Public Leadership and Management MA

In the fast changing landscape of public management and public policy, the need for professional leadership and service design is required more than ever. This part-time two year master’s programme has been designed to meet the needs of busy practitioners, as well as applicants who wish to pursue a career in public services.

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In the fast-changing landscape of public management and policy, the demands on public service leaders are more challenging than ever. The social, economic, and political transformations taking place across our communities require us to think differently, developing the innovative leadership of place that meets the changing needs of citizens and communities. 

This part-time two-year master’s programme equips you with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to address the everyday challenges of contemporary local public leadership and management. It will help you to develop your individual leadership and gain the tools to drive forward organisational change and transform service delivery across localities and within communities. 

The programme is designed to meet the career development needs of current practitioners working in the public sector, as well as those of individuals wishing to pursue a career in public services and gain the skills to become a public service leader of the future.

Key features

  • You will be introduced to innovative approaches of place leadership and stewardship, grounding the challenges of public leadership firmly in the politics and policy of the places and communities within which we live and work.
  • You will have the opportunity to reflect critically on your own individual leadership style and to apply your learning to concrete ‘real world’ issues, advancing your personal development while taking your learning back into your current or future employer or organisation.
  • You will be part of a community of internationally recognised academics and practitioners from the Local Governance Research Centre, experts in applying the latest research and scholarship to the everyday experiences of public leadership, governance, local policy and politics, and public management


How is the MA in Public Leadership and Management delivered?

The programme will be delivered through blended learning in part-time mode, taking two years to complete. Modules will be taught in two-day teaching blocks online, with supported distance learning activities for students via a programme specific webpage. You will complete one module per semester. 

Modules will be assessed in different ways to enable students to develop the skills and competencies required of public leaders. Traditional assignments will therefore be combined with critical reflections on action learning tasks; practitioner diaries; policy briefings; the formulation of strategic plans and policy development reports; and the delivery of guidance and ‘how to’ good practice documents.

Entry dates

We aim to be flexible as possible in meeting the demands of students undertaking part-time study. 

Students can start the MA programme at different module starting points and the next entry dates are September 2021, January 2022 and April 2022

Modules 1 – 4 can also be studied individually.



DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International student scholarships

Find out about available international scholarships or visit our fees and funding page for more information.

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  • UK
  • EU/International

Programme code(s): L4N271

Duration: 2 years part-time

Start dates: September 2022, January 2023, April 2023

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for UK students: £6,150

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Programme code(s): L4N271

Duration: 2 years part-time

Start dates: September 2023, January 2023, April 2023

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for EU/International students: £14,600

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Entry criteria

The programme is designed for graduates or practitioners from multiple specialisms including local government, housing, human resources, environmental services, neighbourhood services, policy and planning, policing, fire and rescue, health, social services. 

Applicants should normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional qualifications. Non-graduates with professional qualifications or significant work experience will also be considered. Enquiries from applicants from other disciplines are welcomed, or from prospective students who may not meet the entry requirements.


Structure and assessment


Programme outline and modules


The programme is composed of the following core modules: 4 modules at 30 credits each, and a dissertation or practice development project of 60 credits. All of the modules have to be completed to achieve the MA in Public Leadership and Management. 

  • Module 1: Leading Change
  • Module 2: Empowering Communities
  • Module 3: Collaborative Innovation
  • Module 4: Designing Public Services
  • Module 5: Policy into Practice

Click here for more detailed module information

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.



Facilities and features

Hugh Aston Building

You will have access to our purpose-built Hugh Aston Building, equipped with lecture theatres and classrooms, break-out spaces for group work, quiet study zones for individual work and IT labs. Wherever possible, students will be given home access to specialist software.

You’ll also have access to the building’s new £5.5 million extension called The Yard, which provides more than 22,000 square metres of extra space. This is designed to facilitate your learning experience with large and airy breakout spaces, a new Student Advice Centre, and a balcony on the top floor. The Yard also features more comfortable classrooms and self-study spaces, allowing you to carry out independent study as well as group work.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Works

DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 


Graduate careers

Enhance your existing qualifications and global career prospects with a specialist master’s in business economics and business finance.

This course will provide advanced preparation for careers in the policy making, organisational decision making and the financial world.

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