programmes

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

 

MPA Programme Brochure (PDF version)

Message from the Programme Director

As a global city, Hong Kong is undergoing major political and socioeconomic change. Our public managers and professionals are increasingly challenged by complex problems and dynamic situations. The MPA programme at HKU is designed to prepare students to become public service leaders through equipping them with the analytical and problem-solving skills to meet these challenges.

We are celebrating over 35 years of excellence in providing professional education in public administration this year. With our extensive experience, internationally recognized faculty members, a vibrant student body, and well-designed curriculum, we provide a rigorous and fruitful education for those who wish to prepare themselves for a prominent career in public service.

We invite you to read on and explore our MPA programme.

Peter T. Y. CHEUNG, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Politics & Public Administration
Director, MPA Programme

The Department and the MPA teaching staff

The University of Hong Kong’s Department of Politics and Public Administration is a founding department of the Faculty of Social Sciences and has played a leading role in research and teaching in Public Administration in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region since 1969. The Department is a core teaching unit at the University, offering a Bachelor of Social Sciences, Master of Public Administration, Master of International and Public Affairs, and Doctor of Public Administration. Our programmes are amongst the most renowned in Hong Kong and many of our graduates are now serving in the upper echelons of the HKSAR Government. At the forefront of Politics and Public Administration education is a commitment to excellence in training our students to become future leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

The Programme

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Programme, first launched in 1978, is designed to provide high quality professional education to students and prepare them for leadership roles in the public sector.

The curriculum is designed to achieve the following learning objectives:

  1. Acquire cutting edge knowledge in public administration and public policy.
  2. Understand the changing institutional and political contexts of public affairs.
  3. Examine the critical issues and possible solutions to the challenges in governance.
  4. Develop professional knowledge and core skills required to become effective public managers and leaders.

Distinctive programme features:

  1. an optional live-in course in the Chinese Academy of Governance (國家行政學院)
  2. extensive use of interactive teaching methods
  3. intensive workshops conducted by distinguished international scholars
  4. experience sharing with senior practitioners and professionals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors
  5. simulation exercises for training various practical skills
  6. opportunities for one-day shadowing with various organizations

Programme Structure

The MPA is offered on a 2-year part-time or 1-year full-time basis. Students are required to complete eight taught courses and one capstone project or dissertation in order to graduate. The eight courses include four compulsory courses, and four courses from a list of electives.

To accommodate midcareer students, the compulsory courses are usually scheduled on Saturdays and elective courses on weekday evenings or Saturday afternoons.

 Part-timeFull-timeCapstone Project
or
Dissertation
TimelineYear 1Semester 1
September
October
November
December
POLI7002 +
POLI8027
POLI7002 +
POLI8027 +
2 Elective courses
 Semester 2
January
February
March
April
2 Elective coursesPOLI8017 +
POLI8026 +
2 Elective courses
May
June
July
August
*Mainland live-in course*Mainland live-in course
Year 2Semester 3
September
October
November
December
2 Elective courses 
 Semester 4
January
February
March
April
POLI8017 +
POLI8026
 

* The optional Mainland live-in course (POLI8008 Public Administration in China) is available to students at additional cost. It lasts for about two weeks and will require time off work. The course will be offered at the Chinese Academy of Governance (國家行政學院).

Students are expected to consult the administrator or Director of the MPA programme regarding the latest information about course offering and course selection. They can also access the syllabuses and regulations of the MPA programme.

Course List

(i) Compulsory courses:

  • POLI7002 Public Administration: Scope and lssues
  • POLI8017 Workshop in Public Affairs
  • POLI8026 Workshop in Managerial Skills
  • POLI8027 Public Administration in Hong Kong

(ii) Elective courses:
(these course offerings may vary each academic year)

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions 2014-15

Course Descriptions 2015-16 (Subject to the University’s approval)

Our Faculty

The MPA programme is taught by faculty members from HKU’s Department of Politics and Public Administration. They are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service.

Professor John P BURNS, Chair Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Dean of Social Sciences
BA, St Olaf College; MA, Oxford and Columbia; MPhil, PhD, East Asian Institute Certificate, Columbia
Expertise: political economy of public administration; public sector employee behavior, public sector employee reform in China and Hong Kong, party-state relations in China
Dr. Peter T. Y. CHEUNG, Associate Professor
BSocSc, CUHK; MA, Indiana; PhD, Washington
Expertise: public policy in Hong Kong, cross-boundary cooperation between Hong Kong and South China, intergovernmental relations in China.
Dr. Jung Eun KIM, Assistant Professor
BSc Ewha Womans; MES, York; PhD, Syracuse
Expertise: policy analysis, climate change and energy policy, international technology transfer and diffusion, international development
Mr. Peter LAI Hing-Ling, Honorary Professor (Former Secretary for Security)
BA HKU
Expertise: managerial skills, public administration in Hong Kong
Mr. Alan N. LAI, Professor of Practice
BA, MSocSc, HKU
Expertise: Public administration and management in Hong Kong
Professor Danny W. F. LAM, Professor
BSocSc, CUHK; PhD, Indiana
Expertise: public policy analysis, institutional analysis, public management, common-pool resources management, self-governance
Professor Eliza LEE, Professor, Head of Department
BSocSc, CUHK; MA, PhD, Syracuse
Expertise: participative governance, civil society organizations, social policy development, public management, and gender issues
Dr. Helen LIU, Assistant Professor
BA, Ohio State U; MA, U Texas-Austin; PhD, Indiana
Expertise: public and nonprofit management, interorganizational networks, social service provision
Professor Ian THYNNE, Visiting Professor
BA, PhD, Wellingting
Expertise: public governance, public organization, administrative law, and organizational change
Dr. Rikkie L.K. YEUNG, Lecturer
BSocSc, MBA, MJ, PhD, HKU
Expertise: public management, public administration, public sector organizations, civil society, use of new media in politics and civil society, civil service, public accountability, Hong Kong politics

Distinguished International Scholars

In addition to our own staff, distinguished international scholars and practitioners are invited to give guest lectures and especially to be involved in POLI 8017 Workshop in Public Affairs, which is explicitly international in focus.

Professor Chris Ansell
Professor, Department of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Professor Eugene Bardach
Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California Berkeley
Professor Arjen Boin
Professor, Department of Political Science
Leiden University
Professor Shamsul Haque
Editor-in-Chief, Asian Journal of Political Science
Deputy Editor, International Review of Administrative Sciences
Department of Political Science
National University of Singapore
Professor Patricia Ingraham
Founding Dean, College of Community and Public Affairs
Binghamton University
Professor Bryan Jones
J.J. "Jake" Pickle Regents Chair in Congressional Studies
Department of Government
The University of Texas at Austin
Professor Jan-Erik Lane
Professor in Political Science
University of Geneva
Professor Peter J May
Donald R. Matthews Distinguished Professor of American Politics
Department of Political Science
University of Washington
Mr. Paul Mercier
Director, Research and Analysis Division
Treasury Board of Canada
Professor H Brinton Milward
Director of the School of Government and Public Policy
Providence Service Corporation Chair in Public Management
University of Arizona
Ms. Colette Nault
Director, General Recruitment Priorities
Resourcing and Learning Branch
Public Service Commission of Canada
Professor Rosemary O’Leary
Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs & Administration
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The University of Kansas
(Late) Professor Elinor Ostrom
Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences
Arthur F Bentley Professor
Department of Political Science
Indiana University, Bloomington
Professor Roger B Parks
Professor Emeritus
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University, Bloomington
Professor James L Perry
Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University, Bloomington
Professor Guy Peters
Maurice Falk Professor of American Government
Department of Political Science
University of Pittsburgh
Professor Beryl Radin
Adjunct Professor
McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP)
Georgetown University
Professor Martin Rein
Professor Emeritus of Social Policy
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Dr. Jodi Sandfort
Associate Professor and Chair of the School’s Leadership & Management Area
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Ms. Fiona Spencer
Director General, Human Resources Management
Privy Council Office
The Government of Canada
Ms. Marilyn Stuart-Major
Director General, Executive Programs
Public Service Commission of Canada
Professor Jacob Torfing
Professor in Politics and Institutions
Roskilde University
Director, Centre for Democratic Network Governance
Professor Montgomery Van Wart
Professor
Department of Public Administration
California State University San Bernardino
Professor Gary Wamsley
Professor Emeritus
Center for Public Administration and Policy
Virginia Tech
Professor Roger Wettenhall
Professor Emeritus
ANZSOG Institute for Governance
University of Canberra
Professor Kenneth Wiltshire
J.D. Story Professor of Public Administration
Department of Government
University of Queensland

Our MPA Students

Our students are a mix of professionals from the public, business and non-governmental sectors. The majority have some managerial experience, although a number are from the top tiers of management, who seek to further their career through obtaining an MPA. The diversity of our student body provides exciting and enriching opportunities for exchange and learning in the classroom.

Our Graduates said:

  • "The MPA programme proved to be an eye-opener for me. Despite having been a technical bureaucrat throughout my career, I was amazed that it had opened so many new dimensions to me in the public administration arena. Subjects like policy formulation, implementation and critical analysis, human resources management, as well as financial management were much more enriching than what I had originally expected from a postgraduate course. In retrospect, I consider the time and effort spent at HKU well worth it for the intellectual as well as practical knowledge with which the programme has equipped me." - Mr. Chi Keung HON, JP, Director, Civil Engineering and Development Department, MPA 1997
  • "The MPA programme at HKU strikes the appropriate balance between theory and practice; it allowed me to build upon the skills and knowledge I needed in my pursuit to raise the standard of good governance and public service." - Mr. Alan N. LAI, GBS, JP, The Ombudsman, Office of the Ombudsman, MPA 1982
  • "I appreciate how the MPA programme is designed to approach concepts and theories through day-to-day issues in society. Al though l had been working in Government for some time, as I went through the programme, I often discovered new perspectives, sometimes enlightened by a more d1eoretical-based framework, sometimes inspired from an "outsider's" standpoint. The programme would not be complete, however, without the good mix of classmates who brought not only ideas but also fun and laughter during class. The network built up is truly an asset to my career as I have access to contacts across many Government departments. I must say their official and unofficial advice has often made my job easier!" - Ms. Leonie H.L. LEE, Assistant Secretary, Education Bureau, MPA 2010
  • "Obtaining a second degree from a renowned university has enhanced my career prospects and opportunities. The benefits of earning an MPA from HKU, however, go beyond graduation. As part of the Alumni Association, my learning and development has continued through priority access to seminars and workshops on public affairs and, more importantly, through connection with a large and highly networked group of alumni and peers." - Mr. Tak Keung CHEUNG, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), Hong Kong Police Force, MPA 2005

Our Distinguished Alumni

With over 35 years of history, the MPA programme has produced graduates who have not only developed successful careers, but also made significant contributions to Hong Kong. Today we have over 700 alumni working in the government, public bodies, non-profit organizations, private firms, universities and educational institutions.

Name Post Company/Department Year of Graduation
Dr CHAN YUEN Tak Fai, Dorothy, JP Deputy Director of Administration & Resources School of Professional and Continuing Education,
The University of Hong Kong
1981
International President The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
Mr LAI Nin, Alan, GBS, JP Former Ombudsman Office of Ombudsman 1982
Former Permanent Secretary Financial Services and the Treasury
HKSAR Government
Dr LEE Ching Yee, Jane Director HKSKH Welfare Council 1983
Dr CHAN Yiu Wing Former Chief Staff Officer Auxiliary Medical Service
HKSAR Government
1984
Mr WONG Fook Yee Former Assistant Director Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department,
HKSAR Government
1984
Mrs LAU MAK Yee Ming, Alice, JP Former Commissioner of Inland Revenue Inland Revenue Department,
HKSAR Government
1985
Mr CHIANG Yam Wang, Allan Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data 1986
Mr KWOK Kwok Chuen, JP, BBS Former Government Economist Financial Secretary's Office,
HKSAR Government
1986
Mr AU YEUNG Ho Lok,
Luke, C.D.S.M. C.M.S.M
Former Deputy Comissioner of Customs & Excise Custom & Excise Department
HKSAR Government
1990
Dr YUK Tak Fun, Alice, JP Chairman The Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises 1991
Dr FAN Yun-Sun,Susan, JP Executive Director Family Planning Association of Hong Kong 1992
Mr HUI Cho-hang, Desmond Superintendent(Complaints Investigation Unit)
Quality Assurance Division
Correctional Services Department
HKSAR Government
1992
Mrs CHIU YAU Mei Po, Mable Senior Assistant Registrar Vice-Chancellor’s Office
The University of Hong Kong
1995
Mr WONG Tak Wing, Albert Assistant Director of Audit Audit Commission
HKSAR Government
1995
Ms WONG Tee Vee, Vivian Senior Assistant Registrar and Faculty Secretary Faculty of Law
The University of Hong Kong
1995
Mrs YUEN KWONG Sau Yee, Cecilia Former Assistant Director Social Welfare Department
HKSAR Government
1996
Ms HAU Soo Mun Teresa Former Chief Immigration Officer Immigration Department
HKSAR Government
1997
Mr HON Chi Keung, JP Director Civil Engineering and Development Department 1997
Mr. LAM Tin Sing, Enoch, JP Director of Water Supplies Water Supplies Department
HKSAR Government
1997
Mr LUK Wai Hung Chief Engineer
Drainage Project Division
Drainage Services Department
HKSAR Government
1997
Ms LUK Wai Ling, Melody Chief Labour Officer (Labour Relations) Labour Department
HKSAR Government
1997
Mr SHUM Kwok Leung Assistant Director (Ambulance) Fire Services Department
HKSAR Government
1997
Ms CHAN Fung Lan, Doris Principal Trade Officer Trade and Industry Department
HKSAR Government
1998
Mr CHUNG Siu Man, Raymond Assistant Director (Planning & Services) Marine Department,
HKSAR Government
1998
Mr HO Chun Hung, Van Chief Building Surveyor Buildings Department
HKSAR Government
1998
Ms MA Siu Hung, Candy Chief Executive Officer
(Conduct and Discipline)
Civil Service Bureau
HKSAR Government
1998
Mr AU Wing Hung Chief Officer, Office of the Licensing Authority Home Affairs Department
HKSAR Government
1999
Mr CHEUK Wai-fun Former Chief Engineer / Islands (Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office) Civil Engineering and Development Department
HKSAR Government
1999
Mr CHIU Yu Chow District Environment Hygiene Superintendent (Operation) Food and Environment Hygiene Department
HKSAR Government
1999
Ms PANG Mee Yuk, Melissa Chief Development Manager MTR Corporation 1999
Mrs KWONG LAU Po Yuk, Christina Former Chief Engineer Civil Engineering and Development Department
HKSAR Government
2001
Ms LAU Chi Wai, Edwina Former Regional Commander Hong Kong Police Force
HKSAR Government
2001
Mr TSANG Chee Wah, Luke Former Head of Programme Development Radio Television Hong Kong 2001
Miss Monica CHEN, JP Principle Assistant Secretary for Transport & Housing Transport and Housing Bureau
HKSAR Government
2002
Mr CHONG Wing Hong, Ben Former Chief Building Surveyor Building Department
HKSAR Government
2003
Mr LEE Kui Biu, Robin, JP Department Head Civil Engineering Office (Port & Land) Civil Engineering and Development Department
HKSAR Government
2003
Mr TAM Tai Keung Divisional Commander Fire Services Department
HKSAR Government
2003
Dr KO Pat Sing, Tony Cluster Chief Executive New Territories West Cluster 2004
Hospital Chief Executive Tuen Mun Hospital
The Hospital Authority
Mr LEE Cheung Wing, John Former Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau Customs and Excise Department
HKSAR Government
2004
Mr Mak Hoi Wan, Walter Chief Superintendent of Customs and Excise Head of Land Boundary Command Customs and Excise Department
HKSAR Government
2004
Mr CHAN Chi Kin Former Principal Immigration Officer Immigration Department
HKSAR Government
2005
Mr CHEUNG Tak Keung, Jacob Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations Wing) Hong Kong Police Force
HKSAR Government
2005
Miss KWONG Kam Wai, Susana Chief Information Officer Chief Executive Office
HKSAR Government
2005
Mrs LO Ho Yin, Martha Assistant Director (Local Public Relations) Information Services Department
HKSAR Government
2005
Dr LO Seen Tsing, Sue Senior Doctor The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong 2005
Mr TSO Wai Yan Former Principal Investigator (Operations Department) Independent Commission Against Corruption
HKSAR Government
2005
Mr AU Chi Kwong, Sonny Assistant Commissioner of Police (Security) Hong Kong Police Force
HKSAR Government
2006
Ms CHAN Yuk Mei, Cassandra Former Controller of Procurement Division Government Logisties Department
HKSAR Government
2006
Mr LAM Man Wing, Edwin Assistant Commissioner of Police (Support) Hong Kong Police Force
HKSAR Government
2006
Mr TO Chun Wai, Clarence Former Assistant
Commissioner of Police
Hong Kong Police Force
HKSAR Government
2006
Mr YAU Wai Keung Assistant Director (New Territories) Fire Services Department
HKSAR Government
2006
Miss YAU Kwai Chong, Eliza Assistant Secretary to the Commission on Strategic Development Central Policy Unit
HKSAR Government
2006
Mr HO Fu Ho, Jonathan General Manager, Corporate Communications Division Hong Kong Productivity Council 2007
Ms CHUNG Woon Fan, Flora Chief Executive Officer Agency for Volunteer Service 2008
Ms KAO Hing Monica, Esther The Secretary The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers 2008
Ms HO Odilia, Angela Former Vice Principal
(Administration and Finance)
Singapore International School
(Hong Kong)
2009
Mr KONG Ping Lam, Francis Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Kowloon) Fire Services Department
HKSAR Government
2009
Mr LAW Wai Fung, Eric, CSMSM Former Chief Superintendent of Correctional Services Head of Stanley Prison Correctional Services Department
HKSAR Government
2010
Mr NG Bond Loy Former Chief Fire Officer Fire Services Department
HKSAR Government
2010
Dr TANG Yiu Hang, Simon Deputy Hospital Chief Executive Tuen Mun Hospital
Hospital Authority
2012
Mr YIP Kan Chuen, Frankie Chief Manager
Corporate Communication
Hospital Authority 2012
Ms LAM Yuen Mui, Wendy Head of Communication and Public Affairs West Kowloon Cultural District Authority 2013

Access to Facilities and Services

MPA students have full access to all campus facilities and services, including libraries, computer facilities, the University Health Services (medical and dental) and sports amenities.

Master of Public Administration Alumni Association (MPAAA)

With over 35 years of history, the MPA programme has graduated over 700 alumni, many of whom are now occupying key positions in the civil service, public bodies, non-profit organizations, private firms, and tertiary institutions. They represent our fine tradition of dedication to public service. The MPA Alumni Association, inaugurated in 2005, strengthens our alumni network and ties with society.

The MPAAA welcomes all MPA graduates to join. Please visit http://www.alumni.hku.hk/mpaaa for updated information about the Association.

Admission

The Requirements

Applicants for admission to the MPA programme

(a) shall hold

  1. a Bachelor's degree with honours of the University of Hong Kong, or
  2. another qualification of equivalent standard from the University of Hong Kong or from another University or comparable institution accepted for this purpose, and

(b) satisfy the English language requirements of HKU; and

(c) if deemed necessary, satisfy examiners in a qualifying examination.

Successful applicants usually have at least three years of working experiences.

A candidate who does not hold a Bachelor's degree with honours of this University or another qualification of equivalent standard may in exceptional circumstances be permitted to register if he or she demonstrates adequate preparation for studies at this level and satisfies the examiners in a qualifying examination. The purpose of this qualifying examination is to test the candidate's formal academic ability or ability to follow the course of study prescribed. Applicants whose undergraduate record is considered to be of an insufficient standard may also be required to sit for the qualifying examination.

We also welcome candidates with appropriate qualifications and experiences to apply as occasional students to enrol in individual courses. Occasional students are not formally registered with the University and hence will not be granted the access to the campus facilities. Our Department will issue certificates of attendance to occasional students who have attended more than 80% of the teaching sessions of their chosen courses and completed all the required assignments/examinations.

Schedule of Fees for regular students 2015-2016 (in HK$) (Subject to University Approval)

Application $ 300 (non-refundable)
Caution Money $ 350
Composition $ 134,000 per year (full-time)
$ 67,000 per year (part-time)

Schedule of Fees for occasional students 2015-2016 (in HK$) (Subject to University Approval)

Application $ 300 (non-refundable)
Composition $ 17,000 per course

Application forms

Regular Students:

Online application system: http://www.asa.hku.hk/admissions/tpg
Closing Date: 28 February, 2015

Occasional Students:

Application form for occasional students:
Occasional students 2014-2015 (pdf)
Closing Date: 31 July for first semester admission, 30 November for second semester admission

Programme Administration & Enquiry

Programme Director

Dr. Peter T. Y. CHEUNG
B.Soc.Sc. CUHK; M.A. Indiana; Ph.D. Washington

Logistics Support

Ms Nicole YUNG
Tel: 3917 5563
Email: mpahku@hku.hk
Website: http://ppa.hku.hk/mpa