Graduate Diploma in Public Policy

Enhance the frameworks of society  

Public policy shapes our lives. It governs everything from how we do business, to how our health, welfare and education systems operate, and how our nation engages with the world.

Those who set and/or influence policy can create profound change by improving things like community equity, diversity, wellbeing, security and prosperity. Our Graduate Diploma in Public Policy prepares you to play a senior role. 


What will you do?

Studied over one year full-time, the graduate diploma provides specialist knowledge in policy processes and governance institutions; high-level skills in policy analysis; and the capability to design sound policy in complex environments.

The degree is highly interdisciplinary. It integrates knowledge from the University’s world-class experts in: politics; international relations; economics; law; environmental and social sciences; strategic communications; philosophy and more. You will gain:

  • a sound understanding of political, legal and ethical issues affecting public policy
  • broad awareness of public policy's underlying economic principles
  • high-level skills in community engagement and its analysis
  • the opportunity to explore interests in specialist areas, such as international trade, human rights, environmental planning and governance, global food and agribusiness, public health, education and more.

Where could it take you?

You might pursue a career in politics or the public service. You could analyse and contribute to policy in a major industry body or consulting firm. Perhaps you’ll interpret policy for a large company, a lobbying organisation, or not-for-profit. You could also go on to further study with our Master of Public Policy.

  • Learn with our world-class discipline experts
  • Specialise in policy processes and government institutions
  • advance your skills to design & implement complex environments

Entry Requirements

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Before applying make sure you understand the eligibility and entry requirements for your chosen degree.

Look out for any prerequisites or assumed knowledge subjects. Some degrees also have additional entry requirements like interviews and auditions.

Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3GD121
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed Bachelor's degree or equivalent.

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students N/A N/A
    All students 1 100.0%

Ready to Apply?

Find out more about the application process and start your studies at the University of Adelaide.

Be sure to check the critical dates to avoid missing application deadlines.


Fees and Scholarships

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Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Australian Full-fee place: $32,000

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.

This is an Australian full-fee program. As a domestic student you may be eligible to:

  • receive a zero interest government assistance package to cover your course fees and
  • use over $100,000 in HELP assistance over your lifetime
Check your eligibility today at Study Assist


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Potential careers

Graduates of this program have gone on to roles such as:

Agriculture, Agricultural Service Industry;  Management Analyst;  Manager / Business Management;  Member of Parliament;  Ministerial Adviser;  NGO Policy Officer;  Business Analyst;  Natural Resource Manager;  Business Consultant;  Natural Resource Planner ...

Degree Structure

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

To qualify for the degree of Graduate Diploma of Public Policy, the student must complete satisfactorily a program of study consisting of the following courses with a combined total of not less than 24 units, comprising:
1. Core courses to the value of 15 units
2. Electives to the value of 9 units

Example Study Plan

Example Indicative study plan for the Graduate Diploma in Public Policy (24 units)
Year 1 CORE course CORE course CORE course POLICY 7001
Fundamentals of Public Policy
(Winter School only)
CORE course Elective course Elective course Elective course
Core courses
Students who have an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline to economics may substitute a 3 unit ECON Level 7 elective for ECON 7200. Program Coordinator approval is required.
POLICY 7001 Fundamentals of Public Policy
POLICY 7002 Ethics and Politics in Policy
ECON 7200 Economic Principles
GEOG 7009 Research Methods
GEOG 7016 Engaging Communities: Techniques and Analysis

Elective courses

Students must complete elective courses to the value of 21 units from the list:
AGRIBUS 7054 Global Food & Agricultural Policy Analysis  (3 units)
AGRIBUS 7057 Trends & Issues in the World Food System (3 units)
AGRIBUS 7064 Water Security and Governance (3 units)
ECON 7016 Resource & Environmental Economics PG (3 units)
ECON 7032 Public Economics PG (3 units)
ECON 7058 Development Economics PG (3 units)
ECON 7228 Behavioural Economics IID (3 units)
EDUC 7550 Education Policies & Systems (3 units)
GEOG 7002 Environmental Planning and Governance (6 units)
GEOG 7003 Environmental Impact Assessment (6 units)
GEOG 7013 Sustainable Cities: Climate Change and Planning (3 units)
GEOG 7015 Introduction to Urbanisation (3 unit)
LAW 7170 Public International Law (3 units)
LAW 7177 Introduction to Australian Law (3 units)
LAW 7192 Government, Law and Policy (3 units)
PLANNING 7034 Planning Policy and Regulation (3 units)
PLANNING 7035 Planning Theory and Practice (3 units)
POLIS 7004 International Relations in the Indo-Pacific Region (6 units)
PUB HLTH 7090 Global Public Health (3 units)
PUB HLTH 7091 Public Health Evaluation and Economics (3 units)
PUB HLTH 7092 Health Systems, Systems Thinking & Advocacy for Change (3 units)
PUB HLTH 7093 Promoting Health in Individuals and Populations (3 units)
PUB HLTH 7096 Making Healthy Public Policy (3 units)
PUB HLTH 7147OL Health Technology Assessment (3 units)
SCIENCE 7035 Emerging Issues in Science and Society (3 units)
TRADE 5000 International Trade: Negotiations & Agreements (3 units)
TRADE 5001 International Trade: Strategies & Opportunities (3 units)
TRADE 7004 Principles of International Trade and Development (3 units)
TRADE 7005 Agriculture and Food in International Trade (3 units)


I was continually inspired by the passion of my supervisory panel and their commitment to improving the lives of young people.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2024