Bachelor of International Development Studies

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 1 locations

Study mode
3 years full-time or equivalent part-time
6.0 overall score (Individual score of 6.0 in writing and speaking, and 5.5 in listening and reading)
Fees (first year)*
Start dates
February 2023, February 2024, February 2025


Studying international development at ACU will give you the knowledge, critical perspectives, and skills needed for compassionate and ethical engagement with communities in the developing world.

With a strong focus on human rights and social justice, the course covers humanitarian work, working with refugees, working for peace, advocacy, environmental sustainability and global health, and managing international development projects.

You will also gain valuable first-hand knowledge of humanitarian and development programs in action through our bespoke, overseas experience in a developing country.

Professional experience

At least three weeks with a development or humanitarian program in a developing country.

Work placement

The Cultural Immersion Experience is an essential part of the Bachelor of International Development Studies where you will gain first-hand experience of everyday life in a developing country. This unique community-based learning opportunity will immerse you in a new culture through a homestay for three weeks in your third year.

Please note that there are additional costs and administrative fees associated with this experience.


Our graduates have pursued careers in:

  • working with non-governmental organisations locally or abroad 
  • government service 
  • the United Nations
  • international organisations such as The World Bank 
  • human rights and advocacy 
  • social entrepreneurship
  • fair trade business sector
  • eco and responsible tourism 
  • charity and humanitarian organisations 
  • private aid distribution 

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of International Development Studies, a student must complete 240 credit points (cp). 

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5
Year 1 - Semester 1

DVST100 Introduction to International Development Studies

GEOG101 Global Human Environments

UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society


PHCC102 Being Human


PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life

Arts minor 1
Year 1 - Semester 2

SOCS243 Global Health

DVST101 Humanitarian Work and Aid

GEOG204 Environmental Sustainability: the Global Challenge

Arts minor 2
Year 2 - Semester 1

DVST200 Refugees and Forced Migration

DVST205 Peace and Conflict

Human Rights Elective 1


POLS105 Introduction to Human Rights 2


HIST251 Human Rights in History


POLS213 Security, Terrorism and Human Rights

Arts minor 3
Year 2 - Semester 2

SOCS207 Meaning of Life: Researching Qualitatively

DVST204 Project Management for Development

HIST106 Australian Indigenous Peoples Past and Present

Arts minor 4
Year 3 - Semester 1

DVST202 Preparation for Community-Based Global Experience 3

DVST307 International Development Global Experience

UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World 4


PHCC320 The Just Society

DVST202 Preparation for Community-Based Global Experience 5

Year 3 - Semester 2

DVST303 Development Advocacy

YSED303 Community Development

DVST306 Working in Development

SOCS302 People Count: Researching Globally with Quantitative Methods

This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

1. Students will select one Human Rights elective from the approved list of units.

2. POLS105 may be undertaken online in Summer Term, if available.

3. DVST202 is offered in Professional Term Two (2).

4. Students may enrol into UNCC300 in Semester One (1) in intensive mode if available or Summer or Winter Term.

5. DVST202 is offered in Professional Term Two (2).

*Immersion experience community-based learning experience for a minimum of three weeks where you have the opportunity to gain first-hand insight into everyday life in a developing country. There are additional costs and administrative fees associated with the immersion experience.

AQF framework

Bachelor - AQF Level 7

Exit Points

Students who have met the requirements of the Diploma in Liberal Arts can exit with that award.

Entry requirements

View transparency admission information

English language requirements

Overall score of 6.0. Individual score of 6.0 in writing and speaking, and 5.5 in listening and reading

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Pathways into course for international applicants

If you don’t currently meet the direct entry requirements for admission to your chosen program, don’t worry. Our range of pathway programs can help you build the language proficiency, academic skills and confidence you need to succeed. 

Find out more about English language programs 

Find out more about the ACU Foundation Studies program 

Find out more about Diploma pathways 


Course costs

  • Unit fee: $3196
  • Average first year fee: $25568
  • Estimate total cost: $76704

The tuition fees quoted above are for commencing students in the current year who undertake a normal full-time load. The Unit Fee is based on a 10cp unit. Fees are reviewed annually.

Tuition fees for continuing students may increase by up to 3 percent each year for the minimum duration of the course as provided on your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE). Students who continue to study beyond the minimum duration will have the relevant annual commencing rate applied to their fees for subsequent study periods.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support. 

Explore your options


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.  

Search our scholarships

How to apply

International applicants


Apply through VTAC

VTAC code 1200212323

Direct application

Apply now

Information on the application procedure

International students undertaking an Australian Year 12 qualification should apply through the relevant tertiary admissions centre.


Yes. See Defer your offer.

Students with a Student Visa will need to complete the program in minimum duration, study at least one subject on-campus each semester and must not undertake more than 33% of the program online.

Staff Profile

Dr. Rachel Busbridge

Lecturer (Sociology)

Dr. Rachel Busbridge is a Lecturer in Sociology in the National School of Arts, based in Melbourne. Before joining ACU, she held research positions at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, La Trobe University and Freie Universität Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow. A political sociologist, Rachel’s research interests cross nationalism, settler colonialism, political theory and urban studies. Her work has appeared in Political Geography, Political Studies, Theory, Culture and Society, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies and Social Identities, amongst others. Rachel is a Commissioning Editor of Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology (Sage).


Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs