Specialist Certificate in Public Administration

Course SC-PA (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 25 credit points taken over 6 months part time.


Professor Helen Dickinson

Email: helen.dickinson@unimelb.edu.au


Melbourne School of Government

Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

The Specialist Certificate in Public Administration is designed for professionals working in or with government, through public, corporate or community organisations. The course offers an introduction and foundation to an inter-disciplinary and globally-focused group of subjects. The course draws on the expertise across the University of Melbourne to develop the skills and competencies of professionals who operate in increasingly complex governing environments where challenges cut across disciplinary, organisational, sectoral, jurisdictional and geographical boundaries.

The Specialist Certificate offers participants the opportunity to combine disciplinary expertise in political science, law, and business and economics with professional expertise in areas such as decision making, ethics, strategic management, negotiation and leadership. Participants will mix theory and practice to address the complex challenges of management in practice through an interactive learning experience, combining individual and team-based learning opportunities that allow them to explore a range of contemporary issues.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete the Specialist Certificate in Public Administration should:

  • understand the challenges that confront leaders from the community, corporate and public sectors;
  • develop the understanding to appreciate the interconnected nature of these challenges, and the power of applying interdisciplinary approaches to them;
  • start to understand the strategic environment in which leaders operate and the relationships they develop to deliver on complex public policy goals; and
  • explore the local, national, regional, and global factors that impact on these leaders and their environment.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Program Structure –

  • 1 Compulsory Subject (12.5 points)
  • 1 Core Subject (12.5 points)

Total 25 points

Subject Options:

Compulsory Subject

12.5 points

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Core Subjects

12.5 points

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • an undergraduate degree in an area related to social sciences and at least three years of documented relevant professional experience

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • relevance of previous studies; and
  • the professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

Graduate Attributes:

Students who complete the Specialist Certificate in Public Administration should:

  • be able to demonstrate an advanced level of study specialist knowledge across the public administration discipline;
  • have refined their analytical skills and research techniques;
  • have a strong foundation for the future progression to higher degree research in Arts at the Masters level; and
  • have improved the scope of employment options and professional advancement.
Generic Skills:

Graduates should have:

  • A critical understanding of the operation of governments in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and across the world;
  • An understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness and complexity of the fields of public management and administration;
  • A sound understanding of politics, economics, law and science, as they apply to public administration and management processes and decisions.

Graduates should have:

  • A high-level ability to combine theory and practice in a meaningful way in order to address managerial challenges, analyse contemporary issues of administration, and reflect critically on one’s own professional practice;
  • A high-level ability to combine professional skills such as decision making, media and communication management, ethics, project management, strategic management, leadership and negotiation with discipline-based expertise in political science, law and economics, and to apply this complex synthesis to professional practice;
  • A highly-developed capacity to adapt to new situations and reflect upon professional practice in order to most effectively address challenges;
  • 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; and
  • The ability to draw upon an extensive repertoire of advanced professional skills including skills in leadership, negotiation, decision analysis and strategic management and to apply these skills with an awareness of the ethical implications of strategies and decisions.
Links to further information: http://government.unimelb.edu.au/degrees

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