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The Doctor of Public Management (DPM) is a professional doctorate degree that provides an opportunity to combine a doctoral thesis with disciplinary and methodologically based coursework. The research and thesis will offer a candidate the opportunity to research a real-world, work-based problem or issue where the objective is to make a novel contribution to practice. 

The degree consists of one-third coursework (equivalent to one-year full-time study) and two-thirds research (equivalent to two-years full-time study) which should be in an area studied by the student while undertaking coursework.

The program is intended to prepare candidates for the highest level of professional practice, in which they can contribute significantly to the development of Public Management practice.

Societies expect a great deal from those who serve in public roles, asking for both good policy and the effective design and delivery of the policy. Public management looks beyond the creation of policy to consider how ideas can be delivered effectively and efficiently, thereby enabling successful implementation. There are ongoing calls for improved policy implementation and this program will offer opportunities for both research and practice improvements. In this program, mastery of the professional body of knowledge is achieved in the coursework component, which builds on prior education and the experience gained through professional practice.

Initially students will undertake disciplinary based courses to develop an in depth knowledge of the current theory in their area of study. This is then combined with appropriate methodological study to ensure that the candidate is prepared for their personal research. The Doctor of Public Management is ideal for those who are in, or seeking to attain, senior positions delivering public services, as well as postgraduate scholars seeking to develop a research competence in this field. This program has been designed with relevance to the workplace as a priority.

Based on this mastery of the professional body of knowledge, the thesis component of the program develops the research skills necessary for an experienced practitioner to be able to make a significant contribution to the continuous improvement of their discipline’s professional practice. See UNSW Higher Degree Research Learning Outcomes.

The DPM is designed as a minimum three year full- time equivalent program, structured as one-third coursework and two-thirds research. The coursework component of the DPM will be undertaken through enrolment in courses already established within the School of Business, UNSW Canberra. Coursework must be completed prior to the research. The DPM may be undertaken on either a part time or full time basis.



Study Level


Typical duration

4 Years

Delivery Mode

Face-to-face, Research

Academic Calendar

Research Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Professional Doctorate


Doctor of Public Management - DPM



Entry Requirements
Progression Requirements

Additional Information

Award of the Degree

The degree of Doctor of Public Management may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the Research Higher Degree Committee, UNSW Canberra (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to a candidate who after satisfactorily completing a qualifying program comprising 48 units of credit in a relevant Masters by courses has, through the submission of a thesis based on his or her research, made an original and significant contribution to practice in the field of Public Management.

Further Information

For further information on policies, procedures and forms, see the Graduate Research website.

Program Fees

At UNSW fees are generally charged at course level and therefore dependent upon individual enrolment and other factors such as student's residency status. For generic information on fees and additional expenses of UNSW programs, click on one of the following:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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