Humanitarian and Development Studies

From 2016 Western Sydney University is offering a new degree – Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies – which covers all aspects of disaster management, humanitarian assistance, and development to equip students with the required skills, knowledge, and practical experience (i.e. humanitarian crisis simulation and international placement) that make them ready to work with national and international government and non-government organisations implementing short and long-term life-saving programs. The degree provides a theory- driven and as well as a comprehensive field experience package that enhance students' learning, research skills, real world experience, and career readiness.

Humanitarian and Development Studies Courses

Career opportunities for Humanitarian and Development Studies graduates

Fields of work include:

Human rights and peace advocacy; public service; international civil service; non-government and international aid agencies; local government; and community work.


With your Humanitarian and Development Studies training you would also be able to seek employment in secondary teaching the "Human Society and its Environment" key learning area once you have completed a period of study in Education.

Academic Profile

Professor Andre Renzaho

Professor Renzaho is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor of Humanitarian and Development Studies, Western Sydney University. He joined the university in 2015 and prior to that he was the Director of Migration, Social Disadvantage, and Health Programs within the Global Society Unit, the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University.  With a background in Global Health and International Development, h…

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Frequently Asked Questions

What previous subjects at school may help me with this degree?

There are no school subjects essential for studying Humanitarian and Development Studies. However, if you are choosing electives for Years 11 and 12 you might want to consider subjects in the stream of study in Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE). These may well assist your learning in Humanitarian and Development Studies but also add to your skills for greater work prospects.

What sort of person should do the Degree in Humanitarian and Development Studies?

The Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies should be undertaken by those wanting to become qualified aid workers whose aim is to help International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) meet their objectives of poverty alleviation and to address the urgent need for disaster management.

Where is the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies taught (which campus)?

The Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies will be taught at the Penrith, Parramatta and Bankstown campuses.

Is this course taught anywhere else in Sydney?

In the Sydney region the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies is unique both in its focus on addressing humanitarian issues and involving Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in the course delivery. This course integrates the experiential learning experience into teaching through embedded simulation activities, case, problem, and solution-based studies, and field placements.

How can I find out more about the staff who teach this major?

The following are the members of the Humanitarian and Development Studies Group in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology who are responsible for the delivery of the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies:

What jobs can I pursue after I finish the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies?

Graduates from the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies will be in high demand as humanitarian aid workers – an employment sector which the ICF International predicts will demand 27,000 new openings between 2012 and 2020. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 2011 outlined its objective of strengthening the organisation's workforce capacity and capability to deliver an expanded and effective program requiring its workforce to become more professional and specialised, especially with stronger capabilities in the operationalisation and management of aid programs. As such, graduates from this degree will be highly sought after in both the national and international job markets.