Master of Administrative Law and Policy (MALP)

Light Tower, Sydney Law School

The program

This specialist program develops the skills and knowledge required to negotiate the legal and policy issues affecting government and the relationship between government and citizens.

The core curriculum covers legal and policy issues relating to scrutiny of the executive branch by the judicial branch; processes for making rules and policy; transparency of government; participation in governmental decision-making processes; the role of government policy within the analytic framework of welfare economics; and the nature of public policy and the processes by which it is formed.

The elective curriculum explores law and policy in areas including environmental regulation and planning; tax administration; public health law; constitutional and democratic frameworks for administrative decision-making; legal rules applied by courts in judicial review of government decision-making; and social policy frameworks.

The MALP combines the experience and expertise of teachers and students from the legal profession, the public policy field of welfare economics, and public administration. This allows the study of administrative law and public policy issues to be considered in an interdisciplinary context with knowledge of governmental structures and procedures integrated with knowledge of legal principles and procedures.

Program structure

The program requires the completion of 48 credit points, equivalent to eight units of study. The core units ensure an interdisciplinary approach. The wide-ranging electives available in the Sydney Law School, as well as the Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, allow each student to construct a grouping of subjects most appropriate to developing a sophisticated appreciation of the way in which law and policy interact in particular areas of public administration.

Attendance pattern

Each unit of study entails 26 contact hours. Units are offered on a semester length basis or intensive basis. Semester length units are taught once a week over 13 weeks on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening between 6pm and 8pm. Intensive units of study condense the 26 hours over a period of four to five days. The units are then taught between 9am and 5pm over a block period. For example, an intensive unit may be taught two consecutive days one week and then two consecutive days in a fortnight's time.


(from first enrolment)
*Periods of suspension, exclusion or lapsed candidature will be added to the maximum completion times except that no completion time will exceed 10 years from first enrolment. Credit will not be granted for previous studies older than 10 years at the time of first enrolment. If a student is admitted with credit, the School will determine a reduced time limit for completion of the award course.

Units of study

Please note: some units of study may have pre-requisite requirements or prohibition guidelines and may not be available to those without a law degree. Please check with the Sydney Law School directly if in doubt.

Please select from the dropdown box for the units of study list:

Core Units of Study (2017)

Administrative Law
Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System *
Policy Making, Power and Politics - GOVT6316 (offered by the Department of Government and International Relations)
Public Policy
*Candidates without a law degree or equivalent from a common law jurisdiction must undertake this unit prior to enrolling in other law units.

Candidates must complete at least 24 credit points of units of study (including compulsory units of study) offered by Sydney Law School

Elective Units - Department of Government & International Relations (2017)

Comparative Democratic PoliticsĀ 
Comparative Migration Policy
Global Environmental Politics
Globalisation and Governance
Governance and Civil Society
Governance and Public Policy Making
International Policy Making
Leadership in Theory and Practice
Policy Making, Power and Politics
Public Management and Governance
Public Sector Ethics and Corruption

Candidates must not complete more than 24 credit points of units of study (including the compulsory unit of study) offered by other Faculties/Departments as listed below.

Elective Units - Faculty of Education and Social Work (2017)

Global Social Policy
Social Policy Frameworks

Candidates must not complete more than 24 credit points of units of study (including the compulsory unit of study) offered by other Faculties/Departments as listed below.

Elective Units - Department of Sociology and Social Policy (2017)

Citizenship Rights and Social Movements
New Debates in Social Theory

Candidates must not complete more than 24 credit points of units of study (including the compulsory unit of study) offered by other Faculties/Departments as listed below.

Independent Research Project
 Independent Research Project Closing Dates  Semester 1  Semester 2
Application to undertake Independent Research Project  (doc)
  30 September
30 April

Enrolment enquiries

Applications are still open. However, some units may have restricted class size and compulsory units may run early in the semester. It is strongly recommended that applicants submit their application on time to avoid disappointment. Please contact the Postgraduate Team for further details.

Current students

Future students

Please refer to the Admission to candidature - School Handbook

Please read through How to apply and ensure all relevant application documents are available to upload before applying online:

Program Co-ordinator

Professor Margaret Allars


Staff teaching in this program have active research programs and publication records in administrative law and policy. Information on individual staff, their research interests and publications, may be obtained from the Our People section of the website.