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Bachelor of Development Studies

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The Bachelor of Development Studies at ANU explores issues that arise from the planning, implementation and consequences of social, political and economic change, and global inequality among people of the Global South.

This degree examines the nature of relations between wealthier countries and those people and countries who are, or consider themselves to be, disadvantaged in a rapidly globalising world. You will learn an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of theory and practice concerning the processes of development in the Global South.

The Bachelor of Development Studies offers a solid grounding in the institutional processes of development, a critique of development organisation and discourses and training in the practices of development implementation.

Development Studies at ANU

ANU is a leader in the field of Development Studies and has established relationships with Australian and international aid and development organisations.

You are able to take courses on specific regions such as Central Asia, the Middle East, China, Latin America, Oceania, and South and Southeast Asia. You will have the opportunity within your Development Studies major to take courses from a range of disciplines including economics, environmental studies, political science, anthropology and sociology. You are also able to study a language to complement your studies and understanding of development.

Development studies students learn to:

  • Identify the theory and principles of development
  • Analyse the practice of development through multilateral, bilateral, government and non-government agencies
  • Examine critical development issues in particular regions
  • Further their understanding by engaging in social sciences and/or a language.


Flexable Double Degree

The Bachelor of Development Studies can be combined with degrees in Law, Business or Science as part of the ANU Flexible Double Degree program. For a full list of degree combinations see

Study overseas

In Development Studies, you may have the opportunity to make the most of the University’s national capital location. Internships are available for students who want to gain invaluable experience working within government and non-government organisations that focus on issues in development. There are also opportunities for you to work in an organisation located in a developing country under the supervision of the local employer and an ANU academic staff member. You will undertake projects and research which will be credited towards your degree. See for more information.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021

^Times Higher Education - Global University Employability Ranking 2020

Career options

The Bachelor of Development Studies prepares you for a variety of careers related to the development of Global South countries. These careers may be focused on economic, social or political development and may be based in Australian institutions or organisations abroad. Graduates of the Bachelor of Development Studies may find work in non-government organisations such as Oxfam, Care and World Vision, aid agencies, and government departments such as DFAT. There may also be career opportunities in international bodies such as UNICEF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as well as in policy, and with multinational companies.

My brilliant career

Seeing inequality deeply gripes me, and rectifying inequality really strives and motivates me like nothing else does.

Emma Henke, Bachelor of Development Studies and Bachelor of Law (Hons)

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Updated:  30 March 2021/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications