Anthropology and Development Studies


Anthropology is the study of the many societies and cultures of the world and their complex interaction. Anthropology’s global comparative scope is complemented by a local focus and this unique perspective is made possible by intensive participation in the daily life and language of the communities studied. Contemporary social anthropology asks broad and detailed questions about what it means to be human in a globalising world, as well as providing a critical vantage point from which to reflect on ourselves and others.

We think it's the mission of Melbourne anthropology to show the specificity, the peculiarity, even the strangeness of ourselves. Professor Andrew Dawson, Anthropology

Key teaching and research areas include:

  • Power, inequality and governance
  • Identity - gender, body, family, indigeneity, ethnicity, nationalism
  • Economy and the construction of value
  • Myth, ritual and performance
  • Environment and development
  • Health, medicine and the body

Development Studies

Development Studies is a dynamic field concerned with processes of social, economic, political and cultural change in the global South. It critically examines processes of managed change in the developing world, as well as providing a skills set to intervene in such processes. Through this minor study, students will better understand the nature of policies and relationships at local, national and international levels that have shaped poverty, inequality and insecurity in the contemporary world.

Key teaching and research areas include:

  • Debt and global poverty
  • The relationship between citizens and the state
  • Globalisation and national sovereignty
  • Social exclusion, health, and migration.
  • Culture and human rights
  • Gender inequity
  • Environmental sustainability

Study opportunities


Graduate coursework

Graduate research