Professional Doctorate in Public Policy & Governance

The Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance at UNSW is designed for policymakers seeking leadership roles in public policy development. This degree combines postgraduate coursework study in advanced policy work with doctoral research. Our professional degree in applied research draws on your real-world policy knowledge and develops your policy leadership, expertise and research skills.

Working with some of Australia’s leaders in public policy and governance, students will develop broad research and analytical skills and conduct their own original research that will contribute to academic scholarship in their area of interest.

Structure

The Professional Doctorate in Public Policy & Governance is a three-year degree including one year of coursework and two years of research. The minimum length of the degree is three years and the maximum length is four years. Enrolment may be full time or part-time.

Coursework

All coursework must be completed before the commencement of the dissertation. The coursework may be completed prior to admission to the Professional Doctorate in Public Policy & Governance through the UNSW Masters of Public Policy & Governance, enabling Advanced Standing entry.

Core courses will provide a solid grounding in policy analysis and the policy process, giving you the opportunity to specialise in a range of areas which may include:

  • Social Policy
  • International Development Policy
  • Policy Management

Research

In the research component of the degree, candidates undertake supervised research leading to the production of a thesis of no more than 60,000 words in length.

Opportunities

Leadership in professional policy work requires experience, in-depth applied study and sophisticated research skills. The Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance prepares mid-career policymakers for policy leadership roles within their relevant professional field.

Unlike other postgraduate research degrees, the Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance combines coursework with research. Candidates will develop broad research and analytical skills and also undertake advanced research specific to their area of interest. The degree is led by the School of Social Sciences in collaboration with two leading centres in public policy – UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre and the Centre for Social Research in Health.

The Centres will participate in the degree in a supervisory capacity, providing a unique opportunity for candidates to work with some of Australia’s leading researchers in the area.

Entry Requirements 

  • A minimum 2 years post-qualifying professional policy practice experience within either the government, nongovernment or private sectors;
  • A demonstrated capacity for independent research under the guidance of a supervisor at the doctoral level;
  • A first-class (High Distinction) Honours degree or equivalent in a cognate discipline such as social sciences or policy.

Advanced Standing Entry Pathway

  • A minimum 2 years post-qualifying professional policy practice experience within either the government, nongovernment or private sectors; and
  • A demonstrated capacity for independent research under the guidance of a supervisor; and
  • A Masters (Coursework) degree with a distinction average and a significant research component, minimum equivalent 18 unit of credit consisting of methodology training and a stand-alone research project.

How to Apply

Handbook

For program rules and structure, see the UNSW Handbook.