EMPA Frequently Asked Questions relating to COVID-19

1. Is ANZSOG cancelling all deliveries scheduled for 2020?

It is important to note that we are not cancelling any EMPA subjects. All remaining EMPA subjects will be delivered online in 2020. Read a message from EMPA Director Chris Walker here.

In relation to ANZSOG’s other programs, a number of other programs have been deferred. Read a message from ANZSOG Dean and CEO, Professor Ken Smith here.

2. Do I need to notify my university of changes to the ANZSOG delivered subjects?

ANZSOG will notify all universities of changes to delivery dates on your behalf. You may be required to update your enrolment online with your university. Further information is available on Canvas about managing your enrolment with your university, and also managing your electives.

3. What AV equipment do I require to facilitate online learning?

You will need a functioning device (computer, smartphone, tablet), stable Internet connection, headphones (the higher quality the better) and a camera (either built into your device or attached).

4. Do I need to download any software to participate?

Yes, you will need Zoom installed on your device. It will do this automatically when you click on your first webinar so just login 5 minutes before and allow it.

5. When will the EMPA delivery schedule will be released?

The schedule for the delivery of the remaining EMPA subjects for 2020 is available via Canvas. If you did not receive an email, please contact the Government Relations Team on +61 3 8344 1990 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You will be advised of specific delivery dates for each subject you are enrolled in as these dates are confirmed. This information will also be available on Canvas. Please note we have done our best to avoid subject overlap but it has been unavoidable to enable all remaining subjects to be delivered by year-end.

6. What time of day will the live sessions be run?

Timing will be determined subject by subject, to accommodate the different time zones of international faculty, and students across Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand.

7. Is the subject going to be offered multiple times?

Each subject will be delivered only once.

8. How do we interact with each other during the subject?

Interaction will include plenary sessions (all or most of the cohort joining a live webinar) and small group sessions in Zoom or Canvas Conferences facilitated by the Subject Lead. Some subjects will include the use of discussion forums for specific topics.

Students from the same jurisdiction may wish to physically meet in groups to study on scheduled teaching days. There will also be multiple opportunities to collaborate with peers during the subject.

9. Will there be group presentations and how do we meet with group members?

All assessments will be outlined and submitted in Canvas, the School's Learning Management System. You can access the assessments from both the homepage and the modules page in the course.

10. Will online sessions be recorded?

No, we will not record the live webinars with your Subject Leads as they will be designed to be an interactive experience. Instead, we have asked each subject lead to create a series of teaching videos that will be embedded inside the course.

11. What if I have a conflict and cannot attend one (or more of the synchronous sessions)?

Attendance at each synchronous session is compulsory with attendance expectations still applicable for online delivery. If you cannot attend one or more of the sessions, please contact the Government Relations Team on +61 3 8344 1990 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

12. Can I defer from the online delivery and enrol in the subject next year?

Students are encouraged to attend subjects as planned. Given the current restrictions on travel and mass gatherings there remains uncertainty about when the EMPA face-to-face delivery can return to normal. Please contact the Government Relations Team on +61 3 8344 1990 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

13. If I decide to defer my studies until 2021, what is the last date to submit the deferral paperwork?

To defer core and/or elective subjects in the second half of the year (July – December), you must check the Semester 2 census date for your university and apply for a Leave of Absence before this date with the university. Subject deferral paperwork must be completed and returned to ANZSOG prior to the university census date.

ANZSOG recommends that you complete as many core subjects as possible in 2020 as there is still some uncertainty about when the EMPA face-to-face delivery can return to normal. Our advice from some member governments is that it would be unlikely to allow for large gatherings of the size of the EMPA for non-essential purposes. Some jurisdictions are advising that this could also extend into 2021.

If you wish to discuss your study options, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

14. If I defer my core subjects this year, can I still do my electives through my university this year?

Yes, however ANZSOG recommends that you prioritise enrolment in core subjects as much as possible.

15. Can I change the subject I initially opted out of prior to the course commencing?

Students are encouraged to continue with their study plan as scheduled. However, if you need to change your plan due to existing commitments that clash with the revised subject delivery schedule please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your study options.

16. Does the semester 2 delivery schedule for year 1 students (4 core subjects) mean I cannot take an elective next semester?

Four subjects is considered a full-time load by most universities. If students are undertaking four core subjects in a single Semester, enrolling in an elective may not be allowed. Universities often consider requests for overloading on a case-by-case basis. You will need to contact your university; University contact details are available in the EMPA Canvas course, in the 'University & Elective Process Information' page.

ANZSOG recommends that you prioritise enrolment in core subjects should there be a clash around study dates to ensure you maintain engagement and collaboration with your cohort as much as possible.

17. Will ANZSOG be organising any face-to-face networking events if restrictions allow throughout the year (even state-based)?

Whilst will acknowledge that some jurisdictions are entering the post-acute phase, other jurisdictions are not and restrictions for travel imposed by governments for non-essential purposes (like learning) are expected to be in place for a long time yet. As we are owned by our member governments, we are bound by the conditions and restrictions these governments place on their public servants in how we deliver our education programs. With this backdrop, ANZSOG is not planning any face-to-face networking events.

Students from the same jurisdiction may wish to physically meet (within their state/territory’s guidelines) in groups to study on scheduled teaching days. There will also be multiple opportunities to collaborate with peers during the subject.

18. The attractive features about the ANZSOG EMPA are the opportunity to network with colleagues from other jurisdictions, delivery mode (intensive blocks) and learn about policy problems in situ (e.g. the visit to the Aboriginal community planned for GME during the Cairns program). Will you incorporate these features into an online delivery format?

In moving to the online environment, we are building in a significant interaction between students and with teaching faculty to maintain the high standards of learning and engagement our EMPA students expect. Subjects will continue to include contributions from practitioners and subject matter experts and other guest speakers.

19. How many core subjects do I need to complete this year to progress to year 2?

It is recommended you complete as many 1st year subjects in 2020 as possible. This will assist you to build important networks and connections within your cohort but also help in distributing your study load for Year 2 and avoiding overloading your study plan.

20. Will ANZSOG advise students when the Work Based Project (WBP) final presentation (November) date will be?

The WBP November timetable is currently being finalised. Information will be communicated to students enrolled in the subject once the scheduled teaching day(s) are locked-in.

21. Will ANZSOG provide information for Year 1 students on the WBP start times and dates?

WBP is a Year 2 subject. More information regarding WBP will be provided to Year 1 students in October this year.

22. Will the delivery format be updated to face to face if the guidance and circumstances relating to travel restrictions ease for Australia, NZ and internationally next year?

All remaining EMPA subjects for 2020 will be delivered online.

23. How do I enrol into my university elective subjects and when is the best time to complete those electives?

The elective enrolment process for your university can be found in the EMPA Canvas course in the 'University & Elective Process Information' page. Electives can be completed at a time convenient to you, though ANZSOG recommends that you prioritise enrolment in core subjects.

24. Have presenters/professors or core content changed to deliver via this method?

No – our expert international and domestic faculty from leading universities around the world remain unchanged. The core content is being adapted to the online environment and will maintain the high standards of learning and engagement our EMPA students expect.

25. Do we need to re-enrol into subjects with our university if we were instructed to drop the subject by ANZSOG?

if you had withdrawn from any subjects as a result of the impact of COVID-19 you will need to re-enrol in any core subjects you plan to study online.

26. How long after the fourth week will assignments be due?

We anticipate that all assignments will be completed and (submitted) by the conclusion of the 6th week of teaching, however, this may extend out beyond the 6th teaching week.

Each of our Subject Leads is working together to ensure minimal overlap with assessments and the commencement of a new subject.

27. Will all assignments be group assignments or will there be a mix of group and individual assignments?

It is likely that there will be a mix of group and individual-based assignments. All assessments will be outlined in Canvas in advance of the subject commencement.

28. Is the intent that the group work component of subjects is effectively the same as it was pre-COVID?

Group work is still an integral element of the EMPA, and most subjects will still contain group work components. All assessments will be outlined in Canvas in advance of the subject commencement.

29. Will ANZSOG provide a subject enrolment list with jurisdiction details so students can connect with other students in the same jurisdiction?

Students are encouraged to consult their EMPA Participant Booklet to identify fellow students residing in the same jurisdictions. Alternatively, students can find a list of enrolled students for each subject in Canvas. To navigate to the enrolled students' list, select the subject from your Canvas homepage, and then click “People” from the left-hand side toolbar.

30. Will ANZSOG be available to assist with IT support during deliveries?

IT support will be available to students during designated teaching dates and times. Further information will be made available prior to the subject commencement.

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