The Masters of Management in Public Policy (MMPP) is a cutting edge degree specializing in generating public policy professionals that will serve the needs of development in an accomplished public sector. The degree cultivates researchers and policy analysts who will be positioned to directly impact on the world of public policy in South Africa, Southern Africa and the rest of the African continent. Our graduates are the proof of the excellent content of the degree – they have been proving themselves as top-achievers that make a difference to the public sector.
The need for high-quality policy-makers, policy analysts, advisors and civil society policy activists has become pervasive in the governmental, developmental and other sectors of contemporary governments. Policy considerations today encompass the achievement of overall democratic governance, specified levels of service deliver y, the fostering of ethical and accountable practice, and the equipment of the public management cadre with necessary theoretical, strategic and operational skills. The world of practitioners of necessity operates hand-in-hand with the specialists in policy research. The MMPP is characterized by its focus on nurturing excellence in both these directions.
P&DM’s Public Policy Masters is one of the few dedicated public policy qualifications in South Africa. At its inception in 2005 it was the culmination of ten years of public policy teaching and research specialization within the School. Unique and highly commended features of the MMPP are that students do coursework in sought-after fields of public policy, are schooled in advanced research methods, and then generate high-end research outputs. The degree advances quantitative and qualitative methodological, knowledge management, along with decision formulation skills in key areas of public policy formulation, decision-making, process and institutional design for the management of public policy, policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and policy review.
Widely acknowledged as leader in the field, P&DM has by now graduated over 30 MMPP participants. Their 50 percent focused thesis in exciting areas of public policy studies have been noted both in the public and civil society sectors. Several journal publications emanating from these studies are currently in the publication pipeline.
Students at P&DM have access to academics with both scholarly and practical understandings and knowledge of public and development management, cutting-edge research, and innovative teaching and learning strategies. These are aimed at enhancing intellectual insights, professional skills, and practical understandings.
P&DM academics are at the forefront of research and publication. They have published numerous books and a rich collection of scholarly articles. They also have high profiles in carrying out applied research commissions and consultancies in the arena of public policy. Over the years the School has built an extensive applied research and case study base to feed into and inform the Masters in Public Policy.
The degree leader is Professor Susan Booysen, a specialist in South and Southern African politics, inclusive of public policy. She is also the author of the book, The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power (Wits University Press).
We invite emerging public policy professionals to become part of this policy world.
The Masters in Public Policy is designed to meet the needs of a range of existing and aspiring policy professionals. Foremost are those who are already active in public sector policy environments and research organizations and who wish to advance in their careers, as well as those interested entering these careers. Because we do courses based on the case study approach, we welcome students from all policy backgrounds. Our experience has shown that students from all sectors in the public service and civil society sector, and from all spheres of government, find immense workplace scope for the application of their MMPP learning.
P&DM’s MMPP offers courses in public policy design and policy analysis. Courses focus on policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and review. The Masters degree prizes its focus on research – it builds the capacity for policy research. The curriculum is designed to enable the student to develop substantive methodological (quantitative and qualitative) skills. Supplementary workshop on research project design and scholarly writing enrich the MMPP offering and facilitate throughput.
At the end of the degree programme the successful student will be able to:
The MMPP comprises four curricular building blocks. First, the student will need to successfully complete two compulsory core courses which provide focused exposure to two critical competencies - policy analysis (the first building block) and policy research (the second building block). These courses will provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for you to undertake an extended research investigation into public policy area. Third, you will be required to complete three elective courses in an area related to your research. The electives generate further expertise and promote specialization. The 50 percent research report constitutes the fourth building block.
These four building blocks entail the following:
The course covers a broad range of areas designed to build a deep level of knowledge in the field of public policy analysis and management. There are four essential legs to this course.
The course begins by contextualizing public policy, exploring global and African paradigms of policy, public and development management and government and governance.
Approaches to public policy and policy analysis are explored through an examination of the nature and role of public policy, concepts, levels and types of policy, theories of policy-making, the history of policy studies and policy analysis, agenda-setting, policy design and policy decision making and implementation.
The effective design and management of institutional mechanisms through which public policy is channelled is at the heart of policy studies. A detailed assessment of policy process models and institutional arrangements will be conducted. Students conduct case studies of the design of institutional arrangements.
The course concludes with an in-depth exploration of policy monitoring and evaluation, a major emphasis in public policy. You will explore definitions and concepts related to monitoring and evaluation, evaluation processes and types, purpose and rationale. You will also conduct projects in the design of systems of monitoring and evaluation.
Throughout this four-part course in Public Policy Analysis and Management students will be required to focus on substantive contemporary policy issues, always bearing in mind the degree’s vision of enhancing democracy and development, both in South Africa and beyond.
Lecturers in the these core courses are currently Professor Anne McLennan, Professor Vusi Gumede, Professor Susan Booysen, and M&E specialist Stephen Porter.
The course in research methods begins with a conceptual exploration of the nature of and relationship between policy management, research and knowledge management. In particular, the focus is on research management, research for post-graduate purposes, and research in technical assistance projects. You will also explore ICT applications that are available to research management.
The course enables the student to understand and apply concepts and approaches to research methodology, quantitative and qualitative research, theoretical applications and types of research. The course has a focus on problem statements, the development of research proposals, data collection methods, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and the validity and reliability of research.
The degree’s unique attention to advanced social statistics will enable you to understand descriptive statistics and graphs, survey design, sampling methods, hypothesis testing, probability models, statistical forecasting, decision trees, choice models, multi criteria, decision making and linear programming.
The current research methods lecturers are Professor Michael Muller, Dr Horacio Zandamela, Merle Werbeloff and Professor Susan Booysen.
The student in the Masters in Public Policy will develop advanced specializations through a set of three elective courses. P&DM and the MMPP have designed an electives menu that contributes to the cutting-edge positioning of the degree. The electives are offered in the format of ‘Special Condensed Format (SCF)’. This entails a three-day intensive set of lectures, followed by a period of self-study. The SCF electives include Scenario Planning, Political Environment of Public Policy, Macro-economic Policy, Public Finance, Project Management, and Applied Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation.
The current lecturers in the SCF elective courses are Koffi Kouakou, Professor Pundy Pillay, Dikgang Motsepe, Professor Susan Booysen, Stephen Porter and Dr Manamela Matshabaphala.
The Masters of Management in Public Policy has a distinct research focus. The coursework (points A-C above) comprises 50 percent of the degree. The other 50 percent is the thesis. This is a high calibre project on a contemporary public policy issue.
The Thesis is regarded as the culmination of the degree and requires strong theoretical and methodological bases, original research fieldwork, and a demonstration of the ability to apply advanced policy research methods and policy analysis approaches and techniques.
The preceding coursework components all contribute towards the successful completion of the Thesis. Students’ research endeavours are fully supported, both through the preceding coursework components of their studies and their cooperation with supervisors. Part of the research methodology core course entails the development of a fully fleshed-out Research Proposal, which constitutes the basis of the Thesis. The Research Proposal is presented to a research committee for approval.
All P&DM academic staff members supervise in a range of their specializations. On special arrangement, students may also approach potential supervisors from other parts of Wits University.
The MMPP workload has been designed to encourage independent research and study. Workload is mostly 10, 20 or 30 hours of a contact time per course, with an additional 130 to 150 hours by participants per course in their own time. The total workload over the full two year period is 2,400 notional hours, as required in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for the total count of 240 credits.
Assessment can take various forms, but is usually either an examination equivalent assignment or in some instances in the electives a written examination. Each of the courses has its own associated assessment. Class and group assignments may be incorporated into the assessments. In some instances, and by mutual agreement with the course convener, a mark may be given for a special initiative, such as a research article. Assessment culminates in the successful completion of the Masters Degree Thesis (see D above). All examinations and theses reports are externally examined.
The MMPP is currently offered as a block study programme, in which students meet roughly once per month, for three consecutive days. This format is in the part-time delivery mode, but is suitable to both part-time and full-time students. All students are encouraged to complete all coursework in the first year of study and reserve the second year for the completion of the Thesis. The MMPP is designed to be completed in two years.
Applicants are generally required to have an Honours degree with an average of 65 percent. Consideration, however, is also given to students with excellent performance on a Baccalaureus degree, which subsequently was supplemented with accomplishment in, for example, a public sector career.
We welcome all further enquiries and applications for admission into the MMPP.
Please contact Ms Simone Wilson, MMPP administrative coordinator:
Telephone: (27) (0)11 7173783