Strengthen your public sector career
ANZSOG's EMPA graduates are confident, critical thinkers with the skills required to manage complex challenges. Apply today.
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 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 best address them.
Tailored to fit around the lives of busy public servants, the EMPA explores the core principles of public sector management, including public value and systems thinking, in an inspiring blended learning environment. 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 strategic thinking, public policy design, evidence-based decision-making, change management and more.
The EMPA provides you with an invaluable opportunity to network with like-minded public sector leaders from across Australia and New Zealand, while learning from leading global academics and senior government practitioners.
Download EMPA 2021 brochure (pdf) (docx)
Dr Bridie O’Donnell – current student and Head, Office for Women in Sport & Recreation
Owned by and working for the governments of Australia and 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 renowned academics and respected practitioners.
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. 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, which includes tuition fees, program materials, travel, accommodation and most meals.
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.
Graduate Paulleen Markwort and her manager Argiri Alisandratos discuss the benefits of an Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA):
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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 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.
ANZSOG also offers scholarships for not-for-profit applicants, working for organisations that are closely aligned with the public sector, to help reduce 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.
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.
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 New Zealand.
EMPA students 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 sector.
You will be encouraged to work with your peers on topical team challenges, and obtain new knowledge and skills that will help you advance your career. You will also be able to apply what you learn immediately in your current professional context.
The EMPA is tailored to fit around the busy lives of public servants, and will help 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.
Liem Ngo, Director, Project Coordination & Government Liaison, Transport NSW
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 40 hours of instruction and at least 80 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.
University elective contact time is dictated by the student’s chosen university. Between formal, scheduled learning sessions, students also have coursework to complete. Students undertake an applied research work-based project subject throughout the second year of the program, which includes three progress review sessions throughout the year.
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 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.
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, 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 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.
Students complete three elective subjects offered by a conferring university. These electives are selected by the student to bridge their past study and experience with the core curriculum, enhance their knowledge of a specific public policy area, or build on a new field of interest that directly relates to their work role. Electives are generally drawn from postgraduate offerings of the faculties or schools of business, commerce, etc.
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 are:
On completing this degree you will:
Our faculty includes leading national and international academics who are experts in the disciplines of public sector leadership, management and policy. We also draw on the expertise of practitioners from the public sector, not-for-profit and private sectors, because we know today’s managers must be able to work across sectors. Current faculty include:
Ashley Sattler - current student and Manager, Budget & Infrastructure Strategy
The ANZSOG experience extends well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks students gain access to will be invaluable throughout their career.
Our Alumni Program helps students maintain and build peer-to-peer relationships, creating a broad community of public sector managers. This provides an opportunity for ongoing learning and support from peers and greater exposure to different perspectives.
Read Alumni stories here
Applications are encouraged from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Peoples, and from people with disabilities or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
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 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.
Apply now Express your interest
Download EMPA 2021 brochure (pdf) (docx)
Dan Craig – current student and Manager, Kindergarten Reform Implementation
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