MSPPM (Managing Public Private Partnerships)

Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (Managing Public Private Partnerships focus) 12-Month / 21-Month Track

Duration 12-month and 21-month tracks
Location Adelaide
Professional Work Experience Required for 12-month track
Internship Required for 21-month track
Intakes August


Both developed and developing nations face serious challenges with the financing, construction and operation of public infrastructure.

For developed nations, governments with highly constrained budgets find themselves barely able to meet the day-to-day demands of providing health, education, justice and other services. For many, creating major new infrastructure is becoming a distant dream.

The challenge for the developing world is even more acute. There is ample evidence that the impact of each dollar spent on infrastructure delivers greater outcomes for their economies than investment of the corresponding dollar in developed economies. Just as importantly, this investment also creates important social outcomes by giving the poor better to access markets which, in turn, assists with their ability to acquire productive skills. However, developing country governments wanting to make the large and lumpy financial commitments demanded by infrastructure find their budgets even more constrained than developed countries.

For these reasons, governments are looking increasingly for solutions involving private sector expertise, innovation and finance. The flagship solution is public private partnerships, though there are other options as well.

Australian governments have been international leaders in attracting private investment for public infrastructure such as toll roads, hospitals, public transport and prisons. More than US40 billion has been invested in more than 100 projects. The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Australia as the best country for PPPs in the Asia Pacific Region.

That is not to say that everything has gone smoothly, there have been plenty of stumbles along the way. Valuable lessons have been learnt from both the great successes and some spectacular failures. There is now a comprehensive store of research literature available on the experiences of Australia and other developed countries. This is particularly valuable for students from developing countries at earlier stages in their use of private finance for public infrastructure. Drawing on this research gives students an understanding of the mistakes and an ability to advise their home countries on how to avoid them.

Carnegie Mellon University Australia is picking up on the burgeoning interest in PPP delivery of infrastructure, particularly in developing countries. The university has developed a curriculum for its Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management  focusing on PPPs. More than half of the courses deal directly with PPPs or with topics closely linked to their management such as specialist courses on anti-corruption and public finance with a PPP orientation. Consistent with the emphasis the university place on practical applications, the course draws heavily on both practitioner experience and research.

The focus on PPPs forms part of the skills-based curriculum for which the university is renowned, particularly the use of technology and analytic techniques to generate innovative solutions. These skills, combined with contemporary technological capabilities, are becoming increasingly important for PPP practice. They allow for much better prediction giving practitioners within industry and government unprecedented capabilities for customising projects and programs to achieve greater user support and better value for money. This is the new frontier for PPP practice for which CMU gradauates will be well prepared.

(CRICOS: 056767A/056555B)

The MSPPM with specialist focus on managing public private partnerships is particularly suitable for:

  • Public officials working in central agencies with policy and oversight responsibilities for infrastructure projects generally and projects requiring high levels of private sector involvement specifically
  • Public officials in operating agencies with responsibility for informing the design of such projects and for managing their governments’ ongoing roles in operating their side of those projects
  • Private sector executives in forms looking to engage with governments on both solicited and unsolicited projects
  • Executives from companies providing services requiring significant infrastructure support such as health, transport and corrections
  • Executives managing infrastructure regulatory functions
  • Private sector consultants looking to add further depth in specific analytic and management techniques to their existing capabilities
  • Managers from both sectors working in communications functions supporting infrastructure projects  

Learning outcomes

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Identify the critical success factors for scoping and evaluating public infrastructure requiring private sector involvement
  • Develop a deep understanding of the common elements in the design of failed public private partnerships
  • Understand the specific demands placed on both public and private sector executives charged with managing such projects successfully
  • Acquire techniques for managing the political environment in which such projects are conceptualized and developed
  • Become familiar with the techniques of public finance and recent innovations in that area
  • Understand and apply contemporary approaches to corruption eradication
  • Appreciate the role of regulators and the approaches regulators need to use to achieve superior outcomes
  • Use effective communication techniques necessary to explain complex projects to a variety of stakeholders.   

Degree Structure

12-Month Track

The program comprises 168 units.

Full-time students complete the program over three study periods (12 months).  Part-time students have up to five years to complete their program, however most complete the program in two to three years.

For successful completion, you must complete the requisite coursework and achieve a cumulative quality point average (QPA) of at least 3.0.

21-Month Track

The program comprises 198 units and 400 hours (approximately 10 - 12 weeks) of internship. 

Full-time students complete the program over five study periods (21 months).

For successful completion, you must complete the requisite coursework and internship components and achieve a cumulative quality point average (QPA) of at least 3.0.

Managing Public Private Partnerships : Curriculum

Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

PPP I : Theory and Design (12 units)

PPP II : Developing Countries Practice (12 units)

Public Finance : Theories and Cases (12 units)

Corruption, Democracy and Development (12 units)

Systems Synthesis (Applied PPP Research Project) (12 units)

Core Subjects : PPP related

Policy Analysis I (12 units)

Applied Economics Analysis I (12 units)

Cost Benefit Analysis (6 units)

Financial Analysis (12 units)

Other Core Subjects

Business Intelligence and Analytics (6 units)

Introduction to Database Management (6 units)

Decision Making Under Uncertainty (6 units)

Strategic Presentation Skills (6 units)

Professional Writing (Policy Analysis) (6 units)

Organization Design and Implementation (6 units)

Strategic Planning (12 units)

Applied Economics II (12 units)

Statistical Methods (12 units)

Internships and Career Outcomes

Detailed information on MSPPM students Internships and Career outcomes can be found at: 

Entry Requirements

Detailed information on CMU-A's entry requirements can be found at: 

Fees and Scholarships

Detailed information on CMU's fees and scholarships can be found at:

Pittsburgh Exchange

An exchange in Pittsburgh will enable you to continue your rigorous professional development while pursuing complementary courses within the broader context of Carnegie Mellon University and Heinz College.

Students enrolled in our 21-month MSIT and MSPPM tracks may participate in the exchange program for one study period but must spend their first and last study periods in Adelaide.

To be eligible, you must be in good financial standing with the university and have a cumulative QPA of 3.3 or higher.

Other Related Information 

International students enrolled in the 21-month track may be eligible to apply for the Post Study Work Visa after completion of their degree.