Master of Development Studies

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

This degree is taught by a team of academics who are at the forefront of national and international development practice. They bring real-world experience and expertise to an educational setting and contribute to scholarly knowledge. Our academics are experts in fields such as community and social policy; politics and human rights; refugees and migration; international development; peace; conflict and security.

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.

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 the geopolitical, economic, social, ethical and cultural contexts.


This program is structured to acknowledge and recognise the skills that individuals bring to their postgraduate education.

More experienced students can undertake a streamlined degree while students with less professional experience will study for the full 2 years.

Development Studies A – 1 year stream

Development Studies B – 1.7 year stream

Development Studies C – 2 year stream

Your Career

Our graduates work with organisations that solve challenges facing human rights violations, forced migration and global health. On completion of the Master of Development, you’re qualified to work in a wide range of fields from local community development to international aid work and human rights. 

What Our Academics Say

“The academics involved with UNSW Development Studies are engaged with a wide variety of community and professional networks and activities. In addition to the extensive advocacy work undertaken by the Forced Migration Research Network, academics teaching this program support a range of civil society bodies including the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and SHARE-Australia.”

- Professor Jan Breckenridge, Head of School of Social Sciences

You can find more information on this degree including entry requirements on the UNSW Degree Finder.

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