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Master of Global Development

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Master (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies


Arts, Society and Education

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree; or

Other qualifications or practical experience recognised by the Dean, College of Arts, Society and Education as equivalent to the above.

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.

Post admission

For external delivery option, computer and internet access is required

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

48 credit points

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Global Development, graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply an advanced body of theoretical and technical knowledge in international development policy and practice, including recent developments in the field.
  • Critically reflect on one’s social and cultural positionality to identify biases and assumptions that inform understandings of poverty, development, inequality and wellbeing.
  • Investigate, analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories from a range of sources across relevant disciplines.
  • Plan and conduct ethical and reliable evidence-based field studies and execute a substantial research-based project, by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to development practice.
  • Communicate complex theoretical propositions, methodologies, development-related data, arguments and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media.
  • Analyse, evaluate and generate solutions to complex social and environmental problems, especially related to tropical, remote or Indigenous contexts, by using high levels of initiative, autonomy, accountability and collaboration in the application of development practice knowledge and skills
  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts.
  • Model professional leadership skills and work autonomously and collaboratively in the design, implementation and evaluation of development projects and policy-related initiatives.

Course Structure


EV5951:03 Development in Practice

EV5952:03 Critical Issues in Global Development

WS5103:03 Community Development or EV5001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV5957:03 Equitable Development and Social Change

AN5006:03 Asia Pacific Development: Culture and Globalisation

PL5153:03 Politics and Foreign Relations


EV5953:03 Research Methods for Global Development [*for students wishing to choose the Research option] or Select 3 credit points from List 1

*NOTE: Students choosing the Research option must select EV5953 to meet the pre-requisite for this option


Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 1


Select one of the following Options

Option 1 (Research)

Students must achieve a GPA of 5.0 or above in the first year of study to be eligible to undertake this option

BU5950:06 Research Project

BU5951:06 Research Dissertation


SS5012:12 Social Science Coursework Masters Thesis


Select 3 credit points of subjects from List 1

Option 2 (Placement)

Capstone subject SC5009 Professional Project is only available to students in their last semester of study.

LB5200:03 Professional Employability or SC5200:03 Professional Employability

SC5009:12 Postgraduate Internship

Option 3 (Electives)

Select 15 credit points of subjects from List 1


Development and Conservation

BZ5215:03 Conservation Biology

BZ5220:03 Population and Community Ecology

BZ5225:03 Technological Applications in Ecology

BZ5480:03 Restoration Ecology

BZ5740:03 Wildlife Ecology and Management

MB5004:03 Marine Conservation Biology

Disaster Resilience and Natural Resource Management

EC5218:03 Economics and Sustainable Resource Management

EV5020:03 Human Dimensions of Nature, Environment and Conservation

EV5107:03 International Environmental Policy and Governance

EV5209:03 Principles and Practices of Protected Area Management

EV5606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning

EV5614:03 Leadership in Disaster Management

Public Health

TM5502:03 Tropical Public Health

TM5514:03 Environmental Health

TM5536:03 Public Health in Humanitarian Emergencies

TM5552:03 Global Health and Development

TM5562:03 Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Sustainable Development Planning and Policy

BZ5755:03 Climate Change and Biodiversity

EV5001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV5003:03 Environmental Economics

EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment

EV5015:03 Sustainability in Practice

EV5301:03 Urban Geography and Design

ED5913:03 Communicating Sustainability and Climate Change

LB5229:03 Economics for a Sustainable World

Indigenous Futures

IA5013:03 Indigenous Australians

IA5029:03 Comparative Indigenous Studies

IA5030:03 Navigating the Cultural Interface

IA5119:03 Empowerment and Change

Governance and Social Change

HI5005:03 Regional Environmental History

LB5231:03 Corporate Responsibility and Governance

LB5236:03 International Political Economy

PL5110:03 Shifting Geopolitical Environments in Emerging States

PL5006:03 Political Communication; Ecology and Environmentalism

Development Leadership and Management

LB5200:03 Professional Employability or SC5200:03 Professional Employability

LB5241:03 Leadership Futures

LB5243:03 State Society and Governance

LB5514:03 Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution

LB5525:03 Conflict Analysis

LB5530:03 Conflict Resolution Processes

LB5536:03 Ethical Decision Making and Reflective Practice

SC5007:06 Professional Project

SC5008:03 Professional Placement

The Development Researcher

AN5007:06 Ethnography in Practice

EC5202:03 Cost Benefit Analysis

EC5216:03 Econometrics and Big Data Analysis

EV5110:03 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

EV5404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography

EV5953:03 Research Methods for Global Development




JCU Cairns





Expected time to complete

2 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

6  years

Maximum leave of absence

2 year


Course progression


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Course includes mandatory Fieldwork


Special assessment

Must achieve a GPA of 5 or above in the first year of study to be eligible to undertake the 12 point research thesis

Professional accreditation


Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for
final subject

Not applicable



Students may apply for a credit transfer for previous tertiary study or informal and non-formal learning in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Credit may also be granted for the following:

  • AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a cognate* discipline; or graduate certificate or graduate diploma in a non-cognate discipline – up to 12 credit points
  • AQF level 8 bachelor honours degree in a cognate* discipline with relevant professional experience** - up to 24 credit points

* Cognate disciplines include: anthropology, geography, political science, international relations, area studies and social work

** Professional experience: Applicants must have a minimum two (2) years full-time employment in the field of Global Development, examples include: employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (or international equivalent), international nongovernment organisations (NGOs), indigenous organisations, local councils, social enterprises.

Maximum allowed

12 credit points, except where a student transfers from one JCU award to another, then credit may be granted for any subject where there is subject equivalence between the awards.


Credit will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 16 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have completed the relevant number of credit points and appropriate subjects, may be eligible to receive one of the following awards:

  • Graduate Certificate of Global Development
  • Graduate Diploma of Global Development
Special Awards

Where coursework is completed at a grade point average of 6 or above, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, on the recommendation of the College Dean of Arts, Society and Education may recommend the award of a Master of Global Development with Distinction