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Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership

UNSW Canberra
Educating leaders in Defence, government & industry
This degree is for domestic students only
Advance your knowledge in public policy by enrolling in the Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership. Develop the important leadership skills you need to take your career as a senior public administrator, public service executive or policy manager to the next level. Join the diverse cohort of students at UNSW Canberra today.
Commencing Terms
Term 2
Duration
1.4 years P/T
Delivery Mode
Online
Campus
Canberra
Codes
Program code 7470
CRICOS code -
Entry Requirements
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$18,000*
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
$18,000*
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Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership is designed to help experienced managers and professionals advance their skills and accelerate their career growth in the field of public policy. The Graduate Certificate enhances participants' understanding of the current and future state of public policy through a local and global lens, develops advanced critical thinking skills to effectively analyse complex policy systems and deepens skills in communication with diverse audiences in a government setting. 

Developed by public policy experts and leading academics, the program provides a comprehensive, globally-informed understanding of public policy and governance. It examines tactics for navigating complex, multi-layered policy systems and explores techniques for effective communications across large public sector organisations.

The Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership is ideal for those exploring a career as a senior public administrator, public service executive or policy manager, or professionals already working within complex public policy governance systems to develop their leadership skills.

Key features

Delivered by UNSW Canberra, the Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership provides a launchpad for experienced professionals looking to accelerate their career growth in public policy or make the transition into a public policy role. The program teaches sought-after leadership skills to enable leaders to drive change, foster culture and lead in large organisations across various public sector settings. 

Australia’s public sector is in need of experienced, ethical professionals, committed to improving the outcomes and experiences of the Australian people. In a recent independent review of the Australian Public Service (APS) led by Mr David Thodey AO, the official recommendations to improve the performance of the APS included “strengthening service-wide leadership and governance” as well as "working with partners" outside the public service in delivering outcomes. This focus on leadership and collaboration presents an opportunity for professionals in the sector to work with others to deliver meaningful outcomes for the Australian people.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Study at a global top 20 university

When you complete the Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership, you’ll gain a widely-recognised qualification from a world-renowned institution. Part of the wider UNSW network, UNSW Canberra represents one of Australia’s leading universities, recognised for research excellence and impact. We’re also a founding Group of Eight member – a coalition of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities.

Flexible study options to suit you

Grow your skill set and nurture your potential with a program that fits around your life. The Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership is a predominantly online course spread across the full academic calendar, enabling you to easily balance work, study and other commitments. 

Industry-aligned coursework

Our programs are carefully developed in line with the latest industry trends and developments. We regularly consult with practitioners, academics and researchers to ensure our programs provide students with the most up-to-date information to prepare them for success beyond the classroom.

Program Code
7470
Campus
Canberra
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
24

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Entry requirements

To gain entry into the Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership, an applicant must meet one of the following entry requirements:

  1. Completion of a Bachelor degree with honours in the same or a related discipline* from a recognised institution; or

  2. Completion of a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate in the same or a related discipline* from a recognised institution; or

  3. Completion of a Bachelor degree in the same or a related discipline* from a recognised institution; and completion of at least three years relevant full-time professional experience; or

  4. Completion of a Bachelor degree in a non-related discipline; and completion of at least four years relevant full-time professional experience.

*Related Discipline/s: Public Policy, Political Science, Management, IT, Business

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Program structure

The Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership is offered as a part-time program over 4 terms. Students must successfully complete 24 UOC to gain the relevant qualification. The program runs as follows:

  • Adaptive Leadership – 6 UOC
  • Governance in Policy Systems – 6 UOC
  • The Business of Managing Projects – 6 UOC
  • Assessing Data for Evidence-based Policy – 6 UOC

Future careers in Policy Leadership

This program is suitable for managers and experienced professionals in the public sector or public sector-adjacent roles. The Australian Public Sector has over 100 departments and agencies, from those looking after aged care, children's health and mental health to the High Court of Australia, Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Defence. Professional opportunities are varied and plentiful – you can explore active listings through the APS Jobs portal

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Policy Leadership may be eligible for course credits* into the Master of Business Administration (MBA), offered by AGSM @ UNSW Business School.

*Entry into AGSM MBA programs is subject to meeting the AGSM Admissions Criteria.

Potential roles in Policy Leadership

This course teaches skills that help prepare participants for a range of public sector roles including roles in:

  • policy analysis and advice, 
  • program and project management, 
  • implementation, 
  • evaluation, 
  • service delivery, 
  • regulation,
  • communications,
  • and many others that are directly or indirectly policy related.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

Domestic Student Total Fee: $18,500*

*Fees are subject to annual review (or when required) by the University and may vary accordingly.

Indicative fees are a guide only and have been calculated based on the typical enrolment patterns of students undertaking the program. The indicative fees listed here is an estimate for tuition only and excludes non-tuition fees and charges. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year of enrolment, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (48 units of credit (UOC) per year).

You should not rely on indicative fees as fee increases are assessed when required and may exceed the indicative figures listed here. Actual fees are calculated on enrolment. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$22,500*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$23,000*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


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