Welcome to the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy & International Affairs

Welcome to the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy & International Affairs

The Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs offers students a unique opportunity to engage with big policy issues, develop high-level skills and build career opportunities through professional Masters degrees and other graduate programs.

Taking advantage of Murdoch University's long engagement with practical policy questions and deep expertise on Australia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, the Sir Walter Murdoch School offers degrees in Public Policy and Management, International Affairs, Development Studies and Health Policy and Leadership. Merit-based scholarships are available for both local and international students, as are student prizes.

Our faculty has recently been ranked as one of Australia's best for policy, politics and international studies (QS and ERA, 2015).

As Western Australia’s top-ranked program, we welcome students with undergraduate degrees in any subject, and offer advance standing to those who already have a background in public policy and international affairs.

Ben Reilly

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss your future at the Sir Walter Murdoch School.

Prof Benjamin Reilly

Dean, Sir Walter Murdoch School


Students centre of foreign policy roundtableWhite-Paper-roundtable_web.jpg

Several current and former Sir Walter Murdoch School students recently participated in an invitation-only roundtable – the only one of its kind in Australia – on the new Foreign Policy White Paper.

The White Paper is a comprehensive framework to guide Australia’s international engagement over the next 10 years. To ensure that the White Paper is informed by the best possible advice, the Government has convened a series of roundtable discussions with interested stakeholders.

The Sir Walter Murdoch School, together with the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, hosted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Foreign Policy White Paper Youth Roundtable.

Masters of International Affairs and Security
students Lindsay Barnes, Jake Davis, and Luke O’Donnell joined Murdoch alumni Darcy Rowe (now working with the federal Department of Immigration and Border Protection) and Krystal Hartig (now at the Perth USAsia Centre) to contribute to the White Paper discussions, along with students from other universities and prominent young professionals in the field.

Lindsay Barnes said the White Paper consultation gave him a valuable glimpse into the world of foreign policy development, which was incredibly valuable, both personally and from a policy standpoint.

“To be part of a discussion about Australian foreign policy with some of the best and brightest young people in international affairs was pretty special,” he said.

“The youth of today are tomorrow’s diplomats and hopefully by hearing our opinions and recommendations the White Paper will be all the better for it.

“On a personal level, I'm hopeful this experience will be beneficial to my employment prospects in the future.”

The kinds of questions the students grappled with ranged from how can Australia maximise our trade and investment and expand commercial opportunities for Australian business; to how can Government best use Australia’s national assets, including our overseas development assistance program, to advance Australia’s interests?

The Roundtable also featured contributions from senior academics, and was chaired by Richard Maude, head of the taskforce that has been established within the DFAT to develop the White Paper.

This will be Australia’s first foreign policy White Paper since 2003.



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Learn from professionals and leading academics in your chosen field.

Public Policy

Public Policy

We offer a Master of Public Policy and Management and Graduate Certificate of Policy and Development.

International Affairs

International Affairs

Our Master of International Affairs and Security is a genuinely multi-discplinary professional degree.



Find out more about our Master of Development Studies and Graduate Certificate of Policy and Development.

Health Policy

Health Policy

Advance your health career with the Sir Walter Murdoch  program in Health Administration, Policy & Leadership.

Why choose the Sir Walter Murdoch School?


Enquire about your study options, or apply now.

Practical learning

Apply your learning to a practical issue through a policy case study, a professional internship, or a supervised research thesis.

Learn more about our degrees

Flexible schedules

Study full-time or part-time, according to your schedule. We offer evening and weekend units, or intensive study blocks.

View our study plans

Events and opportunities

Take advantage of the networking events and professional opportunities offered to all our students.

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Leading academics

Connect with leading academics, professional practitioners, and visiting scholars from Australia and around the world.

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Recognition of prior learning

Use previous study or professional experience to help you complete your qualification in less time.

View our admission requirements

Small class size

Learn face-to-face in small group seminars and workshops, designed to maximize your on-campus experience.

What it's like to study at Murdoch

What our graduates say

Chase Fiori“I graduated from the Sir Walter Murdoch School with a Master of Public Policy and Management. During my studies I was offered a world-class capstone experience, including the opportunity to undertake policy internships with the Western Australian Department of Commerce and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA). Upon graduation I was offered a job working as a Policy Officer at WALGA, a direct result of my internship there. I have recently been offered and accepted a 2016 Graduate position in Canberra working in Strategic Policy for the Policy and Cabinet Division in the Chief Minister, Treasury & Economic Development Directorate in the ACT Government. During my Masters, I was given the opportunity to engage in strategic and diverse policy issues, develop high-level critical thinking and analytical skills. I am grateful to have received a world class education at globally ranked institution.”

Chase Fiori
Student of Public Policy

Sam Millett

"The Sir Walter Murdoch School does a marvellous job of channelling students' skills from their various backgrounds into the kinds of skills which are useful and valuable to employers in the areas of policy and international relations … Without the well-rounded education I received at the Sir Walter Murdoch School I would have stood little chance of finding a position at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. I learned the language of policy and diplomacy, absorbed the theory, and got practical experience via a semester-long internship at the Public Sector Commission".

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Sam Millett, Graduate Officer – WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Studied: Master of International Affairs/Graduate Certificate of Public Policy and Management

Ellen Smith"The lecturers and staff associated with the Sir Walter Murdoch School are all incredible. They are always very approachable and happy to lend a hand when it is needed. I am especially pleased with the feedback and advice they are able to give during casual discussions, including advice of career prospects and further studies … I have also been able to apply the knowledge that I have gained on a daily basis; from writing emails, to thoroughly researching and investigating issues, to drafting policies and guidelines, to speaking with Ministers and senior departmental staff. The skills I have gained through my postgrad study at the Sir Walter Murdoch School have proved invaluable."

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Ellen Smith, Regional Fisheries Management Officer, Department of Fisheries
Studied: Masters of Public Policy and Management

Unurjargal Lkhanaa"My qualification from the Sir Walter Murdoch School has been essential in helping me to achieve my career goals. I’ve always had a professional interest in working for an international organization, especially given my experience in teaching at university and working on project implementation at the NGO. However, even with my prior experience it is still extremely competitive to be offered a position at the country office of the UNDP, so without my Sir Walter Murdoch School qualification in Australia I am not sure I would be holding this position with the United Nations."

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Unurjargal Lkhanaa, National Co-ordinator of Women’s Political Empowerment, United Nations Development Program, Mongolia
Studied: Masters of Development Studies