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Graduate Certificate of Politics and Public Policy


Faculty of Arts
Graduate Certificate of Politics and Public Policy (GradCertPP)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in a cognate discipline; or Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent with 18 months relevant work experience
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Internal, External
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 0.5 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
External — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 0.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 16
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Foundations in Politics, International Relations and Public Policy (4)
4cp from
Comparative Public Policy (4)
Politics and Policy: Theory and Applications (4)
Evidence and Expertise in Policy (4)
Accountability (4)
Public Management and Governance (4)
8cp from
The International System (4)
Theories of International Relations (4)
Comparative Public Policy (4)
Politics and Policy: Theory and Applications (4)
Case Studies in Politics and Policy (4)
Evidence and Expertise in Policy (4)
Health Policy (4)
Gender and Policy (4)
Public Policy and International Law (4)
Political Parties and Policy (4)
Intergovernmental Relations (4)
Accountability (4)
Politics of Communications Policy (4)
Public Management and Governance (4)
Evaluation and the Policy Process (4)
Activism and Policy Design (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Certificate
CRICOS Code 083757A
Overview and Aims of the Program The Postgraduate Certificate in Politics and Public Policy develops your understanding of the structure and processes of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation from an Australian perspective. The units of this degree are offered within the context of political science. The degree emphasises the politics surrounding public policy, and the changing landscape of policy making and Australian public policy. It develops an understanding of current debates in public policy.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:
1. explain how public policy is formulated, implemented and evaluated using a range of different theories from contemporary public policy literature (K, T)
2. explain how problem definition is affected by political, social, economic, and cultural factors, and identify alternative arguments and positions which are applicable in the given context (K, T, P, J)
3. investigate, analyse and synthesise information, problems and theories related to public policy, apply this to real-world case studies (K, T, P, J)
4. communicate key concepts and arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences (K, J, C)
5. research, prepare and communicate policy recommendations and policy briefs which are well-informed, persuasive and practical (T, P, J, C).
Learning and Teaching Methods This program is designed to introduce the study of politics and public policy. Units are designed to introduce key concepts and theory related to politics and public policy, and familiarise students with the Australian policy making environment. Students have a range of introductory units to choose from at the 600 level, and they will combine these with two more advanced elective units at the 800 level.

Most units in this program consist of formal lectures which are recorded for external students. Each unit uses learning technologies to encourage collaboration, debate and discussion between students and teaching staff. Internal students attend weekly tutorials or seminars in which they participate in discussion, small group work, and learning activities designed to consolidate learning from readings and lectures. External students will complete equivalent learning activities online. Learning activities include problem-based learning exercises, debates, critique, role play and discussion based on video or written stimulation.
Assessment This program is designed to provide an introduction to politics and public policy in the Australian context. The program will develop and assess skills and knowledge related to politics and public policy, with a focus on the practical application of knowledge about institutions, ideology and interests to policy analysis and formulation.

All assessment is based on individual effort, and clear guidelines and marking criteria for each unit are provided in the unit guide. The program includes formative and summative assessment in order to assist your development during the unit.

A wide range of assessment tasks are used across the program, including:
• documentary analysis
• research essay
• policy brief
• persuasive writing for a range of audiences
• quizzes and short answer tests
• learning journals
• groupwork and participation.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability This Postgraduate Certificate develops skills which are relevant for political and policy-related work in government and non-government organisations, and in businesses with an interest in public policy decision making. Students develop an in-depth knowledge of political and policy processes, and analyse a range of current and real-world policies.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148