Programme: MPublic Administration Public Administration

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Code Faculty
07251151 Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Credits Duration
Duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 210
Prof DJ Fourie
[email protected]
+27 (0)124203472

Admission requirements

  • A BAdmin Honours Degree in Public Administration or equivalent with an average of at least 65%.
  • Administrative and managerial exprience, preferably in the public sector, as deemed adequate and appropriate by the Director of the School of Public Management and Administration.
  • A maximum of 50 students can be admitted by the Departmental Postgraduate Committee.

Additional requirements

  1. A candidate may be refused admission to a master’s degree by the head of the department if he/she does not comply with the standard of competence in the subject as determined by the department – with the proviso that a candidate who does not comply with the required level of competence, may be admitted, provided that he/she completes additional study assignments and/or examinations.
  2. The head of department concerned may set additional admission requirements.
  3. Specific departments have specific requirements for admission.
  4. The number of students will be determined in line with the growth strategy of the University of Pretoria as approved by the Executive.
  5. Allowance will be made for the diversity profile of students.
  6. A completed Postgraduate Diploma in Economic and Management Sciences can also be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship.

Other programme-specific information

Seven prescribed modules as well as a mini-dissertation must be completed. The prescribed compulsory modules must be completed successfully before candidates may register for the elective modules. The curriculum is compiled in consultation with the Director of the School of Public Management and Administration.

The programme extends over a minimum period of two years, but must be completed within four years after the first registration for the degree. The Dean may, at the recommendation of the Postgraduate Committee, cancel the registration of a student during any academic year if his/her academic progress is not satisfactory.

Examinations and pass requirements

  • A subminimum of 45% is required in the examination in each of the modules.
  • Credit is obtained for each module in which a final mark of at least 50% has been achieved.
  • Only one supplementary examination in a maximum of two modules is permitted.
  • A candidate may not present himself/herself for an examination in the same module more than twice, except with the approval of the Dean, on the recommendation of the Director of the School of Public Management and Administration. In the context of this regulation the phrase "may not sit an examination more than twice in the same module" as it appears in General Regulation G.32(b).2, implies that a candidate may not sit for an examination in a module, including one supplementary examination, more than three times.
  • Supplementary examinations cover the same subject matter as was the case for the examinations.


Research information

Dissertations/mini-dissertations/research reports, curricula and modules

  1. The degree programme requires that a dissertation/mini-dissertation/research article must be submitted in a field of study chosen from the fields covered for the honours degree, provided that the Dean may, on the recommendation of the head of department concerned, approve the replacement of the required dissertation by the successful completion of a prescribed number of module credits and a mini-dissertation/research article.
  2. Information on modules, credits and syllabi is available, on request, from the head of department concerned.
  3. A module in Research Methodology is compulsory in all programmes. The Dean may, on the recommendation of the head of department concerned, waive the prerequisites.
  4. Sufficient number of bound copies of the thesis/dissertation must be submitted to the Head: Student Administration for examination, after permission is granted by the supervisor.

Article for publication
A dean may require, before or on submission of a dissertation, the submission of a draft article for publication to the supervisor. The draft article should be based on the research that the student has conducted for the dissertation and be approved by the supervisor concerned. The supervisor should then have the opportunity to take the paper through all the processes of revision and resubmission as may be necessary and/or appropriate in order to achieve publication.

Submission of dissertation
A dissertation is submitted to the Head: Student Administration, before the closing date for the various graduation ceremonies as announced annually.

For examination purposes, a student must, in consultation with the supervisor, submit a sufficient number of bound copies of the dissertation, printed on good quality paper and of good letter quality, to the Head: Student Administration. Permission to submit the dissertation in unbound form may be obtained from the supervisor concerned on condition that a copy of the final approved dissertation is presented to the examiners in bound format or electronic format.

In addition to the copies already mentioned, each successful student must submit a bound paper copy as well as two electronic copies of the approved dissertation to the Head: Student Administration in the format specified by the faculty and in accordance with the minimum standards set by the Department of Library Services, before 15 February for the Autumn graduation ceremonies and before 15 July for the Spring graduation ceremonies, failing which the degree will only be conferred during a subsequent series of graduation ceremonies.

Minimum credits: 75

Core modules

  • Module content:

    • Concepts, aims and principles of public finance
    • Governments and the distribution of income
    • Role players in financial resource management
    • Budgeting, budgeting techniques and systems
    • Financial performance measurement
    • Tariff settings and viability techniques
    • Internal control and accounting
    • Policy documents relating to financial management
    • Logistical and asset management
    • Tendering tenders and contracts
    • Monitoring and auditing
    • Financial accountability

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  • Module content:

    • Institutions and functionaries involved in public human resource management
    • Basic values and directives governing public human resource management
    • Role players and their functions
    • Issues in public human resource management
    • Labour relations management
    • Ethics and accountability

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  • Module content:

    • Research design
    • Conceptualisation and measurement
    • Operationalisation
    • The logic of sampling
    • Surveys

    Research proposal to be submitted during year one and a supervisor will be allocated.  Candidate to identify one of the specified areas (energy, water, sanitation or roads and transport) to conduct the research within a managerial and administrative context.

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  • Module content:

    • Constitutional and Administrative framework
    • Purpose of management
    • Need for management training 
    • Management functions
    • Leadership
    • Controlling

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  • Module content:

    • Development of Public Administration as a practice
    • Relationship between Public Administration and other dimensions
    • Administrative activities
    • Functional activities
    • Auxiliary functions
    • Sector governance and utilityregulations

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Minimum credits: 135

Core modules

Elective modules

The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of students to familiarise themselves well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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