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Master of Pacific Development

More than ever, the Pacific is of vital strategic importance to Australia. It is critical that Australians working on and in the Pacific understand the challenges faced by Pacific Island nations. Expand and deepen your knowledge with this specialist Master degree.


Are you looking to deepen your understanding of the critical issues facing Pacific Island nations?

The Master of Pacific Development is a new one-year degree designed for professionals working in the Pacific or those who are thinking of a career in Pacific development. This program takes a research-led deep dive into issues around economic development, social challenges and politics and governance. It also considers Pacific Island nations approaches to diplomacy, including how they cooperate among themselves and how they relate with countries like Australia.

You can choose to specialise further in one of the multidisciplinary areas of development in the Pacific or take a broad approach and choose courses from a number of other areas.

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Why study this degree?

The Master of Pacific Development looks at the societies, institutions and governance systems in the Pacific region, and provides a foundation for engaging with its current social and political trends and the development challenges it will face into the future.

This program will foster critical awareness through an emphasis on building an evidence base for policy work. It will encourage you to develop long-term networks with leading experts in Pacific research, policymaking and diplomacy.

Taught out of the world-leading Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, this degree draws on expertise from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds to tackle complex problems facing the region.

Career opportunities

Government, not-for-profit, multilateral agencies and business are increasingly recruiting graduates who demonstrate knowledge and experience in the Asia-Pacific region. Completing this Master program will equip you with the skills to further your professional career in:

  • Business
  • Diplomacy and foreign affairs
  • Non-government organisations
  • Research
  • Consultancies
  • Government and public service
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • International relations and trade
  • Development and aid
  • Multinational corporations

Study experience

The Master of Pacific Development is a condensed, 48-unit program (one year full-time, or part-time equivalent), designed to cater to working professionals with ambitions to make a difference in the Pacific.

Study load is compatible with professionals looking for a degree they can complete in parallel with full-time work. The program includes 6 unit and 3 unit courses. Up to 18 credits can be obtained through 3 unit ‘masterclass’ courses, taught intensively over 2 days. These masterclasses offer deep dives into a specific subject area, informed by the latest research from the Department of Pacific Affairs and ANU.

Find the complete course list at https://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/program/MPADE

Alternative entry pathway

For those unable to commit to the full 1 year (full-time) program, the Graduate Certificate of Pacific Development is a pathway option for this degree. This 24-unit (6 months, full-time) certificate provides an introduction to the immersive Master’s experience, as well as an option for an early exit.

About the Department of Pacific Affairs

DPA is the leading international centre for applied multidisciplinary research and analysis concerning contemporary state, society, governance and development in the Pacific.

Our research sits at the centre of our education offerings, all of which are delivered by our researchers.

Thanks to the professional backgrounds of members of our academic staff, which include long and distinguished careers in public service, we are well positioned to develop and deliver courses that explore the implications of our emerging research for the work of policymakers working in and on the region.

Want to know more?

Email us at asiapacific@anu.edu.au to organise a time to talk with current students, program advisers, or the academics who teach this program or enquire now to hear more from ANU.

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