The World of Public Administration

Subject PADM90007 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The subject will be scheduled intensively from 9:00am - 5:00pm 24 - 28 February 2014.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission to the Master of Public Administration program.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Previous study in public policy, political science, management, law, business, economics, international relations, non-profit management or cognate area

Non Allowed Subjects: None
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:


Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts


Subject Overview:

The World of Public Administration is the foundation subject in the Melbourne Master of Public Administration. The Melbourne MPA is an interdisciplinary, globally-focused degree program for managers that work within or with government. This subject sets out the foundations of public administration and explores how the theory and practice of public administration has adapted over time and in various settings to address the challenges faced by policy makers and managers.

The subject will particularly focus on understanding management and administration and the strategic environment in which managers operate. Students will develop an understanding of administration and management across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the strategic environments that shape their actions, and the relationships these managers develop to deliver on the public policy challenges of the 21 st century.

This subject introduces students to the interdisciplinary aspects of public administration, in particular making connections to political science, law and economics, which are explored in depth in the three discipline core subjects in the Melbourne MPA.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Understand the foundations of public administration and management and contemporary debates related to this;
  • Appreciate the connections between public administration and management and a range of disciplines including political science, law, and economics;
  • Understand the strategic environment in which managers operate and the relationships they develop to deliver on public policy goals; and
  • Explore the local, national, regional, and global factors that impact on these managers and their environment.

Assessment Task 1: Practice application paper of 1000 words where students write up a practical issue related to key themes in the subject (20%) due in the week beginning 17 February.

Assessment Task 2: Syndicate project (group presentation and individual paper):

  • Group presentation (20%) scheduled in the week beginning 24 February
  • Individual paper of 1500 words exploring key aspect of the group presentation (20%) due in the week beginning 10 March

Assessment Task 3: Case paper of 2500 words where students apply key concepts from the course to the practical issue from assessment task 1 (40%) due in the week beginning 24 March.

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, Seminar attendance is compulsory on all 5 days. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

All readings will be provided via the LMS

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • A comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness and complexity of the fields of public management and administration, and the strategic environment in which managers operate;
  • A sound understanding of politics, economics and the law as they are connected to key ideas in public administration;
  • A high-level ability to combine theory and practice in a meaningful way in order to address managerial challenges and analyse contemporary issues of administration in a global environment;
  • A high-level ability to combine professional managerial and administrative skills with discipline-based expertise and to apply this complex synthesis to professional practice;
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills necessary to a range of professional activities including report writing, workplace discussions, negotiation and management and lobbying strategies;
  • Flexible communication skills with a highly attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience, and to the issues specific to cross-cultural communication;
  • The ability to draw upon an extensive repertoire of advanced professional skills, in particular in decision-making, providing advice and collaborating across sectors.
Related Course(s): Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration (Enhanced)

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