1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Public Administration Thesis
  4. Print

Public Administration Thesis (PADM90004)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePADM90004
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The thesis in Public Administration is a capstone option in the Master of Public Administration. The Melbourne MPA is an interdisciplinary, globally-focused program for managers that work within or with government. This subject provides students with an opportunity to undertake a program of independent research from which they produce a thesis of 10,000 words. The subject is undertaken in one semester and students will be supervised by a member of academic staff. All students intending to take this subject are required to consult with the MPA Director, prior to enrolment, and complete the thesis application process.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject students shoud be able to:

  • demonstrate a specialist understanding of the subject being studied;
  • show advanced skills of analysis pertinent to the subject;
  • show a detailed sense of the theoretical debates in the subject area;
  • demonstrate an ability to undertake critical independent research; and
  • show a good capacity to communicate research in written form.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • semonstrate a critical understanding of the operation of governments in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and across the world, and an ability to situate an area of specialisation within this context;
  • show a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness and complexity of the fields of public management and administration, and a specialist understanding of a particular topic in the field;
  • show a sound understanding of politics, economics, law and sciences, as they contribute to theoretical debates in the field of public management;
  • demonstrate flexible communication skills with a highly attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience, and to the issues specific to cross-cultural communication;and
  • conceptualise, plan and execute a substantial, independent, research-based project in the form of a minor thesis, demonstrating high-level skills in interdisciplinary and comparative research, analysis and critique, underpinned by a thorough understanding of academic protocol and presentation.

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
PADM90005 The Nature of Governing
Winter Term
PADM90006 The Rule of Law
PADM90007 The World of Public Administration

Please note: All students intending to take this subject are required to consult with the MPA Director, prior to enrollment, and complete the thesis application process.



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • Assessment Task 1: A 10,000 word thesis based on the student’s individual research (100%) due during the examination period.

  • The following Hurdle Requirements must be met in order for students to be eligible to submit the final Thesis:
  1. Supervision: Regular supervisory meetings
  2. Topic Proposal Form: To be submitted by the first week of the Semester of thesis enrolment
  3. Progress Report: To be submitted halfway through the semester of thesis enrolment
  4. Thesis Draft: A full draft of the thesis is to be submitted approximately 3 weeks prior to the final thesis submission date.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursRegular meetings with the academic supervisor.
    Total time commitment340 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

    For queries please email - aso-government@unimelb.edu.au

  • Semester 2
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursRegular meetings with the academic supervisor.
    Total time commitment340 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    For queries please email - aso-government@unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details

340 hours

Additional delivery details

Please note that to enrol in this subject:

  • Students must be admitted to the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Administration (Enhanced), Graduate Certificate in Public Administration (Advanced) or Specialist Certificate in Public Administration
  • Students must have successfully completed the three pre-requisite subjects listed below

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Subject notes

    Students will are required to prepare an application for the thesis - information on this process will be provided by the Academic Services team.

    Students are encouraged to discuss thesis ideas with the MPA Director in the semester prior to undertaking the thesis.

Last updated: 11 November 2018