Master of Development Practice

Master of Development Practice

Course code


Course type

Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 Bachelor Degree in a cognate discipline, at this or another university.  Preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated experience or interest in international development practice.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1– Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Special admission requirements

Additional completion requirements for the field components of the course include: immunization certificates for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid fever.

Post admission requirements

Prior to undertaking the field components of the course, students must provide evidence of immunity to Hepatitis B as well as immunisation certificates for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever.

For further information refer to: Infectious Diseases policy and Immunisation Guidelines.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

48 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

The graduates of James Cook University are prepared and equipped to create a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide.

JCU graduates are committed to lifelong learning, intellectual development, and to the display of exemplary personal, professional and ethical standards. They have a sense of their place in the tropics and are charged with professional, community, and environmental responsibility. JCU graduates appreciate the need to embrace and be acquainted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia. They are committed to reconciliation, diversity and sustainability. They exhibit a willingness to lead and to contribute to the intellectual, environmental, cultural, economic and social challenges of regional, national, and international communities of the tropics.

Graduates of the Master of Development Practice at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply an advanced body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including understanding of recent developments, in development practice

  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories from a range of sources

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based field studies, surveys and training programs by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to development practice

  • Organise, analyse and interpret complex development related and livelihoods data using advanced statistical, socio-economical, political, and technological skills

  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, development related data, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media

  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying development practice knowledge and skills with initiative and expert judgement

  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others

  • Apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques and tools to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.

Course Structure


EV5013:03 Climate Change: The Science, Impacts and Solutions

EV5911:03 Development Practice Project Proposal & Literature Review

EV5912:06 Development Practice Field Project

EV5955:06 Contemporary Issues in Development Practice

EV5956:06 Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods

PL5110:03 Shifting Geopolitical Environments in Emerging States

TM5552:03 Global Health and Development


Select 15 credit (5 subjects) points of specified level 5 subjects from List 1 determined in consultation with the course co-coordinator


Select 3 credit points (1 subject) of specified level 5 subjects from List 2

List 1

AN5006:03 Asia Pacific Development: Culture and Globalisation

BZ5001:03 Quantitative Methods in Science

BZ5215:03 Conservation Biology

BZ5230:03 Ecological Research Methods

BZ5480:03 Restoration Ecology

BZ5755:03 Biodiversity and Climate Change: Impact, Mitigation and Adaptation

BZ5808:03 Adapting to Environmental Challenges

BZ5880:03 Ecology: Distribution, Abundance and Diversity

EA5016:03 Hydrology

EA5018:03 Field Studies in Tropical Land and Water Science

EA5340:03 Disturbed Site Repair

EC5205:03 Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

EV5001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV5002:03 Environmental Impact Assessment

EV5003:03 Environmental Economics

EV5009:03 Foundations of Natural Resource Management

EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment

EV5013:03 Climate Change: The Science, Impacts and Solutions

EV5014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

EV5015:03 Sustainability in Practice

EV5209:03 Principles and Practices of Protected Area Management

EV5210:03 Management of Marine Protected Areas

EV5251:03 Environmental Impacts of Human Activities in Protected Areas

EV5252:03 Indigenous Environmental Management

EV5301:03 Urban Geography and Design

EV5401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology

EV5404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography

EV5454:03 Natural Hazards

EV5502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV5505:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

EV5506:03 Remote Sensing

EV5601:03 Social Impact Assessment: Environmental Management

EV5602:03 Urban Design Studio

EV5603:03 Planning Legislation and Professional Practice

EV5606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning

LB5525:03 Conflict Analysis

MB5350:03 Current Issues in Coral Reef Ecology

SC5055:03 Research and Communication Skills in the Natural Sciences

List 2

ED5911:03 Education for Sustainability

ED5912:03 Social Learning Perspectives for a Sustainable Future

ED5913:03 Communicating Sustainability and Climate Change

HI5001:03 The History of Global Connections

IA5010:03 Indigenous Research Ethics

IA5011:03 Field Procedures in Indigenous Research

IA5012:03 Interpreting Research

IA5119:03 Empowerment and Change

LA5902:03 Environmental Law and Policy

LB5203:03 Sustainable Enterprise

LB5205:03 People in Organisations

LB5212:03 Accounting and Finance for Managers

LB5229:03 Economics for a Sustainable World

LB5230:03 Managing Strategic Resources and Operations

LB5236:03 International Political Economy

LB5234:03 Leading and Managing Organisational Change

LB5514:03 Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution

LB5526:03 Conflict Management and Engagement

PL5002:03 Policy Analysis and Management

PL5153:03 Politics and Foreign Relations

TM5513:03 Public Health Management

TM5514:03 Environmental Health

TM5515:03 Epidemiology for Public Health

TM5528:03 Health Promotion

TM5570:03 Public Health Evaluation

WS5103:03 Community Development







Expected time to complete

2 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

8 years

Maximum leave of absence

2 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

The grade of Pass Conceded may not be awarded in subjects for this course.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for exemption for previous tertiary study where appropriate in accordance with the Credit and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

12 credit points, unless part of an approved articulation process


Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 5 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 13 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree.

Award Details

Award title

Master of Development Practice

Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable