Master of Public Policy

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Professionals in the field of public policy operate in a rapidly changing policy environment, with growing public scrutiny, shrinking resources, and new trans-boundary challenges. The Master of Public Policy provides a critical and multidisciplinary perspective on the global, national and local levels of these changes. It is designed for those working or seeking to work in government and the public sector, and for those working in non-governmental or private sector bodies who seek a better understanding of the role of government in public policy making. It explores the opportunities and constraints stemming from political, social, economic, civil and technological factors at both the national and global levels.

Major areas of interest include migration, corruption, crisis management, governance and the environment. You will also have an opportunity to take additional classes from across the department’s offerings in international relations, comparative politics and Australian politics. Many of the units include practical forms of assessment that draw together theoretical insights from public policy scholarship, with empirical examples from the political world.

Course outline

For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online postgraduate handbook.

Study plan


(a) a minimum of 12 credit points of core unit of study; and

(b) a minimum of 30 credit points of core elective units of study; and

(c) a maximum of 42 credit points from elective units of study which can include an optional minor as listed in the unit of study table. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points can be taken as elective units from units of study outside those listed in the Public Policy subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including units of study offered by other faculties ; and

(d) a minimum of 6 credit points from capstone units of study.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Candidates must complete 4 postgraduate units - 75% or above average (Distinction+) and written permission from Postgraduate Coursework Coordinator. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

Eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of Public Policy have the option of completing a dissertation on an approved topic over two units of study with a value of 12 credit points, under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Candidates electing to undertake a dissertation (12cp) must prepare a research proposal and discuss their topic with the academic coordinator prior to enrolling. Approval is subject to the department's discretion and the availability of an appropriate academic supervisor. The dissertation comprises research and writing toward a project of approximately 15,000 words.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Public Policy provides the skills for graduates to become more effective administrators, researchers, planners, educators and managers. Possible careers include policy analysts in national, state and local government, advisers to political parties, business groups and trade unions, strategic planners or advisers on government/business relations, policy experts within non-profit or ‘third sector’ agencies, and international intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations.

Further study

Graduates of the Master of Public Policy who have completed a dissertation with a meritorious grade are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in their chosen subject area.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to candidature for the Master of Public Policy requires:

(a) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification or

(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Public Policy with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.

Upgrade is possible from a Grad Cert to a Grad Dip or Masters in the embedded degree.

Upgrade is possible for a Grad Dip to Masters in the embedded degree.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply:

(i) directly to the University via the International Office. Further information on applications and English language requirements and support services for international students is available on the International Office website; or

(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Public Policy.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Public Policy.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee not available for Master of Public Policy.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee not available for Master of Public Policy.

Additional incidental fees

Additional incidental fees not available for Master of Public Policy.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Public Policy.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students not available for Master of Public Policy.

Annual review

Annual review not available for Master of Public Policy.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

Additional incidental fees and health insurance not available for Master of Public Policy.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Public Policy.