Master of Governance and Leadership

Courses Australian courses Master of Governance and Leadership

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Master of Governance and Leadership

Benefit from JCU’s strong industry connections with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Governance Institute of Australia. Build your specialist expertise in governance and leadership in a rural and regional context to make a difference to communities and policy.

Develop innovative methodologies for the management of complex societal issues facing the Tropics. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with local organisations to plan, execute and communicate the results of a real-world research project.

This flexible and innovative degree can be tailored to suit your needs. You will complete an integrated core program and gain theoretical knowledge in law and institutions, entrepreneurship, policy analysis and management economics.

View the handbook for a detailed overview of subjects.

This course can also be studied off-shore by overseas students.
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

Position yourself at the leading edge of change in the sphere of governance with a JCU Master of Governance and Leadership.

This unique degree equips graduates to pursue a career within government agencies, the not-for-profit sector, community, corporate and research organisations.

Graduates perform high-level leadership roles, including managing the rapidly changing e-governance environment such as collective intelligence and social networking technologies.


Depending on your chosen career path, you can complete a thesis, customise your degree by choosing four elective subjects, or select one of three majors:


Grow your knowledge and skills to become a mindful global leader of the future. You will complete core subjects that examine strategic decision making and develop your expertise in creating value, managing change, and working within culturally diverse organisations. Choose an elective to complement your chosen career path.

Conflict Management and Resolution

Develop your expertise to become an effective leader in the face of change, uncertainty and conflict. Learn how to constructively manage complex conflict, and work with conflict management systems. Students analyse a diverse range of conflict situations through practical, skills-based learning in subjects such as negotiation, facilitation, cross-cultural conflict resolution, conflict coaching and mediation.


Build your economic analysis toolkit with a focus on environmental and resource economics. Students study core subjects and choose one elective to gain insight into how environmental, resource, and growth decisions impact national and international economic policy.

The Handbook provides detail about the subjects you can study within each major.

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.