The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy is an 18-unit program which is part of the Graduate Program in Public Administration offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. It requires one semester of full-time study, or equivalent part-time.

The course is available on campus or by online study and students may move between mode of study on a topic by topic basis.

It articulates with the 36-unit Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and three 72-unit masters programs - the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Administration (Management) and Master of Public Administration (Policy) .

Sequentially developed topics allow progression through the three levels.

Students who complete the graduate certificate normally receive credit for up to 18 units of topics should they wish to proceed with the graduate diploma or masters.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution.

Admission may be granted based on prior work and voluntary experience. This will usually include several years of experience in a public sector or non-government organisation. Admission will be based on the extent to which work or voluntary experience has enabled the applicant to develop an understanding of issues in the public and non-government sectors, and policy and/or analytical skills.

Applicants who wish to be admitted on this basis need to provide:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a description of the roles and activities in work or voluntary positions
  • a description of the skills and abilities demonstrated through their work/voluntary experience
  • name(s) of referee(s) who could verify work/voluntary experience.

The Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Course aims

The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy aims to introduce the theory and practice of public policy for current and future public servants and those interested in knowing more about how policy is made. 

Learning outcomes

Graduates with a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy will have the knowledge and capacity to:

  • Have an advanced understanding of theories and contemporary developments in the field of public policy
  • Analyse critically, evaluate and transform information to complete a range of activities within the field of public policy
  • Analyse, generate and transmit solutions to complex problems within the field of public policy
  • Transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to others
  • Apply their knowledge and skills within the field of public policy to demonstrate autonomy andisplay well developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner or learner

Program of study

The program of study comprises:

Core - Year 1 topics

 POAD8014 Public Policy  (4.5 units)

Select at least one topic from:

 POAD8007 Policy Analysis: Frameworks, Approaches and Values  (4.5 units)
 POAD8017 Contemporary Public Policy: Theoretical Perspectives  (4.5 units)
 POAD8137 Ethics in Public Administration  (4.5 units)
 POAD8138 Governance and Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POAD9140 Public Policy Internship (13.5 units)

Option - Year 1 topics

 Select up to 9 units from:

 POAD9015  Economics and Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POAD9119  Regionalism, Decentralisation and Governance  (4.5 units)
 POAD9129  Environmental Policy and Governance  (4.5 units)
 POAD9132  Action learning project/internship (9 units)
 POAD9133  Critical Systems Thinking and Practice  (4.5 units)
 POAD9136  Culture and Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 SOAD9109  Social Development  (4.5 units)
 POAD9030  Indigenous Issues in Public Policy  (4.5 units)
 POLI9004  The Politics of Climate Change  (4.5 units)