Executive Master of Arts

Course MC-EMA (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 068099M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time.


Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences


The Graduate School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Email: arts-gradstudies@unimelb.edu.au

Course Overview:

The Executive Master of Arts (EMA) is designed for graduates who are eager to shape leadership roles for themselves in the 21st century. It is a program which recognises the unique benefits to be had through combining traditional Arts strengths in analysis, ethics and critical reasoning with a skill set appropriate for managing resources, planning projects and delivering results in a dynamic contemporary environment.


EMA students will develop skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Advanced critical thinking and analytical skills developed through in-depth study in specialist subject areas
  • Broad perspective gained through exposure to a range of subject areas
  • Professional skills with breadth and a social/community focus
  • An understanding of ethical behaviour
  • Ability to read the ‘real world’ and to understand social trends
  • Understanding of leadership and people leadership skills
  • Exposure to leaders in the business, government and community sectors
  • Relevant work experience
  • Enhanced inter-cultural understanding
  • Fundamental business skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in teams on projects

Course Structure & Available Subjects: 200 point program
  • full time over 24 months, the standard 200-point program - see details below


  • full time over 18 months, the accelerated 200-point program - see details below

Total 200 points

100 point program

  • full time over 12 months, the 100-point program for BA (Honours) graduates - see details below
Total 100 points

The EMA curriculum has three key modules:

The Professional Skills module comprising of six compulsory subjects:

  • Leadership Theory and Practice
  • Thinking and Acting Ethically
  • Working the World
  • Budgets & Financial Management
  • Creative Thinking and the Power of Ideas
  • Professional Communication

The Discipline Module allows students to take six electives in the social sciences, humanities and languages. Subjects offered in the discipline module will not require previous study in that discipline and will be accessible to all EMA students regardless of the nature of their first degree.

The Applied Module* requires students to undertake a compulsory subject on Project Management to prepare them for their work experience and then either:

  • an Internship of eight weeks in a corporate, NGO, government or international organisation, or
  • an eight week Group Project which involves working with an external organisation to find a solution to a real problem or challenge.

* Students in the 100-point program complete a 25-point Internship instead of the Project Management subject and/or the Group Project.

For policies that govern this degree, see Academic Services Policy in the University Melbourne Policy Framework. Students also should also refer to information in the Student Policy Directory.

Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criteria:

For the 200-point program -

  • an undergraduate degree, or equivalent;


  • the applicant's submitted statement of intent in seeking entry (500 words maximum).

For the 100-point program -

  • a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree, or equivalent;


  • the applicant's submitted statement of intent in seeking entry (500 words maximum).

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Applicants will be required to provide the following documents detailing work experience as appropriate:

  • a C.V. detailing the work experience on which they wish to be considered for selection;
  • a covering letter, making the case on how the background prepares them to undertake the
  • course, particularly in terms of discipline knowledge and/or skills, their success in previous study and their communication skills;
  • samples of relevant documents they have produced;
  • evidence of any study they have undertaken;
  • names of at least two confidential referees.

Note: There is no mid-year intake into this course

Admission process

Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/
Graduate Attributes:

The EMA is designed for students who are seeking to acquire marketable professional skills; opportunities for further intellectual and personal growth and development; opportunities to network with their fellow students and community leaders; and who are seeking to learn how to apply their knowledge to the ‘real world’. The degree is a qualification designed for students seeking to enter professional employment.

Academically excellent

The EMA will be subject to a continuous cycle of review through constant refinements in teaching and learning principles and approaches. The compulsory completion of a core suite of professional module subjects ensures a valuable cohort experience the acquisition of depth of study.

Knowledgeable across disciplines

The EMA offers students a core program designed around professional skills acquisition as well as a range of subjects from the humanities, social sciences and languages. All EMA students will complete at six skills subjects as well as subjects that offer cross-cultural perspectives on a number of historical and contemporary themes, and each of which has been designed collaboratively by teachers drawn from a number of different disciplines.

Leaders in communities

The EMA has been designed to train students aspiring to leadership roles in their future. It will facilitate the development of excellent interpersonal and communication skills through subject content and assessment practices, and through the commitment of the degree to small-group interactive teaching and learning environments. The provision of research and knowledge transfer opportunities will enable the development of public discourse skills and an extensive awareness of community issues and global needs.

Attuned to cultural diversity

The EMA offers students to opportunity to explore aspects of cultural diversity and indigeneity. Many of the degree’s discipline-based subjects are concerned specifically and analytically with cultural diversity, from language, Asian studies and historical studies, through comparative social science studies, to the explicit study of culture itself. EMA students will be exposed specifically to cross-cultural issues through both the core and elective subjects. All EMA students will be given the opportunity to undertake an internship or group work that will provide them with experiences outside their own immediate cultures.

Active global citizens

EMA graduates will be equipped to be active global citizens by virtue of their leadership skills, academic excellence, their inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge, and their community and cultural awareness.

Generic Skills:

The Executive Master of Arts offers advanced training for students aspiring to leadership roles in their future professional careers. EMA graduates will have acquired skills in the areas of:

  • leadership and professional communication;
  • ethical practice;
  • financial management;
  • critical analysis and creative thinking;
  • project management;
  • team work and professional networking.

Links to further information: http://www.arts.unimelb.edu.au/graduate/ema/index.html#ema

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