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University bachelor of social work Professional Master of Public Administration Public Administration and Governance master of social work




MPA 800 Governing Institutions

This course offers a critical analysis of the major institutions that shape politics and governance in Canada, including: the House of Commons; the Senate; the electoral system; the Prime Minister and Cabinet; the public service; and the evolving media. Each weekend that we meet, we focus on a particular institution by delving into its inner workings as well as the proposals for its reform. Special attention will be paid to the shifting power dynamics among institutions and actors and the implications of these power relationships for the integrity of democracy. The course will draw on the current and relevant literature in political science and public administration, and will also incorporate media reports, opinion pieces, and think tank publications. At the end of the course, students should feel able to offer critical commentary on the state of political institutions in Canada and the potential implications of their reform. 

MPA 802 Approaches to Policy Analysis

The core of the course will consist of a specific, evidence-based policy analysis project/ exercise carried out in groups of 3-4 students. Each group will present findings monthly on various elements of the project. Groups will be formed based on areas of common interest among students. Topics will be selected by the groups in consultation with the instructor. The project will take the form of a stylized Memorandum to Cabinet (MC), the main instrument required for policy, program and legislative approval in the federal government. 

MPA 804 Principles of Economics

The objective of the course is to familiarize students with basic principles of economic analysis and to begin to understand how economists think about the application of these principles to public policy analysis. Most of the course will focus on principles of microeconomics – the study of individual choices and individual markets. The supply and demand model forms the basis of much of this discussion and can be used to predict the impacts on price and quantity of various changes that affect markets and individual choices. We then apply the model to a discussion of economic efficiency and examine the potential roles for government when markets fail to operate in an efficient manner – the discussion of “market failure”. No less important as an economic rationale for government intervention in markets is ideas of equity or fairness in the distribution of earnings and income. This in turn leads to a discussion of policies for the redistribution of income that is associated with the pursuit of equity. Finally, we will use these economic tools and principles to discuss the measurement of poverty and potential policies that could be directed to its alleviation and will examine the structure, problems and reform of the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.

MPA 806 Analytical Tools for Policy Research

This course introduces students to a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and helps them understand their uses and limitations in policy research. Students will apply selected techniques, interpret data, assess results and report findings relating to specific policy issues.

MPA 809 Management in the Public Sector


Must complete three of the following:

Indigenous Law and Public Policy

Comparative Indigenous Governance

Governance in First Nations

Reconciling Indigenous Policy


Two of the concentration electives


Two existing Queen’s electives


Master’s Research Project