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Master of  Development Practice

Program code: 5346

Delivery location

St Lucia


1.5 Years full-time (or part-time equivalent)


Semester 1 (25 Feb, 2019)
Semester 2 (22 Jul, 2019)

Deepen your understanding of the challenges facing the development of communities and regions in a contemporary context, and gain the skills to help find solutions to these problems.

  • This 18-month master's degree is for those who have a qualification in the same area, or a combination of professional experience and a degree – see 'Program details'. Learn about the dilemmas of social, political and economic development.
  • Complete five core courses that cover a range of topics. This includes community development, planning, sociology, anthropology, and politics. This will provide you with a strong multidisciplinary foundation for your remaining studies.
  • Equip yourself with the theoretically informed skills that will allow you to embrace the challenges of understanding, practicing and rethinking development at different scales.
  • Benefit from a program taught and supervised by scholars engaged in the field through research and practice. Your studies will be inspired and informed by these connections.

The Master of Development Practice will teach you how to deal with the challenges faced by development practitioners across multiple levels and scales in both developed and developing countries.

  • Students

    Multicultural learning environment

    You will study alongside students from all corners of the globe, each contributing rich and diverse experiences. Studying with an international and diverse group of students will broaden your horizons, both personally and professionally.

  • Teaching staff

    Our teachers are tops

    Our Development Practice courses are taught by more than 20 staff across four different schools within UQ. Our staff are leading researchers in their fields and maintain strong links across the development sector through professional consultancies.

  • Alumni
    "When I signed up for the Master of Development Practice program, I wasn’t sure of how I wanted to apply the degree, but the diversity of interesting courses allowed me to explore my interests while determining the direction of my career. The program provides a solid mix of theoretical education and practical training and skills development to equip students to enter many different fields of employment. After graduation, my cohort took up work all over the world across a variety of sectors including resources, health, human and social services and environmental protection, working for governments, not-for-profits and private sector multinationals. This degree gives you the tools you need to hit the ground running after graduation". Sarah Stamp, Master of Development Practice (2011)
  • Alumni
    "My post-graduate studies have provided me with the theoretical knowledge that helps my understanding of how people and issues are interconnected such as literacy, empowerment, as well as global and local community building projects. One of the best things about the Master of Development Practice program was that it gave me the theoretical knowledge for the practical work I’d been doing. The program delivered on this and allowed me to become a lot more of a critical reader of research, academic papers and other sources alike" Kerstin Liebchen, Master of Development Practice (2012)

Career outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Development Practice typically work across all levels of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Past Development Practice graduates have worked in:

  • international development
  • foreign policy
  • multilateral development agencies
  • international financial institutions
  • the United Nations Development Programme
  • community development
  • consultancy.

Other graduates use the Master of Development Practice to further their research ambitions by enrolling in a Master of Philosophy or PhD program, where they continue developing their research skills and make significant contributions to knowledge.


  • Program code
  • Faculty
  • Duration
    1.5 Years full-time (or part-time equivalent)
  • Commencing
    Semester 1 (25 Feb, 2019)
    Semester 2 (22 Jul, 2019)
  • Program level
    Postgraduate Coursework
  • Units
  • Delivery location
    St Lucia
  • AQF
    Level 9

Admissions criteria


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.

Learn more about the admissions process

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:

Programs and Courses

If you're a current student who has already commenced study at UQ, please see Programs and Courses for full information about your program structure, rules and requirements.

Government assistance


Domestic students who are accepted into the Master of Development Practice pay tuition fees.

FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme to assist eligible students with the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out more about FEE-HELP.

Centrelink Support

The Australian Government offers a number of income-support payments to eligible Australian university students. For more information, visit the Centrelink website.

Indicative annual fee

AUD $21,800
Indicative fee 2019

An indicative annual fee is the average cost of enrolling in the Master of Development Practice at 2019 fee rates. It is calculated based on a standard full-time study load.

A standard full-time study load is 16 units per academic year. The average fee would be less for part-time study. Actual fees will vary according to your choice of courses, their unit value and the time you take to complete this program.

Fees may be higher in later years as all fees are reviewed annually.

Visit Student contributions and tuition fees for more information.


The University offers more than 200 scholarships for prospective students and more than 350 scholarships and prizes for current students.

Scholarships cover the full range of academic disciplines and are open to domestic students and international students.

Many scholarships have specific eligibility criteria. More information, including information about how to apply, is available on the Scholarships website.

Applying online

Apply now

All domestic student applications for the Master of Development Practice can be lodged directly to UQ using our online application form.

The program code for the Master of Development Practice is 5346. You'll need this when applying.

Find out more about applying for postgraduate coursework study.

Apply now

Additional application information

Same discipline is defined as a degree in anthropology, sociology, social science, development studies, community development, political science, human geography, philosophy, communication, social work, human services, planning, various streams of environmental studies and/or management, urban studies and international studies.

To satisfy the requirement for "same discipline" a minimum amount of content in that discipline is required - this would be at least a major, field of study, or approximately 30% of program content including a mix of introductory and advanced courses.

*Please note the GCDevPract or GCCommDev or GDipDevPract can only be used as the basis of entry into the program if you already have an existing approved degree in the same discipline.

Relevant professional experience may include work experience in the planning, management and implementation of international or community development initiatives, including work for international aid agencies, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, social movements, and the international business community. The work may include research, outreach capacities and service delivery and the portfolio should demonstrate basic computer literacy, research and writing skills, and ability to work collaboratively.

Important dates

There are a number of dates and deadlines you need to meet when applying for postgraduate study.

The closing date for the Master of Development Practice is:

  • To commence study in semester 1 - January 31 of the year of commencement.
  • To commence study in semester 2 - June 30 of the year of commencement.

A full list of dates relevant to UQ students is available on the Student Matters Calendar.

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