Postgraduate Coursework in the Department of Anthropology

Development Studies

The Master, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate of Development Studies provide students with knowledge and skills for achieving sustainable solutions to poverty and deprivation in the Developing World. The core of the programs explores debates about development, the history of the idea, and the range of organisations, approaches and programs associated with development. The core units are built around an understanding of the key concepts ‘market’, ‘nation state’ and ‘civil society’; critiques of development history and projects; and, the way development is embedded in the challenges and politics of cultural and linguistic difference.

Units of study include the core units (Development: Civil Society and Well-Being, Development: Communication and Education, and Rethinking Poverty); core elective units (Development Project Evaluation, Culture and Politics of Health Development, Dynamics of Human Rights Violations, and Human Rights and International Development) as well as elective units.

The programs recognise the variety of substantive knowledge and technical skills brought to bear on development. Elective units may be chosen from a range of University of Sydney Masters level programs, and include internship units that aim to give students practical skills to enable them to work effectively in the development sector

Graduate employment

The pathways into and beyond a qualification in Development Studies are diverse.

  • For some students the programs extend an already established professional expertise (e.g. education, economics, finance, media and communications) into the area of development;
  • For others already employed in government or non-government organisations concerned with development, both local and international, they provide a broader critical perspective on their area of employment and a higher credential;
  • For those enrolling soon after completing an undergraduate degree, the interdisciplinary, problem oriented structure of the programs provides further education focused on ideas and skills relevant to future employment, particularly if students take advantage of the internship offerings;
  • Some students already have connections to development organisations from travel, volunteering and internships and this experience can be built on through the programs.

The expertise, training, interests and experience that students bring to the programs determine the variety of career trajectories that graduates take. Our Master graduates are in a strong position to seek employment in government, non-government and private sector organisations concerned with a wide range of development and poverty alleviation programs.


Dr Robbie Peters
Director of Development Studies
Phone: + 61 2 9036 9399

Department of Anthropology Prize for Development Studies


Please refer to the degree resolutions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Handbook for information on the specific admission requirements and application procedures for the Development Studies courses

Graduate Certificate in Development Studies
To be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Development Studies, students must complete 24 credit points comprising two core and two core elective units (each unit is worth 6 credit points). This award is normally available on a part time basis to be completed in a minimum of 2 semesters.

Graduate Diploma in Development Studies
To be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Development Studies, students must complete 36 credit points comprising two core, one core elective and three elective units (each unit is worth 6 credit points). The Diploma may be completed in a minimum of 2 semesters.

Master of Development Studies
To be awarded the Master of Development Studies, students who enrol before 2014 must have completed 48 credit points. The units that make up these credit points should comprise the three core units, a core elective, and four elective units (each unit is worth 6 credit points) chosen from the Table of Postgraduate Units of Study. The Masters may be completed in a minimum of 2 semesters.

Students newly enrolling in 2015 or later will be required to complete a 72 credit point program (3 semesters full-time or equivalent part-time). Dissertation units will be offered as part of the 72 credit point program, for students who meet minimum academic standards. Contact the Development Studies Director for further information.

Core units
DVST6901 Development: Civil Society and Well-Being
DVST6902 Development: Communication and Education
DVST6904 Rethinking Poverty

Core elective units
DVST6905 Development Project Evaluation
DVST6906 Culture and Politics of Health Development
HRTD6903 Dynamics of Human Rights Violations
ECOP6130 Human Rights and International Development

Elective Units of Study
Please check the Handbook. These units are subject to change.

ANTH6910 Supervised Reading I (departmental permission required)
ANTH6911 Supervised Reading II (departmental permission required)
ASNS6900 Contemporary Asian Societies
ASNS6910 War and Peace in East Asia
ECON5001 Microeconomic Theory
ECON5002 Macroeconomic Theory
ECON6016 Trade and Development
ECON6023 International Trade
ECOP6016 China in the World Economy
ECOP6101 Core Concepts in Political Economy
ECOP6103 Strategic Debates on Economic Change
EDPB5016 Global Poverty, Social Policy and Education
ENVI5903 Sustainable Development
GCST5905 Identity, Place and Culture
HPOL5007 Global Health Policy
MIPH5112 Global Communicable Disease Control
MIPH5116 Culture, Health, Illness and Medicine
MIPH5124 Health issues and Humanitarian Emergencies
MIPH5135 Health systems in Developing Countries
MIPH5219 International Health Project Management
GEOS5501 Human Rights and the Environment
GOVT6137 Forces of Change in International Relations
GOVT6156 Governance and Civil Society
PACS6901 United Nations, Peace and Security
PACS6911 Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies
PACS6915 Human Rights, Peace and Justice
PACS6922 Peaceful Conflict Transformation
PACS6923 The Human Right to Food
PACS6928 Community Mediation: Theory and Practice
PACS6934 Conflict-Sensitive Development Practice (Summer School)
SCLG6913 Internship A
SCLG6914 Internship B
ARTS7000 Academic Communication for Postgraduates

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 above, including a maximum of 6 credit points from units of study offered by other faculties.