Executive Master of Public Administration
Strengthen your public sector career
2 years part time
To be confirmed
ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) degree produces confident, critical thinking public sector leaders with the skills required to manage complex challenges, take the next step in their careers and deliver value to their agencies and the communities they serve.
Since 2003, more than 70 EMPA students have gone on to hold roles as CEOs or Secretaries (equivalents) after completing the program.
In a time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, it’s more important than ever for you to understand the forces impacting public administration and public policy, and how you as an ambitious and emerging leader can confidently respond and address these challenges.
The EMPA explores the core principles of public sector leadership, services management and how you might mobilise resources and others to deliver public value. The program is tailored to fit around the lives of busy public servants and makes effective use of blended learning delivery modes. It will help you develop the strategic leadership capabilities you need to contribute at the highest levels of the public sector.
You will also build an invaluable toolkit encompassing public financial and economic management, public policy design and delivery, evidence-based decision-making, effective ways to organise and deliver public value, lead change management and more.
The EMPA provides you with an invaluable opportunity to network with like-minded public sector leaders from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, while learning from leading global academics and senior government practitioners.
Information for managers and sponsoring agencies
Owned by and working for the governments of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, ANZSOG creates and delivers education programs tailored to meet the needs of public sector leaders who face distinct challenges.
Our programs are designed with significant government input, for government, and led by world class academics and leading senior practitioners.
Who should I nominate?
Nominate a person with management experience and at least five years of relevant work experience. Applicants should be recognised as high potential future leaders, exhibiting a strong commitment to public service. Applicants should meet the master’s degree entry requirements of conferring universities, which typically require previous completion of an undergraduate degree. Applicants without an undergraduate degree can consider our Monash Pathways program. We encourage you to nominate Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
First Peoples Public Administration Scholarship
ANZSOG offered a scholarship in early 2021 to assist the development of an Indigenous leader working in the public sector in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The scholarship, worth $15,000 to $45,000, was to be used exclusively for an ANZSOG foundation program, either the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), the Executive Fellows Program (EFP) or Towards Strategic Leadership (TSL).
The inaugural 2021 Scholarship was awarded to Palawa woman Brenda McDermott, currently working in the Victorian public service. Brenda will commence the EMPA in 2022.
Due to the on-going impact of COVID restrictions on the delivery of all ANZSOG programs, the timeline for the next First Peoples scholarship is yet to be determined. If you are interested, please review the Selection Criteria and email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to sign up to the ANZSOG Indigenous news, and/or our general e-news, both of which will be used to notify potential applicants when scholarship applications open.
The sponsoring government or agency covers program costs, which includes tuition fees and most meals. Travel and accommodation costs, including those for ANZSOG delivered residential subjects, are not covered by the program fee. For more information on program fees, see the EMPA FAQ page.
Shared learning and returning value to the public sector
Students will have opportunities to apply new knowledge and insights to their workplace and are encouraged to share their knowledge with others. We encourage sponsoring managers to facilitate such opportunities for students to ‘give back’ and add further value as a result of their studies.
The Masters at a Glance
A two-year part-time postgraduate qualification developed and delivered by ANZSOG exclusively for emerging and ambitious public sector leaders.
Delivered in eight intensive blended learning modules and three university elective modules. Each module consists of around 24 hours of instruction and students may dedicate approximately 140 hours of study/assignment work.
The EMPA provides a multidisciplinary curriculum integrating theory and practical application tailored to meet the needs of today’s public service.
Access to practitioner and peer networks for lifelong learning and support
Earn a Master’s qualification from one of ANZSOG’s-esteemed university partners.
Who is the EMPA for?
The EMPA degree is designed to meet the needs of ambitious and emerging public sector leaders operating at the state, territory or national level in Australia or at the local or national level in Aotearoa New Zealand. The degree best serves those already exhibiting high potential as leaders. Students should have demonstrated ability to perform consistently at above-average levels, and proven management capability. Those who exhibit a collaborative mindset and hold a strong commitment to a career in or around the public sector will thrive as a result of this degree.
If you’re searching for a Master of Public Policy, a Master of Public Administration, or a public service degree, then the EMPA combines the right elements you’re seeking to help you flourish in the public sector.
Why should I choose the EMPA?
ANZSOG’s EMPA is an exclusive qualification designed specifically for future public sector leaders. EMPA alumni are now among some of the most talented and influential people working in the public sector in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Since 2003, more than 70 EMPA students have gone on to hold roles as CEOs or Secretaries (equivalents) after completing the program.
EMPA students are surrounded by like-minded public servants from a range of jurisdictions, who have a strong desire to build their leadership capabilities and lift the quality and effectiveness of public services.
You will explore contemporary thinking in public sector leadership, service management, public policy, public finance, economics, law and regulation with contributions from senior practitioners with extensive experience from across the public sector, business and community sectors.
You will be encouraged to work with your peers on topical team challenges and obtain new knowledge and skills that are applicable to your current professional context and this program will help you advance your career.
The EMPA is tailored to fit around the busy lives of public servants and draws on residential, blended and online delivery formats.
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.
The EMPA is delivered through a dynamic blended learning approach, combining online classes with face-to-face learning and cross-jurisdictional networking opportunities when possible.
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). Participants 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. Travel and accommodation costs are not included in the ANZSOG tuition fee.
University elective contact time is dictated by the student’s chosen university. Between formal, scheduled learning sessions, students also have coursework and assessments to complete. Students undertake an applied research work-based project subject throughout the second year of the program. This major group-based task is the capstone subject that draws the key learnings of the program together and demonstrates the applied, practical nature of the program.
Cost: As an indication for planning purpose, the cost of EMPA 2022 was AUD $49,000 ex GST and NZD $52,185.00 ex GST. EMPA 2023 program fees have not yet been finalised; they are subject to an annual increase. The price for 2023 will be communicated in the near future.
Delivering Public Value
Core principles of public sector management are explored. Students consider the value their organisation creates the impact of their authorising environment on operations and the capabilities involved in delivering value to stakeholders.
Government in a Market Economy
Students examine key economic principles and their application to public sector activities – to support decisions in allocating scarce resources, pricing and delivering goods and services. This subject explores how government intervention, through both private sector regulation and the public provision of services, can be used to achieve the best outcomes for citizens.
Designing Public Policies and Programs
This subject asks students to critique key factors that shape and influence public policy and governance. The subject considers what constitutes good policy and analysis, explores aspects of policy design, policy development and policy and program implementation. Discussion considers new and emerging ideas, methods and practices that shape leading policy work and respond to the dynamics of our current political and social context.
Decision-making Under Uncertainty
Informed decision-making requires a critical appraisal of the available evidence. Students learn to dissect evidence to assess its quality and usefulness.
Managing Public Sector Organisations
This subject focuses on the internal and external factors that influence the successful management of public sector organisations. It examines the distinction between routine problems and crises or ‘wicked problems’. Students explore techniques that enhance efficacy, system-thinking and contextual awareness in public sector managers.
Governing by the Rules
The development and implementation of public policy requires an understanding of the applicable elements of law, regulation, convention, practice and ethics. This subject develops the capacity of public managers to operate effectively and appropriately within a democracy governed by the rule of law.
Leading Public Sector Change
This subject examines the role of leadership in assisting communities and organisations to deal with change. Contending perspectives on the complex nexus between leadership and change are used to examine the styles of leaders, the dynamics of leader– follower relations, and their implications for stability and change in the public sector.
The capstone of the EMPA, this subject involves the practical application of the skills and knowledge gained throughout the degree. Designed to replicate specific aspects of the workplace environment in government, the work-based project requires students to bring a complex task nominated by a public sector agency to a successful conclusion within a team that spans working backgrounds, disciplines, organisations and jurisdictions.
Public Financial Management
Public Financial Management covers a range of resource management practices that underpin public policy-making in contemporary government, including fiscal rules to guide government spending and borrowing, multi-year expenditure frameworks that capture the longer-term impacts of current public policy decisions, and performance-based budgeting to inform the level and relative priority of funding allocations. This subject exposes students to the practical realities of public financial management, equipping students with key conceptual and practical knowledge to integrate financial and non-financial performance in the public sector, and to apply it to generate public value.
The EMPA degree features core subjects delivered by ANZSOG and elective subjects delivered by our conferring universities. Students complete three elective subjects to bridge their past study and experience with the core curriculum, to enhance their knowledge of a specific policy area, or build on a new field of interest that directly relates to their work role. Electives are usually in the fields of business, commerce, economics, government, law, policy and political science, though contemporary career challenges may involve students branching out into electives in other disciplines.
ANZSOG’s university partners conferring the EMPA are:
- Australian National University
- Charles Darwin University
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- Monash University
- University of Melbourne
- University of Sydney
- Curtin University
- Victoria University of Wellington
Find out more
Applications are encouraged from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples, and from people with disabilities or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Candidates without formal university qualifications may be eligible to enter through the Monash Pathway Program.
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 email@example.com; 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.
Seeking more information?
We encourage you to speak to one of our EMPA alumni to get an insider’s perspective. Please contact our Alumni Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an introduction.