Study Development Studies

Leading-Edge Solutions for Global Solutions 

At UNSW Social Sciences, Development Studies has a unique interdisciplinary approach to investigating and providing solutions for the dynamic issues facing our world today. Development Studies is essential for providing answers to the world’s most complicated questions in a time when urbanisation is accelerating, environmental health is declining, disparities are widening and communications, and technologies never standstill. 

Study Opportunities with Real-World Impact 

Our students investigate some of the most critical issues in the world today. These involve development, poverty, inequality and environmental sustainability. You’ll learn the conceptual and analytic tools required to understand and negotiate the complexity of global development so that you can add to the conversation in a meaningful way.

Gain the Practical Skills that Matter 

The study of Developmental Studies offers a convergence of subject areas, which opens the door to a broad scope of career pathways. You can become an advocate, activist or a practitioner of change.

At UNSW Social Sciences, we offer three global development in practice courses where you’ll develop the skills, learn the vocabulary and acquire the dispositions to become an effective and ethical development practitioner. To prepare you for a career dedicated to changing the world for the better, we also provide internship opportunities with key organisations.

Learn from Academics at the Grassroots 

Our team of academics are at the front line of development practice, from local community development to international organisations. We bring real-world experience and expertise to your educational progression. 

In addition to the extensive advocacy work undertaken by the Centre for Refugee Research, members of our staff work with community-based organisations, NGOs, think tanks and a range of civil society-based organisations. We also support a range of civil society bodies, including the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and CARE Australia.

Graduate into a World of Diverse Opportunities 

Graduating in Development Studies at UNSW opens the door to a multitude of career options and equips you with the skill-set to perform in a wide variety of roles. Our graduates are in a strong position to pursue career paths with government and non-government organisation such as:  

  • DFAT  
  • Australian Council for International Development  
  • Coffey International Development 
  • GRM International 
  • Oxfam 
  • United Nations 
  • World Bank 
  • Amnesty International 
  • CARE Australia 

Study with Us

We offer an Undergraduate minor and major in Global Development. You’ll gain an appreciation of development theories, policies and practices, contemporary issues, local innovations and global responses. You'll also learn how to become a critical scholar and a reflective practitioner of development.  

Studying Global Development as a Major  

Choose Global Development as your major specialisation and forge a career that's driven by social impact and purpose.  

Studying Global Development as a Minor or GenEd Program  

Choose Global Development as your minor specialisation or as a General Education program to complement the more specific learning undertaken in your chosen field of study. The following courses can be taken as GenEd courses as part of a degree outside the UNSW Arts and Social Sciences, or as a minor within the Faculty.  

Development in Practice: Concepts and Practices for Inclusive Development (ARTS2755)   
Learn strategies to stay up to date with the ever-shifting terrain of development practice, and develop the sensibilities to work effectively with a range of development partners. 

Development in Practice: Research for Social Change (ARTS275)   
Learn how to conduct research for positive change in the often-challenging development terrain by working in interdisciplinary research teams to solve complex problems.  

Development in Practice: Project Design (ARTS3755)  
Experience problem-based learning where you work as a multi-disciplinary team to arrive at innovative solutions to a major development challenge.   

Indicative courses in Development Studies include:  

Level 1:  

Level 2:  

Level 3:  

Degree Options

The Master of Development Studies is a flexible and interactive program aiming to provide specialised insights and skills concerning development challenges and processes at the local, national and international level. This UNSW degree is underpinned by an understanding of human rights, social justice, community development, political economy and participatory approaches. 

Upon graduation, you’ll be equipped with substantial knowledge and a range of skills related to the politics, policy, planning, delivery and management of programs relevant to the following international, social and community development, humanitarian ‘aid’ work and human rights. 

Development Studies is available to students interested in a Masters by Research or a PhD. We welcome opportunities to work with engaged and critical thinkers. 

Find your Research Supervisor

Organisational units