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The Special Program allows students, in discussion with the Course Convenor, to structure a program which links the study of an aspect of development with the practice of development. The Special Program may take a variety of forms – including placement with an agency or organization working in the field of development, a structured research project, and/or preparation of a publishable article prepared for submission to a peer-review article and focused on an aspect of development.

The Special Program will seek to promote critical reflection, conceptual development, analysis and writing but can be structured in a variety of different ways, at times under the joint guidance of an agency-based or workplace co-supervisor, along with a UNSW academic supervisor. The student's goal is to make a useful contribution to the development goals, policies or programs of the organisation, and to link this experience to the body of academic knowledge on development.

Each project is individually designed, and the precise format will vary; some will be relatively detached research exercises while others may involve exploring, implementing and analyzing change. Each will be based around an agreed set of objectives and activities along with two to three specified assignments which will be submitted at pre-determined times for assessment.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 2, Term 3



Delivery Mode

Partially online

Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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