3.2.2    Master in Public Administration

Admission Policy

For the MPA programme, the School seeks candidates who are committed to the ideals of public service. Candidates should be highly motivated, outward-looking, and open to new ideas, and be able to share insights from their own work experience with their classmates.

The MPA Candidate

The Admissions Committee selects candidates for this Master’s programme using a variety of criteria. Applicants will be evaluated on their academic preparation, and the depth and quality of their experience, as demonstrated by work history,  references, and the applicant’s written analysis of past employment experience. To be considered for the Master in Public Administration programme, you must have at least five years of work experience and

  • A National University of Singapore (NUS) honours degree (at least Second Upper) or an equivalent degree, such as a four-year Bachelor’s degree with an average grade of B or better; or
  • A good Bachelor’s degree and passed the School’s placement test.

Other qualifications may be accepted subject to approval by the NUS Board of Graduate Studies.


In this 1-year degree programme, students are required to read 40 modular credits in order to graduate. The MPA curriculum consists of:

  1. A Common Curriculum (12 MCs)
  2. Governance Study Conference (4 MCs)
  3. The LKY School Course (0 MC)
  4. Electives from the Management and Leadership Specialization (2 modules, 8 MCs).
  5. Free Electives (4 modules, 16 MCs):  Students can choose  to read  any 4 available electives as their ‘free elective’ modules.


  1. The modules in the Common Curriculum are:
    1. PP5801 Economic Analysis (4 MCs, Semester 1): Modern public policy experts need a solid grounding in Economics to be able to craft policies that take into account the economic factors that affect nearly all aspects of policy making. The first half of this course introduces the principles of microeconomics and applications are introduced via cases on externalities, taxation and public goods, regulation and competition policy, and trade policy. The second half deals with the tools of macroeconomic policy. Topics include macroeconomic indicators, exchange rate determination,  inflation, policies for economic growth and stabilization.
    2. PP5802 Policy Analysis (4 MCs, Semester 2): Public sector managers are frequently confronted with decisions about whether or not to initiate, continue, modify, or terminate policies or programmes, and the knowledge and skills in policy analysis and programme evaluation are essential for them to make intelligent choices. The module will cover important considerations in conducting policy analysis and evaluation, such as identifying policy problems, establishing criteria, assessing policy alternatives, choosing among policies, and evaluating policy impacts.
    3. PP5803 Public Management  (4 MCs, Semester 2): Public managers are answerable to various groups of people including those within hierarchical structures, political parties and politicians, citizens and civil society groups, and international actors and organizations. Also, public managers are often caught in policy dilemmas and are tasked to carry out policy promises in very challenging contexts. This course aims to introduce students to key concepts in the discipline of public administration.
  2. PP5804 The Governance Study Project (GSP, 4 MCs) is a team-based project spanning through Semester 1 and 2. Consisting of a study trip at the end of the first semester, and a final conference at the end of the Semester 2. The GSP connects the beginning to the end of the degree programme, requiring students to put to use the knowledge and skills learnt in each module. Through projects that are real public problems, students will acquire skills related to analysis of complex managerial problems, basic research, and writing and other presentational modes.
  3. PP5010 The LKY School Course (0 MC, Semester 1) comprising of a series of lectures on public policy innovations in Singapore and elsewhere, against a broad background of Asia’s development trajectory. The module will provide students with broad appreciation of the philosophy and principles that inform governance and public policy. Notably, it will explore specific public policy innovations in Singapore, like housing and healthcare, and analyse thinking behind the formulation and implementations of such policies.
  4. Electives from the Management and Leadership Specialization (2 modules, 8 MCs).
  5. Free Electives (4 modules, 16 MCs) In addition to the Common Curriculum, students can choose to read any 4 electives as their Free Elective modules in the Specialization lists.

The academic calendar for the MPA a typical one-year full-time programme is:

Semester One Mid July – November Orientation
PP5801 (core module)
PP5804 (GSP)
3 electives
December MPA Study Trip
Semester Two January – April PP5802 (core module)
PP5803 (core module)
2 electives
Special Term May – June 1 elective