Public Policy and Management Certificate

Take your career to the next level

The fully-online Certificate in Public Policy and Management is designed to build the knowledge, skills and capabilities needed to excel in your professional role and advance your career in public administration, the not-for-profit sector, government relations, and more. You will learn from world-class experts from Dalhousie's School of Public Administration.

Details at a glance

Program length: 5 courses. Courses are 7 weeks in length
Upcoming Program Intakes: September 2020 (September 7, 2020 to June 5, 2021) and January 2021 (January 11, 2021 to December 11, 2021)
Instruction method: 100% online 
Time commitment: 3 to 5 hours/week
Cost: $3,475 for the full certificate
Pre-requisites: a two-year post-secondary diploma and/or a four-year equivalent degree from a university recognized by the Senate of Dalhousie University.


Who should attend?

The Certificate in Public Policy and Management program offers professionals in the public and not-for-profit sectors and individuals aspiring to careers in those sectors the latest thinking and best practices in public administration. The program is designed for those working in:

  • Any level of government (municipal, provincial, federal, territorial)
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Academic institutions
  • School boards 
  • Health administration

What will I learn?

This certificate program offers an introduction to the workings of government and covers the knowledge, skills and aptitudes of public sector professionals. Instructors will provide you with theory, research and frameworks to contextualize your experience and advance your knowledge and practice. Program participants will benefit from the real-world, hands-on observation and experience of their instructors and benefit from networking with peers from across Canada. To enhance the learning journey, program participants will engage in:

  • Group activities
  • Discussion forums
  • Live streamed lectures
  • Project work

Course Descriptions:

Government Structures and Intergovernmental Relations

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the organisational  dimensions of governance and public management as they pertain to the Canadian parliamentary system within the framework and context of federalism.

Core objectives of the Module include:

  • Developing an understanding of the determinants of government structure, including constitutional principles and conventions;
  • Developing an understanding of policy objectives, policy interdependencies, and political interests that require organisational response;
  • Developing an understanding of intergovernmental relations and fiscal federalism in defining organizational design;
  • Understand the rise of multilevel governance and the role of First Nations, the private sector and the municipalities in the governance architecture. 

Public Policy and Strategic Financial Management

The purpose of this Module is to understand the policymaking process and the role of financial accounting and accountability within the context of the policy process. 

Core objectives of this course include:

  • Developing an understanding of the policy process, the interplay between policy and operations; the evolving policy context
  • Developing an understanding of policy formulation, including  instruments and rationales for their selection; 
  • Understanding management of vertical, horizontal and networked relationships in policy design;
  • Developing an understanding of fiscal management, including accounting , accountability for public funds and the linkages between planning, programming, budgeting and  accountability.

Public Sector Leadership and Ethics

The purpose of this Module is to examine theories and leadership frameworks within the public sector, as well as the components for highly effective leadership.  Fostering high integrity organisations through ethical leadership.

Therefore, the core objectives of this course include:

  • Understanding the link between leadership and public sector innovation;
  • Developing strategic thinking, visioning capabilities; fostering managerial excellence, mobilizing people and teams, and driving performance management;
  • Developing an understanding of ethical issues and dilemmas including how to deal with them; 
  • Developing an understanding of the relationship between leadership and ethics. 

Digital Governance

The purpose of this course is to gain a deeper understanding of how digital technologies and the internet are transforming government and governance, both administratively and democratically. 

Core objectives of this course include:

  • Developing an understanding of globalization, digital transformation and e-governance; 
  • Developing an understanding the importance of digital technologies in modernizing government, both in terms of policy and services

Human Resource Management and Diversity

The purpose of this course is to examine human resource management within the public sector, and understand concepts of diversity, inclusion and equity within the context of human resources.

The core objectives of the course include:

  • Developing an understanding of human resource management and functions within the public sector;
  • Developing an understanding of the concepts of diversity and inclusion; 
  • Developing an understanding of the role of including a diversity lens into both policymaking and human resources.