The University of Newcastle’s Master of Social Change and Development enables you to tailor your education to best align with your career objectives by selecting one of the following specialisations: general specialisation, Aboriginal studies, food security for rural development, organisational leadership and capacity building, and international and development economics.
The Aboriginal studies specialisation will have you looking at the issues underlying traditional Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander cultures and the complexity of community and its role in shaping language, dynamics, relationships and education pathways. You will also learn to design and develop social programs and projects, and a range of social science research methods to help shape these programs.
The Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development specialisation is designed especially for students who are likely to be working with government or NGOs in rural situations in developing countries and concentrating on food and agriculture. It is particularly useful for students who have been employed as agricultural officers in developing countries and for Australian students who want to work with development NGOs. It provides an understanding of the social, political and cultural context of food insecurity in rural contexts. It considers various approaches to designing and evaluating projects for food security. It explains the agricultural strategies available for food security in impoverished rural settings.
Organisational leadership and capacity building specialisation is particularly suitable if you are already working within the human service field. You will learn about transformative leadership, preparing you to critically examine the values and ideas which underpin current leadership practices in human services organisations. Not only will students learn best practice approaches to leadership, they will learn how to motivate, coach and mentor staff to generate the best possible outcomes.
The International and development economics specialisation will prepare you to adeptly identify and manage issues in developing economies by understanding their social contexts. You will also focus on the urbanisation of local or regional environments, theories of growth, development and underdevelopment as well as the impacts of human capital, poverty, inequality and discrimination. Sustainable agriculture and food security for rural development specialisation is a niche area of social change. You will develop specialist skills in environment issues and social context, supported by field trips to help demonstrate the real-life application of these issues. You will also learn about national policy on food security, the agricultural strategies used in food interventions and the ability to effectively design and present socially relevant intervention strategies at a local level.
You may also undertake the general specialisation, which enables you to select from the majority of courses on offer, without the need to specialise in one specific area.
Further to your specialisation courses, you will be required to complete the core course, social change and development, where you will discover the concepts and analytical skills to understand the changes that have taken place in post-colonial societies. You will examine globalisation and economic development in relation to specific social groups as well as gender, ethnicity and social movements.
To find out more about where the Master of Social Change and Development can lead you, visit the 'Careers' tab.