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Executive Master of Public Administration update: Chris Walker

12 May 2020

News and media


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Thank you for your assistance and patience during what has been a period of unforeseen and considerable change. Over the past two weeks, I have personally spoken to Executive Master of Public Administration students from New Zealand and each Australian jurisdiction to get a sense of the current situation and views on future program delivery. We are aware that the current environment is challenging on a personal, professional and organisational level.

The recent survey of all current EMPA students has played a crucial role in informing our decision making on the mode and timing of subject deliveries. Once again, I thank all students for their open and honest feedback on the best approach to progressing their studies.

The survey results demonstrated an appreciation for the traditional face-to-face delivery of the EMPA, but also indicated a strong willingness to pursue delivery in an online format. Importantly, a majority of students indicated they were keen to progress their studies in 2020, as opposed to deferring subjects to 2021. With much uncertainty for governments and individual students around travel, we do not anticipate studies returning to full face-to-face delivery in 2021 and remain committed to providing education continuity for our students regardless of the delivery mode.

Taking this into account, and recognising that restrictions on international and domestic travel and mass gatherings will continue for some time to come, all remaining EMPA subjects listed below will be delivered online in 2020.

1st Year Subjects

Government in a Market Economy (GME)
Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU)
Designing Public Policies and Programs (DPPP)
Managing Public Sector Organisations (MPSO)

2nd Year Subjects

Leading Public Sector Change (LPSC)
Public Financial Management (PFM)
Work Based Project (WBP)

We have been working with experienced eLearning designers and our Subject Leaders to develop an online delivery model that will continue to provide the world-class education which ANZSOG is renowned for and, as part of that, an EMPA that centres on learning and collaboration.

Each EMPA subject (with the exception of Work Based Project) will be delivered over a four-week teaching period, with a short introduction and orientation session prior to the subject delivery, concluding with one week for the completion of assessment tasks.

Below is additional information on how subjects will be run to help you plan and manage your time:

Each subject will commence with an orientation session a week before teaching begins.
Four designated teaching days will be allocated for each subject. These dates will be communicated in advance. For the majority of subjects, these days will be spread across four teaching weeks.
On designated teaching days, we will schedule live online sessions with faculty and students (‘synchronous engagement’). In addition to the live online sessions, students will have a range of other learning activities including watching short teaching videos, readings and active learning tasks with other students.
Each subject includes three rich, authentic assessment tasks that will require students to draw on their professional experience, engage with contemporary research and collaborate with peers. Students should allow approximately 60 hours to complete all assessment tasks, noting that they may need to arrange mutually agreed times to work on assessment tasks with group members.

Below are the dates for each subject:

Subject Orientation (week commencing) 
 Subject Teaching period

Year 1 subjects 

3 August
10 August – 4 September

7 September
14 September – 9 October

12 October
19 October – 13 November

16 November
23 November – 18 December

Year 2 subjects

15 June
22 June – 17 July

5 October
12 October – 6 November

30 November
7 – 11 December

*Please note, online sessions for WBP scheduled for May, June and September remain unchanged and will continue as planned.

The dates and times for synchronous engagement for each subject are currently being finalised. As the timing for these live online sessions are locked in for each subject, students will be advised immediately to allow them to block these dates in your calendar. For some subjects, lead faculty will be teaching from international time zones; the times set aside for live sessions may vary by subject to accommodate their availability as well as the multiple time zones across Australia and New Zealand.

We recognise that this is a significant change for students, and will be holding some Q&A sessions via Zoom over the coming weeks.

For more information, please contact us via email at programs_team@anzsog.edu.au.

We look forward to working together as we embark on this EMPA online learning journey.

– Dr Christopher Walker

Associate Dean, University Relations

Academic Director, Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)