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Master of International Development and Planning (MIDP)

Apply for the Master of International Development and Planning (MIDP) through the Dunedin campus in 2023

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This qualification will also be temporarily delivered online in order to support international students that are unable to attend classes in 2022 in person due to COVID-19. For more information and criteria please visit the University's COVID-19 website.


The Master of International Development and Planning is a 12 month (full time) course work Masters degree, that includes a research dissertation. The degree combines an enhanced understanding of development issues and needs, with the professional skills and competencies that professional planning education provides.

Understanding environmental issues and how people are affected by these in a developmental context is another key objective of the programme. We place a strong emphasis on people-environment relationships in such areas as urban development, water availability and quality, health, food security, hazards and pollution.

The School of Geography has regional strengths and expertise in Africa, the Pacific, Australasia, China, South and Southeast Asia. The School also has specialist expertise on the physical environment, including coastal hazards, sea level rise, climate change, groundwater, water quality and provision, thus enabling students to benefit from integrating expertise related to both the social and physical environment, together with a professional approach to development and planning. Employment opportunities abound in the development and planning arena and this degree is a pathway to these opportunities around the globe.

Note: This degree does not lead to professional accreditation with the New Zealand Planning Institute.

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More information


Associate Professor Douglas Hill
Programme Co-ordinator

Information about the course and key teaching staff

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Programme requirements

Master of International and Development Planning (MIDP)

Papers Points

GEOG 401 Theories of Development

GEOG 402 Development Planning and Practice

PLAN 411 Planning Theory





GEOG 590 Research Dissertation



and at least 60 points from:

  • ANTH 431 People, Culture and Development (20 points)
  • GEOG 454 Alpine Geomorphology (20 points)
  • GEOG 457 Advanced Urban Geography (20 points)
  • GEOG 459 Biogeography (20 points)
  • GEOG 460 Climatology (20 points)
  • GEOG 461 Mountain Hydrology (20 points)
  • GEOG 463 Geographies of Justice (20 points)
  • GEOG 471 Impact Assessment and Sustainability (20 points)
  • GEOG 472 Developments in Environmental Management (20 points)
  • GEOG 474 Coastal Management (20 points)
  • PLAN 412 Spatial Development and Planning (20 points)
  • LAWS 540 Environmental Law (15 points)
  • LAWS 521 International Environmental Law (15 points)
  • PACI 405 Indigenous Leadership in the Pacific (20 points)
  • PEAC 504 Development and Peacebuilding (30 points)
  • POLS 553 The Global Politics of Poverty and Inequality (30 points)
  • HUMS 401 Internship (20 points)
  • SURV 553 Advanced Urban Design (20 points)
  • SURV 455 Statutory Planning (18 points)
  • SURV 556 Advanced Land Tenure (20 points)
  • SURV 569 Special Topic (20 points)


Total 180

Papers from other departments may be taken subject to Head of School approval.

Regulations for the Degree of Master of International Development and Planning (MIDP)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Humanities).
    2. Every applicant must normally have at least a bachelor’s degree requiring three years of full-time study. Normally an average minimum grade of B+ is required for entry to the programme.
    3. In exceptional circumstances an applicant who is not a graduate may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications or satisfactory training and experience. Such preparation must be equivalent to a degree, and the applicant must provide evidence of ability to undertake advanced-level academic study. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may require such an applicant to pass one or more prescribed papers either before admission to or concurrently with the programme.
    4. In considering an applicant’s qualifications, regard will be given to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualifications, as well as the applicant’s performance in the programmes.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of three core papers and three electives papers, worth 120 points, together with a 60-point research dissertation (as MIDP programme requirements above).
    2. The research dissertation for GEOG 590 must be submitted no later than 28 February of the year following enrolment (or the second year following enrolment for a part-time candidate). The dissertation must not exceed 20,000 words of text, exclusive of appendices, footnotes, tabular material, bibliography or equivalent.
    3. Before commencing the investigation to be described in the dissertation, a candidate shall obtain the approval of the Programme Co-ordinator and the supervisor of the proposed topic.
    4. A candidate shall not present a research dissertation that has previously been accepted for another degree.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    A full-time candidate shall normally complete the requirements of the degree within twelve months. A part-time candidate shall normally complete the requirements of the degree within twenty-four months.

  4. Examination of the Research Dissertation

    1. The Head of School (or nominee) shall appoint a Convenor of Examiners who shall oversee the examination of each research dissertation.
    2. The research dissertation shall be examined by at least two examiners, one of whom may be external to the University
    3. The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner.
    4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the research dissertation and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted.
    5. Where the examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of School should so report to the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

  5. Withdrawal from the Programme

    Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing the prescribed papers, but does not complete the research dissertation, the Pro- Vice Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects, or determine which papers shall be credited towards the Diploma.

  6. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  7. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study that does not comply with these regulations.

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