ANZSOG’s Core Subjects and Learning Outcomes

… a resource page in the Competencies database

Click for ANZSOG website

What mid-career officials in Australia and New Zealand are expected to learn

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) is a collaborative effort of various Universities and governments in Australia and New Zealand (see website on right and Atlas summary at ANZSOG). ANZSOG administers a limited number of courses itself, while most courses are offered through partner Universities. ANZSOG’s flagship degree program is the 2-year-part-time Executive Masters for mid-career officials.

As might be expected from the deep collaboration between scholars and practitioners built into the ANZSOG model, the Executive Masters program provides an excellent articulation of learning outcomes and, implicitly, of the competencies expected by governments for practitioners in executive positions.

The “What will I learn” headings

ANZSOG lists eight headings under “What will I learn” which align closely with the core subjects listed below. They are: public sector management; organizational behaviour; economics; public policy; qualitative and quantitative reporting; law; leadership and change management; and evidence-based analysis. In the core subjects and learning outcomes below, we have put these headings in parentheses after the course with which they are most closely aligned.

Core subjects and learning outcomes

Delivering Public Value (public sector management)

  • An appreciation of the kinds of value public sector organisations provide to citizens and clients.
  • Awareness of the various forms of operational capability, and how they can be mobilised.
  • An ability to recognise problems from symptoms, identify opportunities for action and manage risks.

Managing Public Sector Organizations (organizational behaviour)

  • An ability to effectively design and structure team work and broader operational capabilities.
  • Strengthened communication and negotiation skills to align everyday practices with organisational objectives.
  • An ability to ensure that organisational practices are fit-for-purpose and adaptive.

Government in a Market Economy (economics)

  • Appreciation of how market forces operate and how government policies influence these forces.
  • Understanding of the economic toolkit used to assess decisions concerning the delivery and pricing of public services.
  • An ability to apply the principles of cost–benefit analysis to public sector projects.

Designing Public Policies and Programs (public policy)

  • Ability to design policies and programs that can yield ongoing public benefit.
  • An understanding of how to inform politicians, stakeholders and citizens about necessary government actions.
  • Knowledge of how to establish high-performing policy project teams.

Decision-making Under Uncertainty (qualitative and quantitative reporting)

  • An ability to accurately use, interpret and draw inferences from evidence.
  • Awareness of the strengths, weaknesses and suitability of various methods for gathering evidence.
  • Understanding of how the policy system and organisational context affects the use of evidence and analysis.

Governing by the Rules (law)

  • An appreciation of the nature, form, complexity and limits to rules as a tool of government.
  • Understanding of the interrelationships between legal rules, administrative processes and policy outcomes.
  • Consideration of the role, uses and control of both discretion and regulation.

Leading Public Sector Change (leadership and change management)

  • Understanding of the institutional, contextual and interpersonal factors that shape the behaviour of political and public service leaders.
  • Improved ability to diagnose, instigate or adapt to policy and organisational change.
  • Ability to discern, reflect upon and cope with the ethical dimensions of exercising leadership.

Work-based Project (evidence-based analysis)

  • Practical application of the concepts, frameworks and practices studied in the EMPA.
  • Employment of the skills developed in evidence-based analysis and policy design.
  • In-depth understanding of a real-life issue in public policy or management.

ANZSOG Executive Masters, at, accessed 10 November 2017.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 10 November 2017.

Image: ANZSOG Executive Masters, at, accessed 10 November 2017.