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Sustainable Development

Professional doctorate by research

See full course structure
  • Qualification
    Doctor of Sustainable Development
  • Duration
    3 years full-time
  • Credit
  • Location
    Curtin Perth
See full course structure

Why study Sustainable Development at Curtin?

Top 1 %

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide.

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022.

Get the Curtin edge

Access to leadership programs, specialist facilities and industry placements give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Global education

You’ll have access to a range of international study opportunities.



Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this innovative course is among the first of its kind.

In this course, you will develop a critical understanding of the complex issues that lay at the frontier of sustainable development. You will understand sustainable development as a profoundly inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary endeavour, involving professionals, policy developers and researchers on global and local scales.

The Doctor of Sustainable Development will comprise at least two-thirds research and four units of coursework. You will learn cognitive and technical skills relevant to sustainable development and use these skills to undertake a significant research project. Your research will be well designed and locally embedded to help you become a long-term influencer of change within society and your profession.

Please refer to the handbook for additional course overview information.

Why research at Curtin

Curtin is widely recognised for applied research firmly focused on solving real-world problems. Underpinning our research endeavours are strong partnerships with industry, business and government, which result in outcomes that greatly benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally. Our international reputation for being a strong partner in industry-driven research ensures our graduates enjoy outstanding opportunities to become innovators in their fields.

What you'll learn

  • have a systematic and critical understanding of a substantial and complex body of knowledge at the frontier of sustainable development and of inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary roles and representations of sustainable development, and apply this knowledge to professional practice and research.
  • develop a range of analytical, creative, critical specialised research skills, integrate these cognitive and research skills and apply them to research in professional practice.
  • demonstrate specialised cognitive, technical and research skills relevant to sustainable development,; evaluate the relevance of information making valid judgements,; and synthesise information from a range of sources.
  • communicate in ways appropriate to audience and purpose and disseminate and promote new insights into sustainable development through appropriate channels.
  • use appropriate technologies appropriate to research and communicate the complexities of sustainable development.
  • develop a reflexive and adaptive approach to learning that is relevant for professional practice and research; adapt and/or implement successful learning strategies to continue to redefine existing knowledge and professional practice.
  • generate original knowledge and understanding pertaining to the global nature of sustainability and the relationship between global and local sustainability issues; develop, adapt and/or implement international good practice for sustainable development in professional practice.
  • respect indigenous and other cultures and their immediate relevance to sustainable development; understand the complexities and benefits multiculturalism and diversity brings to sustainable development; and critique culture as an integrated system of norms that affect sustainable development.
  • demonstrate autonomy, authoritative judgement, and responsibility as an expert and leading practitioner or scholar in sustainable development; work independently and in teams; demonstrate leadership, professional behaviour and ethical practices.
Credit for recognised learning (CRL)

Use your experience to get credit towards your degree

Finish your course sooner with credit for your previous study or work experience.

Fees and charges

Fee information is not available for this course at this time. Find estimated course fees.

Looking for more detail on the course structure?

View course structure


For start dates, please view the academic calendar.

All endeavours are made to ensure location information for courses is up to date but please note they are subject to change.

The University reserves the right to withdraw any unit of study or program which it offers, to impose limitations on enrolment in any unit or program, and/or to vary arrangements for any program.

How to apply

Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice

Please note that each campus has different application deadlines. Please view our application deadlines page for further information.

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