Executive Master of Public Administration

Developing the next generation of public sector leaders




The ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) equips senior managers with the leadership and policy skills needed in today’s public sector.

The EMPA has been designed in collaboration with member governments and accredited by many of the leading universities in Australia and New Zealand with the aim of producing world-class public sector managers.


  • is a two-year postgraduate qualification combining intensive residential blocks with core and elective modules
  • has a multi-disciplinary curriculum integrating theory and practice with real-world application
  • is taught by leading local and international academics, with practitioners drawn from the senior ranks of a wide range of portfolios across the public, not-for-profit and private sectors
  • facilitates the creation of networks of practitioners and peers for lifelong learning and support
  • develops world-class leaders and public sector capability
  • is accredited and awarded by ANZSOG’s university partners

Why the EMPA?

EMPA students are exposed to the best in contemporary thinking about public administration as taught by internationally renowned academics and practitioners. Graduates have a strong understanding of management, service delivery and policy analysis across the spectrum of public sector activities.

Students examine and discuss the central concepts relating to public administration, public management and public policy. ANZSOG is able to provide dynamic and engaging learning environments, where the emphasis is on ‘live’ issues confronting government, within sound conceptual frameworks.

EMPA graduates emerge from their ANZSOG experience as confident, critical thinkers able to engage in informed debate on public sector issues and the complex challenges they face.

Creating future leaders
Graduates of the program find that they are better equipped to manage complex accountabilities and the shifting priorities of government against a backdrop of tight finances, a probing media, well-organised interest groups and, in many cases, entrenched organisational cultures.

The EMPA produces graduates who:

  • are prepared for and committed to excelling in a public sector career
  • have a comprehensive understanding of the public sector environment
  • consider how to create public value within constraints imposed by the authorising environment and operational capabilities
  • have a deep understanding of policy design, economics and the law, and how they affect the work of the public sector
  • can draw on a theoretical base, practical frameworks and other resources in their day-to-day work
  • take a strategic approach to the challenges of an evolving public sector
  • have the skills to deliver better outcomes for stakeholders and citizens
  • have established lasting, supportive connections with peers across departments and jurisdictions.

FInd out more about the EMPA

Watch the 2016 Webinar to find out more about the EMPA.

Hear about the program from our Dean, Professor Gary Banks, and the EMPA Academic Director, Professor Michael Mintrom.

Our alumni Darren Whitelaw, Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria, and Nick Condratoff, Department of Education and Training in Victoria, speak about their EMPA experience and how it has enhanced and assisted their careers in the public sector.

Course structure
The EMPA is a two-year postgraduate qualification undertaken by high performing public sector managers. Participants are required to complete:

  • a core curriculum of eight subjects, including an applied research project
  • a course in public sector financial management
  • two other electives chosen from subjects offered by partner universities.

This Masters degree is taught face-to-face in university campuses across Australia and New Zealand. The core subjects are taught in a residential setting, allowing participants to focus on their learning away from the office. This environment also fosters authentic peer-to-peer engagement.

Students experience a range of teaching methods including; interactive case teaching, structured group learning, experiential learning and self-reflection exercises.

The curriculum is multi-disciplinary and application oriented, emphasising technique, experience, judgement and values.

It is increasingly important for today’s public sector managers to adopt a global perspective and increase their international engagement. In 2016, for the first time a group of EMPA students will travel to Singapore to undertake a core unit with leading academics from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and senior practitioners from the Singapore government.

Led by EMPA Academic Director, Professor Michael Mintrom, this unit will be an ‘immersive’ experience, with students engaged in case work within the Singaporean civil service. EMPA students will also benefit from working with their overseas counterparts and being exposed to the approaches other countries are adopting to similar issues in public management and policy.


ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Brisbane ANZSOG Special Event Brisbane, 19 May 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Perth ANZSOG Special Event Perth, 20 May 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Adelaide ANZSOG Special Event Adelaide, 31 May 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Wellington ANZSOG Special Event Wellington, 28 Jun 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Melbourne ANZSOG Special Event Melbourne, 1 Jul 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Canberra ANZSOG Special Event Canberra, 21 Jul 2016 MORE
ANZSOG Special Event EMPA Information Session | Sydney ANZSOG Special Event Sydney, 22 Jul 2016 MORE


The EMPA curriculum has been developed in consultation with senior government officials from across Australia and New Zealand. These subjects have been designed to support a practical and effective approach to public sector delivery, with the aim of producing world-class public sector leaders.

Core subjects

  • Delivering Public Value
  • Managing Public Sector Organisations
  • Government in a Market Economy
  • Designing Public Policies and Programs
  • Decision-making Under Uncertainty
  • Governing by the Rules
  • Leading Public Sector Change
  • Work-based Project

 Click here for more information

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

Click here for more information

All EMPA applicants must demonstrate:

  • strong evidence of leadership potential, including potential to contribute at the senior executive level as part of the next generation of public sector leaders
  • work performance consistently above average and sound management capability or potential
  • a strong commitment to career development and to a career in the public sector
  • a commitment to contribute to class learning and share knowledge in the workplace
  • capability to complete a rigorous Masters program (normally evidenced by successful completion of an undergraduate degree)
  • at least five years’ relevant work experience.

Applicants must also meet the Masters degree entry requirements of partner universities. This is facilitated through ANZSOG and more information is provided at the application stage.

Click here for more information 



EMPA alumni
The ANZSOG experience reaches well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks established during the EMPA are invaluable for participants as their careers progress and they move into more demanding roles. ANZSOG’s Alumni Program helps participants maintain and build on these peer-to-peer relationships.

Staying connected
ANZSOG is committed to fostering a dynamic Alumni Program that sustains professional networks and learning. The School has a number of active jurisdictional chapters, which regularly provide tailored professional development and networking opportunities. Alumni events host visiting academics and senior government alumni who discuss current issues. These offer a unique opportunity to engage on contemporary challenges and build on their current knowledge as part of ANZSOG’s commitment to lifelong learning.

Refresher program
The exclusive refresher events for alumni are run annually. The EMPA Refresher provides alumni with an opportunity to engage with distinguished scholars, practitioners and other alumni, to both extend their knowledge and strengthen their collaborative networks.

We have alumni based across Australia and New Zealand who can provide an insider's perspective of what it is like to participate in the EMPA. Potential participants are invited to discuss the experience and seek the advice of one of our alumni.

To arrange this, click here to contact our Programs Team 

EMPA applications are coordinated through each jurisdiction. The program costs, including a tuition fee, subject materials, meals and accommodation for the residential subjects, are paid by the sponsoring government or agency.

Further information, including details of fees, application deadlines and the application form are available from jurisdictional coordinators.

Take the lead

To learn more or to apply, please contact the Programs Team 
T +61 3 8344 1990
E programs_team | at | anzsog.edu.au

Further information

EMPA Student Guide 2017
EMPA Manager Guide 2017
EMPA Mentoring Program
EMPA Subject Schedule 2016
Human Research Ethics Committee
Code of Conduct
Academic Quality and Integrity Policy
Intellectual Property Policy
requently asked questions (FAQ)