Skip to Content

Master of Politics and Public Policy


Faculty of Arts
Master of Politics and Public Policy (MPPP)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in politics, international relations, law, sociology, media, communications, history, cultural studies, or a related discipline
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
• Relevant work experience
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: 1 year - 1.5 years depending on RPL granted
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
External — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 48
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

Comparative Public Policy (4)
Politics and Policy: Theory and Applications (4)
Evidence and Expertise in Policy (4)
Accountability (4)
Public Management and Governance (4)
Policy Design and Practice (4)
Research Methods in Politics and International Relations (4)
12cp from
Applied Anthropology: Why Does Culture Matter? (4)
Race, Nation and Ethnicity (4)
Development Theory and Practice (4)
Culture, Health and Disease (4)
Anthropology of Human Rights and Intervention (4)
Indigenous Interests and Identities (4)
Economics of Public Issues (4)
Social Impact Assessment and Cross Cultural Negotiation (4)
Heritage and its Management (4)
Globalisation and Sustainable Development (4)
Urban Social Impact Assessment (4)
Europe, the European Union, and the International System (4)
The United States, East Asia and the World: Hegemony, Conflict and Rivalry (4)
The International System (4)
Theories of International Relations (4)
The Asian-Pacific Region and Australia (4)
International Political Economy (4)
Climate Change Law (4)
Heritage Law and Policy (4)
Local Government and Planning Law (4)
Indigenous Peoples and the Law (4)
Policy Research Project (4)
Foundations in Politics, International Relations and Public Policy (4)
Public Policy Dissertation (8)
Case Studies in Politics and Policy (4)
Health Policy (4)
Gender and Policy (4)
Public Policy and International Law (4)
Political Parties and Policy (4)
Intergovernmental Relations (4)
Internship Project (4)
Politics of Communications Policy (4)
Evaluation and the Policy Process (4)
Activism and Policy Design (4)
Social Care and Human Services (4)
Political Economy for Social Policy and Research (4)
Work and Employment (4)
Sociology of Institutions and Organisations (4)
12cp from
Case Studies in Politics and Policy (4)
Health Policy (4)
Gender and Policy (4)
Public Policy and International Law (4)
Political Parties and Policy (4)
Intergovernmental Relations (4)
Internship Project (4)
Politics of Communications Policy (4)
Policy Research Project (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
CRICOS Code 083806G
Overview and Aims of the Program The Master of 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 a comprehensive understanding of current debates in public policy including evidence-based policy, accountability, federal-state relations, globalisation, policy transfer, political parties and citizen engagement.
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. analyse and 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. critically analyse the links between evidence and policy decision making in a range of different contexts (K, T, P)
4. investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems and theories related to public policy, apply this to real-world case studies (K, T, P, J)
5. communicate key concepts and arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences (K, J, C)
6. apply theories of power, regulation, accountability, integrity and ethics to real-world situations, and identify strengths and weaknesses in current governance practice (T, E, J)
7. plan and undertake in-depth self-directed research into a policy problem, applying key concepts, theories and methodologies within the field of public policy, and drawing on a wide range of cross-disciplinary sources (K, T, P)
8. 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 degree program is a postgraduate program which is designed for students who have relevant work experience in policy related fields, and the program builds on this range of experience by creating opportunities for collaboration, reflection and discussion among students, and building networks for learning and inquiry. Students are encouraged to consider their own work-based experiences and share these with fellow students, within an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Furthermore, a number of the assessment tasks are designed to encourage students to apply their study to policy areas in which they already have some familiarity or expertise.

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 seminars in which they participate in discussion, small group work, and learning activities designed to consolidate learning from readings and lectures, and assist in the application of theory and knowledge to contemporary and historical real-world situations. Learning activities include problem-based learning exercises, debates, critique, role play and discussion based on video or written stimulation. These learning activities are also provided to external students at the compulsory on-campus sessions which are held on two weekends over the semester.

The capstone unit is taught as a “flipped classroom” with online video and other material provided for students to work on in preparation for an intensive (block teaching) session where they will collaborate on developing scenarios and formulating policy based on a real-world case study.

All units will develop skills in research and analysis of complex information, and will require you to digest and critique a wide range of materials and develop original and well-supported arguments and policy recommendations. You will also develop high-level communication skills, using a variety of media and techniques to communicate with peers, staff, and policy professionals.

There is an optional Internship unit in this program which is an extended placement in a host organisation working on a policy-related project. This is an opportunity for you to develop and apply your skills and knowledge related to the policy process in a real-world setting, working under supervision.

All students are required to complete a research project, under supervision, which allows for focused and sustained attention on a policy problem of your choice, and which may be of direct relevance to your current or future employment.

Students will also be offered opportunities to meet and network with fellow students and alumni at regular seminars and departmental events, expanding on program learning in debates and discussion around contemporary real-world issues and policy problems.
Assessment This program is designed to develop and assess a range of skills and capabilities which are relevant to policy work of all kinds. Assessment tasks are varied across and within units to allow you to develop and refine your skills and knowledge throughout the degree, and to build a portfolio of a diverse selection of policy-related work. All units allow you to develop expertise in specific and varied aspects of public policy. The capstone unit draws on theory and practical skills developed in earlier units and provides you with an opportunity to apply these to an in-depth contemporary case study, considering all aspects and stages of the policy process in a holistic manner.

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 degree program, including:
• documentary analysis
• comparative analysis
• research essay
• policy brief
• persuasive writing for a range of audiences
• project report
• quizzes and short answer tests
• policy design and analysis
• research design and development of research proposal
• oral presentation
• literature review
• learning journals
• scenario development and analysis
• group work 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 degree 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 wide range of current and real-world policies. Graduates include public servants in Commonwealth, state and local government, ministerial advisers, parliamentary and electorate staff, lobbyists, and policy advisors in community and advocacy organisations, or work in media, law or government relations.
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