Master of Public Policy


Program Description

The Master of Public Policy at UWA will give you the necessary multidisciplinary understanding of these roles, and help you to understand, design and evaluate economic and public policies and regulations and the law.

Choose your specialization

Within the Master of Public Policy, you are able to focus on one (or two) of the following specializations:

  • Public Administration and Governance (PAG)
  • Economics
  • Law

The Public Administration and Governance stream focuses on the governance aspects of public policy. It's designed to give you a solid academic foundation to enable you to formulate, implement, and evaluate public policies, providing you with a wealth of knowledge to respond proactively and strategically to public, economic and social needs.

You’ll be taught by lecturers working at the cutting edge of public policy analysis. You’ll explore the political, economic and social forces that shape contemporary public policy issues.

This will enable you to think creatively about public policy design and delivery, and your role within it.

The Economics stream focuses on the economic consequences of public policy and builds upon a strong theoretical base designed to give you the skills to think about the design of public policy, the economic causes and consequences of these policies, and the skills to evaluate these policies. This emphasizes the vital importance of using evidence-based research and evaluation in order to determine how well policies are being implemented, and the impact they are having on citizens. It also focuses on economic theories of governance and institutions, and how types and systems of government can influence economic outcomes.

The Law stream provides students with knowledge of policy development and application within the context of specific areas of law and legal institutions. The course investigates these issues from theoretical, doctrinal and practical perspectives, through a critical lens.

Course Structure

Postgraduate coursework degrees and combined (coursework and research) degrees comprise a number of units. 


Students may be required to complete relevant conversion units up to the value of 24 points, as advised by the Faculty:

Public Policy Program specialization

All students must complete 24 points of core units in the Public Policy Program Group and complete 24 points of one nominated specialization.

Students can select the remaining 24 points:

  • to undertake a second specialization, or
  • to take further units within their nominated specialization; or
  • to take a combination of units across the specializations and from Group 1. Work Integrated Learning; or
  • to complete a dissertation (only available to specialization 2.Public Administration Governance ) taking all units in Group 2. Dissertation, upon firstly achieving 70% in SOCS5003 Research Design.

Take all units (24 points):

  • ECON5516 The Economics of Public Policy (6)
  • LAWS5215 Regulation: Theories and Practices (6)
  • POLS5501 Public Policy (6)
  • POLS5504 Public Sector Leadership in Practice (6)

Take up to 6 points from this group.

  • PARL5599 WA Parliamentary Research Program (6)
  • SVLG5001 McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship (6)
  • SVLG5003 Wicked Problems (6)
  • WILG5001 Professional Development Practicum A (6)

For students in the course by coursework and dissertation, take unit(s) to the value of 24 points from this group.

  • SOCS5003 Research Design (6)
  • SOCS5551 Master's Dissertation 1 (6)
  • SOCS5552 Master's Dissertation 2 (6)
  • SOCS5553 Master's Dissertation 3 (6)

Economics specialization

Take all units (12 points):

  • ECON5514 Economic Research and Evaluation Methods (6)
  • ECON5519 Public Economics (6)

Take units to the value of 12 points from this group.

  • ECON4408 Advanced Development Economics (6)
  • ECON4410 Environmental and Resource Economics (6)
  • ECON5515 Economic Growth and Institutions (6)
  • ECON5517 Public Finance (6)
  • ECON5518 Economics of Global Health and Policy (6)
  • ECON5540 Economic Analysis and Policy (6)

Law specialization

Take units to the value of 24 points from this group. Students without a recognized law degree must take LAWS4227 Foundations of Law and Legal Institutions (co-requisite to the other units in this group).

  • LAWS4227 Foundations of Law and Legal Institutions (6)
  • LAWS5167 Comparative Law (6)
  • LAWS5223 Theories of Justice and Punishment (6)
  • LAWS5224 Foundations of Public International Law (6)
  • LAWS5260 Intersections of Law, Policy, and Government (6)
  • LAWS5378 Government Accountability—Law and Practice (6)
  • LAWS5521 Climate Change Law and Emissions Trading (6)
  • LAWS5577 Space Law, Satellites and Drones (6)
  • LAWS5694 Research Paper I (6)

Public Administration and Governance specialization

Take all units (12 points):

  • POLS5503 Public Administration (6)
  • POLS5505 Regulation and Governance (6)

Take 12 points to complete the specialization.

  • COMM5604 Media Governance (6)
  • GEOG5502 Conservation, Development, and Sustainability (6)
  • PLNG5511 Climate Change Policy and Planning (6)
  • POLS5672 Global Development Debates (6)
  • SOCS5010 NGOs, Governance and Development (6)
  • SOCS5501 Evaluation (6)


UWA Business School is accredited internationally by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. AACSB is a worldwide, not-for-profit membership organization of educational institutions, businesses and other entities devoted to the advancement of management education.


We understand that life is busy. That's why our postgraduate courses are designed so you can balance your work and studies. Our flexible postgraduate experience includes the opportunity to study part-time, a range of units that are taught after hours, and the option to learn via intensive units. Ask our Student Central team for advice on choosing the right postgraduate route for you.

Career Pathways

The Master of Public Policy is designed to nurture current and future leaders of government, nonprofit and private sector organizations aimed at pursuing the public interest.

Graduates may be employed in a wide variety of public areas, ranging from policy analysis to management of departments and agencies. This course is particularly useful for people with a range of skills in other areas (such as science or engineering), as it complements your skills in these areas and enables you to progress to senior-level positions in policy or management in the public sector.

Last updated Apr 2020

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