Development Studies
Masters (MDS)

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Postgraduate courses

Master of Development Studies

Course code M1195

The Master of Development Studies (MDS) is a professional degree focussing on the challenges of social, economic, and political development and poverty alleviation. Aimed at students from the developing world and those working in international development assistance, the MDS concentrates on the nexus of development, politics and social and environmental sustainability, food and health security, disaster risk management, international assistance, state building, conflict management, gender relations and other significant issues impacting development.

Previous tertiary qualifications combined with relevant professional experience may qualify students for advanced standing, meaning they could complete a Masters qualification in as little as 12 or 18 months. (The 12 and 18 month programs are designed for those already working in the field of development and who are seeking career advancement opportunities. The 2 year program is designed for recent graduates or those seeking a career change.) A student's advanced standing is assessed at the time of application, taking into account level of higher study and/or professional experience. Students can find more information on admissions and advanced standing at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs website.

The MDS offers students:

  • Understanding of the key strategies for social, economic and political development and poverty alleviation
  • High-level analytical skills to evaluate the priorities, strengths and limitations of competing policy approaches to development, developed through the practical investigation of current policy issues
  • Professional skills relating to leadership, finance and project management, and communication
  • A detailed knowledge of the interests, processes and problems of contemporary development assistance, and international aid work, through intensive study in specialist units
  • Policy electives that provide an understanding of contemporary political, social and cultural trends within the Australian, East Asian and Indo-Pacific regional context

Students can choose electives to suit their professional needs and policy interests. The degree concludes with a ‘capstone’ experience with students opting to undertake either a policy case study project, a professional internship, or a supervised research thesis.

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