University of Birmingham, The Public Service MBA

The School of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham offers a range of postgraduate courses – focusing both on particular aspects of public policy and on general public management.

The School’s flagship programme in public management is the Public Service MBA, which was launched fifteen years ago, and which is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) – the first such accredited programme outside a Business School. The Programme is designed to equip its participants for the demanding agendas of contemporary public management. It does so by providing a rigorous and carefully structured management education and personal development programme to build competence and confidence for effective leadership in public and voluntary sector/NGO contexts.

Founded on the core values of public service, the Programme provides a challenging and inspiring opportunity to make a significant step forward in terms of the acquisition of both knowledge and skills for public management. Particular benefit is derived through participants working alongside colleagues from other organisational contexts and together exploring the potential of different change management strategies for improving public provision and for building better public governance through sharper accountability and enhanced citizen participation and trust in public decision-making.

Participants may register for the Public Service MBA either on a part-time basis (normally over two years while continuing in their normal job responsibilities) or full-time (for one year). The Programme is delivered through two main streams:

  • The International stream: particularly designed for those in public management and governance roles in developing countries, e.g. India, Pakistan, China, and Latin American and African states and who wish to study for their MBA at Birmingham on a full-time basis (with the modules scheduled within the normal University term structure).
  • The Public and Voluntary Sector stream: designed particularly for those whose interests centre on public management in advanced economies; the UK and other countries of Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia, and who wish to study at Birmingham on either a part-time or full-time basis (with modules organised into short intensive units of two and three consecutive days, arranged at roughly three/four week intervals).

    Two sector-specific variants of the Public and Voluntary Sector stream are also offered as follows:
    * The Public Service MBA for the Housing Sector: developed for managers in registered social landlords and other housing organisations (sponsored by the Housing Corporation and supported with bursaries) and including two bespoke modules on housing organisations and the changing environment and future for housing organisations

    * The Public Service MBA for the Health Care Sector: developed for managers from health care organisations and again including two bespoke modules – on health care organizations and health services management respectively.

    The University of Birmingham

    The University of Birmingham is a top class research-led, Russell Group University and a member of the international grouping Universitas 21 – an ideal place to pursue your postgraduate studies.

    The University’s School of Public Policy is the largest centre for the applied study of public management in Europe with more than one hundred academic staff from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. The School is continually engaged with practitioners in the public and voluntary sectors at local, regional, national, and international levels. We operate in the vanguard of research on the development of public services and each year undertake an extensive programme of commissions from government departments and other agencies. This feeds directly into our postgraduate programmes and ensures that they remain at the leading edge of thinking and practice.

    The Public Policy Graduate School has recently been established within the School of Public Policy to spearhead and develop our portfolio of postgraduate programmes – both taught and research-based. The Graduate School is located in its own attractive and recently refurbished accommodation, at Priorsfield, a large Tudor-style house within walking distance of the centre of the campus, and providing a very comfortable and well-equipped environment for postgraduate study. Here we teach our postgraduates in very well-equipped class-rooms with syndicate rooms, IT resource rooms, a common room and other study support facilities to hand. There is a speciaIist library collection in the adjacent building, Park House, and just a few steps away is the University’s Conference Park (offering an excellent hotel environment for those wishing to be resident for short periods during their studies) and the postgraduate student flats (providing more basic, but good quality residential accommodation for full-time students – and if required, their partners).

    The Birmingham campus itself offers excellent facilities, including a very large main library, a top-class sports centre, a good bookshop, other shops, banks and a range of canteen/refreshment services. Also within easy walking distance is the University railway station, with frequent connections to Birmingham New Street Station and the

    The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of expertise in public policy – reaching back to its foundation in 1900 by Joseph Chamberlain, Mayor of the City. The School of Public Policy continues this tradition and has a leading influence on contemporary public policy and public management agendas in the UK and around the world. Its five Departments – each of which has their own very strong reputation and field of specialism and expertise – are as follows:

  • The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV)
  • The International development Department (IDD)
  • The Centre for Urban & Regional Studies (CURS)
  • The Health Services Management Centre (HSMC)
  • The Centre for the Study of Global Ethics (CGE)

    Collectively, our role and mission is to bridge and link academic perspectives with policy work and with the policy community. With 105 academic/research staff, the School provides a vibrant multi-disciplinary team with an unequal range of expertise, particularly in public governance, public service delivery, housing, economic development and regeneration, health services management, local government, and development studies.

Address Information:

AddressThe Public Policy Graduate School
School of Public Policy
University of Birmingham
Priorsfield, 46 Edgbaston Park Road,
Birmingham B15 2RT
Tel. No.+ 44 (0) 121 414 8390
Fax No.+ 44 (0) 121 414 8452
E-mail address
Director of the
Graduate School
Professor John W Raine
CoursesThe Public Service MBA
MBA/DPM Public Service (International Stream)
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Public Service Management
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Criminal Justice Management
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Global Ethics
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights and Human Values
MSc in Health Care Policy and Management
MSc in Primary Health Care Policy and Management
MSc in Managing Quality in Health Care
MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy
MSc in Managing Partnerships in Health and Social Care
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Policy and Practice
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Public Economic Management and Finance
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Poverty Reduction and Development Management
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Governance and Development Management
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in International Health Management
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Development
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Governance for Development
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Local Governance
MSC/Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods for Public Services
MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Social Care Leadership and Management
MSc in Managing Partnerships in Health and Social Care
Type of coursesFull-time and Part-time
Length of courses1 year full time / 2 years part-time
Cost/feesAvailable on request
Top recruiters of graduatesPublic and Voluntary Sector Organisations
Exchange Partner SchoolsCopenhagen Business School
Admission requirements6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band / 580*/237** plus TWE 4.0
Countries of origin
of students
Global: UK and other advanced economies / developing and transitional countries
Ratio of National/Overseas students50/50
Age rangeAll ages
Contact for applicationProfessor John W Raine
(Director, The Public Policy Graduate School)

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