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Master of Policy and Applied Social Research


Faculty of Arts
Master of Policy and Applied Social Research (MPASR)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in social sciences
• 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:
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of units at 800 level or above 12
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:

Units of study

800 level

Developing Social Policy (1)
North, South, East, West: Comparative Social Policy (1)
Evaluation and the Policy Process (1)
Doing Social Survey Research (1)
Qualitative Methods (1)
three of
Sociology of Institutions and Organisations (1)
Social Care and Human Services (1)
Political Economy for Social Policy and Research (1)
Work and Employment (1)
four of
Social Impact Assessment and Cross Cultural Negotiation (1)
Globalisation and Sustainable Development (1)
Health Policy (1)
Sociology of Institutions and Organisations (1)
Social Care and Human Services (1)
Political Economy for Social Policy and Research (1)
Work and Employment (1)



AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
Overview and Aims of the Program This degree develops your skills in applied social research and the analysis of policy in social context. The core units, provided through the Department of Sociology, focus on designing and conducting applied research, on the evaluation process, and on understanding and analysing policy in the fields of social policy and human services. Electives offer allow students to focus on other areas of social research and policy including social impact assessment, health policy, sustainable development and public policy and cross-cultural.
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:

- Explain key processes through which social policy is developed (k, c)

- Assess how to appropriately apply methods to different social research questions (k, t, p)

- Compare and critique different policy designs (k, t, e)

- Evaluate policies using social research techniques (t, p)

- Design social research tools (t, p, i)

- Undertake quantitative and qualitative social research (t, p, i)

- Apply ethically and socially informed judgements to the use of social research (e, a, j, l)

- Assess social policy from an interdisciplinary perspective (k, t, p)

- Communicate policy information and social research to professional and academic audiences (c, j)

- Critique the role of social researchers in policy processes (e, a, j, l)
Learning and Teaching Methods The degree assists students to develop a range of social research, analytic, evaluative and communications skills and to critically apply their knowledge to real world problems.

A unique feature of the degree is its applied focus. Students engage directly in social research, developing social research instruments, applying those instruments in the field and evaluating results.

Students will develop a range of communication skills. This includes traditional academic writing skills, presentation skills and report and policy based writing. This reflects a pedagogy grounded in praxis, where theoretical knowledge is informed by contemporary experience, and can then inform action in a specific social context of social research and policy.

Most units involve lecture and discussion classes, or seminars.
Assessment Assessments are based exclusively on the submission and presentation of individual and group coursework. The applied nature of the program involves a range of assessment modes, including individual written assignments, exams, group discussions, research design, report writing and policy analysis.

The coursework is designed to develop and assess cognitive, research, interpersonal and critical capabilities. There is an emphasis on critical and creative thinking and independent research. Assessments also develop skills in professional and ethical judgement, as well as clear written and oral communication. A unique feature of the program is its focus on practical social research skills, and this is reflected in tasks to design and execute research as well as analysing, evaluating and reporting policy information.

All courses involve independent, research based learning and application of theoretical knowledge to policy issues.
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.

Information can be found at:

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 The Masters equips students with skills and knowledge sought after in government and non-government agencies, and private research organisations, including consultancies. Students learn applied research skills and policy knowledge, and have opportunities to work on a project in a work setting. Students generally enter research, policy, advocacy and social service related roles.
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.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

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