 
The MPA is one of the Future Leaders degrees offered by MBRSG to fulfil its mission to empower leaders who are able to contribute to strengthening the social fabric of the UAE.  MBRSG graduates are well-equipped for careers throughout all levels of government, across the nonprofit sector and the private sector. The MBRSG MPA is a fully flexible modular program which has been designed with the busy work professional in mind. It can be completed by either part-time (evening) or full-time study options.


MPA Mission Statement

To develop advanced knowledge, skills and competencies in governance and leadership of public affairs, which will enhance public service delivery locally and regionally. This mission will be accomplished as the MPA seeks to

  1. Foster the creation of knowledge about public administration and to disseminate competencies and skills to future leaders, public affairs professionals, and citizens to enable them to make positive impacts locally, regionally and globally
  2. Promote excellence and best practice in education through public policy analysis and management using a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach
  3. Engage faculty and students at MBRSG in ongoing relationships with the public and private sectors in order to impact the critical issues facing society
  4. Prepare leaders for the public and private sector to lead using a professional and ethical framework
  5. Engage public sector officials, representatives of public groups and citizens in dialogue and action to improve the performance of the public sector in area of governance and leadership.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who satisfactorily complete the MPA program will be able to:

  1. Apply contemporary organizational and management theories to the analysis of institutional performance and the development of innovative structures,  processes and systems in public management.
  2. Compare how laws, norms and ethical principles influence the effectiveness of public organizations.
  3. Differentiate the character of public organizations and the nature of their interaction with markets and with civil society.
  4. Analyze public policy issues using applicable research principles and methods to formulate alternative solutions.
  5. Evaluate the impact of global political and economic institutions, knowledge sharing and current trends on public governance.
  6. Use effective leadership and teamwork skills to solve complex organizational problems and communicate policy decisions.

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. As the MPA is taught in English, a minimum EmSAT score of 1400, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the Paper-Based Test (PBT), or 213 on the Computer-Based Test (CBT), or 79 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT), or score 6.0 in Academic IELTS.

    Note: TOEFL ITP is not accepted

Program Structure


Semester Full Time Part Time
  MPA 501 20 credits MPA 501 20 credits
1 MPA 502 20 credits MPA 502 20 credits
  MPA 503 20 credits    
  MPA 504 20 credits MPA 503 20 credits
2 MPA 505 20 credits MPA 504 20 credits
  MPA 506 20 credits    
3 MPA 901 60 credits MPA 505 20 credits
    MPA 506 20 credits
Total   180 credits   120 credits

MPA Completion times

Minimum and Maximum completion times for the MPA are highlighted in the following Table

Masters (MPA)
180 CATS Credits The duration of the full-time Master’s program will be a minimum of 3 academic semesters and will not exceed three years. The minimum program duration of the MPA program in part time mode is 18 months and will not exceed five years.

Full-time status allows students to take a career break and focus intensively, without interruption, on their academic development. It aims to strengthen employment and allows students to complete the program and return to work in the shortest time possible.

Delivery Mode:

The MBRSG MPA program begins with six taught modules which provide the essential knowledge and tools that are necessary skills for public and private sector management. This is followed by a dissertation, which involves students in independent research on specific issues related to contemporary public administration and policy.

To achieve the MBRSG MPA award, you will need to successfully complete 180 CATS credits made up of six taught modules of 20 credits each and a 60 credit dissertation. Students need to meet the minimum overall average grade of Pass with Merit (B) under the CATS credit system, to be eligible for the MPA degree in accordance with the MBRSG Graduate Completion Policy.

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 become acquainted with their cohort. During these sessions, faculty members will guide you through essential knowledge and skills to enhance your progression through the programs. Orientation sessions will answer many of the questions that students may have about the expectations of being a postgraduate student at MBRSG. The Orientation Session will be facilitated in the week prior to the start of semester. 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 complete the online, self- paced Post graduate Academic Skills course, which is hosted on Blackboard Collaborate. .During these sessions, students will be guided through essential knowledge and skills to enhance  progression through the programs.  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 2024/2025 Academic year are as follows:
  •         Fall Semester 2025
    •                 Saturday 17th August 2024
        Spring Semester 2025
  • ​              TBC

Program Completion Requirements:

To be awarded a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree requires the successful completion of six (6) taught Modules and a Dissertation totaling 180 (CATS) credits with an overall average grade of Pass with Merit (B) or above, in accordance with the Graduate Completion Policy (P-ACD-134).

The MPA modules are shown below.

Module Code Module Title
MPA 501 Public Administration and Governance
MPA 502 Public Policy Analysis
MPA 503 Public Sector Finance
MPA 504 Organizational Behaviour and Leadership in the Public Sector
MPA 505 Research Methods
MPA 506 Economic Foundation of Policy Analysis
Completion of the MPA requires the Dissertation
MPA 901 Dissertation

Module Description

Course Description:

MPA 501 Public Administration and Governance (20 CATS Credits)

This module introduces students to the broad issues of Public Administration and Governance in comparative perspective on a global, regional and national level. The opening set of themes and topics, delivered through this module, prepares students for other modules in the MPA. It explores evolving administrative theories and the major shifts in administrative practice and processes, underlining the importance of the context in which they operate. It also develops a critical awareness of the approaches of theoretical and practical understanding of the impact of globalization on governance. The module introduces the challenges of governance reform as well as some of the key issues confronting public sector management, such as globalization, public value, leadership, citizen engagement, ethics, smart government and innovation.

MPA 502 Public Policy Analysis (20 CATS Credits)

This Module introduces students to the analytical skills and tools available for analyzing public policy. The course explores the different theoretical traditions underpinning policy analysis and emphasizes the importance of using such frameworks for analyzing policy-making in the UAE and wider MENA region. Its focal aim is to teach various analytical approaches and techniques that may be used throughout the policy-making cycle (be it during the agenda setting, policy formulation, options generation, implementation or evaluation stage). In an interactive setting, students will examine relevant policy case studies from real life and utilize their analytical intelligence to evaluate the effect and impact of government interventions in different contexts.

MPA 503 Public Sector Finance (20 CATS Credits)

This Module provides an introduction to public financial management and is intended to give students a working knowledge of the key concepts, theories and structures of fiscal administration. It explores the sources of public funds and mechanisms used to collect them as well as the impact of decisions about how government raises revenue. We develop understanding of public sector budgeting and other methods for financial management and control using an exploration of contemporary public finance issues. Also explored are the political, economic, historical, institutional and cultural dynamics that influence public finance decisions in the context of the Gulf region. This Module requires students to develop ‘hands-on’ familiarity with financial management techniques through the use of practical exercises in budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, project evaluation and proposal preparation.

MPA 504 Organizational Behavior and Leadership in the Public Sector (20 CATS Credits)

In this Module students will be introduced to theories of organizational behavior and culture before considering how these principles influence the practice of administrative leadership in public sector organizations. 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. Conversely, public sector leaders are themselves influenced by norms, values, and other cultural considerations prevalent in the organization. Thus, this course considers the interrelationship between organizational behavior and leadership in government. Administrative leadership theories and models are examined in order to underline the characteristics of effective public leaders and to distinguish the notion of public leadership from other similar concepts. The impact of organizational culture on leadership styles and dynamics will be studied to determine how different organizational norms, attitudes, and values reflect in the practice of leadership in public organizations. Class discussions and activities will focus on the analysis of administrative leadership and organizational culture in the context of the UAE as well as comparing this experience with leadership in other nations. Case studies will help students to understand organizational cultures in public organizations and apply best practices in addition to underscoring the pitfalls of ineffective administrative leadership.

MPA 505 Research Methods (20 CATS Credits)

This Module will help you understand the process of research and develop quantitative and qualitative analytical tools which will help you to conduct research in your field of interest. This Module is designed to give students an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative research methods needed for public policy analysis. Module topics include research design (this includes defining research problems, formulating research questions and reviewing literature), research strategy; methods and data collection tools. Students will be introduced with a wide range of qualitative tools such as case studies, grounded theory and action research as well as quantitative tools moving from descriptive statistics to regression analysis. The Module will enhance students’ skill in evaluating published research and learn how to use different research methods in their own research and studies in order to grasp and analyse issues related to public administration; including the evaluation of policy alternatives. They will learn to formulate research questions, design surveys, systematically conduct research and operationalize variables. It also prepares students for the Dissertation (MPA 901) and research projects in other courses.

MPA 506 Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis (20 CATS Credits)

This Module will prepare students for more advanced courses in public policy and enable them to apply economic tools to analyse questions in public administration and policy. This Module examines the economic foundations of policy analysis and fiscal administration by introducing basic micro-economic principles and tools required to understand the role of government in the economy. It explores the rationale for government intervention, the goals of intervention (achieving allocative efficiency, redistribution and stabilization), and the prospect of government failure in making such interventions succeed. More specifically, the Module provides an overview of the assumptions of perfect competition and considers a variety of situations in which the ideal of a ‘perfect market’ breaks down, including the cases of public goods, externalities, market power, natural monopolies and asymmetric information. It uses actual policy problems to demonstrate applications of the theoretical framework to areas of education, health, environment, social security and others. It also provides an overview of regulatory economics and reviews the recent research on implications of behavioral economics for public policy making.

MPA 901 Dissertation (60 CATS Credits)

The Dissertation in Public Administration 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 coursework. To this end, candidates will conduct substantive original research on a public administration issue of importance to the region, or which has the potential to impact on the region. The outcome will be the development and presentation of the research results and recommendations. Emphasis will be placed on developing, planning, analytical and evaluation skills, the choice and utilization of research method. By the end of the dissertation students will have demonstrated their ability to conduct applied research, engaging the capacities and knowledge gained during the program. In essence, the dissertation will also serve as a program-level assessment of student performance.

Careers and Employability

MPA graduates go on to work for a wide range of governmental, nonprofit and private organizations, where they serve as managers, executives, and policy analysts, among various other positions. In- service public sector employees who complete the MPA report greater confidence in their decision making and better problem solving and collaborative skills.

Apply Online

Online Application for Graduate Admission to Master of Public Administration (MPA)

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 attach 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 language proficiency requirement, EmSAT (1400 or more) or TOEFL (PBT) score of 550 or more (213 CBT, 79 iBT) or Academic IELTS (6.0 or more)
      Note: TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
    4. Provide your passport (including page with Ethbara Number for Emirati Nationals)
    5. Provide copy of visa page for expats and international candidates
    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)
  8. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview at MBRSG.
  9. An Offer of Admission made to an applicant will only be valid for the semester applied for.
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. Applicants who accept an offer of admission must attend the Orientation Session prior to the start of the semester.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 Master of Public Administration (MPA),   please click on either the Full-Time or Part Time Online Admission link.


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