Master in Public Management and Policy (PMP)
Goals and contents
The public sector has radically changed in recent years, as a result of major reforms affecting the operational management of administrations and organizations as well as their political functioning. The most obvious example is the growing impact of the supranational sphere of influence. Recent economic events on the global scale have also placed the public sector back at the heart of socio-economic systems. At the same time, the activities of the non-profit sector have expanded to cover, for example, the provision of utility services. On the whole, public and non-profit private sectors are expected to become key players in this innovation, supporting families and individuals in their economic, cultural and social activities. In this context, while the public sector creates interesting and exciting professional opportunities at the local, regional, national and international levels, it also requires new appropriately qualified professionals.
The Master's programme in Public Management and Policy (PMP) teaches notions and know-how that are indispensable to future professionals in the public and non-profit private sectors, nationally and worldwide. The variety of abilities required by anyone wishing to occupy a position of responsibility and promote change in these sectors are exactly what PMP-USI offers. The PMP teaching curriculum is:
- interdisciplinary: by combining the competencies of the Faculties of Communication and Economics, the programme proposes a unique, all-round education in fields such as politics, communication, management, public economics, law, and sociology;
- inter-university: this Master programme is part of the "Swiss Public Administration Network" subsidised by the Swiss Confederation. Besides promoting the mobility of students, this university partnership (USI, Berne, Lausanne/IDHEAP) offers a wide range of specialisations, one of which takes place in Lugano. After completing the core courses (1st year) students may decide to undertake the subsequent specialisation stage at another University in the network;
- intercultural: the organization and teaching methods of this graduate course echo some of the unique aspects of Switzerland: multiculturalism, multilingualism, and federalism. An approach which is attentive to cultural differences, the choice of teaching languages, and the different origins of the students: all these factors together underpin the acquisition of intercultural skills and enrich the students' language proficiency - crucial prerequisites for future professionals in this field.
PMP is a two-year (four-semester) full-time Master programme: three semesters of courses and one devoted to the preparation of the thesis. Teaching is divided into three blocks for a total of 120 ECTS: core courses (60 ECTS), specialisation (30 ECTS) and thesis (30 ECTS). The first year will be devoted to core courses - mainly taught in Italian but also in English - covering the following areas: politics, public management, law, public economics, and research methods. In the second year students may personalise their syllabus depending on their interests, academic curriculum and professional aspirations; in fact, in the third semester, they will choose one of the specializations, while in the fourth they will work on their thesis.
After the first year of the Programme, students are expected to choose a specialisation. The SPAN partner universities (USI, UNIL, UNIBE) offer several specialisation programmes. Master PMP students are encouraged to take advantage of the inter-university PMP mobility facilitation, granting them guaranteed access to the respective specialisation programmes.
The 'Swiss Public Administration Network' (SPAN) Study Regulations, (1 July 2010), state that all students who successfully satisfy the requirements prescribed within any module administered in one of the partner universities shall obtain a joint degree of Università della Svizzera italiana and the SPAN Network.