Introduction to Community development
If you have a strong social justice streak and are passionate about helping others, you could build a great career in community development.
Studying a course in community development will empower you with the skills and knowledge needed to help shape stronger communities—whether that’s across Australia or around the globe.
You’ll be ready to make a genuine and lasting impact through your work, by facilitating community projects, advising on public policy, working with young people, or perhaps even landing a role within a leading non-government organisation (NGO).
Studying online through Open Universities Australia will give you the flexibility you need to balance your studies and life commitments. Start browsing all your community development course options here.Explore community development courses
Discover community development courses
Need help choosing the right course?
Our student advisors are here to guide you with expert advice on:
When would you like to chat?
Let me pick a time
Find a time that suits you for a free 1:1 consultation with a student advisor.
Call me anytime
A student advisor will call you, usually within 30 minutes during business hours.
Looking for other ways to start the conversation? Contact us
We support thousands of students on their study journey every year
Our advisors are here to help with your study goals from enrolment to completion 7 days a week.
Community development study FAQs
At the most basic level, community development professionals work with communities to run projects and programs that make them stronger and healthier. It’s crucial that community members are involved in this process and your key job will be to support and facilitate.
Working in this field, for example, you could find yourself based in an Indigenous community in the top end of Australia, delivering projects for better education outcomes. Or you could be running youth programs with a local council to help young people feel safer and more connected to their community.
You could even find yourself in a totally different country, helping a community to build more environmentally sustainable practices and programs.
Community development covers a whole gamut of roles, from those in international development to those in youth work and social work case management, so have a think about what interests you most, and choose a course that reflects this.
Working with different, sometimes vulnerable, communities can be complex. In your community development studies, you’ll learn how to interact with people in constructive, respectful, and culturally safe ways.
There are a range of different courses available to those interested in community development studies—and it’s worth thinking about what you want to get out of your course, whether that’s an international or local perspective.
At the undergraduate level, you could opt for a Bachelor of Community Welfare or Bachelor of Community Services or even a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Community Development.
Depending on your course, you may focus on topics such as:
- social justice
- foreign aid
- human rights
- working with Indigenous communities
It depends on the course and whether you choose something short or long-term. Here’s a general guide:
Course Duration Single subject 10-18 weeks Short course 10-18 weeks Undergraduate certificate 6 months (if full time) Diploma 1 year (if full time) Associate degree 2 years (if full time) Bachelor degree 3 years (if full time) Graduate certificate 6 months (if full time) Graduate diploma 1 year (if full time) Masters degree 2 years (if full time)
If you study a degree in community development through Open Universities Australia, you have the flexibility to choose how many subjects you take per term. This means you can complete your qualification at a faster or slower pace than you would on campus.
Studying community development will open a wide range of doors for you. You could use your study as a basis for work in the not-for-profit sector, consulting, project management, community projects, activism, academia, research, journalism, policy, or the legal system.
You’ll find the skills you gain throughout your studies will likely help you become a more effective, constructive, and compassionate communicator, both professionally and in your daily life.
If you want to travel with your career, a community development course could take you far. You could find yourself positioned overseas, delivering projects to communities in a country quite different from your own.
Studying online means that you can build your skills at a pace that suits you. You’ll be able to study where and when you want and fit your study around existing life and work commitments, while accessing all the study support you need.
There are a lot of reasons to study your course online through us.
- You can enrol without entry requirements
We have a unique open-door policy that makes it possible for everyone to enrol in university study, no matter their academic history. If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a degree, we’ll help you get in through single undergraduate subjects and transition into a qualification from there.
- You have total control over how you study
Upskill without committing to a whole degree upfront. Or enrol in a full degree, but take it a subject at a time. We’ll introduce you to flexible study options you didn’t even know about, so you can fit uni around what matters to you.
- You’ll graduate with the same qualification as an on-campus student
Once you enrol through us, you’ll study online with the university that provides your degree. This means that when you complete your qualification, you’ll graduate with the same degree as on-campus students.
- We’ll help you navigate the university world
Our friendly student advisors will be your guide every step of the enrolment journey. They'll help you compare universities, choose a course, provide documentation and understand your finance options.
- You can enrol without entry requirements
You’ll find your community development studies will present you with a range of opportunities, within Australia and overseas. With these skills, you could land a role as a:
- Community service officer
- Project coordinator
- Community health worker
- Youth engagement officer
- Policy officer
- Support worker
- International aid worker
Before starting an enrolment, it’s important to read the entry requirements for your chosen course to ensure that you’re eligible to apply. If you don’t quite meet the requirements, we may be able to help you find a pathway into your course through open-entry subjects, which anyone can study.
Chat with us to find out more.
Here at Open Universities Australia, we make enrolling online as straightforward as possible. To get started, find the course for you by browsing the options on this page. You can also compare different qualifications using our handy comparison tool, or request help from one of our student advisors.
When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Apply now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.
Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.
If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.
You can also take a look at our online self-service enrolling instructions.
Student stories and study advice
We’re here to guide you to the right uni course
Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian to access thousands of university courses.
Over 509,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.
How we can help you
Studying through Open Universities Australia means we take care of the guesswork and administration of university study, so you can focus on learning.
You don't need a strong academic history to go to uni
We make it possible for everyone to start university through single subjects, regardless of ATAR or study experience. These subjects are covered by government loans, and can be used to upskill or gain entry into a qualification.
You have the flexibility to start at multiple points during the year
We’re not restricted by a traditional academic calendar, so you can enrol when it suits your life. You also have total control over how you study. You can scale up (or down) your study load and even pause your course if you need to.
You can rely on us as an unbiased destination for online tertiary education
As a not for profit, we have your best interests at heart. Our advisors are here 7 days a week to guide and support you. It’s our priority to get you qualified with the university of your choice.