Sustainable regional development


Globalisation, population growth, economic structural adjustments and climate change are affecting both our developed and developing countries. Attain the skills to research, identify and apply integrated strategies to affect development and change.

Get work-ready

In a climate of uncertainty, be ready to identify and act on the problems facing our environment. Your knowledge will be broad and your skills vast as you graduate into roles that span fields of work that assist in developing a growing population. Develop analytical research and critical thinking skills that will take you from study to industry with opportunities to learn from leaders in the field, giving you a taste of how to plan for regional and rural community development.


Postgraduate (further study)

A postgraduate qualification can be undertaken by students who have already completed an undergraduate degree or possess significant, demonstrable work experience. Postgraduate courses include graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, master’s and PhDs, as well as specialist programs for industry professionals.


Higher Degrees by Research (supervised research)

Research degrees are research based master’s or PhD programs that focus on a single area of expertise. They provide students the opportunity to carry out highly specialised research under expert supervision.

Career opportunities

Demand has risen sharply for professionals with the ability to undertake regional socio-economic and environmental planning. As a graduate of sustainable regional development, you may find employment in:

  • environmental management
  • policy development
  • rural and regional planning
  • socio-economic and demographic analysis
  • socio-economic and environmental planning
  • statutory planning.

Potential employers include:

  • departments and agencies – with a focus on regional/rural areas, economic development, natural resources including agriculture and forestry, the environment or policy development
  • government – including local, state, regional and national government
  • statutory authorities such as regional and catchment management authorities and water boards
  • consultancy firms – with a focus on planning, engineering, architecture, economy, environment and science.

Deakin has an excellent reputation as a learning institution and the course offered a breadth of topics that were relevant to my field of work.

Jason McGregor

Sustainable regional development graduate

Learn more about Jason's experiences

'The most exciting and rewarding thing was the sense of achievement that comes from learning new skills and demonstrating to myself that I can succeed at a Masters level. Through my studies I discovered that I am better at time management than I had thought.

I am particularly proud that I have been able to balance full time employment and full time study together with family time. This was made easier due to the support and flexibility of the teaching staff. I have also been very proud of my grades, with several high distinctions achieved.

The supporting relationships that I have developed with my lecturers and research supervisors what I like best about Deakin, without question. They are passionate, knowledgeable, flexible and extremely helpful. I couldn't have asked for any more support. I look forward to using my new knowledge and skills to influence government policy and programs to the betterment of our communities.'

Flexible study options

Not sure whether to start small with a graduate certificate or dabble in a full masters degree? Our postgraduate suite of courses in sustainable regional development provide flexible pathways for entry and alternative exit. Talk to us about your career goals and we will help you determine the option that suits you.

Industry connections

We offer opportunities for you to learn directly from key industry partners throughout your studies. Through guest lectures, site visits and industry linked projects you’ll gain a thorough understanding of industry-engaged research and commercialisation opportunities in sustainable regional development before you graduate.

Research with us

Make a difference by pursuing research studies in sustainable regional development. Learn and collaborate under supervision by completing a higher research degree with our experienced and passionate staff.

Recent Deakin research

Expert systems modelling for assessing climate change impacts and adaptation in agricultural systems at regional level

Australian agriculture is very susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change, with major shifts in temperature and rainfall projected. Victor Sposito and Robert Faggian et al. describe a research methodology for assessing potential climate change impacts on, and formulating adaptation options for, agriculture at regional level.

Learn more about researching with us

Centre for Regional and Rural Futures

Deakin’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures fosters collaboration between regional enterprise, government and academia. It provides innovative solutions that address the core themes of food security, smart agriculture, sustainable industrial biotechnology and developing regional competitiveness.

Visit our Centre for Regional and Rural Futures

Deakin alumni – get a head start with your postgraduate fees

If you're a Deakin alumni commencing a postgraduate course, you may be eligible to receive a 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees. Your spouse and members of your immediate family may also be eligible to apply.

Learn more about Deakin's alumni postgraduate bursary

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