MSc Public Management and Leadership

The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date

The MSc Public Management and Leadership is a brand new programme being offered by our Edinburgh Business School for September 2022 entry.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The public sector is a major employer in all countries in the world with on average 1 in 5 people of working age being directly involved in the sector, from health to education, local government to federal or central government and roads and refuse to safety, welfare and security the people working in the sector touch all of our lives. Beyond this the trend towards co-production, sub-contracting and agencies often expands public services into private industry both directly and indirectly.

The MSc in Public Management and Leadership builds upon Edinburgh Business Schools established areas of expertise and specialises in the unique challenges of working for and with public sector organisations through a very practical exploration of the politics, policy and governance which influences and shapes public services as well as the specific differences in leading and managing such services and is informed and supported by academic research.

It is specifically aimed at those who aspire to leadership positions in the sector or who may be working with the sector through sub-contracting services or bidding for funding for example.

September 2023 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31st August 2023. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 1st August 2023.

Course content

Semester 1 

In the Semester 1, students will be introduced to core theory, research and practice in areas of management. This provides a broad understanding of concepts but also raises various ideas and views with students, including non-public sector interests. 

  • Leadership 
  • Strategic Change 
  • Work, Culture and Organisations 
  • Option 

Semester 2 

During Semesters 2 and 3, students will focus on public sector challenges and sector specific concepts. An innovative approach will allow students to undertake an in-depth study on issues informed by current research, practice, and political and legal frameworks.

Public Sector: Strategy, Policy and Governance 

  • Understanding Public Management and Governance 
  • The role of Government 
  • Public Sector Reform 
  • Strategic Management in Public Sector Organisations 
  • Regulation, Contracting and Public Management 
  • Public-Private Partnerships 
  • Accountability 

Leading and Managing Public Sector Organisations

  • Managing People and Organisations 
  • Structure and Culture 
  • Performance Measurement and Management 
  • Quality and Process Management in the Public Sector 
  • Financial Management 
  • Marketing in Public Sector Organisations 
  • Service Delivery 
  • Stakeholders and External Constituencies 

Semester 3

In Semester 3, students will undertake a capstone project which will encompass current research and theories to real life issues in Public Sector organisations. 

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class), or its non-UK equivalent, in a related subject. 

Applicants with relevant education and work experience may also be considered.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time
UK £10736 £5368
Overseas £23248 £11624


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.