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Executive Leadership Program

Executive Master of Public Administration

Master the business of government


$58,397 (excl. GST)


In-person (face-to-face) components of subjects will be delivered across major cities in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.


2 years part time


From February 2025


Applications for EMPA 2025 are now open.

Our Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) is a unique postgraduate qualification designed exclusively to address the contemporary context and emerging challenges faced by today’s public sector leaders.

This advanced public administration degree explores the core principles of public sector management and leadership, services management and how you might mobilise resources and others to deliver public value. You’ll develop an invaluable skillset centred around public policy design and delivery, evidence-based decision-making, leading change and organisational management and strategic public financial and economic management.

The EMPA public administration course is designed for public sector professionals who are committed to serving at the highest levels of government. Since 2003, more than 70 EMPA students have gone on to hold roles as CEOs or Secretaries (equivalents) after completing the program.

You’ll learn from a range of leading practitioners and academic experts and connect with other emerging public sector leaders from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who share your commitment to operational excellence and serving your community. The learning program is designed to ensure you have opportunities to directly apply what you learn within your organisation.

Image of EMPA alumni Manaia King
Information Session: Executive Master of Public Administration

A free information session for the Executive Master of Public Administration will be held online on August 20th. Register now to learn more about the program.

ANZSOG Information session: EMPA and EFP

Who is it for?

This executive master’s in public policy is designed for ambitious and emerging public sector leaders who:

  • are operating at the local, state, territory or national level in Australia – or the local or national level in Aotearoa New Zealand,
  • demonstrate high leadership potential and have a solid track record of working in the public/public purpose sector,
  • have proven management skills and experience,
  • exhibit a collaborative mindset and demonstrate a commitment to public service.

Applicants should meet the master’s degree entry requirements of conferring universities; this typically requires completion of an undergraduate degree. Candidates without formal university qualifications and significant senior experience in the public sector may be eligible to enter the EMPA via our Monash Pathway Program.

We encourage applications from and nominations for Māori, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Peoples, people with disability and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

This public sector management program will prepare you to manage complex challenges, lead staff, programs and services and deliver value to the sector, industries and communities you serve. You will:

  • explore contemporary thinking in public sector leadership, service management, public policy, public finance, economics, law and regulation and connect the concepts from these disciplines to the analysis of specific issues within your workplace.
  • Directly observe and engage with agencies in a diversity of public administration challenges through applied research projects and place-based teaching that occurs in different regions across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • collaborate with peers from multiple jurisdictions and diverse public sector agencies to share ideas and develop responses to contemporary public sector challenges.
  • Acquire new knowledge and build skills you can apply to the work challenges you face within your organisation.
  • Develop an improved understanding and explore the relationship of First Nations communities with public administration and strengthen your leadership role in this critical area.
  • Develop your managerial and strategic leadership capabilities, as well as an understanding of political astuteness that is needed to contribute at the highest levels of the public sector.
  • Graduate with a master’s in public administration from one of our esteemed university partners.
  • Grow your professional network and build robust connections with fellow public sector executives from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Join an esteemed alumni community of public sector leaders.

Manaia King, EMPA alumni

Manaia King – EMPA Class of 2019 and General Manager, Ministry of Social Development (NZ)


Our faculty includes leading academics from Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world who are experts in public administration, public policy, leadership and management. We also draw on the expertise of senior practitioners from the public, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Our faculty includes:

  • Professor Todd Bridgman – Professor of Management Studies and Head of the School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington/Te Herenga Waka.
  • Professor Ross Guest – Professor of Economics in the Griffith Business School, Griffith University and researcher in population economics.
  • Professor Paul ‘t Hart – Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University and member of the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy and past Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration.
  • Professor Kimberley Isett – Professor of Public Administration, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration and Vice Provost for Academic Programs and University Initiatives, University of Delaware. Has a research focus on institutional pressures and dynamics in implementing government services.
  • Associate Professor Rob Manwaring – College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University
  • Dr Zina O’Leary – ANZSOG Senior Fellow and adjunct Professor at the Joseph R. Biden Jr School of Public Policy, University of Delaware.
  • Associate Professor Brad Potter – Head of the Department of Accounting at the University of Melbourne with research interests in measurement and reporting approaches for communicating diverse information
  • Professor Veronica Taylor – Professor of Law and Regulation, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University.
  • Dr Ben Walker –Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
  • Professor Christopher Walker- – Academic Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration, ANZSOG and School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University.

The EMPA is a two-year part-time Master of Public Administration degree. It’s delivered through a dynamic blended learning approach, combining online classes with face-to-face learning and cross-jurisdictional networking opportunities throughout the program.

Your program comprises both core and elective subjects. Each subject consists of around 24 hours of direct instruction and approximately 140 hours of study time, research, reading and assignment work.

University elective contact time is dictated by your chosen university. Between formal, scheduled learning sessions, you will also have coursework and assessments to complete.

Please see the following 2024 schedule (note, applications for 2025 are now open) for a taste of how the program works.

You’ll complete eight core subjects selected from nine that are delivered by ANZSOG:

Delivering Public Value

Explore core principles of public sector management. You’ll consider the value your organisation creates, the impact of your authorising environment on operations and the capabilities involved in delivering value to stakeholders. This is the mandatory first year gateway subject.

Government in a Market Economy

Examine key economic principles as they relate 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 achieve the best outcomes for citizens.

Designing Public Policies and Programs

Critique key factors that shape 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. You’ll consider 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. This subject explores different understandings and different bodies of evidence and considers what is prioritised to guide decision making. You will learn to dissect evidence to assess its quality and usefulness in decision making.

Managing Public Sector Organisations

Examine the internal and external factors that influence the successful management of public sector organisations. You will examine different approaches and philosophies of management and critique their own style and approach to managing others. Aspects that influence dysfunctional and challenging management environments, as well as positive approaches and responses are explored.

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 critiques the role and influence of regulation and 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 leadership’s role in helping communities and organisations 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.

Public Financial Management

Explore a range of resource management practices that underpin public policy-making and service delivery in contemporary government. The subject focuses on the strategic use of financial resources and finance systems to deliver change and have an impact through public service delivery. You will be exposed to the practical realities of public financial management, equipping you 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.

Work-based Project

The compulsory capstone of the EMPA, this subject invites you to apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the degree. Designed to replicate specific aspects of the government work environment, you will be required to bring a complex task nominated by a public sector agency to a successful conclusion within a team that spans a range of working backgrounds, disciplines, organisations and jurisdictions.

You’ll also select three electives, delivered by our conferring universities:

  • Australian National University
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Curtin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • Victoria University of Wellington.

You can choose electives to extend your knowledge in an area that interests you or bridge any gaps between your past study and the core curriculum.

Electives are usually in the fields of business, commerce, economics, government, law, policy and political science, however contemporary career challenges may lead you to branch out into other disciplines.


For sample schedule details, visit the EMPA subject schedule 2024, and the EMPA subject schedule 2025.

Applications for the 2025 EMPA are now open. Please click here to submit an application.

EMPA alumni Clare Beech

Clare Beech – EMPA Class of 2019 and Executive Director, NSW Ambulance


Cost: $58,397 (excl. GST)

Please note:

You are responsible for your own travel, accommodation and incidental costs for each subject you undertake within the EMPA.

If you’re sponsored, the sponsoring government or agency covers program costs, including tuition fees and lunches during residential teaching. 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 FAQs.

More information

To learn more, visit our EMPA FAQs page or email programs_team@anzsog.edu.au.

Want an insider’s perspective? We encourage you to speak to one of our EMPA alumni. Please email our Alumni Coordinator at alumni@anzsog.edu.au to arrange an introduction.

Location-specific information:

Some jurisdictions have specific registration processes. 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 at development@psc.qld.gov.au for further information including dates for application submission. You are also welcome to make your own arrangements with your agency.