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

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Become a future leader

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

ANZSOG's Masters graduates are confident, critical thinkers with the skills required to manage complex challenges and deliver value to the communities they serve. Enrol in our program to prepare yourself – or the leaders in your team – for the many accountabilities of today’s public service.

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What does it involve?

Our students complete eight core subjects and three electives over two years.

Each subject consists of around 40 hours of instruction and at least 80 hours of study time, reading and assignment work. Five of the core subjects are taught in residential intensive mode over a five-day block. Two core subjects are delivered in multiple cities over four days (students attending in their closest city). 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.

Students choose their electives from subjects on offer at their university of enrolment.

The eight core subjects

Explores the core principles of public sector management. Students consider the value their organisation creates, the impact of their authorising environment on operations and the capabilities involved in delivering value to stakeholders. Learning outcomes include:
  • An appreciation of the kinds of value public sector organisations provide to citizens and clients.
  • Awareness of the various forms of operational capability, and how they can be mobilised.
  • An ability to recognise problems from symptoms, identify opportunities for action and manage risks.
The subject leader is:
Professor Janine O'Flynn
Professor of Public Management
ANZSOG and the University of Melbourne 

Managing Public Sector Organisations focuses on the internal and external organisational 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. Learning outcomes include:

  • An ability to effectively design and structure team work and broader operational capabilities.
  • Strengthened communication and negotiation skills to align everyday practices with organisational objectives.
  • An ability to ensure that organisational practices are fit-for-purpose and adaptive.
The subject leader is:

Professor Michael Mintrom
Professor of Public Sector Management and Academic Director, EMPA
ANZSOG/Monash University

Government in a Market Economy examines 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. Learning outcomes include:

  • Appreciation of how market forces operate and how government policies influence these forces.
  • Understanding of the economic toolkit used to assess decisions concerning the delivery and pricing of public services.
  • An ability to apply the principles of cost–benefit analysis to public sector projects.
The subject leader is:

Professor Ross Guest
Professor of Economics
Griffith Business School, Griffith University

Designing Public Policies and Programs 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. Learning outcomes include:

  • Ability to design policies and programs that can yield ongoing public benefit.
  • An understanding of how to inform politicians, stakeholders and citizens about necessary government actions.
  • Knowledge of how to establish high-performing policy project teams.

An international experience

  • This subject is also offered as an international experience in Singapore. It is taught in collaboration with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

The subject leader is:

Professor Michael Mintrom
Professor of Public Sector Management and Academic Director, EMPA
ANZSOG/Monash University

Decision-making Under Uncertainty teaches students how to dissect and critically appraise evidence to assess its quality and usefulness. Students analyse quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence and practical frameworks to determine how they can support informed action. Learning outcomes include:

  • An ability to accurately use, interpret and draw inferences from evidence.
  • Awareness of the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of various methods for gathering evidence.
  • Understanding of how the policy system and organisational context affects the use of evidence and analysis.

Governing by the Rules gives students an understanding of the law, convention, practice and ethics so they can develop and implement public policy. It develops the capacity of public managers to operate effectively and appropriately within a democracy governed by the rule of law. Learning outcomes include:

  • An appreciation of the nature, form, complexity and limits to rules as a tool of government.
  • Understanding of the interrelationships between legal rules, administrative processes and policy outcomes.
  • Consideration of the role, uses and control of both discretion and regulation.
The subject leader is:

Professor Arie Freiberg AM
Emeritus Professor
Monash University

Leading Public Sector Change 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. Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding of the institutional, contextual and interpersonal factors that shape the behaviour of political and public service leaders.
  • Improved ability to diagnose, instigate or adapt to policy and organisational change.
  • Ability to discern, reflect upon and cope with the ethical dimensions of exercising leadership.
The subject leader is:

Professor Paul 't Hart 
Professor of Public Administration (UU) and Associate Dean (NSG)
Utrecht University (UU) and Netherlands School of Government (NSG)

The Work-based Project involves the practical application of the skills and knowledge gained throughout the degree. The final core subject of the EMPA, it bridges the worlds of classroom and practice as students undertake an applied research project. Diverse, cross-jurisdictional teams work together applying their knowledge and research skills to develop a solution for a real-life issue identified by government stakeholders. Its learning outcomes include:

  • Practical application of the concepts, frameworks and practices studied in the EMPA.
  • Employment of the skills developed in evidence-based analysis and policy design.
  • In-depth understanding of a real-life issue in public policy or management.
The subject leaders are:

Associate Professor Michael Di Francesco 
Associate Professor in Public Sector Management and Director of the Case Program
ANZSOG/ University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Dr Zina O'Leary
Senior Fellow


Students complete three elective subjects offered by a member university. One of these must be in the area of public sector financial management; the student selects the other two 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.


ANZSOG is renowned for its high quality teaching, which is a hallmark of the EMPA program.

Our faculty includes leading national and international academics who are expert 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.

Our Academic Director is Professor Michael Mintrom, an internationally recognised expert in fields such as policy entrepreneurship and creating knowledge economies, teamwork in the policy process, creating organisational cultures of excellence, and assessing public policies as investments.

Professor Mintrom is also a Professor of Public Sector Management at Monash University. He began his career at New Zealand Treasury before turning to teaching and research. He has studied and worked around the world, including at Michigan State University, US, and the University of Auckland, NZ, and holds a PhD in political science from the State University of New York, US, and a Master of Economics from University of Canterbury, NZ.

Find out more about our EMPA faculty
2016 Michael Mintrom 1


Why choose ANZSOG?

Since ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration began, more than 1600 participants have undertaken the program. Find out where they come from within the public sector, and what you will gain from an ANZSOG EMPA in the video below. 

Students in classroom

For government, by government

ANZSOG knows what it takes to create world-class public sector leaders capable of managing the complex needs of today’s public service organisations to deliver maximum value to citizens.

ANZSOG programs are designed by government, for government, and not-for-profit organisations. The Masters is accredited by our partner universities in Australia and New Zealand.

This collaboration means our students are exposed to the best contemporary thinking about public administration from leading academics, and senior practitioners from the public, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Students in classroom

A unique learning experience

Our internationally renowned faculty lead students through the curriculum using a diverse set of learning methods, including intensive residential blocks, and elective modules.

Students learn at university campuses across Australia and New Zealand through interactive case teaching, structured group learning, experiential learning and self-reflection exercises. They share issues, ideas and expertise with their peers going beyond the traditional lecture and tutorial format.

Our unique learning approach blends theory with practical and experiential teaching, and real-life case studies involving 'live' issues confronting the public sector. This learning method ensures our graduates emerge as confident, critical thinkers, well equipped to deliver positive outcomes for stakeholders and the public.

Students in classroom

A community of leaders

As well as developing leaders and building organisational capability, ANZSOG graduates forge lasting connections with peers and alumni, building networks of high-level government and non-government sector leaders that last long after graduation. These connections reach across organisations and jurisdictions, and can provide managers with valuable support to help address challenges throughout their careers.

We know the value of lifelong learning and we run a dynamic alumni program, which provides regular professional development and networking opportunities.

Students in classroom

Support and assistance

We offer a range of services and dedicated support staff to help you throughout your Masters experience.

Our students have busy lives and demanding work schedules so our Masters program offers the support and flexibility required to ensure you can balance the requirements of work, study and other competing demands on your time. By studying with other busy managers, you will share and learn useful life skills from one another.

Our Mentoring Program is a formal, monitored program that aims to support you and enhance your leadership journey.

Shaun Whitmarsh

“The EMPA has taught me to apply a much deeper description and understanding of the problem or problems, with a wider range of policy solutions in my ‘toolkit’ and a better ability to match them together.”

Shaun Whitmarsh

Executive Director, Strategy and Coordination

WA Department of Finance (2016 EMPA valedictorian)

Jane Gibbs

“I thoroughly enjoyed my EMPA journey and have gained so much more than a degree. I am now enjoying sharing my knowledge with others just starting on their journey.”

Jane Gibbs

Director, Ecosystem Assessment and Planning

Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW) (2015 Dean's Award winner) 

Information for managers and sponsoring agencies

ANZSOG creates and delivers industry-leading educational programs tailored to meet the needs of public and not-for-profit sector leaders, who face an array of distinct challenges.

Our two-year EMPA prepares emerging leaders for the complex challenges that await them through the study of public administration, management and policy across a spectrum of public sector activities.

The learning environment is engaging and dynamic, with an emphasis on ‘live’ issues that confront governments, and on using sound conceptual frameworks.

Our graduates leave with a strong understanding of management, service delivery and policy analysis across the spectrum of public sector activities, and is equally relevant for not-for-profit organisations.

Who should I nominate?

Those with strong leadership potential and a commitment to public service or the not-for-profit sector are ideal candidates for the Masters program. Individuals may also nominate themselves.

We recommend the Masters program for senior executives or high-performing, ambitious managers who demonstrate:

  • ­potential to be part of the next generation of public sector leaders
  • ­sound management capability/potential.
  • ­commitment and ability to contribute to class learning, to learn from others and to share learnings in the workplace
  • strong commitment to a career in the public or not-for-profit sector
  • capacity to complete a rigorous master's program (usually evidenced by successful completion of an undergraduate degree)
  • at least five years' relevant work experience.

We encourage you to nominate Maori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The EMPA places considerable demands on students with already heavy schedules and it is essential they have support from their departments and managers. We ask managers how they will support a student’s participation and we encourage them to approve the study leave requirements before they submit an application. EMPA students complete 11 subjects over two years; each subject requires around 40 hours of instruction, mostly within work time, and 80 hours of private study. Students spend 30 to 35 days away from the workplace to attend the eight core subjects and require additional time to read materials and complete assignments. The three elective subjects may also involve teaching in work hours.

EMPA student committment: Students complete 11 subjects, 40 hours per subject, 80 hours private study, 30-35 days out of the workplace, 8 core subjects

The mentoring component of the EMPA is an important aspect of supporting students’ learning and leadership development. Students must nominate a mentor who can provide guidance and encouragement during their studies. This relationship can provide an invaluable ongoing resource.

The sponsoring agency, jurisdiction or organisation pays program costs, which include the tuition fee, subject materials, meals and accommodation for residential subjects. Travel to and from subject delivery is additional.

Complete the Expression of Interest form to request more information about fees, application forms and application deadlines.

The ANZSOG experience reaches well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks our students establish during the EMPA are invaluable as their careers progress and they move into more demanding roles. Our Alumni Program helps our students to maintain and build on their peer-to-peer relationships, creating a broad community of like-minded managers from around New Zealand and Australia. 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.

Our students will have opportunities to apply new learnings and insights to their workplace and will be encouraged to share their learnings with others.

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

If you want to find out more about the Masters program, please complete the Expression of Interest form and we will be in touch with you.

You can also contact the Program Coordinators directly on:

Senior Programs Coordinator, Rosie Colosimo
Telephone: +61 3 8344 1909
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Programs Coordinator, Victoria Kingsley
Telephone: +61 3 9035 3279
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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 & Engagament

Transport for NSW

Watch a speech from ANZSOG EMPA 2015 Dean’s Award winner Jane Gibbs: