Master of Development Studies
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
The Master of Development Studies sheds light on the challenges in achieving sustainable economic development on a local, national and global scale. Bringing together critical theories from across the social sciences, this expansive cross-disciplinary program allows you to specialise in topics such as international relations, political economy, human rights, peace and conflict studies, anthropology, linguistics, public health, human geography, economics and sociology.
With a grounding in such wide‑ranging areas of study, you will leave this program with a comprehensive awareness of the development industry and its real-world applications in poverty reduction, project design and international organisations.
As a Master of Development Studies candidate, you can take advantage of the region’s greatest concentration of esteemed and active researchers in the developing world, while building on the insights from a diverse international student body.
The program provides hands-on experience in Development Studies as you train to become an effective administrator and planner. Our program offers exciting opportunities to put your development knowledge into practice, including chances to participate in a research project on a community- based organisation in Sydney, internship electives at local or international non-government organisations and a field trip to Indonesia.
To qualify for the award of the Master of Development Studies a candidate must complete 72 credit points, including:
(a) a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) a minimum of 6 credit points from core elective units of study; and
(c) a maximum of 36 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
(d) a minimum of 12 credit points from capstone units of study.
For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the
Further course information
Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Candidates must maintain a credit average result or above, normally over at least the first 4 units of study, in order to qualify for admission to the dissertation units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.
Course outcomes and further study
Graduates have the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in local, national, international and transnational development organisations and aid agencies, local and national government and non-government organisations and private sector firms. Development Studies also provides you with skills to become more effective development sector administrators, researchers, development planners, educators and managers.
Admission to candidature for the Master of Development Studies requires:
(a) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, including a major in a relevant subject area in the Social Sciences, or an equivalent qualification or
(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Development Studies with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.
Upgrade is possible from a Grad Cert to a Grad Dip or Masters in the embedded degree.
Upgrade is possible for a Grad Dip to Masters in the embedded degree.
How to apply
How to apply
Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.
Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply:
(i) directly to the University via the International Office. Further information on applications and English language requirements and support services for international students is available on the International Office website; or
(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2015, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2015, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.