Final Research Report

The Research Report is an integral part of the MPA course of study. It is a program milestone and must be completed in order to graduate. Its main objective should be to apply what has been learned in MPA courses to an analysis of: 1) some aspect of the political and administrative process within a given local government; or 2) possible responses to a particular policy problem at the local level. The report should be about 40 to 50 double-spaced typewritten pages in length, comprising about 10,000-12,000 words.

The proposal for the Research Report is completed in PA 9914 Research Design and Methods. Each student submits a research proposal and is assigned a research supervisor during the course. The supervisor supports the student towards the completion of their Research Report and grades the final submission. Students present their research in progress during PA 9917 Issues in Local Government, which is taken in the final summer term of their studies. Most students also complete and submit their Research Report that same term. Self-enrollment in the Research Report milestone is not required, as it is automatically assigned to each student during their first term of enrollment. It appears as “Master’s Research Project” on their web academic report and official transcript.


As per the guidelines you will submit a final copy of your Research Report to the program.  Please ensure you use the following naming convention for your paper.

  • "LastName, FirstName - Year - Status"
  • Example:
    Morgan, Josh - 2018 - Public.pdf
    Lyons, Joe - 2002 - Limited.pdf
    Skywalker, Luke - 2011 - Confidential.pdf

Research Ethics

MPA Research Report projects that involve opinion interviews or survey work generally require review by Western's Research Ethics Board. Ethics applications are managed and your reviewed through Western’s Research Ethics Manager (WREM) platform. The documents and websites listed below will assist you and your supervisor in determining whether your project will require ethics review, and if so, how you can go about this process. 

MPA Research Reports Ethics Submission Guide - pdf

2017-18 Ethics Presentation - Political Science & Local Government Program - pdf

General Human Research Ethics Page

Guidelines & Templates

WREM (Western Research Ethics Management ) - Login, Training, Resources

Below are two completed and approved ethics submissions forms from MPA Research Report projects submitted through the WREM system. Our thanks to Elmond Bandauko, Robert Tremblay, and Ellen Pezetta for allowing us to post these. Both Elmond Bandauko and Robert Tremblay’s projects involved conducting interviews, and Ellen Pezetta’s involved a survey. Included in the PDFs are the ethics forms, Letters of Information and Consent, and email/interview scripts. These are intended to be used as examples that you may reference for your projects.