Public policy Law, security and intelligence

Public policy Law, security and intelligence

Today’s society is challenged on many frontiers – human rights, sustainability, national security, crime, youth justice, public health and biotechnology, to name a few.

At Macquarie you’ll learn about the changing landscape of policymaking and the role of law, and develop skills to solve real public policy debates around power, conflict and peacemaking in Australia and the global community.



Careers in public policy 

  • advocate and lobbyist
  • advocate and corporate social responsibility manager
  • corporate governance officer
  • diplomatic and consular corps
  • foreign affairs adviser
  • government and public sector consultant
  • government policy adviser
  • international business development consultant
  • international law adviser/consultant
  • international organisation legal adviser or consultant
  • journalist
  • lawyer
  • lobbyists
  • non-government organisation advocate
  • policy developer
  • politican
  • researcher
  • strategy adviser


Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Juris Doctor 

The Macquarie LLB and Juris Doctor are accredited with professional bodies regulating the admission of law graduates to legal practice. The Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor provides the appropriate qualification for admission to practise as a lawyer throughout Australia.

In addition to completing a law program at an accredited institution such as Macquarie Law School, the profession (via the LPAB - Legal Practitioner's Admission Board) requires all law graduates to complete a period of Practical Legal Training (PLT) including further study (Coursework Component), Continuing Professional Development Units (CPD Component) and supervised experience in a legal practice (Work Experience Component), before being admitted to practice as a barrister or solicitor. This typically takes six months to one year to complete, and usually involves options to study full-time, part-time and online through various institutions.

To be qualified as an Australian Legal Practitioner in New South Wales, a solicitor or barrister also requires a Practising Certificate issued by the Councils of the Law Society of New South Wales or the New South Wales Bar Association respectively. Similar bodies and systems of accreditation exist in the other States.

Professional experience

At Macquarie, learning doesn't just happen in the classroom. Through Macquarie's unique PACE program you can gain real-world experience in your degree and get ahead in the career queue.

Take your studies further and add practical experience to your degree by working with partner organisations locally, regionally or internationally through Macquarie University's PACE program. PACE students have the opportunity to work with industry mentors drawn from a range of sectors, including government, civil society and the private sector, on real-world research projects in policy development and reform.

"PACE is certainly a subject worth doing if you want to see the bigger picture; if you want to see how the law really affects people and how lawyers can bring about change for the better. We learnt so many practical skills that every lawyer should have."– PACE alumna Sandra worked with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) for her PACE activity.

No matter what you decide to study at Macquarie, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Charlotte Boyer

Charlotte Boyer

Master of Politics and Public Policy

"I chose Macquarie University because I wanted to complete the masters to further my career prospects and improve my knowledge of Australian politics and public policy. This degree has helped me secure my current professional position and provided me with a foundation upon which to build my knowledge of public policy and politics, which I use daily at work. I have been very pleased with the quality of the course, lecturers and class engagement."

Charlotte has worked in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, New South Wales as a Policy Officer; and is now a Consultant at UNICEF Pacific and Fiji Ministry of Women, Social Welfare, and Poverty Alleviation.

Fran Cole

Fran Cole

Master of Politics and Public Policy

"Studying the Master of Politics and Public Policy has altered how I work as a public policy practitioner. It has given me greater confidence in how I work, particularly in relation to working through complex policy problems, and a better understanding of how my colleagues in other policy roles operate. It has also been a fantastic networking opportunity. I've made great connections through my classmates who work across a wide range of sectors including government, the not-for-profit sector, media, education and politics."

"The ability to study by distance has allowed me to participate in this degree while undertaking a hectic work schedule working interstate and full-time. I felt very connected despite being off campus, and the weekend schools provided excellent opportunities to meet the staff and my fellow students. The staff were excellent, and despite being an external student, I always found they went out of their way to answer questions, provide feedback and give support when I've needed it."

Macquarie University Law Society (MULS) 

The Macquarie University Law Society (MULS) is a representative body for all law students at Macquarie University. The Society operates to enhance the Macquarie Law degree by assisting students in personal and professional development and providing opportunities for students to participate in competitions, publications, socials and sporting events. All law students at Macquarie are members of MULS.

Our expertise in public policy

Dr Diana Perche

Dr Diana Perche 


Dr Perche has lectured in the Master of Politics and Public Policy at Macquarie University since 2005, and is the current convenor of the program. She has worked in a number of policy-related positions, including in the Australian Public Service, and has a keen interest in the interplay between policy research and policy practice. Her research interests are in public policy theory, the politics of evaluation, and the impact of intergovernmental relations on policy formulation and implementation, and she has published several articles in these areas. Her interest in Australian politics and public policy includes a particular focus on Indigenous affairs.

Professor Brian Opeskin

Professor Brian Opeskin 

Professor of Law

Professor Opeskin researches and teaches in public law, and has written extensively in the areas of constitutional law, international law and conflicts of laws. He is a Professor of Legal Governance at Macquarie and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts. He is also the former Deputy President of the Australian Law Reform Commission. His research examines issues of governance and legal policy relating to international migration, judges and court systems. He has a particular interest in the Pacific legal systems and also interdisciplinary research that examines the intersections between principles of public law and demographic processes.

Macquarie Law School offers more than just a law degree

Macquarie Law School prepares you to think beyond textbooks to open the way to a world of careers. Our industry focused programs and supportive learning environment will give you the valuable skills and knowledge to achieve your career goals.

In 2012, Kathryn started to explore postgraduate study opportunities and looked for a policy course that will help her achieve her career goals but be  flexible enough to allow her to  work full-time and spend time with her son and husband.

Master of Politics and Public Policy

Kathryn shares, "I chose to study Master of Politics and Public Policy at Macquarie because it is accessible and flexible – there are options for online and face-to-face study. The course also offers the potential to study a range of elective within the wider Arts area, for example international policy, human rights, politics and law, alongside the core public policy subjects."

Even as a distance student, Kathryn feels that there are so many opportunities to grow and learn at Macquarie.

"The online environment at Macquarie is user friendly and each unit includes resources, lectures and readings."

Expertise and support

"Outside of my degree I have completed a number of postgraduate writing workshops which are run through the library, are free, and have provided me with the tools to make my academic performance better. My professional writing skills have benefited too."

"I also take part in Macquarie's Global Leadership Program, an extracurricular program which offers students the opportunity to learn about and to experience global issues through an in-depth and participatory approach."

"My Macquarie experience has been one of learning, growth and support. I have learnt so much about my field, grown as a professional and as an individual, and have been supported by an experienced team of lecturers and staff."

Career advancement

Halfway through her second semester at Macquarie, Kathryn was accepted for a position as a policy officer at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. She believes this is a significant advancement of her career.

"My manager tells me that I was a standout candidate for a number of reasons: my passion for child protection policy, my significant amount of frontline knowledge, and the fact that I am studying for master in politics and public diplomacy," shared Kathryn.

"I feel fortunate to have learnt from some of the leading experts in the fields of public policy and politics. I have gained an excellent appreciation of theory and public policy, and since beginning this course, I have had many opportunities to put these theories into practice in my daily work as a Policy Offer. Over the next few years I hope to continue to work in the public policy sphere and increase my knowledge of social policy in Australia."

Watch the video to learn more about public policy, law and governance at Macquarie

4 reasons to choose law, security and intelligence at Macquarie

  • Law at Macquarie has been ranked in the top eight in Australia, and our interdisciplinary approach provides you with a critical understanding of the law, its development and its future direction.
  • Our law degree can be taken on its own or combined with several disciplines including finance, media, IT, commerce or psychology, to give you more varied career choices.
  • You'll learn from international security experts with years of practical experience.
  • Our staff have strong links with industry and are across developments in areas critical to industry and government.

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