Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development



Get an understanding of the complex social, political, and economic issues facing our increasingly-globalised world. Study international and community development at Deakin and get the skills you need to make a difference – both at home and abroad.

Deakin's International and Community Development program is one of the longest running within Australia, giving you the assurance of many years’ experience in teaching this highly-developed course.

This professional, cross-disciplinary course is suitable for graduates from all disciplines. Offered as a fully-online program, it is aimed at current and aspiring development professionals keen to deepen their knowledge of the world’s development landscape.

The course examines the historical record of development, the socioeconomic and policy dimensions of development, and the foundation of sustainable development. You can specialise in either community development or international development, choosing from electives in areas such as poverty and health, gender and development, food security, microfinance and poverty reduction.

Good development promotes justice, reduces poverty, and builds environments for people to lead productive, creative and fulfilling lives. The course is designed to give you the specialised skills to help drive development projects in local and international communities, gaining expertise in all phases of project delivery including conceptualisation, project design, implementation, monitoring and assessment.

The Internship unit offers a chance to gain first hand work experience in a region or employment sector closely associated with topics studied in the course. 

Career opportunities exist working in areas such as social justice, empowerment, poverty alleviation, and community development. These include non-government organisations (NGOs), government agencies, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and private sector consulting. You may seek opportunities in related areas including teaching, the travel industry, consulting enterprises, journalism, and government and non-government agencies concerned with the flow of trade, services, capital and personnel.


Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band score less than 6) or equivalent


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent


This course is only offered in Cloud (online) mode Cloud (online)

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Trimester 2

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Key information

Award granted

Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development


2017 course information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

Deakin code





Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)

Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (min. 3 years) in any discipline area or approved international equivalent.

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

To be eligible for admission to this program, all applicants should check the Entry and English Language requirements.

IELTS / English language requirements

Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies. (more details)

It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. 

Course learning outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

Use and apply advanced and critical understanding of the theory and practice of international and community development and the contribution of diverse disciplinary worldviews. 


Apply advanced oral, written and interpersonal communication to plan, inform, and debate, complex multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral issues for improved social, environmental and economic outcomes 

Digital literacy

Use advanced knowledge of digital information sources and applications to source, analyse and report on complex data and information for effective research and professional development, across interpersonal, organisational and professional cultures.

Critical thinking

Investigate, critically analyse, report and act on global and local issues and opportunities in historical and contemporary development discourse.

Problem solving

Demonstrate clear ability to comprehend and interpret competing options for solving complex or “wicked” problems with creativity, innovation and respect.


Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility, respect and accountability and a continued commitment to learning and reflective practice in diverse international and community development contexts.


Contribute to effective global and local collaboration, participation and achievement of mutually understood outcomes through sensitive, self-reflective and active engagement with research and practice, across cultures and disciplines. 

Global citizenship

Question, engage, provoke and innovate to ensure social justice, reduce poverty, promote environmental sustainability, and increase equality in personal and professional capacity to ensure environments conducive to achieving creative and fulfilling lives. 

Approved by Faculty Board June 2014

Course Structure

Students commencing after 2014:

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development (ICD), a student must successfully complete 8 cp of units in one of the following configurations:

International Development Stream (3 cp) plus 5 cp of ICD electives

Community Development Stream (3 cp) plus 5 cp of ICD electives

Dual Stream (5 cp) plus 3 cp of ICD electives

Students who commenced prior to 2014 should follow the course rules and structure shown in the Handbook for their year of commencement.

International Development Stream

  • Introduction to International and Community Development ADS701
  • The Economic Development Record ADS733 (formerly AID733)
  • Political Development Record ADS734 (formerly AID734)
  • Community Development Stream

  • Introduction to International and Community Development ADS701
  • Community Development Theory and Practice A ADS704 (formerly ASD704)
  • Community Development Theory and Practice B ADS705 (formerly ASD705)
  • Dual Stream - International Development & Community Development

  • Introduction to International and Community Development ADS701
  • Community Development Theory and Practice A ADS704 (formerly ASD704)
  • Community Development Theory and Practice B ADS705 (formerly ASD705)
  • The Economic Development Record ADS733 (formerly AID733)
  • Political Development Record ADS734 (formerly AID734)
  • Electives

    International Development and Community Development Electives

  • Non-Government Organisations and other Development Actors ADS711
  • Food Security ADS712
  • Gender and Development ADS714
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice ADS715
  • Sustainability and Development ADS717
  • Arts and Sports-based Approaches to Community Development ADS720
  • Policy and Advocacy in Development Contexts ADS721
  • Corporate Approaches to Development, Social Enterprise and Microfinance ADS722
  • The Development Project Cycle ADS723
  • The Economic Development Record ADS733
  • Political Development Record ADS734
  • International and Community Development Internship ADS753 (2 credit points)
  • External Electives

  • Anthropology of Poverty and Development ASS705
  • Poverty, Health and Illness ASS706
  • Humanitarian Settlement AHA716

  • How to apply

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the Apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    PDF Application form - 306 KB

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Course pathways

    A shorter course duration is available to students entering from a same discipline background. A 'same discipline' award for this course is any tagged Bachelor degree (min 3 years) or Bachelor degree (min 3 years) with a major sequence in International Politics, Development Studies, Community Development, International Studies, International Relations, or Development Policy.

    Highest same discipline award held at point of entry

    Reduction in course duration Remaining course duration
    Bachelor, same discipline 0.5 year (4 credit points) 0.5 year full-time, or part-time equivalent (4 credit points)
    Graduate Certificate, same discipline 0.5 year (4 credit points) 0.5 year full-time, or part-time equivalent (4 credit points)

    Alternative exits

    Credit for Prior Learning

    Am I eligible to receive credit for prior learning?

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer.
    Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Applications for credit transfer will be considered depending on the quality and subject matter of the student’s prior qualifications and professional experience.

    The Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and the Masters in International and Community Development comprise a suite of fully articulated courses. Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of International and Community Development will lead to entry into either the Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development or the Master of International and Community Development with up to 4 credit points for credit transfer. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of International and Community Development or equivalent will lead to entry into the Master of International and Community Development with up to 8 credit points for credit transfer.

    Fee information

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Offered campuses

    Study online at Cloud Campus

    Students are able to study all or part of this course online. You can study anywhere, anytime through Deakin's Cloud Campus.

    Learn more about studying online and the Cloud Campus

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