The Graduate Diploma in Public Administration is a 36-unit program which is part of the Graduate Program in Public Administration offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

It is available on campus, by flexible delivery or in mixed mode, on campus/flexible delivery mode. The Graduate Diploma requires one year of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time).

The course is also available in a fully online study mode and is provided in an accelerated format which may be completed in a minimum of 8 months full-time. See Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (online pathway)

It articulates with:

Students who have completed one of the Graduate Certificates or an approved equivalent normally receive credit for 18 units of topics towards the Graduate Diploma. In turn, those who complete the Graduate Diploma normally receive 36 units of credit should they wish to proceed with a Masters degree.

Alternatively, students who enrol directly in the Graduate Diploma may choose to complete only the requirements for the Graduate Certificates in Public Policy or Public Sector Management and exit with one of those awards.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold either the Graduate Certificate in Development Administration, Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, Graduate Certificate in Public Policy* (or an approved equivalent); or an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution. However, the Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

* Those who were admitted to the Graduate Certificate without completing an undergraduate degree must have attained an acceptable GPA in the Graduate Certificate to be eligible to proceed to the Graduate Diploma.


Credit may be granted, on application, for relevant work already completed in other approved

Course aims

The Graduate Diploma in Public Administration aims to provide a broad overview of issues in public policy, management and administration and to provide a foundation for those wishing to pursue studies at the Masters level. 

Learning outcomes

Graduate with a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration will be able to:

  • understand contemporary trends and developments in public policy, public sector administration and management in both developed and developing countries
  • demonstrate the ability to apply relevant theories in explaining and analysing real world public policy, public sector administration and management problems.

Program of Study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Public Administration, students must complete 36 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board:

  • no topic may be attempted more than twice
  • the program must be completed within six consecutive semesters or where credit has been granted for previous work, a period determined by the Board.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in 12 or more units may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purposes of the University's Policy on Student Progress.

Core - Year 1 topics

 POAD8014  Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POAD8022  Public Management  (4.5 units)

AND one of:

 POAD8007  Policy Analysis: Frameworks, Approaches and Values  (4.5 units)
 POAD8017  Contemporary Public Policy: Theoretical Perspectives  (4.5 units)
 POAD8138  Governance and Public Policy  (4.5 units)

AND one of:

 POAD8130  Toolkit for Public Management  (4.5 units)
 POAD8137  Ethics in Public Administration  (4.5 units)
 POAD8139  Organisational Politics, Culture and Management  (4.5 units)
 POAD8142  Leading and Managing Change  (4.5 units)

Option - Group A topics

At least one topic from Group A:

 POAD9015  Economics and Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POAD9030  Indigenous Issues in Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POAD9119  Regionalism, Decentralisation and Governance  (4.5 units)
 POAD9129  Environmental Policy and Governance  (4.5 units)
 POAD9133  Critical Systems Thinking and Practice  (4.5 units)
 POAD9136  Culture and Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POLI9004  The Politics of Climate Change  (4.5 units)

Option - Group B topics

AND at least one topic from Group B:

 EDUC8601  Strategic Thinking and Planning  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9605  Knowledge Management for Organisational Learning  (4.5 units)
 POAD9026  Management in Non-Government Organisations  (4.5 units)
 POAD9028  Evaluation Methods  (4.5 units)
 POAD9034  Risk Management - Principles and Practice  (4.5 units)
 POAD9037  Public Financial Management  (4.5 units)
 POAD9057  Professional Research Project (9 units)
 POAD9058  Research Design (4.5 units)
 POAD9118  Managing Human Resources in the Public Sector  (4.5 units)
 POAD9131  Development Administration  (4.5 units)
 POAD9135  Project Governance  (4.5 units)
 POAD9140  Public Policy Internship (13.5 units)

With approval from the Director of Studies, one topic may be chosen from another post-graduate program within the University.