• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The Experiential Research Project is part of a range of ‘capstone experience’ courses from which students can select to complete requirements for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The course is designed principally for students currently in the workforce, and bridges classroom and practice environments by having students undertake an applied research project – on a policy or administration topic of relevance to their current employer.


As a capstone experience course, the Experiential Research Project requires students to integrate and apply the knowledge and research skills they have developed throughout the MPA degree program, and to reflect on individual professional development in the context of both the MPA degree program and the capstone experience.


An important feature of the Experiential Research Project is to negotiate and self-manage an applied research project within an organisational setting. Students will work with their employer to identify and define a research problem, design a research strategy, apply appropriate research methods to gather and analyse data, and make relevant findings. To support students in this process, each student is assigned a project advisor and will have access to an Employer sponsor.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Apply key concepts and practices to policy and administration situations in an organisational setting
  2. Understand a public policy or public administration issue of current relevance and/or importance
  3. Apply skills in rigorous evidence-based analysis and policy and/or administrative design
  4. Communicate the significance of applied research and research findings to different audiences concisely and persuasively
  5. Reflect on enhanced self-management skills and the ways in which the research project experience has influenced professional development.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Statement of Research Intent. 1250 words. (15) [LO 1,3,4]
  2. Research Report. 6500 words. (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Research Presentation. 1000 words equivalent. (10) [LO 1,4]
  4. Statement of Reflection. 1250 words. (15) [LO 4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Contact hours: The course will be anchored by four two-hour research workshops equivalent to 10 hours of instructional contact hours. This includes an introductory workshop to commence the course and frame research design; two progress workshops to support research during semester; and a final workshop to guide the finalisation process for research reports.


Non-contact hours: The course is primarily a self-directed individual research project. Students will be required to undertake assigned pre-reading in the form of foundational research approaches, and undertake independent research consistent with their research project. In addition, students will be required to interact regularly with a project advisor, and maintain a line of communication with a nominee from their Employer.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course, students must; • have successfully completed POGO8137 Public Administration: Legal and Organizational Foundations, POGO8062 Public Sector Management, POGO8057 Managing Government Finances, POGO8021 Public Sector Ethics and POGO8096 Policy Research • have maintained an average of 70% in their courses in the program or equivalent Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

O’Leary, Z. 2017. The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. Third Edition. Sage: London.

Preliminary Reading

Booth, W. Colomb. G & Williams, J. 2008. The Craft of Research. Third Edition. University of Chicago Press: Chicago.


Dunn, W.N. 2018. Public Policy Analysis: An Integrated Approach. Sixth Edition. Routledge: New York.


Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. and Perl, A. 2009. Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems. Third Edition. Oxford University Press: New York.


Pollitt, C. 2016. Advanced Introduction to Public Management and Administration. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.


Ridley, D. 2012. The Literature Review: A Step by Step Guide for Students. Sage: London


Swanson. R & Holton. E III. 2005, Research in Organizations: Foundations and Methods of Inquiry. Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco.


White, P. 2009. Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke

Assumed Knowledge

Nil. However, the Experiential Research Project is designed principally for students who are currently employed in the public sector or in an organisation interacting with the public sector.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $8220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $11760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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