Master of Public Administration


IGPA’s Master of Public Administration program has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of graduates appointed to public services at national and sub-national levels and those aspiring to a career in the public service or in policy advice. It equips graduates with both a strong academic foundation to their work and the practical skills necessary to meet the challenges of 21st century governance.

Learn the techniques and tools that will help you shape the Nation

IGPA's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has been co-designed with leading academics and senior practitioners to respond to professional development priorities outlined in the capability reviews in the United Kingdom, the capability review process and "Ahead of the Game" report in Australia and the performance improvement framework in New Zealand. Its truly distinctive feature is the provision of core professional skills in public management, policy and leadership combined with academic disciplinary rigour. In addressing this, the program draws on the experience of leading academics and senior practitioners involved in the study and practice of contemporary governance.

The MPA components include advanced knowledge and skills in governance, policy analysis and leadership combined with a dissertation component which allows participants to investigate a wicked governance problem from both an academic and applied perspective.

IGPA’s MPA helps getting the public sector ready for the future

The content of the MPA is updated on a regular basis to meet the needs of the public service. IGPA holds regular meetings with the Learning and Development teams in the Australian Public Service and the Australian Capital Territory Public Service in order to identify skills shortage. These are then addressed in our foundation and skills-based units. We also encourage existing public servants to reflect on issues or challenges they might face in the workplace, which might be addressed in their master’s dissertation.

The educational aims of the MPA are:

  • to support the international modernising civil services agenda through enhancing the study and practice of policy formulation and delivery within public organisations;
  • to foster strategic thinking for the creation of public value;
  • to develop skills that underpin this agenda, including those of analysis, evaluation, use of evidence, problem solving, communication and the management of change;
  • to explore and understand the international context of public administration, through awareness of both the role of global trends and institutions, the scope for learning internationally and for the
  • transfer of ideas;
  • to link theory and practice in relation to the delivery of public services through a problem-solving centred approach to learning that aids professional development;
  • to promote shared learning across sectors (public, private, non-profit) and internationally; 
  • to offer flexible forms of study which enhances work-based learning.


If you have any questions, please contact Professor Laurie Brown, Director of the Master of Public Administration: BGLStudent | at |  


The Master of Public Administration consists of five key components: foundation units; advanced units; skills-based units; elective units and a dissertation. Units are delivered intensively. Students can also opt for our blended learning mode of delivery: all teaching sessions are recorded and available online, and students are being given the opportunity to meet with each unit convener in one-on-one sessions.

36 Credit Points (CP) are required in order to earn the MPA. If you are enrolled in or have completed another postgraduate program, you may be eligible for a recognition of prior learning, exempting you from up to 4 units (worth 12 CP or one-third of the program). Flexible, custom-made study plans are offered to all students in order to meet their needs. The MPA can also be undertaken either full-time or part-time, meaning students can have more control over their workload and hours. The program can be completed in either three semesters (1.5 years full-time) or in a maximum of nine semesters (one unit per semester over 4.5 years, with the option to amend the study plan at the beginning of each semester).

How To Apply?

Both domestic and international applicants can apply for coursework study through the University of Canberra's online application portal.  You will need to upload your certified documents to the portal as required. 



You will need to pay fees to study at the University of Canberra.  The amount you pay will depend on what you are studying.  For example, domestic and international student fees are calculated differently.

International student costs
Find out more about international student fees and rates.

Postgraduate student fees and charges
You are a postgraduate student if you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or have equivalent experience and are studying a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters or PHD.


The approximate fee for a unit is calculated by multiplying the unit load (EFTSL) by the annual course fee.

The EFTSL is calculated as follows:
Credit point of a unit x length of time to complete course (full time) / Credit points required to complete course

Click here to read further on how your fees are calculated

Key Dates 2019

IGPA Semester 1 Orientation

Wednesday, 6 February 2019, Innovation Centre (Building 22 & 23)

Welcome, Introduction and Course Advice Session: 11:00am - 12:30pm (23B5)

Public Administration G 8556 3 Credit Points Monday 11 February - Tuesday 26 March
Research Methods PG 6270 3 Credit Points Wednesday 20 February - Thursday 28 March
Managing Government Finance G 6260 3 Credit Points Monday 1 April - Tuesday 14 May
Public Policy PG 6268 3 Credit Points Wednesday 3 April - Thursday 16 May
Understanding Governance PG 9685 6 Credit Points Monday 11 February - Thursday 14 March
Management Dissertation PG 6254 6 Credit Points Monday 11 February - Friday 24 May (no classes)

*During Semester 1, 2019 IGPA will deliver the MPA program during the day (units 8556, 6268 and 6254) and in the evening (units 6270, 6260 and 9685) on weekdays from Monday to Thursday.

Important Dates  
Monday 4 February 2019 Semester 1 Orientation week begins
Monday 11 February 2019 Semester 1 Teaching period begins
Friday 15 February 2019 Last day to add Semester 1 units via MyUC without lecturer approval
Friday 8 March 2019 Census date for Semester 1 2019
Friday 19 April 2019 Census date for UC Teaching Period 2 (Non-standard teaching period)
The Course Team
John DryzekCentenary Professor, ARC Laureate FellowView Profile
Professor Patrick DunleavyCentenary Professor of GovernanceView Profile
Dr Paul FawcettHonorary AppointmentView Profile
Emeritus Professor John HalliganProfessor of Public Administration and GovernanceView Profile
Associate Professor Michael JensenCo-convener - National Security HubView Profile
Dr Brendan McCaffrieEducation Program Director and Senior Research FellowView Profile
Carmel Mcgregor PSMAdjunct Professor and Academic FellowView Profile
Dr Riyana (Mira) MirantiAssociate Professor & Convenor of BGL Indonesia ProgramView Profile
Simon NiemeyerProfessor and DirectorView Profile
Professor Gerry StokerCentenary Professor of GovernanceView Profile

“Holding tertiary qualifications from two other Australian universities and over 5 years federal government experience, I have found the MPA experience a true testament to the teaching of public administration. The program leverages off up to date public sector practices combined with cutting edge research, and focuses on driving innovation in the future-state of our public service. The MPA predominately uses case method in its teaching approach; a teaching method used in leading professional schools around the world. This is facilitated by a high calibre of teaching staff – from
Senior Bureaucrats, Harvard Scholars to Laureate Professors – who are second to none. IGPA holds true to its status as Australia’s finest institute in policy analysis and governance.”

- Charlie Shandil

“I chose to complete a Masters of Public Administration with the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis as their teaching approach to contemporary governance issues is highly regarded by my employer, the Vietnamese Public Service. IGPA’s MPA combines academic rigour with practitioner experience to give me the opportunity to learn and apply my knowledge across a variety of real world challenges. I would recommend the MPA programme to anyone who wants a competitive edge for their future career in the public sector. I would like to express my thankfulness to the Professors as I have learned a lot from them, and I find them very intellectual in the field.” 

- Hoa Doan

Undertaking the Masters in Public Administration at the Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA) was by far one of my most positive life-changing decisions. By choosing to study at IGPA I had the opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, some of the most intelligent and highly regarded academics and public administration professionals in the world – the mix of theoretical and practical experiences really gives students a unique insight to public administration and policy. Undertaking coursework in a research institute really helped me better understand the value-add of research degrees, sound evidence based decision making and real value researchers play in a public administration and public policy environment. This course and the new skills I gained gave me the confidence to peruse a placement in a Parliamentary Office, continue my career in the public service and even consider further study opportunities.

- David McKenna