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.