• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Development Studies
  • Major code DEST-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Development Studies Major

Development Studies refers to a broad range of courses that address the planning, implementation and consequences of social, political and economic change among peoples of the Third and Fourth Worlds.

Development as an aspect of state policy, and specifically as an integral part of relations between states of the wealthy 'West' or 'North' (First World) and states of the 'South' (Third World), gained prominence after the Second World War with the establishment of the IMF/World Bank and other development banks and aid agencies, such as USAID and the Australian Development Assistance Bureau. Since then agency and government officials, practitioners and intellectuals have debated the rights and wrongs of development and the merits of particular approaches to development. These have crystallised in various 'theories' or approaches to development, such as the modernisation theories, world system theories, or the more recent emphasis on empowerment or popular participation.

Development Studies examines the impact of globalisation on states and peoples of the South, and reviews notions of economic viability, democracy, governance, human rights or environmental sustainability as they apply to such culturally divergent entities. In the last two decades there has been an explosion in the numbers of non-government organisations (NGOs) or voluntary organisations (VOs) also concentrating on development.



Due to structural changes in the undergraduate program rules in 2012, the courses that make up the new 2012 majors may be different to the pre-2012 majors, and therefore some courses cannot be counted between majors.  Students are advised to contact the CASS Student Office if they are unsure about their Majors.


Learning outcomes

  • Familiarity with the principles of development as espoused in the development industry
  • Familiarity with past and current critiques of the principles and practices of development
  • Detailed understanding of select issues within development
  • Understanding of social and political issues which affect underdevelopment
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ANTH1003 Global and Local 6
POLS1005 Introduction to International Relations: Foundations and Concepts 6
SOCY1002 Self and Society OR 6
SOCY1004 Introduction to Social Psychology 6

18 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ANTH2009 Culture and Development 6
POLS2011 Development and Change 6
SOCY2030 Sociology of Third World Development 6

18 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ANTH2025 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective 6
ANTH2026 Medical Anthropology 6
ANTH2056 Belonging, Identity and Nationalism 6
ANTH2129 Crossing Borders: Diasporas and Transnationalism 6
BIAN2119 Nutrition, Disease and the Human Environment 6
BIAN2120 Culture, Biology and Population Dynamics 6
ECON2900 Development Poverty and Famine 6
ECHI2006 The World Economy Since 1800 (P) 6
POLS2075 Globalism and the Politics of Identity 6
POLS2094 Issues in International Political Economy 6
POLS2101 Refugee Politics: Displacement and Exclusion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries 6
SOCY2060 Mobile Societies 6
SOCY3022 Identity, Difference and Ethnicity 6
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