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Doctor of Sustainable Development

DSusDev(Curtin) DR-SUSDEV Humanities
Location Bentley
Study method Full-time or part-time If you intend to study part-time, please contact the Director, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities. Not all units are offered every semester and the availability of offshore study cannot be assured for all units.
Study mode On-campus, off-campus, mixed on and off campus, fully online or partially online If you intend to study off-campus, please refer to the note regarding off-campus research under enrolment and duration of study.
Intake February or July
Duration 3 years full-time study or part-time equivalent Your enrolment shall be continuous unless the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee approves an application for a leave of absence.

Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this innovative course is among the first of its kind.

In this course, you will develop a critical understanding of the complex issues that lay at the frontier of sustainable development. You will understand sustainable development as a profoundly inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary endeavour, involving professionals, policy developers and researchers on global and local scales.

The Doctor of Sustainable Development will comprise at least two-thirds research and four units of coursework. You will learn cognitive and technical skills relevant to sustainable development and use these skills to undertake a significant research project. Your research will be well designed and locally embedded to help you become a long-term influencer of change within society and your profession.

Importantly, you will have the opportunity to research and write your thesis predominantly in situ in developing countries. You may have the option of writing your thesis for publication.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Australian and New Zealand students

You will require one of the following:

  • A master degree and relevant work experience in a sustainable development-related area
  • A relevant honours degree, normally first class, and relevant work experience in a sustainable development-related area
  • Superior performance in one of the Faculty of Humanities’ graduate diplomas or the equivalent from another institution and relevant work experience in a related area
  • Another qualification and background warranting special consideration by the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training

The process for assessing applications is highly competitive and each applicant will be assessed on individual merit.

You are required to meet University academic and English language entry standards.

You may be eligible for entry with other credentials, provided you meet specific course entry and completion requirements. Please contact the Faculty of Humanities for more information.


Fees for Australian and New Zealand students

Under the Research Training Program (RTP) effective 1 January 2017, Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents undertaking higher degrees by research will be granted an Australian Government RTP Fee Offset Scholarship to assist with tuition fee liability.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or industry assistance (sponsorship) may be available from external organisations under special conditions.

Additional course expenses

You may be expected to purchase a number of textbooks and other essential study materials.

Credit for previous study

Credit for recognised learning may be awarded if you have completed relevant postgraduate units or if you have significant research or work experience in your chosen field.

Career opportunities

International stakeholders have noted an urgent requirement for education training and research in sustainable development.

Governments, businesses, communities and non-government organisations will be required to engage with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals from 2015 onwards. Each sector will need to build capacity internally or hire suitably qualified staff for this purpose. The Doctor of Sustainable Development is tailored to the needs of employers who wish to build capacity in their organisations.

The course will also help prepare professionals and students for careers with government bodies, NGOs and international organisations.

Why research at Curtin?

Curtin is widely recognised for applied research firmly focused on solving real-world problems. Underpinning our research endeavours are strong partnerships with industry, business and government, which result in outcomes that greatly benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally. Our international reputation for being a strong partner in industry-driven research ensures our graduates enjoy outstanding opportunities to become innovators in their fields.