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Master of  Development Practice

Program code: 5594
CRICOS code: 082606B


St Lucia


2 Years full-time


Semester 1 (19 Feb, 2018)
Semester 2 (23 Jul, 2018)

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

  • The two-year master's is designed for applicants who have an approved degree in any discipline and who can meet minimum GPA requirements – see Program Details. You will 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.
  • Choose from four areas of specialisation: Community Development, Development Planning, Politics of Global Development or Social and Cultural Dynamics of Development.
  • 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

    Global perspective

    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.

  • 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 by engaging in a range of 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 postgraduate studies provided me with the theoretical knowledge that helps me understand the interconnectedness of literacy, empowerment and community-building projects. One of the best things about the Master of Development Practice program was that it gave me the theory for the practical work I was doing... I hope to bring about radical social change for those of us not born into a secure, privileged and comfortable life.” Kerstin Liebchen-Meades, Master of Development Practice (2012)

Fields of study for this program

There are 4 fields of study available in the Master of Development Practice.

View all fields of study for this program

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 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 and proceed to enrol in a Master of Philosophy or PhD program.


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

Admissions criteria


Approved degree in any discipline with a GPA of 5.

English Proficiency

IELTS overall 6.5; reading 6; writing 6; speaking 6; listening 6. For other English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores approved for UQ, view the English proficiency policy.

Visa requirements

International students who are accepted into full-time study in the Master of Development Practice are eligible to apply for an Australian student visa.

The Australian Government has simplified the visa application process. Now, all international students apply for the Student Visa (subclass 500).

There are a number of requirements you must satisfy before a visa is granted. Find out more about the visa application 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, refer to Programs and Courses in my.UQ for full information about your program structure, rules and requirements.

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

Community Development is a field of study that aims to understand how people can work together to define, understand and solve different problems and issues. It's a field explicitly committed to social change and rejects value neutrality. As a student in the Community Development field of study, you'll develop your abilities to work face-to-face with communities. You'll learn about key elements of professional community development practice and develop a thorough understanding of how communities can be positively changed and sustained. You'll also develop important communication skills.

Development Planning

The Development Planning field of study is designed for planning professionals, but welcomes anyone who wants to learn more about the concepts, theories and strategies that inform planning in developing countries. Courses focus on areas of urban, regional and environmental planning, and examine specific topics like sustainable communities, urban management and governance in developing countries, and the complexities of designing, delivering and evaluating development projects. Our Development Planning academics have extensive experience in developing countries. Many of the students in this field of study are sponsored by their employers who are involved in planning in developing countries.

Politics of Global Development

The Politics of Global Development field of study examines the relationship between governance and development. Decades of rapid globalisation have emphasised the challenges of development and have also highlighted the need for a comprehensive understanding of the historical, social and political complexities of global development. The courses offered in this field will teach you how to analyse, understand and address the various challenges posed by development. Courses include: Culture, Conflict and Reconciliation; Gender and the Global Politics of Development; Conflict Resolution; and Globalisation, International Political Economy and Development.

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.

Financial aid

As an international student, you might be eligible for financial aid – either from your home country, or from the Australian Government.

Find out more about financial aid, including scholarships and financial aid programs.

Indicative annual fee

AUD $28,656
Indicative fee 2018

The "indicative annual fee" is the cost of enrolling in the Master of Development Practice for the 2018 academic year. It is calculated based on a standard full-time study load.

A standard full-time study load is 16 units per academic year.

If you enrol in a larger or smaller study load, your fees will be calculated on a proportionate basis.

All fees are reviewed annually.

Visit Tuition fees for more information.


International students are eligible to apply for a number of scholarships and prizes. These may be offered by the University, the Australian Government, foreign governments, or private organisations.

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

Applying online

Apply now

All international student applications for the Master of Development Practice can be lodged directly to UQ using our online application form or through an approved UQ agent in your country.

The program code for the Master of Development Practice is 5594. You'll need this when applying.

Find out more about applying for postgraduate coursework study.

Apply now

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 2 - May 31 of the year of commencement.
  • To commence study in semester 1 - November 30 of the previous year.

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

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