Master of International and Community Development

Postgraduate coursework

With new expertise, hands-on learning opportunities and field research, take the lead on development programs that promote justice and reduce poverty.

Domestic International

International student information

Key facts


Current Deakin Students

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

Course overview

Set yourself up for career progression in an evolving field by studying the Master of International and Community Development. With new expertise, you will be able to take the lead on development programs that promote justice, reduce poverty and create environments for people to lead sustainable, fulfilling lives.

Tomorrow’s development opportunities require new ways of thinking. Want the practical experience needed to respond to future challenges in creative, culturally sensitive ways?

Deakin’s Master of International and Community Development is the largest, longest running and most reputable course of its type in Australia. Our academic staff have extensive professional experience within the sector and course content is finely tuned to the state of local and global events that impact development – just two of the reasons why our graduates are better prepared for their current and future roles. The course fosters your passion for social justice, sustainable development and human rights. At the same time, it provides professional development opportunities that take your career forward. Plus, you will be studying on our premium online learning platform, giving you the flexibility to fit your degree around your work.

You can tailor the degree to your interests and career goals by choosing from three study streams:

  • international development stream
  • community development stream
  • combined stream (international and community development)

Adding to your study options is a broad range of elective units. Select topics that matter to you, from policy and advocacy to food security and gender development and create a degree that’s built just for you.

You’ll explore a range of issues, including poverty, empowerment, inequality and environmental vulnerability, then learn how to design, resource and implement initiatives that respond to these challenges. You’ll develop skills through assessment tasks that simulate the sort of work you will be doing on real development projects and campaigns. Hands-on learning opportunities and access to industry professionals through seminars and guest lectures adds to your practical experience, and further enhances your readiness for future career opportunities.

Our engagement in field research puts us at the leading edge of academic and industry thinking, and you will be able to leverage the expert knowledge of our research team when undertaking the research component of the degree. Acknowledging that keen analytical skills are expected of professionals within the development field, the course provides rigorous research training that embeds these skills while giving you the chance to delve into a topic of interest.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Master of International and Community Development

2024 course information

Deakin code
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 qualify for the Master of International Community Development, a student must successfully complete 8 credit points of study according to one of the options listed below and

  • Academic Integrity Module DAI001
  • (0-credit-point compulsory unit)


    Students complete one of three streams

    Streams (select one)

    Stream 1 (Combined Stream - International Development and Community Development)

  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Theories and Critiques of Development
  • Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development
  • Plus 4 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways and Course Electives.

    Stream 2 International Development Stream

  • Theories and Critiques of Development
  • Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development
  • Plus 6 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways and Course Electives.

    Stream 3 Community Development Stream

  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Plus 6 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways and Course Electives.


    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

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

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • ^ The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.

    Course Electives List A

  • Community From Participation to Activism
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Non-Government Organisations and other Development Actors
  • Theories and Critiques of Development
  • Geopolitics and Political Economy of Development
  • Arts and Sports-based Approaches to Community Development
  • Private Sector Development: Corporations, Social-Enterprise and Microfinance
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Food and Water Security
  • Gender, Race and Culture
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Humanitarian - Development Nexus
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice
  • The Humanitarian World
  • Internship A
  • ADS721 Policy and Advocacy in Development Contexts [No longer available for enrolment]

    * Students who have previously completed any of these units within the Graduate Certificate of International and Community Development are required to substitute with an alternate unit from the course elective list

    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:
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Trimester 3 - November

    • Start date: November
    • Available at:
      • Online

    The final intake into this course version will be Trimester 1 2024

    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

    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.

    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 graduate certificate or graduate diploma or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years' of relevant work experience

    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

    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

    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
    • Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^
    • Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^ .

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits


    Career outcomes

    You’ll graduate from this course with sought-after skills that open the door to a wide range of opportunities, both in Australia and internationally. Your practical experience will prepare you for leadership roles within all organisations that respond to challenges relating to social justice, empowerment, poverty and community development. These include:

    • international and domestic non-government organisations
    • government agencies
    • local community organisations, councils and other civil society actors
    • Commonwealth departments such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
    • international aid and development agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    • bilateral and multilateral agencies.

    There is also the potential to work in related areas, such as:

    • social enterprise and other private sector businesses
    • teaching
    • travel
    • consulting
    • journalism
    • government and non-government agencies concerned with the flow of trade, services, capital and personnel.
    Interested in pursuing a career in further research? You can choose to complete a minor thesis as your research option which meets the thesis requirements for admission to a PhD pathway.

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    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

    Undertake research to acquire advanced integrated understanding, synthesis and application of theory and practice to international and community development within diverse disciplinary contexts and worldviews.


    Apply oral, written and interpersonal communication skills to plan, inform, and debate complex multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral issues for improved social, environmental and economic outcomes to a wide range of audiences, and contexts, including scholarly research scenarios and real-world situations.

    Digital literacy

    Source, analyse and report on complex data and information, 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, critically analyse, report and propose actions on local issues and opportunities in the context of historical and contemporary development discourse.

    Problem solving

    Apply advanced skills in research, comprehension, interpretation and analyses of competing option for solving complex or “wicked” problems with creativity, innovation and respect.


    Plan, organise and manage competing demands on time, to work mindfully in a personal and professional capacity, and commit to ongoing learning and self-reflection on the development as a professional practitioner.


    Work collaboratively as an active, engaged and reflective team member by contributing to mutual goals, research, tasks and leadership across practice, cultures and disciplines.

    Global citizenship

    Question, engage, provoke and innovate on a broad and interrelated range of social justice, environmental and development issues taking into consideration cross cultural, indigenous, local and global contexts.

    Approved by Faculty Board November 2018