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Study the Master of Development Studies with us

Confront the challenges in achieving sustainable economic development through the Master of Development Studies.

Why study with us?

  • #22 in the world

    We're ranked 22nd in the world for Arts and Humanities in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • # 1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 5th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

Overview

Understand the challenges of sustainable human development on a local, national and global scale. This program provides theoretical foundations and opportunities for practice-based understanding of development policy, programs and outcomes. You can intern at local or overseas organisations, undertake a field school, and complete a research-based supervised dissertation.

Why study with us?

Address issues in development policy and debate with experts in anthropology, international relations, political economy, human rights, peace and conflict studies, linguistics, public health, human geography, economics and sociology.

Benefit from workshops, seminars and conferences in a research-driven environment, and from our strong commitment to building industry relationships in a global city.

Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for postgraduate study for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSPs are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 15 January)

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 30 June)

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

To qualify for the Master of Development Studies you must complete 72 credit points, including:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points from core units of study; and
  • a minimum of 6 credit points from core elective units of study; and
  • a maximum of 30 credit points from elective units of study. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points can be taken as elective units from units of study outside those listed in the Development Studies subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including units of study from other faculties.; and
  • a minimum of 6 credit points from capstone units of study; and
  • an optional specialisation.

Recognition of Prior Learning / credit for previous studies is available for this course, refer to Admission requirement below.

Completion requirement

Under normal progression, you shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. You are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for your units of study.

Capstone (compulsory project)

Towards the end of your degree you will complete a capstone experience. This can be:

  • a semester-long Development Collaboration unit (6 credit points)
  • a year-long Dissertation of 12,000 words in length (12 credit points).

Admission requirement

Entry in the 1 year or 1.5 year degree program is determined by the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) criteria below:

Admission to candidature for the Master of Development Studies (1.5 years full-time) requires:

  • a bachelor's degree with a minimum credit (65%) average calculated over the whole degree, including a major in a relevant subject area in Humanities and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification.

Admission to candidature for the Master of Development Studies (1 year full-time) requires:

  • completion of the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Development Studies with a minimum credit (65%) average, or an equivalent qualification; or
  • an Honours degree in a relevant discipline; or
  • relevant professional work experience and a bachelor's degree with a minimum credit (65%) average or an equivalent qualification.

If you do not meet the requirements listed above for direct entry to the Master’s degree, you may be able to enter via a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in the same subject area and upgrade to the Master’s after successful completion of the shorter course.

Career Pathways

Upon graduating, you will be in a strong position to seek employment in government, non-government and private sector organisations concerned with development and poverty alleviation. You can also use the skills and knowledge acquired in the programs to become a more effective researcher, planner, educator, administrator and manager.

Work within non-government organisations such as the Australian Council for International Development, Coffey International Development, Devex, GRM International, Oxfam, the United Nations, the World Bank and World Wildlife Fund.

Future study options

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences supports and pursues the University's goal of excellence in research, encouraging research of national and international standing, and identifying and enhancing fields of basic, strategic and applied research. Many of the Faculty's distinguished academic staff have recognised international standing and include Federation Fellows and Fellows of Learned Academies and Societies.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.