Policy Studies - 8248

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Contact: Dr Karen Soldatic

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 1 Years

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 48


Master of Policy Studies

Information valid for students commencing 2013.
Students who commenced prior to 2013 should go to the Handbook's Previous Editions

Program Description

The graduate program in Policy Studies applies a social science perspective to questions of policy and policy management. Students acquire a solid grounding in policy analysis and the policy process, specialise in a field of applied policy studies, and then complete a Policy Project.

The Master of Policy Studies (program 8248, stream code SLSPBS8248) is a coursework degree that takes two Semesters full-time or four Semesters part-time to complete. There are four compulsory and four elective courses in the program.

Students who are interested in the program and feel that they may not have the necessary work experience should contact the Program Coordinator to discuss their case.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The program prepares students for work which requires analytical skills and a practical appreciation of the processes of policy-making and implementation. The program is oriented to the practice of policy, and students are required to have relevant work experience. This may be in the public sector, unions, business organisations or community bodies.

Program Structure

Students must complete 48 units of credit made up of four core courses plus electives

Core Courses

Students select courses to the value of 24 units of credit to complete the elective component of the program. Not all elective courses will be offered each year; the School tries to match its offerings to student preferences.

The Convenor of the Policy Studies Program can approve different combinations of other electives to meet the needs of individual students.

Students must consult the Convenor prior to enrolling in courses that are less than 6 units of credit outside the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as they may be required to undertake additional units of credit that set additional work to complete the requirements of their program.

Suggested Elective Streams

Policy Management and Program Evaluation

International Development Policy

International Relations Policy

Social and Public Policy

Environmental Policy

Academic Rules

1. The degree of Master of Policy Studies may be awarded by the Council to a candidate who has satisfactorily completed a program of advanced study.
2. Candidates may proceed to the degree through part-time or full-time study.

3. (1) A candidate for the degree shall have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor from the University of New South Wales or a qualification considered equivalent from another tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Standing Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the Committee), and minimum one year full-time professional experience (or equivalent) in a policy related area. A curriculum vitae must be submitted with the application.
(2) In exceptional cases, an applicant who submits evidence of such other academic and professional qualifications as may be approved by the Committee may be admitted to candidature for the degree.
(3) If the Committee is not satisfied with the qualifications submitted by an applicant the Committee may require the applicant to undergo such assessment or carry out such work as it may prescribe before permitting enrolment.

Enrolment and Progression
4. (1) An application to enrol as a candidate for the degree shall be lodged with the Registrar at least two calendar months before the commencement of the Semester in which enrolment is to begin.
(2) To qualify for the award of the degree, candidates must obtain over a period of study of not less than two Semesters (full-time) or three Semesters (part-time), eight courses offered within the Master of Policy Studies program. The maximum period of candidature shall be four academic Semesters from the date of enrolment for a full-time candidate and eight Semesters for a part-time candidate. In special cases an extension of these times may be granted by the Committee.
(3) A student enrolling in a course must satisfy the prerequisite or corequisite requirements of that course. These requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Head of the School/Department/Unit concerned.

Advanced Standing
5. Students seeking advanced standing must submit documentary evidence of courses completed at the time of initial enrolment. Faculty will then determine the number of units of credit to be granted. Advanced standing will not be granted for courses completed more than six years previously. The maximum advanced standing for a Masters is 18 uoc (equivalent to three courses), a Graduate Diploma is 12 uoc (equivalent to two courses) and a Graduate Certificate is 6 uoc (equivalent to one course).

6. The MA forms part of an approved sequence of articulated programs comprising the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters degree in the same area of specialisation. A postgraduate student enrolled in an articulated program may progress from Graduate Certificate to Graduate Diploma to Masters level with full credit for courses completed in earlier programs in the sequence.

7. Candidates shall pay such fees as may be determined from time to time by Council.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a Bachelor degree in any field from an approved university or college of advanced education and have significant work experience in an area appropriate to the degree program. An exception to the degree requirement may be made if the applicant has general and professional experience acceptable to the School. Note that students whose first language is not English may need to meet an English proficiency requirement.

Area(s) of Specialisation