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Master of Social Change and Development
The program is designed to provide students who wish to pursue a career with government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and private firms, with the knowledge and skills to understand the processes of social change and development and to improve their effectiveness as administrators, researchers, development planners, educators, or managers. As Australia engages more and more with developing countries in the region, there is a growing need for qualified professionals to work in the community development and policy analysis sectors of funded development projects and aid organisations.
While a base undergraduate degree in an area of relevant specialisation is useful for this kind of work, professionals in the field of international development need an understanding of the implications of wider social and political changes at a global level which affect local conditions and capacities. The program aims to equip professionals with advanced theoretical and applied knowledge, which can meet the challenges of development work in a rapidly changing global environment.
The Master of Social Change and Development is available in the following areas of interest:
- International and Development Economics
- Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development
- Organisational Leadership and Capacity Building.
The following list provides some example jobs for Master of Social Change and Development graduates. The various Types of jobs will depend upon the previous qualifications and the level of experience gained in particular industries prior to graduating.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Case Worker/Manager
- Community Development Worker
- Community Liaison Officer
- Community Project Officer
- Community Services Worker
- Coordinator of Social Services
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Health Promotion Officer
- Hostel and Refuge Worker
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Social Change and Development employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations. Below is an example of some major organisations which formally target graduates with qualifications in Social Change and Development.
- ActionAid Australia (International)
- Amnesty International (International)
- Anglican Care (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Council for International Development (International)
- Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Australia)
- Brotherhood of St Laurence (Australia)
- Camp Breakaway (Australia)
- Centrecare (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Health and Ageing (Australia)
- Department of Human Services (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Australia)
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Hunter Women's Centre (Australia)
- International Food Policy Research Institute (International)
- MacKillop Family Services (Australia)
- Mercy Corps (International)
- Migrant Resource Centres (Australia)
- Mission Australia (Australia)
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) (Australia)
- Native National Title Tribunal (Australia)
- New Lake Peer Support (Australia)
- New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (Australia)
- Northern Settlement Services (Australia)
- NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs (Australia)
- NSW Department of Community Services (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Juvenile Justice (Australia)
- NSW Local Government (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- Raymond Terrace Neighbourhood Centre (Australia)
- Salvation Army (Australia)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- St Vincent de Paul (Australia)
- State Government - NSW directory (Australia)
- UNESCO (International)
- United Nations (International)
- Women's Refuges (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Australia)
- Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) (Australia)
- Community Development Society (International)
- International Association for Community Development (International)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs