Graduate Diploma of Professional Political Practice



If the idea of a career in politics excites you, then the Graduate Diploma of Professional Political Practice is your gateway to challenging and engaging political advisory roles.

The course is a skills-based, highly targeted course designed to qualify you for professional and highly skilled work as a political advisor. You’ll be helping ministers and other political figures carry out their various political, policy and media functions.

The course explores the parliamentary system and functions of parliament, the nature of diverse ideologies and how to bring about positive change in the world.  Case studies and comparison of Australian practices with those of other countries are used to help in critical reflection on processes and outcomes.

You will gain a rigorous theoretical grounding in politics, plus a suite of practical skills that will help you to understand, and effectively contribute to our political system.

Your studies will introduce you to analytical tools in political contexts, and theoretical discussions of public policy will be grounded in a number of case studies relating to taxation, industry policy, industrial relations, social policy, gender and the environment.

You will learn about accountability in governance while exploring ways of responding effectively, imaginatively and ethically to these demands. You will also explore the nature of democracy, the challenges facing democracy today, and challenge your own assumptions about democracy in the West and elsewhere.

Other areas studied include intergovernmental relations, managing public expenditure, federal budget processes, how the media shape public opinion and the policy agenda, and the role of modern communication technologies.

Career opportunities for graduates exist in the following areas: local councils, public service departments and statutory authorities, state and federal parliaments, small business to multinational corporations, policy researchers in NGOs including overseas aid organisations, policy consultants, and roles working in political parties and electoral offices.

The course is a pathway for further learning, progressing into Deakin University’s Master of Politics and Policy.

Read More

Key facts


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent


This course is only offered in Cloud (online) mode Cloud (online)

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Trimester 2

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Trimester 3

  • Start date: November
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Key information

Award granted

Graduate Diploma of Professional Political Practice


2017 course information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

$24,752 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)

Not applicable

Deakin code



Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (min. 3 years) in any discipline area or approved international equivalent, or prior relevant professional experience as approved by the Course Director.

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

To be eligible for admission to this program, all applicants must also meet the minimum English language requirements, see here.

Career outcomes

The courses are designed as professional development programs for early or mid-career professionals or for those involved in or, seeking to become involved in, policy making and management within the public, community and business sectors, domestically and internationally.

For more information go to My Course My Career

Course learning outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

Advanced knowledge of, and specialised cognitive skills involving Australia’s political system and governance that may be applied in professional practice and adapted to different contexts.

Sound understanding of policy development, implementation and evaluation.


Ability to communicate effectively potentially complex knowledge and ideas involving political and policy issues to a variety of audiences, both specialist and non-specialist. 

Digital literacy

Employ a range of digital communication technologies and platforms appropriately to conduct research, engage in debate, and communicate ideas, findings, etc. 

Critical thinking

Cognitive skills to think critically and to generate and evaluate complex ideas, proposals etc. involving diverse institutions and actors, within and beyond the ‘formal’ political sphere.

Problem solving

Employ appropriate methods of research and analysis to investigate complex real world problems in a systematic manner and generate and evaluate potential responses to issues in such areas as: public policy; political institutions, processes and practices; democratic governance; citizen engagement; and, political communication.


Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility, accountability and a continued commitment to learning and skill development personally, academically and professionally in the field of politics and/or public policy. 


Work and learn collaboratively with others from similar, but also at times quite different disciplines and backgrounds. 

Global citizenship

Engage ethically and productively in a professional political context in addressing complex real world problems which involve different political ‘jurisdictions’ and societies or cultural communities with different ‘world views’.

Recognise the potential value of engaging with and drawing upon the experiences and insights of experts and non-experts globally in understanding and addressing diverse political and policy challenges.

Approved by Faculty Board June 2014


Course Structure

To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma of Professional Political Practice, a student must successfully complete 8 credit points of compulsory core units.


  • Public Policy Analysis AIP740
  • Intergovernmental Relations AIP748
  • Governance and Accountability AIP773
  • Managing Public Expenditure AIP780
  • Political Communication AIP781
  • Engaging for Change AIP782
  • Rethinking Democracy AIP783
  • Political Competition AIP784
  • Note: AIP784 and AIP773 to be offered Cloud (online) in Trimester 1 and by intensive block mode in Trimester 3.

    Course Map

    Course Map

    How to apply

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Register your interest to study at Deakin

    Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

    Course pathways

    Alternative exits

    • Graduate Certificate of Politics and Policy (A516)

    Am I eligible to receive credit for prior learning?

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Applications for credit transfer will be considered depending on the quality and subject matter of the student's prior qualifications and professional experience.

    The Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and the Masters of Politics and Policy comprise a suite of fully articulated courses. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Professional Political Practice will lead to entry into the Master of Politics and Policy (A729) with up to 8 credit points for credit transfer.

    Faculty contact information

    Arts and Education Student Services and Enrolment Enquiries

    Cloud (online) 
    Tel 03 5227 1359  

    Fee information

    The tuition fees you pay will depend on the type of fee place you hold. 

    • If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose.
    • If you are enrolled in a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    In both cases, the ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Offered campuses

    Study online at Cloud Campus

    Students are able to study all or part of this course online. You can study anywhere, anytime through Deakin's Cloud Campus.

    Learn more about studying online and the Cloud Campus

    Still haven't found what you are looking for?