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The Public Policy and Governance Professional Doctorate (PrDoc) is an applied research professional degree that is designed specifically for policy professionals, policy officers and policy analysts engaged in policy leadership, advocacy and practice. The Public Policy and Governance (PrDoc) aims to develop the policy leadership, expertise and research of policy professionals engaging in real world policy problems occurring within their professional practice.

The Public Policy and Governance (PrDoc) is a postgraduate research degree available for policy professionals working in the government, non-government and private sectors such as policy think tanks, policy advocacy and policy governance institutions. It provides the opportunity to combine postgraduate coursework study directly related to advanced policy work with doctoral research that builds applied knowledge on policy and governance processes.

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. 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.

Program Structure

The Public Policy and Governance (PrDoc) is designed as a three year full-time equivalent program, structured as one-third coursework (equivalent to one year full-time, Year 1) and two-thirds research (equivalent to two years full-time, Years 2 and 3). All coursework must be completed before the commencement of the dissertation.

A candidate shall present a thesis for examination embodying the results of the investigation no earlier than six full-time equivalent semesters and no later than eight full-time equivalent semesters from the semester of the first date of enrolment.

Approval for extension to candidatures beyond the maximum time of eight full-time equivalent semesters must be obtained via the Committee.

Assessment of the research component is in accordance with the UNSW Thesis Examination Procedures.

The coursework component is 48 UOC of advanced coursework in the area of public policy and governance.



Study Level


Typical duration

3 Years

Delivery Mode

Face-to-face, Research

Academic Calendar

Research Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Professional Doctorate


Doctor of Public Policy & Governance - DPPG



Entry Requirements

Additional Information

Award of the Degree

The degree of Public Policy and Governance (PrDoc) may be awarded by the Council on the recommendation of the UNSW School of Social Sciences Higher Degree Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to a candidate who after satisfactorily completing a qualifying program comprising 48 units of credit in the Master of Public Policy and Governance degree has through the submission of a thesis based on his or her research made an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the field of Public Policy and Governance.

Full credit for the qualifying program will be given for students who have previously completed the Master of Public Policy and Governance (formerly Master of Policy Studies).

Prospective students

Prospective students are strongly advised to make contact with a potential supervisor and the UNSW Graduate Research School before applying for research study at the University.

Further information about the Public Policy and Governance (PrDoc) program and scholarships at UNSW can be found by emailing a query via

Further Information

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

For further information on how to apply, see the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences 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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