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FAQs: Executive Master of Public Administration

EMPA Alumni Manaia King

Please see below for frequently asked questions relating to ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration.


What are the entry requirements?

All EMPA applicants must demonstrate:

  • Strong evidence of leadership potential, including potential to contribute at the senior executive level as part of the next generation of public sector leaders
  • Evidence of work at a senior level within your agency
  • Work performance consistently above average and sound management capability or potential
  • A strong commitment to career development and to a career in the public sector
  • A commitment to contribute to class learning and a willingness to share knowledge in the workplace
  • Capability to complete a rigorous Masters program (normally evidenced by successful completion of an undergraduate degree)
  • At least five years’ relevant work experience.

Applicants must also meet the Masters degree entry requirements of conferring universities, as facilitated through ANZSOG.

Can I undertake the EMPA if I do not have an undergraduate degree?

Yes, there is a defined pathway for Australian students without an undergraduate degree through the EMPA Monash Pathways program and for Aotearoa New Zealand students, through the Victoria University Wellington pathway.

What is the application process?

You must be nominated by your agency. EMPA applications are coordinated differently through each jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions Public Sector Commissions coordinate applications, in others individual agencies do.

Applications are encouraged from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples, and from people with disabilities or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

If you work for the governments of Western Australia, New South Wales or Victoria, please contact your department or agency’s Human Resources or Learning and Development team about your application or expression of interest.

If you work for the Northern Territory government, please contact the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment at swpd.ocpe@nt.gov.au; about your application or expression of interest.

If you work for the Aotearoa New Zealand government, please contact Lynn Evans at the Leadership Development Centre at LDCProgrammes@ldc.govt.nz; about your application or expression of interest.

If you work for the Queensland government, your Public Sector Commission has a limited number of scholarships available for the program. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship via your jurisdiction’s Public Sector Commission, we encourage you to contact them for further information including dates for application submission.

Visit the EMPA page or email: programs_team@anzsog.edu.au for further information.

When do applications open?

Applications for 2024 are now closed. Please submit express your interest for the EMPA 2025 and a member of the Programs team will be in touch.

How much does the program cost?

Students are responsible for their own travel, some meals, and accommodation for each subject they undertake within the EMPA.

All fees listed below are exclusive of GST.

Fees: To be confirmed

When will I/my agency be invoiced?

Invoices will be emailed to you or your nominated contact if your application is successful and you are accepted into the course.

What is covered in the Program fee?

Program fees cover:

  • Tuition
  • Daily catering and refreshments, and some evening meals during residentials

Program fees do not cover:

  • Textbooks
  • Travel
  • Accommodation

Costs for ANZSOG delivered residential subjects such as travel and accommodation need to be paid for by the student or their sponsoring agency.

Travel arrangements:

Portions of the EMPA may be delivered offshore (for example Aotearoa New Zealand/Australia) and successful applicants into the program will be required to seek appropriate travel clearance from their organisation to attend these deliveries. Further information regarding offshore deliveries will be provided upon acceptance into the EMPA.

Can I self-fund my participation if my agency won’t fund?

You may enter into a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer to attend the program. Your employer will be invoiced for the program fee. Requests for self-finding will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the applicant’s sponsoring agency.

What is the university enrolment process?

As part of your EMPA application, ANZSOG will facilitate enrolment on your behalf into one of our conferring universities. When completing your EMPA application, you will also need to provide the following supporting documentation:

  • a certified copy of your birth certificate or data page of the passport
  • a certified colour copy of proof of permanent residency for non-Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand citizens
  • a copy of your current curriculum vitae
  • certified copies of academic transcripts

A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document with the signature and official stamp of an appropriate authority, confirming it is a true and accurate record.

Do you offer RPL/credit for previous study?

As a general principle, ANZSOG does not recognise prior learning and credit towards the EMPA degree. This is because the EMPA degree is a unique learning experience. Our subjects have been carefully designed to be distinctive offerings, different in content and in how they are delivered. Learning with peers with extensive government work experience is an integral part of the process of knowledge development. Given this, all students in the degree should plan to take all the required core subjects.

What is the time commitment of the program?

The EMPA is a two-year part-time postgraduate degree featuring eight core subjects and three electives.

The core subjects are delivered by ANZSOG and elective subjects are delivered by our conferring universities. Each subject consists of around 24 hours of direct instruction and approximately 140 hours of study time, research, reading and assignment work.

How long do I have to complete the EMPA?

Students are expected to complete the EMPA within four years of enrolment.

What happens if I do not complete the EMPA within four years?

Sponsorship for the program is a maximum of four years. Applicants must submit a Sponsorship Nomination Form, signed by an agency representative, acknowledging this.
If you do not complete the EMPA within four years, an extension must be arranged by you separately with the university in which you are enrolled. You will be responsible for any further costs and expenses associated with the completion of your program.


What is the program structure?

The EMPA is a two-year postgraduate qualification undertaken by high performing public sector managers looking to increase their knowledge base, leadership and governing skills.

As a student, you are required to complete:

  • A core curriculum of eight subjects, including an applied research project
  • Three other electives chosen from subjects offered by conferring universities.

The EMPA is delivered through a dynamic blended learning approach, combining online classes with face-to-face learning and cross-jurisdictional networking opportunities.

In 2024, EMPA will be delivered in blended mode (face-to-face and online). You will be required to travel to locations in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to attend the face-to-face study. The face-to-face components of the course will not be available online.

University elective contact time is dictated by your chosen university. Between formal, scheduled learning sessions, you will also have coursework to complete. As a student, you will undertake an applied research work-based project subject throughout the second year of the program, which includes three progress review sessions throughout the year.

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

It is recommended you complete as many first-year subjects 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.

What electives can I take from my university?

As a student, you will complete three elective subjects offered by a conferring university. These are selected by you to bridge your past student and experience with the core curriculum, or to enhance your knowledge of a specific policy area relevant to your career trajectory.

Electives are generally drawn from postgraduate offerings of the faculties or schools of business, commerce, economics, government, law and political and social science.

When does the program start?

Program commencement is February of each year.

Is there a mid-year intake?

We do not offer a mid-year intake. Intake is annually with a commencement at the beginning of each calendar year.

Can I defer my studies?

Yes, you will need to apply in writing to ANZSOG to defer your studies. Forward all requests to: empasupport@anzsog.edu.au.

What are the attendance requirements?

You are expected to attend all components of the EMPA, including all scheduled sessions as this is important to achieve your learning outcomes and assist you with your assessment tasks.

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 the School’s Learning Management System Canvas about managing your enrolment with your university, and also managing your electives.

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).

Do I need to download any software to participate?

Yes, you will need Zoom Meetings installed on your device.

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

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

When will the EMPA delivery schedule will be released?

Once you have been admitted into the EMPA the program schedule will be available to you.

What time of day will the online sessions be run?

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

Is the subject going to be offered multiple times?

Each subject will be delivered only once.

Will online sessions be recorded?

No, online sessions are not recorded as they are designed to be an interactive experience. Some EMPA subjects include videos to assist with learning and these are embedded in the online course pages within Canvas.

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.

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.

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.

What is the cancellation policy?

ANZSOG aims to provide high-quality service at all levels of its operation and is committed to providing a timely and fair cancellation policy. ANZSOG prices its programs based on full capacity and incurs costs progressively throughout the lead-up to and delivery of programs. Should you be required to withdraw from the EMPA, please read our cancellation policy here (191 KB). All fees are exclusive of GST.

Do I need managerial approval to attend the program?

Yes. In signing the application form, your manager agrees to support you to participate in the program and that your organisation bears the cost of the full program fee if your application is successful.

How long is the program?

A two-year postgraduate qualification developed and delivered by ANZSOG exclusively for high-performing public sector managers.

How big is the cohort?

Average of 90-110 students

What are the outcomes?

On completing this degree you will:

  • develop a deeper understanding and strengthen your capacity to lead and manage change in the public sector
  • strengthen your leadership and management skills to deliver effective public services
  • understand the trends shaping the public sector and what they mean for contemporary leaders
  • understand the theory and practice of public value creation in the public, community and business sector
  • appreciate the importance of strategic and ethical leadership in the public sector
  • appreciate what actions you can take to promote excellence in policy analysis, design and organisational processes apply an economic toolkit to public service delivery and pricing decisions
  • analyse problems and seek solutions in a setting governed by public law and other rules of public administration
  • understand the role of evidence in guiding complex decision-making
  • recognise the major concepts that underpin contemporary public sector financial management processes
  • undertake ethical primary research and build your strategic capability in diagnosing, instigating or adapting to change in the public sector.