Public Management Postgraduate Diploma (PDPM) at WIT

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management (PDPM)

Minimum duration: 18 months


Be a part of the solution and change the way the government works from the inside. The 18-month Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management (PDPM) at the Wits School of Governance, will prepare you for professional and managerial leadership roles in the public, development, and not-for-profit sectors. It will also provide you with the knowledge and skills to act ethically and effectively. Enhance your decision-making capacity, learn about conceptual frameworks for public management, and engage critically with the governance debates taking place today.


The PDPM is a post-experience diploma that provides you with key competencies in public management: governance, development, public management, public policy, ethics, and leadership. It focuses on enhancing your problem-solving, information management, and people management expertise that is vital for public sector managers and practitioners who work closely with the public, development, and not-for-profit sectors.

Feedback during this programme is constant and aligns with the exit level outcomes, and incorporates group assessments and peer feedback. Upon completion of this programme, you may qualify for entry to a Wits Master’s degree that demands a public sector qualification as an entry requirement. Entry into the Wits School of Governance Masters programme requires a 65% average.


Admission requirements

• Applicants require a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and preferably two years of relevant work experience in the public, parastatal or non-profit sectors. Students with relevant private sector experience will also be considered.

• The pass mark for these programmes is 50%. Students who achieve an average mark of 65% or more may proceed to the Master’s programme.



Each module will run over a period of seven weeks.


Module 1 – Governance, Leadership and Public Value

This module deals with contemporary conceptions of state and society. It seeks to provide students with a thorough understanding of government functioning and administration, government relations with the private sector and civil society, and government interaction within local, national and regional contexts. It examines the public sector and the complex challenges surrounding public administration, as well as the impact of different models of governance and leadership on the distribution of economic and other resources and the creation of public value.


Module 2 – Public Policy       

This module interrogates conceptual and theoretical frameworks of public policy, examines models of public policy making; offers a framework of public policy analysis and explores policy contexts in South Africa, Africa and globally. The module provides students with an understanding of the special challenges facing policy development and implementation and how to overcome them. This includes technical and skills requirements for evaluating policy, managing vested interests, consultation and public relations, monitoring and evaluation, and the management of inter-departmental coordination and relations.


Module 3 – Development     

This module reviews different conceptions of and current debates about development, including the role of states and markets in development. It deals with the roles of local communities, global actors, and the private and NGO sectors, as well as the impacts of marketisation and economic deregulation. It also highlights challenges to managing development in emerging economies such as South Africa, including social and economic exclusion, inequality, and skewed gender relations.

Module 4 – Public finance and performance-based budgeting

This module introduces students to key concepts in public finance and public sector economics and then analyses public finance issues in the South African context. Key topics include the role of the state in the economy; public expenditure and its impact on economic growth; taxation; fiscal policy; key areas of social policy, including education, health, and social security; and intergovernmental fiscal relations.


Module 5 and Module 6 – Strategic Public Management A and B             

This module deals with managerial systems, strategies and cultures; organisational management; human resources management; performance monitoring; and organisational development and change. It focuses on how bureaucracies should be managed to ensure effective policy implementation and examines the research and analysis needed for making effective decisions in organisational settings. The module also covers the development and validation of operational plans for effective and efficient service delivery.


Module 7 – Analytical Methods 

This module covers the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data relevant to public policy research and practice. Students make decisions and communicate findings based on statistical approaches that enable the interpretation of data.


Module 8 – Evaluation 

This module covers the various forms and approaches to evaluation. Looking at the application of evaluation in a range of public and development management contexts and includes detailed debates around evaluation theory and practice. Issues in evaluation regarding sub-Saharan Africa are explored.

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