Development Studies Courses in Australia

Introduction to studying a development studies degree

Development studies is a branch of social science that educates how nations grow and evolve from a political, cultural, and socio-economic perspective. Studying development studies in Australia will help you understand theories, ideas, practices, and principles that shape society, technology, and culture and make them capable of using the concept to solve economic and social problems. 

Core subjects with an undergraduate degree often include theories of development, global political economy, sustainable development, and social justice, and students can also focus on specialized topics like environmental sustainability, gender and development, and global health. Graduates of development studies courses in Australia benefit from strong career prospects, given the increasing demand for professionals well-versed in global issues and development strategies. The degree equips students with analytical and problem-solving skills, making them valuable contributors to the international development sector. Australia's strong connections with the Asia-Pacific region provide unique opportunities for graduates to engage in development initiatives and collaborations across borders.

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Types of Degrees in Development Studies in Australia

Bachelor of Development Studies

The Bachelor of Development Studies program allows one to study the causes and consequences of unequal development. You will also be able to identify the theory and principles of growth and analyse the practice and development through multilateral and bilateral government and non-government agencies. Graduates can work in various sectors, aid agencies, and international bodies, such as the United Nations Organisations. 

Master of Development Studies

A master of development studies is an integrated degree that provides specialist studies in international development at the local, national, and global levels. Through the course, you will be able to learn and understand the complexities of the geopolitical, economic, social, political, and cultural contexts for development. 

While studying in Australia, you can choose from disciplines like social sciences, humanities, public health, social work, and economics. After graduating with a master of development studies in Australia, you can work in the United Nations, Policy and Advocacy, and Government organisations.


Australia offers scholarships and financial grants to international students to support their studies. These scholarships cover tuition fees, overseas student health coverage, visa fees, and travel expenses. Here are some of the top scholarships available for international graduate students. 

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

Australian Awards Scholarships

Australian government


Friends of the University Development Studies Scholarship

The University of New Castle


Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarships

University of South Australia


Jobs and Careers

Graduates in development studies can work with organisations that solve global challenges like human rights violations, forced migration, and global health. They will also be involved in creative and critical thinking, research, problem-solving, and strong communication skills. Students with a master's degree in development studies can pursue roles including disaster reduction and climate change adaptation, development consultant, and policy advising. Some renowned organisations that offer jobs are the United Nations, Australian Red Cross, UNESCO, and Save the Children. 


The pay scale for development studies in Australia varies depending on experience, job location, and skills. The average pay scale in the development studies in New Zealand is around $75,700 annually, which is $38.32 per hour. Graduates at an entry-level position start at $74,500, while the most experienced workers earn an average of $114,928 annually. Some highly demanding jobs include advocacy officer, diplomat, and policy officer. 

Top Universities for Development Studies in Australia

To learn more about the development studies universities in Australia, find details on the top ranking Development Studies programs in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 below:



Acceptance rate


Australian National University



The University of Melbourne



The University of Sydney



The University of Queensland



Western Sydney University



Deakin University



Monash University



The University of Western Australia



The University of Adelaide



University of New South Wales


Study Development Studies in Australia

If you want to learn more about studying for a development studies degree at an Australian university, arrange a free consultation with SI-Australia today.

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How long does it take to complete a degree in development studies?

The course duration for each degree is different. For example, a bachelor’s degree in development studies takes around three years to complete. On the other hand, a master’s degree takes about two years to complete. 

Why study development studies in Australia?

Australia is known for its education system. Many international students prefer to study as the degrees in Australia are considered internationally recognised. In addition, the curriculum is a blend of theoretical and practical teaching, where students will be taught about society's socio-economic and political developments. 

What is the cost of tuition, and are there scholarships available?

The development studies tuition fee varies as per the university. The average tuition fee costs around $45,000. However, it varies according to the number of credits. In addition, scholarships for international students are also available depending on their academic or financial condition.

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