Graduate Certificate of Development Practice

Future Students Australian courses Graduate Certificate of Development Practice

Graduate Certificate of Development Practice

Develop the skills and knowledge to tackle the global challenges of poverty, health, conservation, climate change and agriculture. Your study includes field experience opportunities that tackle real-world problems.

Start dates
6 months full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus

Career opportunities

This course provides graduate and mid-career students with the skills and knowledge to address the global development challenges of poverty alleviation, health, conservation, climate change, and agriculture.

Course highlights

JCU is one of a network of universities worldwide to offer this program. From northern Queensland in Australia, JCU leads this course, in collaboration with universities in Eastern Indonesia.

Students will benefit from a broad, multidisciplinary program that includes field experience opportunities in northern Australia and Indonesia where students will work in teams to tackle real-world problems.

Course overview

The special challenges to sustainable development in tropical forest and coastal regions will be addressed through a focus on insular Southeast Asia, and throughout the developing tropical world. The course will provide students with the tools they need to reconcile poverty alleviation with environmental sustainability.

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 more information refer to: Infectious Diseases Policy and Immunisation Guidelines

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


Course Structure


EV5955:06 Contemporary Issues in Development Practice

EV5956:06 Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods

Pathway into course

For prerequisites and pathways into this course visit the admission requirements section in the Handbook.


Graduate Certificate of Development Practice

Course code


Course type

AQF Graduate Certificate (AQF Level 8)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

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 1Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Post admission requirements

Prior to undertaking the field components of the course, students must provide evidence of immunity to Hepatitis B, as well as immunization certificates for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever.  JCU Infectious Diseases Policy and Immunisation Guidelines

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

12 credit points

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.

On successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in development practice, particularly as it relates to the tropics

  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge from a range of sources

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based field work and/or studies by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to development practice

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

  • Communicate complex development ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to a variety of 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 high level judgement

  • Explain and apply 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.

Course Structure


EV5955:06 Contemporary Issues in Development Practice

EV5956:06 Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods







Expected time to complete

6 months full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

3 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 cannot be credited toward this course.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

6 credit points


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 8 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if by then the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title

Graduate Certificate of Development Practice

Approved abbreviation


This is a joint degree


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.