The Master of Public Administration (Policy) is a 72-unit program which is part of the Graduate Program in Public Administration offered by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

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 requires two years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time).

Admission requirements

The Master of Public Administration (Policy) 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.


Credit may be granted towards completion of the degree for relevant prior study.

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 (Policy) aims to provide a broad overview of issues in public administration and management and a strong foundation in understanding, knowledge and skills in the practice of public policy.

Learning outcomes

Graduates with a Master of Public Administration (Policy) will be able to:

  • understand contemporary trends and developments in public policy and the process of public policy making
  • understand contemporary trends and developments in the field of public policy and appreciate the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in assessing and analysing policy outcomes
  • demonstrate skills in policy analysis and engage in informed debates on policy issues and their impacts.

International English language pathway

Students who are admitted to the course under the International English language pathway are required to enrol in one or both of the following English tuition topics based on their IELTS’ entrance score.

English tuition topics

 POAD8005  English Language Tuition 1 (0 units)
 POAD8006  English Language Tuition 2 (0 units)

To be eligible to complete the requirements of the course, students must complete the required English tuition topics.

Except with the permission of the Director of Studies, enrolment in the English tuition topics must be undertaken concurrently in the first semester of study with core topics POAD8014 Public Policy and POAD8022 Public Management.

Program of study

To qualify for the Master of Public Administration (Policy) 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 topics

36 units comprising:

 POAD8007  Policy Analysis: Frameworks, Approaches and Values (4.5 units)
 POAD8014  Public Policy (4.5 units)
 POAD8017  Contemporary Public Policy: Theoretical Perspectives (4.5 units)
 POAD8022  Public Management (4.5 units)
 POAD8137  Ethics in Public Administration (4.5 units)
 POAD8138  Governance and Public Policy (4.5 units)

Plus two topics selected from:

 POAD9015  Economics and Public Policy (4.5 units)
 POAD9129  Environmental Policy and Governance (4.5 units)
 POAD9136  Culture and Public Policy (4.5 units)

Option topics

Students must complete 36 units of Option topics, selected as follows:

Students must complete one of the following three capstone topics:

 POAD9140  Public Policy Internship (13.5 units)
 POAD9132  Action Learning Project (9 units)
 POAD9150  Project in Public Administration (13.5 units)

Plus at least 18 units selected from Group A topics:

 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)

Plus at least 4.5 units selected from Group B below to make a total of 36 units of Option topics:

 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)
 POAD8130  Toolkit for Public Management (4.5 units)
 POAD9131  Development Administration (4.5 units)
 POAD9135  Project Management (4.5 units)
 POAD8139  Organisational Politics, Culture and Management (4.5 units)
 POAD8142  Leading and Managing Change (4.5 units)

Students who have completed the foregoing requirements and still do not have 72 units may select an additional option topic from either Group A or Group B in order to reach 72 units.

A maximum of one topic from any other post-graduate program within the University may be taken with the approval of the Director of Studies.