Master of Governance and Leadership

Future Students Australian courses Master of Governance and Leadership

Master of Governance and Leadership

This is the only degree of its kind offered in Australia, or overseas. Our focus on governance and leadership from a rural and regional perspective is unique. This course encourages students to develop innovative approaches to the management of complex societal issues using a strong understanding of governance and effective leadership.

Using JCU’s strong industry connections with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Governance Institute of Australia, you will plan, execute and communicate the results of a real-world project. You will be prepared to effectively design solutions for, and creatively resolve, societal issues facing the Tropics.

Tailor this degree to suit your needs. You can major in JCU's highly regarded Conflict Management and Resolution program, complete a thesis, or choose four additional subjects, complementing your studies or diversifying your knowledge. Both domestic and international students can study externally.

Start dates
February, July
1.5 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus, Off campus
AQF Level 7 bachelor degree; or equivalent

Career opportunities

With an integrated knowledge of public governance, policy and leadership, you will develop the skills required to initiate and lead change in the government-led, and societal-led governance setting.

Pursue high-level leadership and management positions in government agencies, not-for-profit, community, corporate and research organisations. With the skills to manage the rapidly changing e-governance environment such as collective intelligence and social networking technologies, you will be at the forefront of change.

Your knowledge will be highly relevant to the Tropics and allow you to develop solutions for the complexities of governing these societies.

Course overview

Through an innovative course design, you will have opportunities to interact and develop industry connections with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Governance Institute Australia. In addition, you will collaborate with local organisations and work on projects designed to solve real-world problems.

You will complete an integrated core program that addresses both governance and leadership theories together. You will gain theoretical knowledge in law and institutions, entrepreneurship, policy analysis and management economics. These subjects prepare you for your practical work, or applied research project.

Using the key industry and governmental connections of our lecturers, you will have the opportunity to collaboratively plan and implement a research project.


Depending on your chosen career path, you can choose to select one major, complete a thesis, or customise your degree by choosing four elective subjects.

Conflict Management and Resolution Major

Learn how to be an effective leader in the face of change, uncertainty and conflict. Essential to leading a team of people, you will understand how to manage and resolve difficult situations in the workplace.

Drawing from realistic scenarios and case studies, you will have the opportunity to analyse a diverse range of conflict situations. You will be engaged in practical, skills-based learning through subjects such as negotiation, facilitation, cross-cultural conflict resolution, conflict coaching and mediation.

Learn how to constructively manage complex conflict and work with conflict management systems. With specialised knowledge of working with a diverse workforce, be prepared to be a leader in your field.

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


Master of Governance and Leadership

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Master Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF 7 bachelor degree with 4 years relevant employment/work experience* or:

Other qualifications or practical experience recognised by the Dean of the College of Business, Law and Governance, as equivalent to above.

Entry requirements for this course are consistent with the Pathways to Qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF level 9) Guidelines for Masters degrees.

* Employment/work experience: Applicants must have a minimum four (4) years full time employment/work experience in management, governance or leadership roles.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 2 Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Post admission

A computer (with webcam) and internet access is required

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

36 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Governance and Leadership, graduates will be able to:

  • Analyse critically and reflect to demonstrate mastery and integrated understanding of   governance and leadership concepts and theories
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise information, issues, and problems with concepts and theories in relation to governance and leadership practices
  • Communicate and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and ideas that contribute to and advance understandings and ethical practices in governance and leadership
  • Research and apply established theories to a range of governance and   leadership practices and settings
  • Generate and explore creative solutions for complex real world challenges
  • Plan, execute, and interpret a substantial research-based project that captures   governance and/or leadership challenges.

Course Structure


CP5635:03 Collective Intelligence and Entrepreneurship

LB5525:03 Conflict Analysis

LB5229:03 Economics for a Sustainable World

LB5244:03 Legal Institutions and Governance

LB5241:03 Leadership

PL5002:03 Policy Analysis and Management

LB5243:03 State Society and Governance

LB5235:03 Applied Research Project

OPTION 1 – Research

RM8101:06 Research Planning in Tropical Environments and Societies

RM8102:06 Research Project in Tropical Environments and Societies


OPTION 2 – Major

Select a Major from Table A


OPTION 3 – Customised

Select 12 credit points of Level 5 subjects in consultation with and subject to approval by the course co-ordinator


Type of major

Optional, single

Credit points in major

12 credit points




Conflict Management and Resolution











Expected time to complete

1.5 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

4 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year


Course progression


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Not Applicable

Special assessment


Professional accreditation


Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for
final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject, may be granted a supplementary examination/assessment in that subject.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit and Articulation policy and associated procedures

Advanced standing may be granted for the following:

  • AQF level 8 in a cognate* discipline  (12 Credit Points)


  • Other qualifications or practical experience   recognised by the Dean of the College of Business, Law and Governance (up to   12 Credit Points)

* Cognate disciplines: may include specific disciplines such as business, commerce, law and conflict management but may also include any degree where the content is considered relevant to this course.

Maximum allowed

12 credit points except where a student transfers from one JCU award to another, then advanced standing may be granted for any subjects, where there is subject equivalence between the awards


Advanced standing will be granted only for subjects completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 14 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on

Majors will appear on the testamur

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Students who successfully complete this course including the research subjects RM8101 and RM8102 (and who produce outputs graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better for these subjects) may be eligible to apply for entry to a PhD, and may be granted advanced standing for all subjects completed under this course providing they have met relevant University standards for entry and met advanced standing guidelines.

Special Awards

Not applicable

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.