Subjects

The Atlas classification of 34 public management subjects

As described in Atlas Framework for Curricular Analysis, curricular and advisory subject matter in the field of public management is organized on the Atlas into 34 subjects under four domains.

The subjects that contribute to the core curriculum of MPP and MPA programs are marked with an asterisk (*). For each of these, the Subject page lists core topics, core concepts, and an associated Atlas course.

Analysis
and Skills

Institutions
and Context

Management
Functions

Policy
Sectors

Policy Analysis and Process*
Implementation and Delivery*
Economic Analysis*
Quantitative Methods*
Analytic Methods*
Leadership Skills*
Communication Skills*
Governance and Institutions*
Ethics, Rights, and Accountability*
Socioeconomic and Political Context*
Global Context*
Public Financial Management*
Evaluation and Performance Measurement*
Human Resource Management*
Information and Technology Management*
Regulatory Policy and Management
Local Government Management
Nonprofit Management and Advocacy
Macroeconomic Policy*
International Development
Public Finance and Social Policy
Health
Education
Employment, Labour and Immigration
Cities, Urban and Regional Development
Environment and Sustainability*
Agriculture and Resources
Science, Technology and Innovation
Industry, Trade and Investment
Energy, Transport and Infrastructure
Defence, Security and Foreign Relations
Policing and Justice Administration
Arts and Culture
Financial Markets
Classifying subjects by different attributes

The subjects can be grouped in various ways to reflect pedagogical and advisory distinctions considered relevant to curricular design. The distinctions we highlight, illustrated on the table below, are:

  • Core subjects are those where at least some of the topics typically covered in courses are deemed to be core topics in the MPP and MPA curriculum. (See Normed Topic Model and Defining Core.)
  • General Preparation (with the further distinction between the “how to” Analysis and Skills subjects and the “why does” Institutions and Context subjects) vs. Specific Practice Preparation (with the further distinction between Management Functions subjects and Policy Sectors subjects). These distinctions are reflected in the four domains indicated by the columns in the table above.
  • Policy-oriented subjects vs. management-oriented subjects. This distinction, which harkens back a half century to the 1960s movement to create MPP programs focusing on policy analysis to complement MPA programs focusing on public sector management, is indicated by Pol or Mgt in parentheses in the table above: either policy-oriented subjects management-oriented subjects, with two subjects (Policy Analysis and Process; Implementation and Delivery) designated 50-50. These are used to generate MPP/MPA Curricular Types, where programs with 60% or more of policy-oriented subjects are categorized as policy oriented and those programs with more than 40% management-oriented subjects are categorized as management oriented.
  • Mathematics-economics intensive subjects vs. other subjects. This distinction is important for determining the academic preparation of both teaching faculty and students. Such courses tend to be taught by economists rather than political scientists, and students usually require some undergraduate preparation in economics and statistics. These subjects are indicated by the (Math-Econ) label in the table above.
  • Archetypal public affairs subjects vs. archetypal international affairs subjects. This distinction is important for comparing programs coming under the broad category of Public Affairs (MPP, MPA and similarly named) programs with International Affairs (MIA, MGA, as well as International specializations within MPP or MPA) programs. These are indicated with the (Arch PA) and (Arch IA) labels.

The subject-domain framework is used to classify courses, teaching topics, concepts, and practice advice.

The policy-oriented vs. management-oriented distinction is used in conjunction with the Mathematics-economics designation and the Courses to Graduate variable to create MPP/MPA Curricular Types. The archetypal public affairs and international affairs subject designations are used to conduct Comparisons with International Affairs Programs. All this data is brought together in the Curriculum Comparison Tables and the Program Rankings by Curricular Characteristics.

Analysis
and Skills

Policy Analysis and Process
(Core, Pol/Mgt, Arch PA)

Implementation and Delivery
(Core, Pol/Mgt, Arch PA)

Economic Analysis
(Core, Pol, Arch PA, Math-econ)

Quantitative Methods
(Core, Pol, Arch PA, Math-econ)

Analytic Methods
(Core, Pol)

Leadership Skills
(Core, Mgt)

Communication Skills
(Core, Mgt)

Institutions
and Context

Governance and Institutions
(Core, Mgt)

Ethics, Rights, and Accountability
(Core, Mgt)

Socioeconomic and Political Context
(Core, Pol)

Global Context
(Core, Pol)

Management
Functions

Public Financial Management
(Core, Mgt)

Evaluation and Performance Measurement
(Core, Mgt)

Human Resource Management
(Core, Mgt)

Information and Technology Management
(Core, Mgt)

Regulatory Policy and Management
(Mgt)

Local Government Management
(Mgt)

Nonprofit Management and Advocacy
(Mgt)

Policy
Sectors

Macroeconomic Policy
(Core, Math-econ)

International Development
(Pol, Arch IA)

Public Finance and Social Policy
(Pol)

Health
(Pol)

Education
(Pol)

Employment, Labour and Immigration
(Pol)

Cities, Urban and Regional Development
(Pol)

Environment and Sustainability
(Core, Pol)

Agriculture and Resources
(Pol)

Science, Technology and Innovation
(Pol)

Industry, Trade and Investment
(Pol)

Energy, Transport and Infrastructure
(Pol)

Defence, Security and Foreign Relations
(Pol, Arch IA)

Policing and Justice Administration
(Pol)

Arts and Culture
(Pol)

Financial Markets
(Pol, Math-econ)

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 5 June 2016.

Image: My Test Study, at http://myteststudy.com/scope-of-llb-subjects,-jobs,-career-&-super-tips, accessed 15 December 2015.