Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This capstone unit is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of the contemporary practice of public policy making, with a focus on leadership in the public sector. The unit aims to reveal to students the politics, pressures, dynamics and challenges of working and leading in the contemporary public sector. The principal method for achieving this teaching and learning objective is through direct exposure to and engagement with a range of former and current public sector leaders, policy makers and senior practitioners in WA and Australia, who will be brought into the classroom to share their experiences, practices and insights with students. The unit builds upon and link theoretical and conceptual material in other Master of Public Policy units with the practical aspects of public sector leadership and policy making.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) build knowledge of professional behaviour and enhance professional skills in communication and networking appropriate to the contemporary public sector; (2) develop an advanced understanding of the practices and dynamics of contemporary public sector leadership and policy making; and (3) conduct and produce research on a major contemporary public sector leadership challenge.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar participation and presentation; (2) minor essay; and (3) major essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Paul Maginn
Unit rules
For students enrolled in the Master of Public Policy prior to 2020: Completion of 24 points of the Master of Public Policy, including POLS5503 Public Administration, POLS5501 Public Policy,
and SOCS5501 Evaluation.
For students enrolled from 2020 onwards: Completion of 24 points of the Master of Public Policy, including POLS5501 Public Policy
and POLS5503 Public Administration
Advisable prior study
POLS5503 Public Administration.
undergraduate major in Political Science
or closely related field
Contact hours
up to 21 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.