Below you will find some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Specialist Certificate, Graduate Certificate and Master of Public Administration.
How are subjects delivered?
Compulsory subjects in our public administration programs are delivered in intensive format, meaning they are taught in compressed timeframes. As the timelines are compressed, participants are required to prepare materials before the first face-to-face class.
We offer different intensive modes. For example, The World of Public Administration has a five-day intensive format; Working Ethically runs in a three-day format, and the Nature of Governing runs in two blocks of time (two-day and a three-day block). Some subjects have a face-to-face component all in one go; others in two blocks of time. This format allows us to build a strong cohort experience and to explore issues in-depth. We don’t have any compulsory subjects that are delivered in a week-by-week format.
What does the timetable look like/ how can I combine work and study
Our public administration programs are designed for working professionals. Subjects are taught in intensive blocks of time, including weekends, giving you more control over your workload and hours.
Our timetable is available well in advance for those that will need to take leave for their subjects; all compulsory subjects are delivered in full day intensive formats. Please refer to the degree structure page for more information on subject delivery, including those taught intensively.
What is the difference between the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)?
The Master of Public Administration requires professional experience and is designed for managers working with or within government responsible for operationalising policy and managing resources.
The Master of Public Policy Management focuses on policy rather than areas such as management, leadership, communications, etc. and is designed for those who want to focus on developing and understanding public policy. The degree does not require professional experience.
A common career progression for someone within the government is writing policy and working in this area for a few years, perhaps after graduating from university with a degree in policy or politics. They might take on some managerial duties and may choose to undertake a MPA to further develop their decision making, project management, leadership and communication skills in the same way someone in the private sector might choose to undertake a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
What is a ‘cognate discipline’?
A ‘cognate discipline’ means you have completed prior study in a relevant area related to social sciences. As public administration encompasses many areas of study, there is no definitive list of cognate disciplines. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis and students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds are considered.
Why do you need professional experience to study Public Administration?
Entry to our public administration programs requires at least three years of relevant and documented professional expertise at a level considered appropriate by the course coordinator/selection committee. This expertise is an essential component of the course, both in terms of engaging in the interactive teaching model that will be utilised, but also the assessment tasks that will require participants to draw on their experiences in practice and reflect on these.
What is regarded as relevant professional experience?
Work experience needs to be demonstrably related to the field of public administration, for example managers working with or within government. Please ensure you include a current CV, letters of reference from relevant employers, position descriptions for any relevant jobs or positions held, and any other supporting documents you feel would strengthen your claim for relevant work experience.
What are the English language requirements?
You must meet the English language requirements of the University to be eligible for a place. You can satisfy the English language requirements in a number of ways, depending on your circumstances.
- I have submitted an online application for the Master of Public Administration. When and how will I receive my application outcome?
- Is mid-year entry available?
It has been a long time since I last studied at university. Do you have a cut-off date where a previous degree is no longer counted?
Depending on the course, a maximum period of ten years can apply. Applicants for Masters or Graduate Diploma (Advanced) programs with their most recent degree completed more than 10 years ago, however, are advised to provide a CV with their application so that the Selection Committee also has an account of their professional activities since graduation. If the Selection Committee remains concerned about the lack of recent tertiary study and professional experience, they may recommend a pathway, rather than a direct offer.
Fees & Scholarships
I want to study the course but I cannot pay for a full fee place. What are my options?
There are many ways you can alleviate the pressure of course fees. One option is to defer your fees via FEE-HELP in the same way you can defer undergraduate fees via HECS. If you are eligible, you can defer all or part of your tuition fees via a government loan, which you repay when your income reaches the minimum repayment threshold. You can also nominate to make voluntary repayments of your FEE-HELP loan at any time. FEE-HELP is nominated during the online enrolment process for your course. Further information about FEE-HELP is available on the Australian Government's Study Assist website on the FEE-HELP web page.
Another option is to claim a tax deduction via self-education expenses for your graduate study, provided your course has a sufficient connection to your current employment. For further information, please consult your accountant or the Australian Taxation Office.
There are a range of other flexible payment options such as semester payments, annual payments or two payments per semester.
Are there Commonwealth Supported Places available?
A small number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are also available in Masters by Coursework programs.
A limited number of equity based CSPs are available through Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) to successful Masters by Coursework applicants. Masters by Coursework applicants are also considered for CSPs on the basis of academic merit, but should note that this is a highly competitive process. As a guide, only Masters applicants with high, first-class results in their previous studies would normally be considered for a merit-based CSP.
Only CSP and Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) applications submitted with full supporting documents by the closing date are considered. The GAM and CSP closing date for the Start Year Intake is 31 October, and for the Mid-Year Intake is 31 May.
Are there any scholarships available?
There are no financial aid, grant or scholarship opportunities available for the MPA, and a limited number of University-wide scholarships available to high achieving students.
Scholarship opportunities are extremely competitive, and it is advisable for most students to explore alternative funding sources, including grant and scholarship opportunities from their home countries (where applicable).