Programme Structure

Self Photos / Files - 3-3-photo-1The MPA Programme is a one year full-time or two-year part-time taught master's programme leading to the Master of Public Administration degree. Students will normally graduate in two years. With special permission, students can apply for extension of study but in no cases the period of study be allowed to exceed three years.





Core course 15 units 
Elective courses 12 units
Total: 27 units 




Core Courses 15 units
POLS 7040 Law and Public Affairs 3 units

This course provides advanced studies on the legal knowledge relevant to public affairs with an emphasis on existing practices in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Topics include the legal system, constitutional and administrative law, criminal justice and economic law. The course tries to help students to gain comprehensive understanding of public affairs including public policymaking, political economy, mass media in politics and foreign policy. Comparisons with Hong Kong and worldwide practices will be highlighted and discussed.

POLS 7050 Public Administration 3 units

This course  makes special reference to the development and practice of public administration and civil services in Hong Kong and mainland China.

POLS 7060 Research Methods for Public Administration Practitioners 3 units

This course is designed to draw from the experience of course participants in conducting research or analysing and applying data useful for public administration as well as to add to their knowledge of current research methodologies used in public administration internationally. Methods of quantitative and qualitative social science research will be examined, with a comparative approach emphasised.

POLS 7140 Public Policy & Governance 3 units

In this course we study public administration as a practical activity in the domain of policy-making and governance. This course is designed to present the dynamics of the public policy process and the linkage between public policy and governance. The course examines challenges and pressures facing modern governments worldwide, especially Greater China area. It also shows the changing role of the public sector in a “mixed economy” of provision and discuss significant governance issues such as ethics, equalities, and citizen engagement.

POLS 7150 Ethics & Public Affairs 3 units

This course critically examines the normative foundations of public administration. The overarching theme is to explore the moral and political values underpinning different public administrative decisions, such as justice, equality, liberty, democracy, and fairness. This course aims to show the role of moral philosophy in public administration and to demonstrate how moral reasoning and factual matters entangle with each other in the evaluation of public policies and institutions.

Elective Courses 12 units
COMP 7025 Artificial Intelligence for Digital Transformation 3 units

Students will gain the understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) as the essential technology in pursuing the digital transformation journey, through the discussion of AI basics, applications and tools with use cases in various functions of an enterprise including sales and marketing, customer service, operations, risk management and other support functions. While applications in different sectors will be explored, those for the banking industry will be highlighted. Students will also look at the issues and challenges of adopting AI technologies in addition to its benefits, and learn the implementation aspect of digital transformation. This course is designed to prepare students to take part in digital transformation projects involving AI technologies in different roles such as a business user, solution analyst, project manager and AI solution provider.

COMP 7990 Principles and Practices of Data Anayltics 3 units

This course introduces principal concepts of data management and analysis.  Topics mainly include: (1) representation of data in relational database and formulation of data query; (2) knowledge of data analytics and data mining; (3) data visualization concepts; and (4) principles of data security and privacy management.

COMM 7510 Public Administration and the Media 3 units

The course examines the different perspectives on the relationship of public administration and mass media in a modern society. Media factors affecting or facilitating public administration will be discussed. Cases on media relationship and crisis management will be analysed.

ECON 7080 Economics of Public Policy* 3 units

Public administrators often need to confront with a lot of decisions that require the use of economic knowledge. This course is designed to help students understand the analytical tools of economics and apply them to major public policy issues, such as the minimum wage, rent controls, international trade and globalisation, income distribution, public goods, urban development, traffic congestion and urban crime. The course aims to help students master the basic principles of economics in formulating public policy.

* FIN 7070 and ECON 7080 will be offered on a rotation basis

FIN 7070 Finance and Accounting for the Public Sector* 3 unit

This course intends to introduce students with the principles and practices of financing, accounting and financial management for the public sector. Fundamental concepts and applications of financial management in a dynamic financial market environment will be covered in the course, to develop students' knowledge of fundamental financial management and their ability in understanding and applying relevant tools to make appropriate decisions concerning short-term and long-term financing, investing and financial planning for individual entities, including governments and other non-profit organisations.

* FIN 7070 and ECON 7080 will be offered on a rotation basis

MGNT7080 Managing People in the Public Sector 3 units

Public personnel management is widely recognised as a critical element of democratic society and effective public administration of a given city. Today, government and non-profit organisations are confronted with tighter budgets with limited funding and keener competition in the labour market. Recent changes in information technology, communication patterns, social issues, labour relations and demographic compositions have resulted in an increasingly use of privatisation of some services such as outsourcing, franchise agreements, vouchers, and contracting. This subject introduces to students, in addition to all relevant HRM issues and functions, major Organisational Behaviour theories and concepts.

ORBS 7300 Data Analytics and Programming 3 units

This course introduces students the basics concepts of data analytics and equip the skill to build the model to solve the problem theoretically and practically.

P.E. 7010 Programme and Event Planning and Management 3 units

This course aims to provide a common foundation for students by presenting a coherent vocabulary for conceptualising and discussing the functions of programme, event and facility management.

POLS 7160 Theories of Public Administration 3 units

The development of public administration theories has experienced several historical stages, including classical, modern, and postmodern theories. Under various context, public administration may carry various features and imply deeper political meanings.

POLS 7020 E-Government 3 units

The course provides an overview of the development of e-government in different countries. The various essentials of e-government are presented and discussed in light of prevailing practice. The tools for assessing e-government performance are also explored. Selective aspects of e-government such as integrating operations among the public sectors and out-sourcing will be highlighted.

* The course will be offered in summer under special scheduling

POLS 7070 Independent Project 6 units

Students are expected to demonstrate his/her ability to integrate and apply knowledge related to a specific area of public administration. The project should be conducted independently and a report with 15,000 words in English is required.

POLS 7080 Fieldwork Learning in China and Overseas Public Administration 3 units

This course provides students with interactive opportunities to experience a variety of governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Mainland China/overseas as well as to communicate face to face with the government officials, civil servants, NGO staff and scholars on issues related to the development and practices of public administration in Mainland China and overseas. The course aims to: (1) appraise the challenges facing public administration in China/Asia and overseas; (2) differentiate different management issues in public administration between Mainland China, Asia, US and Hong Kong; (3) analyse the impact of political, economic and social factors on public administration in Mainland China, Asia, US and Hong Kong; and (4) conduct a study to evaluate different management issues in public administration in Mainland China, Asia or US.
* Required a 7-day tour in Beijing in May or other countries/regions.

SOSC 7430 Advanced Qualitative Methods 3 units

The course engages students with complex issues associated with qualitative research and addresses the essential components of an advanced level qualitative research investigation. These include providing students with the more complex theoretical perspectives embedded in qualitative research and with five different approaches to qualitative enquiry, i.e., narrative, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case studies. These respective approaches are demonstrated and critically scrutinised through their actual use in exemplar research projects and articles. The course also equips students with the advanced techniques for conducting qualitative data collection and analysis using students' own research topics (and possibly their own datasets), from identifying a gap in the knowledge base, to forming pertinent research questions, to selecting the particular qualitative design most appropriate for the questions, to collecting and analysing data. Key data collection methods, including in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus groups, and key data analysis methods, including thematic coding and discourse analysis, are examined. Academic writing skills in reporting qualitative research are studied and practiced. The course addresses the more advanced aspects of qualitative research and is suitable for graduate students who are designing a qualitative research project and/or aiming at publishing qualitative research papers. 

SOSC 7440 Advanced Quantitative Methods 3 units

This course is an introduction to the conceptual and practical applications of multivariate statistical techniques commonly used in empirical research for describing and analysing multivariate data. It employs a modular approach with a focus on various advanced statistical procedures, their strengths, limitations and assumptions, pre-analysis data screening as well as a framework for choosing the most appropriate statistic in a given data analysis. Emphasis is placed on formulating research questions, applying multivariate statistical techniques to address research questions, and interpreting results, including write-up of findings in a clear and concise manner. The course will be taught based on R.

Electives* provided by Master of Arts in Global Society (MAGS)
SOSC 7310 Concepts, Theories and Institutions of Global Studies 3 units

This core course introduces the key concepts, theories and institutions that make up the field of Global Studies. It provides students with a common language and academic repertoire that enables their own inter-disciplinary and professional development.

SOSC 7320 Debating Global Society 3 units

The course aims to introduce students to the expository and critical literature concerning globalization in order to consider the origins and development of global society and its consequences. The objectives of the course include engaging students with debates concerning globalization and alternate economic approaches, the political economic issues raised by globalization (including neo-liberalism), the transformation of faith communities through globalization, educational and knowledge consequences of globalization and related themes.

SOSC 7330 Globalizations 3 units

This course presents various trajectories, and politico-economic configurations of globalizations throughout history, engaging critically with the genealogy of ideas such as; universal values, free trade, global governance, cosmopolitanism, and multiculturalism. From Marxist, postcolonial, and ecological perspectives we furthermore evaluate the effects globalizations has had on people, communities, and the environment. The underlying questions put to the various historical examples concerns what is good and bad in globalization, all in order to understand better our own responsibilities, possibilities, and positions in an increasingly connected world.

HIST 7320 Contemporary China and Globalization 3 units

To stimulate students’ knowledge of the development of China’s foreign relations in the contemporary period. To develop research skills in the study of Chinese diplomacy, culture, and globalization. To enhance students’ understanding of the relationships between cultural developments and foreign affairs in contemporary China. To strengthen students’ knowledge of China’s position in the contemporary world affairs and its role in the process of globalization.

POLS 7090 International Political Economy 3 units

This course examines the intertwining and interaction of economics (wealth creation) and politics (political power) in international and global affairs. The nineteenth century term “political economy” is used here because economic and political forces are always enmeshed with each other. The course provides students with an overview of theories and issues of international political economy.

POLS 7100 Public Affairs and Public Policy 3 units

This course introduces public affairs and public policy analysis to students, particularly how to understand these issues as relations between governments and different segments of society, such as professional interests, social and civic organizations, local communities, etc. Students will be taught to identify main public policy issues such as economic growth, social inequalities, urban development, community conflicts and environmental protection faced by contemporary governments.

POLS 7120 Theories of International Relations 3 units

This course aims to investigate the various theoretical and analytical frameworks in the field of international relations. In an increasingly interdependent world where the new world order is yet to be established, a review of the dominant paradigms in international relations will facilitate a better understanding among students of the transformation of global order in the world in the world entering a new millennium. 

SLM 7080 Health Promotion 3 units

This course aims to provide a forum for the discussion of current concepts and roles of sport and leisure in the promotion of health, wellness, and quality living.

SOSC 7340 Global Civil Society 3 units

This course aims to develop critical understandings of globalization, civil society, and their linkage to global and local social movements by exploring key theoretical frameworks and empirical evidences. It will address questions such as why and how citizens are acting globally, how to assess the causes and significance of global social movements, and what their implications are. It will also help students learn the major concepts, theories, and studies related to civil society at global and local levels, transnational activism, environmental and health movements, and the role of media in global civil society. Empirically, the course will critically assess the functions, experiences, and aspirations of non-governmental organizations and their political/social implications for world politics and for China.

SOSC 7380 Medicine, Society & Culture: Public Health Perspectives 3 units

Medicine and health issues are the mirrors reflecting the ideology, and social and cultural beliefs and values of a society. This course intends to allow students to understand medicine and health issues from a social science angle. With the application of various social science traditions and public health principles, students are enabled to critically examine the issues of health, disease, and illness from a socio-cultural perspective. They can understand a wide range of factors – biological, social, cultural, and environmental – in shaping people’s health beliefs, illness experiences, and health behaviors.

*The courses offered will be subjected to the schedule of MAGS.


Depending on the number of students enrolled or other circumstances such deemed as force majeure the programme may not offer the course consists of academic trips.