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Public Administration Pathways in Australia

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Looking for your first degree in Public Administration? See All Bachelors degrees in Public Administration

Alternatively if you are looking for graduate level options? See All Masters degrees in Public Administration

Study a Public Administration Pathways or Foundation Programme in Australia

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is rising in popularity for graduates. You will be given the opportunity to build on the knowledge you have gained during your undergraduate degree, preparing you for a role in the public administration field. Students on an MPA degree will be from a diverse background of academics and professionals, with a mixture of mature and younger students.

An MPA degree will cover a range of public administration topics. You will explore different subject areas including public policy, local and national government, management of public financial matters, and public service delivery among others.

Your course will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as group discussions and presentations. You may have the chance to take part in a placement module, working for a business alongside part of your degree. A placement will allow you to apply and develop your skills in a real world environment, but also build your contacts in the business world.

Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise throughout your studies. This will allow you to focus on a certain area of public administration, developing your knowledge to an advanced level. Common specialisms include:

  • Public Finance
  • Political Science
  • Urban Poverty
  • Disaster Management
  • Local Government Management
  • Public Management

Your course may require you to write a dissertation or thesis. This will be an opportunity to perform in-depth research into an area of public administration that interests you.

The accreditation of a Master of Public Administration degree is generally standardised internationally. Most institutions will award you with an MPA degree once you have graduated. Gaining an internationally recognised award will mean that no matter where you choose to work, your future employers will recognise that you have advanced knowledge of public administration.

Certain degree courses may be accredited by independent professional or academic bodies. You should check with your institution for more information about this.

Normally, a Master of Public Administration will take one to two years to complete, when studied full-time. If you wish to study part-time, your degree will be spread across a longer period of time. The duration of your degree can sometimes be flexible to fit around your current work/home commitments. Your institution will be able to provide you with more information about their part-time study options.

On successful completion of your degree, you can either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. You may choose to continue with your studies and gain another degree, such as an MPhil or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Graduates of a Master of Public Administration will find that they have a broad range of career opportunities. Popular destinations include government roles, politics, healthcare administration, education, urban planning and international development. Your degree will allow you to progress into middle and senior management roles at a faster rate.

You will gain a variety of transferable and useful skills throughout your degree. These will allow you to apply your knowledge to a wide range of organisations, in the private sector, non-profit sector and public service sector. These skills could include oral and written communication, people and project management, analytical thinking, and financial management.

Study in Australia

Famous for surfing, sunshine and beaches, Australia has so much to offer to international students. The country's rich culture and history makes it a incredibly diverse country, and one that is welcoming and warm towards the international community. Australia has long been seen as a global leader in higher education, and places emphasis on delivering world-class education to both domestic and international students. The Group of Eight Universities is a prestigious group of universities that focus on providing internationally renowned faculty and research facilities across Australian higher education.

See our detailed guide to studying in Australia for international students.

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