Why study the Master of Development Practice

The Master of Development Practice addresses key topics in the world: the political economy of development, gender, health, environment, climate change impact, food security, and methods for gauging social impacts of change on communities and regions. The courses bring together aspects of community level development, urban, regional and social planning, and political analysis from local to global levels. The program teaches you to deal with the challenges faced by development practitioners across multiple levels and scales in both developed and developing countries.

The program offers a unique, multidisciplinary approach to advancing the knowledge and skills of students who seek to obtain a better understanding of the challenges of development in the contemporary context. Taught and supervised by scholars engaged in the field through research and practice, the program creates teaching approaches that are both inspiring and informative. Whilst equipping students with analytical and technical skills for development work, teaching staff are intent on providing a learning space for students to 'discover' their practice. This requires deeply reflective capabilities to understand personal qualities as practitioners within the context of contemporary development practice.


  • Program code
  • Faculty
  • Duration
  • Commencing
    Semester 1 (19 Feb, 2018)
    Semester 2 (23 Jul, 2018)
  • Program level
    Postgraduate Coursework
  • Units
  • Delivery location
    St Lucia
  • AQF
    Level 9

Entry requirements


Approved degree in the same discipline with a GPA of 5; or

GCDevPract or GCCommDev or GDipDevPract with a GPA of 5; or

Approved degree in any discipline with a GPA of 5 with 2 years relevant professional experience. This experience may be in a paid or substantial volunteer capacity and will be evidenced through the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates the applicant has made a contribution to the organisation or relevant community of interest.

Program structure


The courses offered in the Master of Development Practice are set out in the course list. Each course is allocated a certain number of units (#).

Courses Program Rules

The Program Rules explain what is required to complete the Master of Development Practice. These requirements include the total number of units you need to complete in order to graduate.

Program Rules

To have your degree conferred, you also need to comply with UQ’s policies and rules.

Early exit points

Depending on your choice of courses, it might be possible to withdraw from the Master of Development Practice at an early exit point and graduate with one of the following awards:

Courses and Programs

Fields of study

The following is a list of fields of study available in the Master of Development Practice.

When you graduate, any fields of study you have finished will be listed on your degree certificate.

Community Development

This field is focused on developing fundamental skills and methodologies that a professional worker requires to work face-to-face with communities. These direct practice skills and methodologies include key dimensions of practice such as micro-dialogue and communication skills, processes that sustain community livelihood, narrative community-based training processes and the development of an individualised professional practice framework that articulates the unique set of skills and attributes that a practitioner brings to his or her work.

Development Planning

This field is oriented towards planning practitioners in developing countries who wish to upgrade their qualifications to include the most recent advancements in the concepts, philosophies, theories and techniques in urban, regional and environmental planning. The program includes a research component which provides students with an opportunity to apply this knowledge to real-life planning issues and problems in their own countries. Academic staff involved in this area have extensive experience in developing countries and courses are oriented towards the needs of developing countries. Many students entering the program are sponsored by their employers who are involved in planning in developing countries. Further professional study provides openings for accelerated advancement and assumption of greater responsibility in the workplace.

Politics of Global Development

Development is inherently political and involves relations of power in all its aspects. This field of study is concerned with the relations between and among actors in development, how these relations are experienced, and in which ways they are attended by struggle, contestation and conflict in contexts of social and political change. In working towards analyses dealing with such central questions, we continuously foreground and emphasize the intricate link between theories and practices.

The courses offered in this field introduce students to the analytical tools required to examine political challenges of global development. They examine dilemmas, struggles and strategies shaping development globally; the international political economy of globalisation and development; challenges of reconstruction and restoration in post-conflict development contexts; theories and practices of mediation and conflict resolution; the role of culture, and questions of identity in development; struggles to enhance gender equity; and the ethics and politics of Human Rights. These are central issues in contemporary global development and students will gain knowledge, understanding and practical skills essential for working in this field.

You should refer to the Program Rules for more information. A full definition of "field of study" is available in the Policies and Procedures Library.

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