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Anthropology & development

Anyone who is passionate about working in development has asked themselves the question ‘How can I do more to help?’ Finding the answer to that question amidst the social, political, ethical and cultural challenges of development can seem difficult.

The Master of Applied Anthropology and Development (MAAPD) is a social science qualification, teaching technical anthropological skills in the development context so you can apply them directly to your work. This includes undertaking social assessments and designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development activities using critical social inquiry and participatory processes. Alongside hands-on assessment tasks, you will also study development theory to critically evaluate the real-world impacts and challenges of development practices. The program draws from relevant, contemporary case-studies, and is designed and taught by leading academics and development workers who are themselves active in the field.

MAAPD students come from a broad range of backgrounds, from those who are currently engaged in development activities overseas to those who are completely new to development. The program accommodates this diverse and dynamic student body by offering remote access to online courses, flexible study schedules and opportunities for international internships.

The MAAPD is a highly-regarded qualification in the development sector, with many graduates reporting the degree has been a stepping-stone to success in a range of government and non-government organisations and development programs around the world.

Visit Programs and Courses for full program requirements, study options and course information.


Graduate profile

Fajar Djati

People power

Fajar Djati came to ANU to study Australian Indigenous policy, but he will leave with a new understanding and interest in the indigenous policy of Indonesia, his home-country.

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Joyce Das

Slice of heaven

"I would approach my work differently now. I’ve learned so many techniques for participatory development, and about scholarly debates in the development area. Before, I was learning by doing, but now I’ve gained the theoretical background."

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Elizabeth McDowell

Beating the grind

"I would recommend ANU hands down. I grew up in San Diego and the US has really wonderful universities but I feel, for American students especially, if you want to work in a field like anthropology or anything with an international emphasis, you need to think about going outside your own country."

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Laura Baines

Gender agenda

"I wouldn’t have been offered opportunities like the internship in the Humanitarian Emergency Response unit at CARE if I wasn’t enrolled in this course. This degree is well recognised, and employers actively recruit from this degree."

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Timothy Kerr

Out of Africa

"It’s a critique of academia that educators don’t have real-world experience or are in a bubble, but what’s great about the MAAPD is all of the educators have experience working in the field, so that really helps with the practical skills."

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team