Embark on an interactive degree that provides specialist studies in international development at the local, national and global level.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Master of Development Studies
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
2 Year(s)

Overview

The UNSW Master of Development Studies is a two-year, full-time interactive degree that provides specialist studies in international development at the local, national and global level. This degree takes a participatory approach to the philosophy of human rights, social justice and community development.

You’ll learn the framework to understand the complexities of the geopolitical, economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts in which development takes place. You’ll learn from a team of academics at the front line of international development practice both globally and in Australia, and benefit from real-world experience and expertise.

Key features

Become a global citizen
To be a member of today’s global community means facing and navigating pressing current issues, including forced migration, gender-based violence, human rights violations, global health and disasters. You’ll explore these issues in-depth throughout this postgraduate degree.

Drive positive change
The Master of Development Studies will equip you with the skills and knowledge to make the changes you wish to see in the world. You’ll learn how to understand and negotiate the complexities of our biggest global challenges, and explore how to drive solutions through geopolitical, economic, social, ethical and cultural contexts.

Why study at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community.
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2020.
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
8942
CRICOS Code
083236D
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
96
Indicative Enrolments
58

Want to see more from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture?

Entry requirements

There are three different streams of the Master of Development Studies. The stream you apply for will depend on the depth of your prior academic and/or professional experience, and how closely it relates to development studies.

If you apply for Stream A or Stream B, you may be eligible to have your study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit points can be counted towards the degree, and you would then be able to complete the coursework undertaking fewer subjects.

For all three streams, you will need to meet the following admission requirements to be considered for entry into the program:

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.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

There are three different streams of the Master of Development Studies. The stream you apply for will depend on the depth of your prior academic and/or professional experience, and how closely it relates to development studies.  

If you apply for Stream A or Stream B, you may be eligible to have your study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit points can be counted towards the degree, and you would then be able to complete the coursework undertaking fewer subjects.

For all three streams, you will need to meet the following admission requirements to be considered for entry into the program:

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.

^Students from a non-211 university in China are now required to have a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW distinction average (75%).

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.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

This master’s degree can be completed in two-years full-time study (or the part-time equivalent).

This program is structured to acknowledge and recognise the unique skills and experience you bring to your postgraduate education. If you have relevant previous experience, you may be able to undertake a streamlined degree, which can be completed in one-year or 1.7 years full-time.

If you’re coming to the program with limited professional experience, you’ll undertake the full two-years study.

Full program structure

The program includes three different streams to choose from including:

Development Studies A – 1 year stream

Development Studies B – 1.7 year stream

Development Studies C – 2 year stream

Our graduates work with organisations that solve global challenges such as human rights violations, forced migration and global health.

You’ll be qualified to work in a wide range of fields from local community development to international aid work, advocacy, and human rights. When you graduate from the Master of Development Studies you’ll have the skills and expertise to promote a fairer and more equitable future for individuals and communities across the world.

Potential careers

  • 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.

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 and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. 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 may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$26,880*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$54,000*

Commonwealth Supported Place, Student Contribution Band 4

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at 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.

 

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$36,480*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$75,440*

*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.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

 

Scholarships

Our scholarships can help you achieve your potential and enhance the university experience. Scholarships reward academic achievements and encourage international mobility, diversity and equity.