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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Master of Public Administration 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
98825  Master of Public Administration 
ORIGINATOR
Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Master's Degree  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Public Administration 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  180  Not Applicable  NQF Level 09  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Degree is a postgraduate qualification that provides learners with comprehensive advanced theoretical knowledge and applied skills in all facets of public administration and management. The qualification aims to develop an in-depth conceptual understanding, synthesis and critical application of strategic perspectives of public administration and management in a national context.

The qualification is designed to equip learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and values in public administration to pursue a career in the public sector and related fields. The MPA Degree also prepares learners to function in middle to senior executive positions. This is a general Masters' Degree involving the writing of a dissertation after completing the required course-work modules and, with guidance from a study leader(s), the setting of a hypothesis and the testing thereof. It also aims to empower and build capacity of public administrators who are aspiring to, or fulfil management roles within the public sector to efficiently and effectively manage a variety of institutional settings whilst occupying leadership and management positions.

Rationale:
This qualification has been developed to strengthen the capacity of the public sector by providing it with well trained and competent personnel. Furthermore, this qualification will:
  • contribute to regional and national goals by facilitating capacity-building and human resource development in management for social and economic development.
  • empower learners with advanced public administration and management skills and competencies necessary to function, progress and provide strategic leadership in the public sector.
  • satisfy the demand for advanced managerial and professional skills in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
  • promote equity by increasing the representation of qualified Black persons, especially women, at senior academic and administrative positions in organisations and institutions.
  • recognise and cater for the career and economic needs of learners who are in employment.
  • advance research activity to contribute to technological improvement and social development.
  • prepare learners for further doctoral and senior postgraduate study in a specialised management related area. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    This qualification may be obtained in whole or in part through the recognition of prior learning. In the cases where prior learning is to be recognised for purposes of access to the qualification:
    It is assumed that the learning derived from work or life experience will be a major element in the profiles of non-standard entrants primarily by means of a portfolio of evidence. Such non-standard candidates will be selected on the recommendation of a senior manager from applicants' organisations/companies.

    Where prior learning is recognised for advanced standing, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African higher education institutions. The maximum amount of 'specific' credit granted is 50%.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum entrance requirement is:
  • A cognate Bachelor Honours Degree at NQF Level 8.
    Or
  • Postgraduate Diploma at NQF Level 8. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of compulsory and elective modules at NQF Level 9 totalling 180 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules: 165 Credits:
  • Public Administration and Development Management Theory, 20 Credits.
  • Public Policy Development Analysis, 20 Credits.
  • Advanced Financial Management in the Public Sector, 20 Credits.
  • Programme Planning and Project Management, 20 Credits.
  • Strategic Public Sector Governance, 20 Credits.
  • Research Methodology and Applied Statistical Techniques, 20 Credits.
  • Dissertation, 45 Credits.

    Elective Modules: 15 Credits (Choose one):
  • Public Sector Leadership and Change Management, 15 Credits.
  • Professional Ethics for Public Service Managers, 15 Credits.
  • Development Economics, 15 Credits.
  • Human Resource Management in the Public Sector, 15 Credits.
  • Sustainability and Disaster Management, 15 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theory, principles and practice of service to the public.
    2. Synthesise the concepts associated with ethical behaviour and social responsibility that will engage learners in a meaningful effort to affect social change and promote social justice.
    3. Apply graduate research methods and techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of public programmes and the outcomes of policy alternatives.
    4. Evaluate the process for planning for change and the various means of production in the public sector, leading to ways to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Theoretical and conceptual frameworks in public service delivery planning process are applied in a relevant, creative and innovative manner.
  • The theoretical foundations and practical implications of Public Administration and Development Management in regional and international settings are evaluated.
  • A critical approach to analysing and evaluating public administration and development issues is embedded.
  • A specialised knowledge through evaluation and analysis is demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Legislative and ethical frameworks are applied to organisational challenges in public sector organisations.
  • The implications and consequences of failing to adhere to ethical principles and values within the public service as a professional are engaged with.
  • An ethical leadership framework for the public sector which takes into account complex organisation or professional issues, competing imperatives and the critical development of ethical standards in the context of the public service is developed.
  • Models that could assist in effecting good governance and building integrity in the South African public sector are analysed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Quantitative methods and techniques are applied to other management disciplines.
  • Consistency and linearity between research ideas, objectives, questions, design and methods is ensured.
  • Problems in the workplace are researched and resolved.
  • Data for planning, forecasting and other decision-making functions is interpreted and analysed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • A high-level conceptual understanding of selected theories of how development projects fit within the broader framework of national policies is demonstrated.
  • The models and analytical tools needed to provide a leadership programme and project management in the public sector are conceptualised.
  • Management expertise in institutionalising programme and project management approaches in the public sector is provided.
  • Solutions within the context of public sector programmes and projects which are planned, implemented, monitored and evaluated are critiqued and provided.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Both formative and summative modes of assessments will be used.

    Formative assessment: The scheme of work includes assignments based on the learning material and learners are given feedback. The process is continuous and focuses on smaller sections of the work and a limited number of outcomes.

    Summative assessment: Examinations or equivalent assessments such as a portfolio in order to determine a representative selection of the outcomes practised and assessed in the formative stage. Summative assessment also tests the learner`s ability to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge to achieve the stated outcomes of a module.

    Integrated assessment: All assessments will integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes and applied competence. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification compares very well with cognate international qualifications. It was compared with qualifications from the United Kingdom and Australia.

    The Master of Public Administration Degree is offered by Birmingham University in the United Kingdom. It is designed to provide public managers and those involved in public sector policies and services with a clear foundation of knowledge about the nature, role and development of the public sector. The qualification further exposes learners to the current trends in Public Administration and its evolution is aimed at empowering them with the skills and understanding required for further career progression with the public sector.

    Learners will further be equipped with:
  • A rigorous and culturally-sensitive understanding of the key concepts and issues underpinning the practice of public administration internationally.
  • The ability to critically analyse structures and processes in public administration and service management.
  • A thorough understanding of the processes of public policy and management and the factors that may influence the success or failure of public policies.
  • An understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in government.
  • A critical understanding of public finance at international, national and sub-national levels.

    The University of Sydney in Australia offers a Master of Public Administration (MPAdmin) Degree. The qualification is designed for senior public servants of national, state, provincial and local governments and provides a practical educational experience to enhance existing skills. The qualification will also give Public Administrators knowledge and skills enhancement in public administration that will enable them to transfer those skills from one agency/ministry to another. It is a Degree that is relevant to all senior public sector employees.

    Conclusion:
    The comparability study conducted reveals that this qualification compares very well with the two cognate qualifications cited above. They all display similarities in terms of content and the general Exit Level Outcomes. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification allows for horizontal and vertical articulation on the NQF.
    It articulates horizontally with:
  • Master of Philosophy in Public Policy, at NQF Level 9.
  • Master of Social Science in Public Affairs and Administration, at NQF Level 9.

    It articulates vertically with:
  • Doctor of Public Affairs, at NQF Level 10.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Management, at NQF Level 10. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.