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Master of Humanitarianism and Development

Postgraduate coursework

Extend your theoretical knowledge and enhance your specialist and practical skills in humanitarian responses and international and community development.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts

Duration

Depending on your professional experience and previous qualifications, the Master of Humanitarianism and Development is typically 1 or 1.5- years duration.

  • 1 year full-time (2 years part-time) - 8 credit points
  • 1.5 years full-time (3 years part-time) - 12 credit points

Current Deakin Students

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

Course overview

Study the Master of Humanitarianism and Development to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the planet. Extend your theoretical knowledge and enhance your specialist and practical skills in international development, crisis and disaster response, humanitarian responses, and community development.

You’ll gain insights into the histories, causes, interconnections, and multiple impacts of the many crises facing the world. You’ll also learn about community-led approaches to these issues that are occurring locally and across the globe. By identifying the challenges and successes of these strategies you’ll understand how communities create new and far-reaching methods and processes for addressing social, political and environmental problems.

Deakin has an exceptional reputation with over 40 years of teaching and research in international and community development, and more than a decade in humanitarian assistance. We were the first graduate program in humanitarian assistance in Australia.

The Master of Humanitarianism and Development is designed with industry consultation and taught by pioneering academics.

An opportunity to specialise in one of the following streams is available:
Disasters and Community Resilience, Community Development, International Development, Humanitarianism, Professional Practice.

Do you want to contribute to a better future for the many, not the few?

This course builds on the practical connections between immediate disaster and humanitarian relief and the longer-term issues associated with international and community development. You’ll examine critical issues from climate change to poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, culture, and forced migration and learn how to build practical and just solutions.

You'll explore transformational change, examine the power relations between the global north and global south, and consider the overarching climate crisis, alongside geopolitical tensions. Above all, you’ll look at historic and contemporary community-led approaches to social justice, development, and humanitarianism, studying their successes, limitations, and new possibilities.

The Master of Humanitarianism and Development attracts students committed to social justice and equity, and those who wish to create enabling environments for addressing multiple modern-day crises.

You’ll choose from a variety of elective units. This allows you to focus on your career goals and development. Some of your elective unit options include:

  • Food and Water Security
  • Refugees and Forced Migration
  • Culture Arts and Community
  • Humanitarian Knowledge and Principles
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Graduates of the Master of Humanitarianism and Development will acquire a diverse skill set, including:

  • project management
  • data analysis and research methodologies for evidence-based decision making
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • advocacy and policy analysis for influencing positive change
  • cross- cultural communication skills.

You’ll have the opportunity to study and network online, on campus, or mixed mode, full-time or part-time. Take advantage of industry experiences and international experiences available. Our in-person intensives provide wonderful further opportunities to meet your peers, industry experts and academic staff.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Humanitarianism and Development
Year

2024 course information

Deakin code
A756
CRICOS code?
114005C Burwood (Melbourne)
Level
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

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

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course structure

To be awarded a Master of Humanitarianism and Development, a student must successfully complete 8 or 12 credit points as follows:

  • DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory module)
  • 1 credit point core unit
  • 7 or 11 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways. Course Elective units must be used to form a stream.

1

Core units

11

Research pathway and Course Electives

12

Total units

Core

  • Community, Development and Humanitarianism in An Era of Climate Crisis
  • Pathways

    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

  • Research Design
  • Plus 2 credit points of research units:

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Plus either 4 or 8 credit points of course electives used to form at least one stream

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway ^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus either 6 or 10 credit points of course electives used to form at least one stream

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway ^

  • Internship Capstone
  • Plus either 5 or 9 credit points of course electives used to form at least one stream

    ^ The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.

    Streams

    Students may select units within or across the streams as detailed below. To complete a stream students must complete 3 out of 4 elective units within a stream. Students may complete more than one stream.

    Stream 1: Disasters and Community Resilience *

  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Led Recovery
  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Climate Change and Sustainability *
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Stream 2: Community Development*

  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Arts and Sports-based Approaches to Community Development
  • Stream 3: International Development*

  • Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development
  • Theories and Critiques of Development
  • Climate Change and Sustainability *
  • Gender, Race and Culture
  • Stream 4: Humanitarianism

  • Humanitarian Knowledge and Principles
  • Refugees and Forced Migration
  • International Conflict Analysis
  • Food and Water Security
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Led Recovery
  • Stream 5: Professional Practice*

  • Internship A
  • Program Design
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice *
  • Food and Water Security
  • * Trimester 3 unit. If selected this stream will require Trimester 3 study

    Course Electives

  • Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development
  • Theories and Critiques of Development
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Program Design
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Gender, Race and Culture
  • Food and Water Security
  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Led Recovery
  • Refugees and Forced Migration
  • Humanitarian Knowledge and Principles
  • Arts and Sports-based Approaches to Community Development
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Rethinking Democracy: Past, Present and Future
  • Governance and Accountability in Turbulent Times
  • International Conflict Analysis
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • 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

    Trimester 3 - November

    • Start date: November
    • 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

    The time and cost of your course could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information.

    Admission criteria

    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 course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Depending on your professional experience and previous qualifications, you may commence this course with admission credit and complete your course in 1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent).

    Academic requirements

    1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent) – 8 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 4 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree  in a related discipline
    • completion of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma or higher in a related discipline

    1.5 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 12 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (without admission credit applied*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    ^Recognition of prior learning into the Master of Humanitarianism and Development) may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate Postgraduate level studies.

    *Recognition of prior learning will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more below.

    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’re able to commit to your study.  

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning. 

    You can refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    Fees and charges vary depending on your course, your fee category and the year you started. To find out about the fees and charges that apply to you, visit www.deakin.edu.au/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.

    Research Information

    Students will complete a research pathway in 1 of the 3 following options:

    • Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway ; or
    • Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^ ; or
    • Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^ .

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    Some of the areas you might obtain work as a graduate of this course include:

    • Government
    • Not-for-profit
    • Policy and advocacy roles
    • Program and partnership roles
    • National and Local non-government organisations
    • Community development agencies
    • Emergency management
    • Private sector
    • Social enterprise
    • Consultant
    • UN and associated agencies, including UNICEF, UNDP, UNOCHA, World Food program, and many other agencies
    • Military and civil/military partnerships
    • Universities

    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 critically analyse the major theoretical, conceptual and policy issues in development, humanitarian action, and disaster response / management, both locally and internationally, with a focus on engagement with communities and community-led responses to the world’s crises, including climate change, food insecurity, conflict and disasters, inequality and injustice, racism and exclusion.

    Communication

    Use oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills to disseminate the findings of research into 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

    Research, analyse, report, and communicate complex data and information on contemporary issues in international and community development, global justice, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, utilising a range of digital sources for effective research and professional development, across interpersonal, organisational, and professional contexts.

    Critical thinking

    Conduct in-depth scholarly and practice-based research to investigate, synthesise, critically analyse, report, and propose actions on local and global issues such as global justice, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action and opportunities, in the context of historical and contemporary development and humanitarian discourse.

    Problem solving

    Apply advanced 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.

    Self-management

    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 independent and reflective practitioner capable of operating effectively in the context of developing community-led solutions to the world’s crises.

    Teamwork

    Work collaboratively as an active, engaged, and reflective team member seeking solutions to the world’s problems by contributing to mutual goals, research, tasks and leadership across practice, cultures, and disciplines, demonstrating active and constructive participation and contributions to resolving impasses and conflict.

    Global citizenship

    Question, engage, provoke, and innovate on a broad and 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’s crises.

    Approved by Faculty Board 2023