What is Governance and Public Policy?

Can we reduce carbon emissions without damaging national economies? Can our financial systems work for everyone? How can governments improve responses to disasters?

Studying Governance and Public Policy will give you insight into how governments decide what policies to pursue within political, economic, legal and international constraints. This means you will examine the ways in which people try to change the world and the institutional settings that help or hinder this.

The study of Governance and Public Policy will give you an intellectual tool-kit that can be applied across the public and private sectors to improve governance.

Why choose us?

The Governance and Public Policy programs bring world-class scholars, policy practitioners and cutting-edge research together to provide an outstanding learning experience. 

Students will:

  • gain a transferable skill-set by studying a suite of practical courses that will enhance their employability in a public or private sector career;
  • experience a vibrant and unique learning environment, with students from across Australia and the world;
  • work closely with leading researchers and award winning teachers;
  • access a range of public bodies at international, federal and state level through acclaimed internship schemes.

The scale and diversity of the national and international public policy job market offers our graduates a huge range of opportunities. Many of our graduates enter into public service at the state and federal levels and our postgraduates occupy leadership positions in think tanks, NGOs and government executives around the world.


Higher Degree by Research

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs at UQ include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).  HDR students produce new knowledge and expertise that is innovative, relevant and progressive. 

Based on the written application, an assessment will be made of the level of understanding, motivation, time commitment and financial support of the applicant for the proposed program of study.



What our graduates are doing

Juan Pablo Salazar

Juan Pablo Salazar, Masters in Governance and Public Policy

I have been putting the skills I learned in my Governance and Public Policy masters program to use within my Ministry of Foreign Affairs. My interests exist in the space where development policy meets national policy and I am working as part of the Technical Secretariat for Development Cooperation in Ecuador. I operate as a negotiation specialist, responsible for coordinating the negotiation of development assistance alongside international donors. I design development programs with different public institutions, present policy analysis to international donors and broker agreements that meet the interest of donors and facilitate our national development priorities. I am moving on to another policy leadership role in the office of National Director for International Relations at the Ministry of Health. The breadth of choices stands out in the Governance and Public Policy masters allowed me to choose across courses in development and public policy.


Dianne Loughnan

Dianne Loughnan: Bachelor of Arts (Public Policy Major)

My BA provided me with a foot-up to a new career in public policy with the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. I am a beef cattle farmer and a former rural journalist from Roma who graduated with a Diploma in Arts (Public Policy) in 2015 and I was accepted into the 2016 Graduate Development Programme. The Public Policy Major completely broadened my horizons. I knew I wanted to contribute to Australian agriculture and support people in rural areas but didn’t know how.  My qualification provided me with the bridge between what I was doing and what I wanted to do. My Major gave me a strong theoretical basis to understand the policy making process and helped my critical thinking capacity. It incorporated practical components which developed the skills necessary to do the hands-on, day to day work of a policy officer. The academic staff are passionate about their fields of expertise and go out of their way to help students achieve their potential. I hadn’t studied at university for many years but felt included and encouraged in the small lecture and tutorial groups. I’ve been challenged intellectually, learnt new skills and an exciting career path has opened up - it has been a terrific experience all round.