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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. Please see below for information on fees.

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 contact +61 3 8344 1909 or email: programs_team@anzsog.edu.au for further information.

When do applications open?

Applications for 2023 are now open. Apply now or Express your interest to leave your details and we will contact you once applications are open for the next iteration of the Executive Master of Public Administration. Applications for 2023 close on 3 October 2022.

How much does the program cost?

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

Note: AUD fees apply for international students.

All fees listed below are exclusive of GST.

Fees:

The cost of EMPA 2023 program will be as follows:

  • AUD $50,960, or
  • NZD $55,546

When will I/my agency be invoiced?

Invoices will be emailed to you/your agency invoice contact once you have been 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’s sponsoring agency.

Travel arrangements:

Portions of the EMPA may be delivered offshore (for example 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 their employer to attend the program. Your employer will be billed the program fee. Discussed on a case-by-case basis with the applicant’s sponsoring agency.

What is the university enrolment process? 

As part of your application into the EMPA, 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 instruction and approximately 140 hours of study time, 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. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 across jurisdictions, the EMPA is currently being delivered in an online format.

In 2023, EMPA will be delivered in blended mode (face to face and online). You will be required to travel to locations in Australia and 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 early 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: programs_team@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 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 installed on your device. It will do this automatically when you click on your first webinar so just login five minutes before and allow it.

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 a schedule will be available to you.

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.

Is the subject going to be offered multiple times?

Each subject will be delivered only once.

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. Some EMPA subjects include videos to assist with learning and these are embedded in the online course page.

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 withdrawal procedure. 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 assumes 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.

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?

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 across jurisdictions, the EMPA is currently being delivered in an online format.

ANZSOG intends to move to a blended learning environment incorporating a mix of virtual and face-to-face contact in 2023. This will allow students to attend face-to-face classes and meet in person assuming various jurisdictional rules permitting travel and large class gatherings.

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

ANZSOG is not currently planning any face-to-face cross-jurisdictional networking events.

Students from the same jurisdiction may wish to physically meet (within your 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.

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. Will you incorporate these features into an online delivery format?

In moving to online, significant interaction between students and teaching faculty have been built in, in order 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.

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.

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. Group presentations are common across many of the EMPA subjects.

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 has been adapted to an online environment

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

You are encouraged to consult their EMPA Participant Booklet to identify fellow students residing in the same jurisdictions. Alternatively, you 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.

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

Each subject will be delivered only once.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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: programs_team@anzsog.edu.au

11. 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 programs_team@anzsog.edu.au.

12. 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.

13. 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 programs_team@anzsog.edu.au to discuss your study options.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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 adapted to the online environment and will maintain the high standards of learning and engagement our EMPA students expect.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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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