Overview

The Master of Development Studies is a flexible and interactive degree that provides specialist studies in international development at local, national and international levels. Our courses are based on a philosophy of human rights, social justice, community development and participatory approaches. You will learn the framework to understand and negotiate the complexities of the geopolitical, economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts in which development takes place. You will study alongside a team of academics at the front line of national and international development practice.

Program Code

8942

CRICOS Code

083236D

Total units of credit (UOC)

96

Campus

Kensington

Indicative Enrolments

60

Why choose this degree?

You will build diverse and rewarding career paths in local and international development, from practice-based roles to research and policy within education and government.

Who should choose this degree?

If you are already working as a development specialist or are seeking entry into the field, this degree is for you.

Degree Structure

The Master of Development Studies is structured to acknowledge and recognise the skills that individuals bring to their postgraduate education.

More experienced students will undertake a streamlined degree for 1 year (48 units of credit) while students with less professional experience will study for 1.5 years (72 units of credit).

1 year plan or part-time equivalent (48 units of credit)

This is for students who have completed a relevant Honours degree or Graduate Diploma (or equivalent), or those who have completed a relevant Bachelor degree and one year relevant professional experience.

The 1 year plan allows suitably experienced students to fast track their postgraduate study, completing their Master of Development Studies in just one year. During this period, students will complete 48 units of credit, usually 8 courses.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (6-12 units of credit)
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (18 units of credit)
  • International Development Policy
  • Community Development
  • NGOs and Development OR Development, Rights and Health
  • 2-3 electives (12-18 units of credit) from the full list of Master of Development Studies options

1.5 year plan or part-time equivalent (72 units of credit)

This is for students who have completed a relevant Bachelor degree (or equivalent) but have limited professional experience.

Students who have completed undergraduate studies in any discipline but have professional experience in a relevant field, or an Honours degree or Graduate Diploma in any discipline may also be eligible.

The 1.5 year plan will deepen your contextual knowledge of development studies before developing more advanced competencies and skills. During the program, students complete 72 units of study, usually 12 courses.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (24-36 units of credit)
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Theory, Ethics and Research
  • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
  • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (18 units of credit)
  • International Development Policy
  • Community Development
  • NGOs and Development OR Development, Rights and Health
  • 4-5 electives (24-30 units of credit) from the full list of Master of Development Studies options

2 year plan or part-time equivalent (96 units of credit)

This is for students who have completed any Bachelor degree (or equivalent) and do not have any relevant work experience.

Students who are eligible for the 1 year and/or 1.5 year streams are also permitted to study the 2 year stream.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (24-30 units of credit)
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Theory, Ethics and Research
  • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
  • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (18 units of credit)
  • International Development Policy
  • Community Development
  • NGOs and Development OR Development, Rights and Health
  • 7-8 electives (42-48 units of credit) from the full list of Master of Development Studies options
Degree Handbook

Career Opportunities

  • Practice-based roles to Research and Policy within academia, government and civil society
  • Local and International Development Agencies
  • The United Nations
  • Policy and Advocacy think tanks
  • Community-based organisations and government bodies locally and internationally

Undertaking a research project

Students who maintain a distinction average in their first term of study can apply to undertake a Professional Practice Research Project* worth 12 units of credit.

This involves completing an empirical or conceptual research project with a topic directly related to professional practice in the field of International Development or Refugees and Displacement.

*Entry to research project courses is at the discretion of the program convenor.

Entry requirements

For the 1 year stream (A)

  • Honours degree or Graduate Diploma* (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%, plus one year relevant professional experience.

For the 1.7 year stream (B)

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%, plus one year relevant professional experience.
  • Honours degree or Graduate Diploma* (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.

For the 2 year stream (C)

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.

*It is expected that a Graduate Diploma will have been completed after an undergraduate degree.

Relevant disciplines include: Social Sciences; Humanities; Business; Economics; Law; Public Health; Communications; Social Work; Psychology/Psychological Science.

Applicants with a degree in a discipline not listed here but who wish to make a case for its academic relevance to these programs should enquire here: studyarts@unsw.edu.au.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Apply Now

Fees

Indicative First Year Fee

$26,880^*

Indicative Fee to Complete Degree

$54,480^*

^There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only – other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

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