Education Feature News

Institute of Public Administration: Third-Level Programmes for Public Servants

Are you thinking about a return to education? The Whitaker School of Government and Management at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) will provide almost 70 part-time undergraduate and postgraduate programmes this autumn, all designed for adult students.

As we turn toward summer, people can be forgiven for being more concerned with holiday plans than with higher education programmes. It is at this time, however, that we should really contemplate whether this is the year to return to education in September, study subjects of professional and personal interest, and obtain a new qualification. There are always new skills to master and deeper insights to obtain.

It is widely accepted that higher education is key to both career success and to effective public management. For adult students, however, a decision to return to education is complicated by their busy personal and professional lives. They require high-quality education programmes that are flexible enough to meet their circumstances.

The Whitaker School of Government and Management at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) will provide almost 70 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes this coming autumn. These part-time programmes are specifically designed for adults who want to obtain a nationally recognised qualification while keeping their various professional and personal commitments.

Programmes are accredited by the National University of Ireland (NUI) and sit between levels six and ten on the ten-point National Framework of Qualifications.

Flexible Delivery Methods

IPA programmes have flexible study methods that allow students study at a time and place of their choosing and from anywhere in the country. These methods are highly valued by adults keen to pursue a new qualification but with many demands on their time. The IPA also recognises prior learning, so students with appropriate qualifications may be able to skip certain stages or subjects in the undergraduate programmes and thereby complete in a shorter time.

Undergraduate Programmes

Programmes at undergraduate level include Certificates and Diplomas in Local Government Studies; a Certificate in Housing Studies; a Professional Diploma in Housing Studies; Certificates and Diplomas in Public Procurement; Certificates and Diplomas in Project Management; Diplomas in Law, Management, and HRM; and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Public Management (with various streams, including in local government). Students taking these programmes study a wide range of subjects, from constitutional law to economics, strategic management to HRM.

Postgraduate Programmes

At postgraduate level the IPA offers a suite of MA programmes in public management, local government management, financial management, criminal justice, HRM, healthcare management, and leadership and strategy. These programmes –delivered through blended learning– combine study of various subjects with the preparation of a dissertation. Students receive comprehensive course material and attend the IPA campus in Dublin for intensive weekend seminars over the course of the academic year (September to March/April). MA programmes take two years to complete and include the interim award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management.

Other postgraduate programmes include a Professional Certificate in Governance, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management, a Master of Economic Science in Policy Analysis, and a Master of Science in Business and Management.

The IPA’s highest award – a Doctorate in Governance – facilitates research and debate on the key issues affecting European and Irish policy-making and governance. It involves seminars at which participants compare and exchange experience and the preparation, under expert supervision, of a major dissertation. 

IPA programmes are now enrolling.

For further information, visit To talk to staff about programmes, call 01-2403600.

Related Posts