Graduate Diploma of Humanitarianism and Development

Postgraduate coursework

Explore immediate disaster, humanitarian relief and the longer-term issues associated with international and community development.

Key facts


1 year full-time

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Studying the Graduate Diploma of Humanitarianism and Development gives you an introduction to community development, international development and the humanitarian sector. Throughout this course, you will gain a broad overview of the causes, impacts, and solutions of human development to the many crises the world is facing.

Deakin has an exceptional reputation with over 40 years of teaching and research in international and community development, as well as pioneering the first graduate program in humanitarian assistance. The Graduate Diploma of Humanitarianism and Development is designed with industry consultation and taught by pioneering academics.

Do you want to find practical solutions to humanitarian crises?

This course explores immediate disaster, humanitarian relief and the longer-term issues associated with international and community development, as well as their practical connections and tensions. You’ll learn about the complexity of humanitarian contexts which requires an agile approach centred around local and community-led action, with global engagement where necessary. Your focus may be on community development theory and practice, or international development programming and policy.

This one-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) course is offered at Burwood (Melbourne) and online. Core units include Food and Water Security, Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Led Recovery. You can customise your studies to your personal interests and choose from a wide variety of electives including Climate Change and Sustainability, Refugees and Forced Migration and more.

There are opportunities for work integrated learning experiences. Network with your peers and industry leaders, both academic and professional through innovative course delivery modes, including flexible, on campus and intensive mode options.

The Graduate Diploma is a guaranteed pathway to the Master of Humanitarianism and Development. Progressing to the master's level provides access to further research pathways, industry placement and international opportunities, as well as specialised study streams.

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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Humanitarianism and Development

2024 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
114006B Burwood (Melbourne)
Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

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

Course structure

To be awarded a Graduate Diploma of Humanitarianism and Development, a student must successfully complete 8 credit points as follows:

  • DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory module)
  • 2 credit points of core units
  • 6 credit points of course electives


Core units


Course Electives


Total units

Core Units

  • Food and Water Security
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Led Recovery
  • Course Electives

  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Arts and Sports-based Approaches to Community Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Refugees and Forced Migration
  • Humanitarian Knowledge and Principles
  • Program Design
  • Governance and Accountability in Turbulent Times
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Principles and Practice of Public Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher
    • at least two years' relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of 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 Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course in the same year they started. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.  One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    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 tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    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

    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.


    Career outcomes

    Potential career opportunities include entry positions, or career progression within:

    • Government
    • International and local Non-Government Organisations, and not-for-profits
    • Community development agencies
    • Emergency management agencies
    • Private sector
    • Social enterprise
    • International organisations
    • Activism
    • Program managers
    • Policy development

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Engage in disciplinary research to evaluate the major theoretical, conceptual and policy issues in development, humanitarian action, and disaster response / management, both locally and internationally, framed within the context of climate crisis. Apply knowledge in engagement with communities and community-led responses to the world’s crises, including, food insecurity, conflict and disasters, inequality and injustice, racism and exclusion.


    Use oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills to analyse and generate solutions to complex multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral issues for improving social, environmental, and economic outcomes including global justice, peace, sovereignty, community resilience, and transformations of power to a wide range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.

    Digital literacy

    Source, evaluate and summarise complex data and information on contemporary issues in international and community development, global justice, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action. Apply evidenced methods and technologies across professional, organisation and interpersonal contexts, utilising arrange of digital sources, to design, monitor and evaluate creative solutions to contemporary issues.

    Critical thinking

    Conduct scholarly and practice-based review, analysis, and synthesis of relevant and representative information to make independent judgement on existing understandings and practice across local and global issues such as global justice, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action and opportunities, and generate alternative options, in the context of historical and contemporary development and humanitarian discourse.

    Problem solving

    Apply skills in research, comprehension, interpretation and evaluation of theory, critique and proposed innovative responses to complex situations or “wicked” problems encountered in a range of community, development, humanitarian, and disaster contexts, with creativity, innovation, and respect.


    Plan, organise and manage competing demands on time, to work mindfully in a personal and professional capacity, whilst committing to ongoing learning, and performing as an practitioner and learner, capable of operating effectively in the context of developing community-led solutions to the world’s crises.


    Work collaboratively as an active, engaged, and reflective team member in considering solutions to the world’s problems by contributing to mutual goals, tasks and outcomes, demonstrating active and constructive participation and contributions to resolving impasses and conflict.

    Global citizenship

    Question, engage, and provoke, on an interrelated range of social justice, environmental, development and humanitarian issues taking into consideration cross-cultural, indigenous, local and global knowledges, contexts, and perspectives that can inform the development of creative solutions for the world crises.

    Approved by Faculty Board 2023