The Master of Public Administration is a 72-unit program which is part of the Graduate Program in Public Administration offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. This version of the course is offered in a fully online study mode and is provided in an accelerated format. Depending on credit granted for relevant prior study, the program may be completed in 8 to 15 months of full-time study, or equivalent part-time.

The course is also available by flexible delivery or in mixed on campus/flexible delivery mode which may be completed in two years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time). See Master of Public Administration

Admission requirements

The Master of Public Administration (Online Pathway) is normally available to applicants who hold an approved degree or an 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.


Up to 18 units credit may be granted to applicants who have completed the 18-unit Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management or the 18-unit Graduate Certificate in Public Policy, or an approved equivalent. Students who have completed one of the Graduate Certificates or an approved equivalent but not an undergraduate degree must have achieved an acceptable GPA.

Up to 36 units credit may be granted to applicants who have completed the Graduate Diploma in Public Administration or an approved equivalent with an acceptable GPA. Approved equivalents include an honours degree of the University in a field acceptable to the Board.

Course aims

The Master of Public Administration (online pathway) aims to provide students with a thorough
grounding in public administration, management and policy and to undertake research in one or more of these areas.

Learning outcomes 

Graduates completing the Master of Public Administration (online pathway) will:

  • Have an integrated and advanced understanding of concepts, theories, contemporary trends and developments in public policy, administration and management;
  • Have the ability to reflect on and synthesise complex information and issues, and apply relevant theories to the analysis of problems and challenges in public administration, public policy and public management;
  • Have developed appropriate critical research and evaluative skills, and the capacity to clearly articulate the implications of their findings for the theory and practice of public administration, public policy and/or public management; and
  • Have the capacity to transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Program of study

To qualify for the Master of Public Administration (online pathway) a student must complete 72 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study:

Core - Year 1 topics

27 units comprising:

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

Option - Year 2 topics

Plus 9 units selected from:

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

Plus 22.5 units selected from:

POAD9015 Economics and Public Policy (4.5 units)
POAD9028 Evaluation Methods (4.5 units)
POAD9034 Risk Management - Principles and Practice (4.5 units)
POAD9037 Financial Management (4.5 units)
POAD9129 Environmental Policy and Governance (4.5 units)
POAD9118 Managing Human Resources in the Public Sector (4.5 units)
POAD9119 Regionalism, Decentralisation and Governance (4.5 units)
POAD9135 Project Management (4.5 units)

Core - Research topics

POAD9058 Approaches to Applied Research (4.5 units)
POAD9057 Professional Research Project (9 units)

*It is expected that POAD8014 Public Policy and POAD8022 Public Management will normally be completed before other topics are undertaken.