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Top 15 International Development Masters in Australia

International development projects are similar to international humanitarian aid, but include long-term solutions to poverty based on concepts like empowerment, sustainability, and dignity. International development (also known as global development) also includes classifications for developed and developing countries. As a field and practice, international development relies on the Sustainable Development Goals as its framework. Professionals work in areas like community development, law, legislation, advocacy, policy, and more. Interested in this field? You’ll want a master’s degree in international development. Australian schools offer many options.

Note: Information is subject to change. For up-to-date info, always check the program’s official page.

Table of Contents

#1. Master of International Development (The University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia)
#2. Master of International Development Practice (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
#3. Master of International Development (University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory)
#4. Master of International and Community Development (Online program, Deakin University)
#5. Master of International Development (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
#6. Master of Global Development (Griffith University, South East Queensland, Australia)
#7. Master of International Development (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
#8. Master of International Development (The University of Western Australia, WA, Australia)
#9. Master of Global Development (James Cook University, QLD, Australia)
#10. Master of International Trade and Development (The University of Adelaide, Adalaide, Australia)
#11. Master of Global Project Management (Torrens University, multiple campuses)
#12. Master of Development Studies (UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
#13. Master of International Community Development (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
#14. Executive MBA in Entrepreneurship (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
#15. International Relations (The University of Queensland, QLD, Australia)

#1. Master of International Development (The University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia)

This 2-year, 14-course program prepares students for careers at international organizations like the UN, the World Bank, NGOs, and more. Program participants explore key issues and practices about development, globalization, food security, and much more. They’ll also develop practical skills regarding donors, the role of NGOs, and project management. During each study period, students have the option to switch between full-time and part-time study.

To apply, students must have a Bachelor’s degree (AQF Level 7) or equivalent. You can also apply if you have relevant full-time equivalent work or experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. Tuition is A$23,874 per year, though fees are subject to change based on yearly increases and chosen courses.

#2. Master of International Development Practice (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

This program explores the political, economic, cultural, and ecological challenges of poverty, poor health, inequality, and more. Specialists guide students through a multi-disciplinary framework of sustainable development. There are six “streams” available, including Democracy, justice and governance; Gender, peace and security; and Global Migration. Students also gain practical experience through internships in countries such as South Africa, India, Fiji, and others.

Three admission criteria determine the program’s duration and how many credits are needed. As an example, students admitted through entry level 1 have an Australian bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with at least 60% average credit. For them, the program is 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of part-time study. In 2022, the rates were A$25,400/year for domestic students and A$36,400/year for international students.

#3. Master of International Development (University of Canberra, Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory)

This 48-credit program explores theories on sustainable development and cross-cultural practice. Students develop practice-led research skills and prepare for careers at places like NGOs, multinational businesses, and government bodies. Students also have an opportunity to enroll in the Development Research project unit, which includes a real-world development project often connected to current employment.

To apply, students need a degree or equivalent approved by the University. If a student has a bachelor’s degree in a related field, they may get 12 credit points of unspecified credit, as well as admission to the 1.5-year program. Ordinarily, the master’s degree is a 2-year program. For domestic students, tuition is A$30,000 per year. Domestic students pay A$21,600 a year.

#4. Master of International and Community Development (Online program, Deakin University)

The Master of International and Community Development is the longest-running course of its kind in Australia. Students can choose from three streams: international development, community development, or the combined stream of international and community development. Topics include poverty, inequality, and empowerment. Students will develop skills and hands-on experience through assessment tasks, seminars, and lectures.

This is a 1-year (full-time study) online program with a part-time option. To apply, you need either a bachelor’s honor degree in a related field; a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline and two years of relevant work experience; a graduate certificate/diploma in a related field; or University-approved academic capabilities. For the 1-year track, the estimated tuition fee is A$22,600.

#5. Master of International Development (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)  

This 2-year, 96-credit program offers tailored study options like evening classes, full-day workshops, and online resources. Students will study gender, environment, sustainability, health, and more while developing professional skills in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating international development projects. Unfortunately, this program is not available to international students on a student visa.

If a student has a bachelors honors degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, or degree qualification in a different discipline, they may be eligible for up to 48 credit points of exemption. The international development program is a full-fee place; the 2022 tuition is A$24,960.

#6. Master of Global Development (Griffith University, South East Queensland, Australia)

This 160-credit program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals and addresses issues like climate change, development economics, health and development, and more. Students work with experts to develop practical skills, build a network, and enhance their knowledge and perspectives.

The program’s length and credit requirements vary depending on your entry path. If you’re coming in with only a bachelor’s degree, the program is 2 years full-time. The program is offered on campus and online, though it’s not available online to international students on a student visa. In 2022, domestic students pay A$26,000/year while international students pay A$30,500/year.

#7. Master of International Development (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)

In this 2-year program, students learn about policy and practice frameworks; how to drive social change through organizing and government policy; and how to design and deliver development projects. Students have a variety of specializations to choose from and an opportunity for an internship.

To apply, students will need an Australian bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Relevant work experience or professional accreditation may be considered if it’s equivalent to earning a Bachelor’s degree. For domestic students, the program costs $21,800 per 120 credit points, which is one year of full-time study.

#8. Master of International Development (The University of Western Australia, WA, Australia)

This 1.5-2 year program educates students on international development concepts, theories, and approaches. Using an interdisciplinary curriculum, students gain analytical and practical skills that prepare them for work in development policy, research, practice, and more.

To apply, students first need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Then, they need either the equivalent of a UWA-weighted average mark (at least 50%) or at least two years of experience in international development. Significant work experience (at least five years with a “material” level of responsibility) is also acceptable. For domestic students, the typical 2022 annual fee (CSP only) ranges between A$3,985-$14,630. For international students, the total course fee in 2022 was A$79,400.

#9. Master of Global Development (James Cook University, QLD, Australia)

This 2-year program teaches students to blend and apply advanced theoretical and analytical knowledge. That includes evaluating and creating solutions to complicated development problems. The course consists of six core subjects and electives from eight main areas, such as Public Health; Sustainable Development Planning and Policy; and Governance and Social Change.

To apply, students need an AQF level 7 bachelor’s degree or equivalent. For domestic students, fees range from $A11,040 (estimated annual Commonwealth-supported fee) to A$30,150. The estimated fee for a full-time study for International students is A$32,960.

#10. Master of International Trade and Development (The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)

This 36-unit program prepares students for a variety of careers. Over 1-1.5 years, they’ll study the roles of domestic, regional, and global players, as well as the challenges facing businesses and economies. They’ll also develop advanced legal and commercial knowledge and negotiation strategies. Students take courses in Trade, Economics, and Law.

To apply, students must have a completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The tuition for domestic students isn’t listed, though the website says it’s an Australian full-fee place. The indicative annual tuition fees (24 units) for the international student place is A$47,500.

#11. Master of Global Project Management (Torrens University, multiple campuses)

With a typical duration of 18 months, this course focuses on industry standards, planning, budgeting, and execution. Students will develop strong skills and expertise in global project management processes, giving them what they need to work in fields like manufacturing, healthcare, education, commerce, and more.

To apply, students need a Bachelor’s degree (AQF Level 7) and at least two years of professional experience. Those without formal qualifications are welcome to apply if they have at least 7 years of professional, administrative, or managerial work experience. For domestic students, the 2022 domestic subject price is A$3,150. For international students, the annual fee is A$27,500.

#12. Master of Development Studies (UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

This 2-year degree offers specialist studies in international development using a participatory approach to the philosophy of social justice, community development, and human rights. Students learn about the geopolitical, economic, social, cultural, and ethical contexts of development.

The program has three admission “streams.” Which one fits best depends on how much relevant academic and/or professional experience a student has. For the standard 2-year program, students will need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any discipline with a UNSW-approved credit average of 65%. For domestic students, 2022 CSP first-year fees were A$14,630. Full fees were A$26,360. International students owe A$38,210 for their 2022 first-year fees.

#13. Master of International Community Development (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

In this program, students study topics such as community development project design and management; participatory research and evaluation; globalization and social movements; and much more. To complete the master’s, students must complete 192 credits, including core courses (72 credits), electives (72 credits), and a community-based research or research thesis (48 credits).

To be eligible, international students need either an Australian bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in any discipline or an Australian diploma (or equivalent) in a similar discipline with an overall score of 6.5 on the IELTS (or equivalent) with no lower than 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Tuition is A$12,200 per semester. For domestic students, fees depend on whether you’re offered a CSP or a full fee-paying place.

#14. Executive MBA in Entrepreneurship (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

A 1-2 year intensive program designed for innovators and entrepreneurs, this Executive MBA helps students develop a project while they continue working. What does this have to do with international development? Many entrepreneurs work in development. Students get access to a project space, masterclasses, and events.

To apply, students need a UTS-recognized bachelor’s degree or equivalent. There’s also a professional experience requirement of at least six years of full-time (or part-time equivalent) relevant work experience. Fees at UTS vary depending on what type of student you are and what subject you’re enrolled in.

#15. International Relations (The University of Queensland, QLD, Australia)

Students in this 32-unit program gain conceptual and technical knowledge and skills in international relations. There are core courses and electives that allow students to specialize in fields like Security and Statecraft; Globalization and Development; or Law and International Politics.

As with the other programs on this list, there are a handful of admission pathways. For the standard 2-year pathway, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any discipline or 3 years of study toward an approved qualification at an overseas partner institution with a formal pathway to the MIR. You’ll need an average 5.0 GPA on a 7-point scale in your previous qualification. At the time of writing, fee information was not available.

About the author

Emmaline Soken-Huberty

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.