Master of Policy Studies

Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma


The MPS and its component graduate certificate and graduate diploma attracts students from different countries and a range of backgrounds in the human services industry.

Despite this inherent diversity, and regardless of whether the students have come from schools, hospitals, health or community centres, international organisations, the public service or police force, aged care, children's services, social work, unions, peak bodies and non-government organisations, their shared goal is to learn more about policy processes because of a belief that policy changes can significantly improve social outcomes for individuals and communities.

The University of Sydney postgraduate policy studies program is distinctive in its attention to international policy trends as well as its responsiveness to the needs and interests of students. It uniquely offers MPS and GradDipPS students the opportunity to study courses from different schools and faculties as part of their awards.

Compulsory coursework includes international comparative analyses of policy debates and changes relating to human service organisations. The teaching staff are experts in the fields of education and/or social services who have been actively involved in formulating policies.

Because the MPS is a fully articulated program, the units of study offered as part of the Graduate Certificate in Policy Studies are identical to those studied by candidates for the graduate diploma and master's. This ensures that graduate certificate and graduate diploma students will receive full credit for the units they have completed if they choose to subsequently enrol in a master's program.


Entry requirements

Proof of English-language proficiency must be provided by certain domestic and all international students for whom English is a second language.

Applicants to all levels of the articulated certificate/diploma/master's course must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • a Bachelor of Social Work or equivalent qualification recognised by the Australian Association of Social Workers and either relevant postgraduate studies or one year’s full-time professional experience in the human services field; or
  • a Bachelor of Education or equivalent qualification and either relevant postgraduate studies or one year’s full-time professional experience in the human services field; or
  • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline and either relevant postgraduate studies or at least two years’ relevant work experience in the human services field.

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Human and Community Services (GradCertH&CS) are eligible to apply for credit towards either the GradDipPS or the MPS.


Course structure

Master’s candidates are required to complete eight units of study, including:

  • at least two core units; and
  • one capstone unit; and
  • no more than two elective units from those offered by the University outside the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

Graduate Diploma candidates are required to complete six units of study, including:

  • at least two core units; and
  • no more than one elective unit from those offered by the University outside the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

Graduate Certificate candidates are required to complete four units of study, including
at least two core units.

Core units of study

Elective units of study offered by Sydney School of Education and Social Work

Elective units of study offered by other schools and faculties within the University

Capstone units of study

Master’s candidates are required to complete SCWK6908 or EDPZ6730 (both 6 credit points) or the Dissertation (12 credit points), normally in the final semester of enrolment. Students who intend to undertake a higher degree by research (MPhil, PhD, DSW) in the future should enrol in the Dissertation. Please note that entry requirements apply for the Dissertation - please refer to the application form for further details.


Further study

Students who complete the Master of Policy Studies with sufficient merit may apply to proceed to a higher degree by research.


Fees

Tuition fees vary according to a candidate’s residency status and are reviewed annually. Details on course fees can be found on the Master of Policy Studies entry in the Sydney Courses database. General information regarding international student fees is available here.