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 have the knowledge and capacity to:

  • Have an advanced understanding of theories and contemporary developments in the fields of public policy and public sector administration in both developed and developing countries
  • Analyse critically, evaluate and transform information
  • Analyse, generate and transmit solutions to complex problems within the fields of public policy and public sector administration
  • Interpret and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Apply their knowledge and skills within the fields of public policy and public sector administration to demonstrate autonomy and to display expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner or learner

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)
 SOAD9109  Social Development  (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  Financial Management  (4.5 units)
 POAD9118  Managing Human Resources in the Public Sector  (4.5 units)
 POAD9131  Development Administration  (4.5 units)
 POAD9132  Action Learning Project  (9 units)
 POAD9135  Project Management  (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.