Bachelor of Public Administration

The Bachelor of Public Administration will teach you how government works and how to work with it. It will give you an advanced understanding of the values and processes of governance, the policy, regulatory and service-delivery roles of the public sector, policy analysis and the effective management of organisations, programs, resources and people.

The Bachelor of Public Administration is unique in Australia. It was developed after consultation with senior public sector leaders. The blend of politics, policy and management in the course provides very successful outcomes, preparing students for jobs withthe world's biggest employer, the public sector.

The Bachelor of Public Administration program provides internship opportunities (in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Washington DC) and international exchange opportunities.

Career opportunities

The Flinders Program in Public Administration scores in the top 5% of programs nation wide for student experience and graduate employment outcomes.

The Bachelor of Public Administration will equip you for a wide variety of roles in the government or working at the expanding interface between the public, non-profit and private sectors.

With a Bachelor of Public Administration you will be able to enter fields such as administration, corporate communications, foreign affairs, journalism, management, the parliamentary sector, policy analysis and advice, public administration, research or social analysis.

Program of study

  • Single degree 3 years full time / 1.5 years with TAFE/VET pathway

The Bachelor of Public Administration is comprehensive but flexible. You will complete major sequences in both Management and Public Policy and acquire specialist knowledge in policy areas that interest you which might include the Asian Studies, Business, Economics, Indigenous affairs, International Relations and Politics.


Students in our undergraduate programs have the opportunity to enrol in an Internship either the local South Australian Parliamentary Internship and, if they’ve completed the relevant prerequisites, the Internship Program: Washington DC.


Bachelor of International Relations

The Bachelor of International Relations at Flinders is designed to give you an understanding of key political, social, economic and strategic relations within the global community and how these translate into policy areas such as trade, economic development, tourism, foreign affairs, education, migration, human rights and environmental protection.

It focuses on the disciplinary strengths of history and international relations. Each discipline brings part of the international scene into sharp focus, including Australia’s relationship with the United States, diplomacy in Asia as China emerges as the largest economy in the world, issues arising in developing economies and societies, the history of these and other nations, and how that history impacts on the ways these nations interact.
Flinders University’s links with world-class universities and organisations both locally and abroad enable you to undertake an exchange program or internship that will enhance your international relations experience.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of International Relations may seek job opportunities in international, government and non-government organisations, including diplomacy, foreign affairs, defence, intelligence, foreign aid, humanitarian services, politics, education, language services and journalism.

Combined degrees

You can combine the Bachelor of International Relations with the following degrees to broaden your knowledge and further your chances of getting the job you want:
•    Bachelor of Arts (4 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Business (4 – 4.5 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)/(Finance) (4 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Criminology (4 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Languages (4 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (5.5 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) (5.5 years full-time)
•    Bachelor of Law and Society (4 years full-time)

Program of study

•    Single stream degree 3 years full time (or part time equivalent)

Internships and Study Abroad
There are opportunities to take your studies overseas through internships and short-term study abroad programs. These include the Washington Internship Program, the New Colombo Plan study tours in South-East Asian countries such as Indonesia, or the International Network of Universities Student Seminar on Global Citizenship and Peace in Hiroshima, Japan.

Political Studies major

The Political Studies major is offered in a number of degree programs such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of International Studies, Bachelor of Media, Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Education but, importantly, students are always welcome to choose politics topics as electives. Most are available without requiring prerequisite study, making them excellent options for filling elective study spaces in your degree.

Not surprisingly the Political Studies major offers a wide range of topics reflecting the ecumenical nature of political studies. Students are offered a choice of topics dealing with Australian and environmental politics, political philosophy and ideology, international relations and development studies, public policy and government in the USA and European Union. As such the Political Studies major offers students the freedom to choose to specialize in, for example, political philosophy, or Australian politics, or international relations. Or students may choose to take topics across the spectrum of politics leaving more specialized studies to other majors they choose to undertake as part of their degree. That’s the unique strength of the Political Studies major: it offers students a wide range of options and choices.

In brief, the Flinders approach to studying politics may be summed up as covering a number of interrelated themes:

  • political philosophy
  • Australian government and politics
  • the government and politics of other countries, from the richer and more powerful (in North America and Western Europe) to emerging global powers (like China) to the poorer and less powerful (in many developing countries)
  • public policy (also offered as a separate major sequence)
  • international relations (also offered as a separate major sequence)

Public Policy major

The Public Policy major provides students from a variety of backgrounds and interests—including political science, social work and business studies—with an awareness and understanding of how governments organise their executive, policy-making and administrative activities; the ways in which governmental programs are devised and implemented; and the impact of public policies and programs on business and society. Importantly this major is part of the Bachelor of Government and Public Management degree which combines public policy with a management program offered by the Flinders Business School. The major also offers solid preparation for enrolment in our post-graduate degrees such as the Graduate Certificate in Public Policy through to Masters in Public Policy and Masters in Public Administration. You might also find the Public Policy Degree website useful for information regarding degrees in Public Policy.

International Relations major

The International Relations major is offered in a number of degree programs such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Media and Bachelor of Justice and Society, but importantly students are always welcome to choose international relations topics as electives.

Students are offered a choice of topics ranging from the impact of globalisation, the rise of China in the 21st century, The United States in a global context, foreign policy, democracy and human rights, Australia's place and the role within the Asian region and globally. They will be taught an understanding of the key political, social, economic, strategic, historical and cultural relationships within the modern world, as well as alternative systems of governance throughout the world, especially those parts that are of particular significance to Australia.