ANZSOG's EMPA graduates are confident, critical thinkers with the skills required to manage complex challenges. Apply today.

Expressions of interest are open for the 2021 Executive Master of Public Administration. This program commences in January 2021.

For more information, please see the below resources:

  • Executive Master of Public Administration update: Chris Walker
  • Frequently Asked Questions relating to the effect of COVID-19 on EMPA delivery
  • For more information, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Become a future leader

ANZSOG's Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) degree produces graduates who are confident, critical thinkers with the skills required to manage complex challenges and deliver value to the communities they serve. Build the leadership capabilities you need to contribute at the highest levels in the contemporary public service.

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Graduate Paulleen Markwort and her manager Argiri Alisandratos discuss the benefits of a Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA):

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Who is it for?

The EMPA degree is designed to meet the needs of future public sector leaders operating at the state, territory or national level in the Australian or New Zealand public service. The degree best serves those already exhibiting high potential as leaders. Participants should already have shown their ability to perform consistently at above-average levels, and to have effective management capability. Those who exhibit a collaborative mindset and who hold a strong commitment to a career in or around the public sector thrive in this degree.

Download the EMPA brochure (PDF, 1.6MB)

ANZSOG offers scholarships for not-for-profit applicants, working for organisations that are closely aligned with the public sector, to help reduce the barriers to participation and ensure the not-for-profit sector can develop its leaders to their full potential. For more information, please see the Not-for-profit applications and scholarships page.

Why should I choose the EMPA?

Watch a video on 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 now working in the public sector in Australia and New Zealand. EMPA participants are surrounded by ambitious like-minded public servants from a range of jurisdictions, who have a strong desire to build their leadership capabilities. You will explore current public management, public policy, public finance, economics, public law, and leadership with contributions from senior practitioners currently holding high-level roles in and around the public service.

You will be encouraged to work with your peers on topical team challenges and obtain new knowledge and skills that will help you build your career as a public sector leader. You will also be able to apply much of what you learn immediately in your current professional context. The EMPA will shape you to be the leader you want to be – confident, proud of who you are, and adept at bringing out the best in those around you. 



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 partner universities. Each subject consists of around 40 hours of instruction and at least 80 hours of study time, reading and assignment work.

Participants formally meet up to five times per year in a cross-jurisdictional classroom setting, including once at Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Participants also have contact time for their university electives, which is dictated by their chosen university. Between formal gatherings, participants also have some coursework to complete. Students undertake the applied research Work-based Project subject throughout the second year of the program, which includes face-to-face sessions at the beginning, mid-point and end of the year.

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Students complete three elective subjects offered by a member university. The student selects these electives to bridge their past study and experience with the core curriculum, or to enhance their knowledge of a specific policy area. Electives are usually in the fields of business, commerce, economics, government, law and political science.

The EMPA degree features core subjects delivered by ANZSOG and elective subjects delivered by our partner universities, which includes:

  • Australian National University
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • Curtin University
  • Victoria University of Wellington
Image of students enjoying an EMPA session

Core subjects

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.

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.

This subject offers a framework for considering government responses to contemporary public problems. Students are encouraged to think analytically about problems, identify alternative ways of tackling them, and assess the likely results of changes in current policies and programs. Emphasis is given to the role of effective teamwork and clear communication in any well-functioning advisory system.

Informed decision-making requires a critical appraisal of the available evidence. Students learn to dissect evidence to assess its quality and usefulness.

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.

The development and implementation of public policy requires an understanding of the applicable elements of law, 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.

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 to a successful conclusion within a team that spans working backgrounds, disciplines, organisations and jurisdictions.

Public Financial Management covers a range of resource management practices that underpin 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 policy decisions, and performance-based budgeting to inform the level and relative priority of funding allocations. This subject exposes participants to the practical realities of public financial management, equipping participants 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.

Students complete three elective subjects offered by partner university. These electives are selected by the student to bridge their past study and experience with the core curriculum, or to enhance their knowledge of a specific policy area. Electives are generally drawn from postgraduate offerings of the faculties or schools of business, commerce, etc.


Among other things, on completing this degree you will:

  • appreciate the trends shaping the public sector and what they mean for contemporary leaders
  • understand the theory and practice of strategic thinking and value creation in the public sector
  • appreciate the importance of ethics, values and the role of technology in relation to value creation
  • appreciate what actions you can take to promote excellence in organisational processes and attention to detail in the delivery of client services
  • 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 and its usefulness for guiding complex decision making
  • bring a future-oriented, investment perspective to all policy and program design work
  • recognise the major concepts that underpin contemporary public sector budget and financial management processes
  • undertake primary research in accordance with ethical principles
  • build your strategic capability, particularly in diagnosing, instigating or adapting to change in the public sector


Our faculty includes leading national and international academics who are experts in the public sector. We also draw on the expertise of practitioners from the not-for-profit and private sectors, because we know today’s managers must be able to work across sectors. Current faculty include:

Chris Walker 291x390

Information for managers and sponsoring agencies

ANZSOG creates and delivers industry-leading educational programs tailored to meet the needs of public sector leaders, who face an array of challenges distinct from those found in private enterprise.

Our programs are designed by government, for government, and led by renowned academics and top practitioners from the government and non-government sectors.

Who should I nominate?

Nominate a person with management experience and at least five years of relevant work experience. Participants 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 partner universities, which typically requires previous completion of an undergraduate degree. We encourage you to nominate Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


The sponsoring government or agency covers program costs, including tuition fee, program materials, travel, accommodation and most meals.

Shared learning

Participants will have opportunities to apply new learnings and insights to their workplace and are encouraged to share their learnings with others.

We encourage sponsoring managers to facilitate such opportunities for participants to ‘give back’ and add further value as a result of their studies.

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Alumni community

The ANZSOG experience reaches well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks to which participants gain access to while completing the EMPA program will be invaluable throughout their career.The ANZSOG experience reaches well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks to which participants gain access to while completing the EMPA program will be invaluable throughout their career.

Our Alumni Program helps participants to maintain and build on their peer-to-peer relationships, creating a broad community of public sector managers from around New Zealand, Australia and internationally. This provides an opportunity for ongoing learning and support from peers, greater exposure to different perspectives, and an appreciation of work done, and solutions found, elsewhere.

Liem Ngo

I am more assured and focused when I tackle challenges at work. I have also applied the course learning to help myself, my team and colleagues to manage the ongoing changes to the organisation and the public service.

Liem Ngo

Principal Manager, Project Coordination & Engagement

Transport for NSW