Postgraduate study in Development Studies

Approaches to Development Studies

Development Studies encompasses two scholarly traditions: theoretical and applied. The theoretical approach seeks to understand why and how societies, regions and communities change to improve quality of life. The more applied focus is on how governments, NGOs, international donors and other development agents can facilitate such change. Social analysis helps us to understand development policy and practice.

Development Studies also considers the distinction between those who see development as an outcome of complex social and political processes, and those who understand development as planned social change.

Debates in Development Studies

During the 1950s-1970s, development debates centred on the conditions under which development occurs and on the consequences of development. There was little questioning of the positive outcomes of development or development policy for local populations.

But beginning in the 1970s, questions were raised regarding the problematic outcomes of development and the negative effects of inequalities of power at local, national and international levels. Debates about development began to address issues of domination, exploitation, gender inequality and environmental sustainability.

These new debates have powerfully redirected Development Studies and have led to a rethinking of development policy and practice. Some scholars argue that we now live in a "post-development" world, as new issues and debates have undercut earlier, more optimistic views of development, and as market liberalisation and global economic integration have reduced the developmental role of the state.

The regions we consider

The Asia-Pacific region features strongly in our research and teaching but we also cover other parts of the world, such as Latin America, Central Asia and Africa.

Recent graduate research includes field work in El Salvador, Venezuela, Mongolia, Tanzania, Philippines, Samoa and India. Staff research and practice has included work in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Yemen, Niger, Benin and Cuba.
 

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Development Studies

The BA (Hons) is a stand alone degree at postgraduate level. It may be taken after a completed BA and is awarded as a separate qualification. The BA (Hons) may be used as the entry qualification for the one year MA.

Admission requirements

A major in one of the subjects available for the BA (Hons) in Development Studies or approval of the Academic Head or nominee.

Programme overview

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Required course of study

Consult the BA (Hons) schedule for the courses you may take and how to structure your study.

Master of Arts in Development Studies

Programme overview

Master of Arts

There are two separate MA options, depending on your entrance pathway.

120-point (one-year) MA

The 120-point MA requires one year of full-time study, with admission from a BA(Hons) or PGDipArts. It is available as either a research or taught masters.

Admission requirements

A BA(Hons) or PGDipArts in Development Studies or in one of Anthropology, Asian Studies, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Māori Studies, Pacific Studies, Political Studies, Sociology with an average grade of B or higher, or approval of the Director of Development Studies. The research masters has higher requirements.

Required course of study

Consult the MA schedule for how to structure your study and for the courses you may take.

240-point (two-year) MA

The 240-point MA requires two consecutive years of full-time study, with admission from a BA or approved equivalent qualification. It is available as either a research or taught masters.

Admission requirements

A BA with a major in one of the subjects available for the BA(Hons) in Development Studies or approval of the Director of Development Studies. You must have an average grade of B or higher in at least 45 points above Stage II in the major.

To progress to the second year of the MA

In the first 120 points of MA enrolment, you must achieve:

  • An average grade of B, or
  • For a research masters, any grade specified for enrolment in a thesis or research portfolio.
  • If you do not achieve the required grade, enrolment for the MA cannot continue.

Required course of study

Consult the MA schedule for how to structure your study and for the courses you may take.

Apply and enrol

To apply and enrol for postgraduate study, visit our page on how to apply.
 

Contact a Graduate Adviser

For more information on postgradute study in Development Studies, contact an Adviser.