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Undergraduate Humanitarian and Community Studies

Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies

The Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies enables students to understand, critically analyse and apply concepts of human service delivery in the field of humanitarian aid, social and community engagement. The degree provides students with essential knowledge and skills required to work with individuals, groups and communities in remote Australia and developing countries. Interdisciplinary course units provide students with introductory as well in-depth knowledge in psychology, sociology, human behaviour, ethics, cross-cultural communication skills, indigenous culture and knowledge, community dynamics and project management in engineering.

Key parts of the degree are two fieldwork intensives in the second and third year, where students have the opportunity to gain essential, first-hand practical experiences in the field of community work.

Download the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies course flyer (PDF 689KB).

Career Opportunities

Graduates will exit this program with a foundation in community work, indigenous community knowledge, human services as well as communication and logistics relevant for rural and remote communities. The degree allows graduates to work for governmental, non-governmental as well as charity organisations engaged in community work.

The degree provides an excellent basis to pursue a higher degree, i.e. in the field of social work, community studies, humanitarian aid or international development.

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Placement components of the Humanitarian and Community Studies degree

Key elements of the Humanitarian and Community Studies degree are two placements.

In the second year of the program, students attend a four week intensive placement at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus. The prime objective of this unit is to provide students with experiential, theoretical and empirical learning while participating in the logistical management of a simulated humanitarian disaster event. As class size is limited, online enrolment is not possible. Instead, students must complete Form HE102 and submit this document to Student Central. For further information view the Unit Repository or contact the course coordinator. The successful completion of HCS260 is a pre-requisite for attempting the second placement component described below.

In the third year of the program, students undertake a 50-day placement with a regional, national or international community-based, humanitarian or development aid agency (HCS350). The overall objective of the second placement is to gain first-hand practical skills and experience in the agency’s field of practice. HCS350 must be studied concurrently with HCS365.

The student must organise their second placement. International placements may be completed in the Asia-Pacific region. Please contact the course coordinator for further information.


Pre-Placement Requirements

You must enrolled in the placement unit before submitting any pre-placement documentation and all preclinical documentation must be submitted prior to the placement commencing. This is a strict process and tightly monitored by CDU.

The cost of organising these documents is the responsibility of the student and it is the student’s responsibility to check the expiry dates of their documents and update them before expiry. Documents must not expire prior to and/or during a placement.

On the first day of placement students must be able to produce these documents to the placement organisation upon request.

International placements require the submission of additional pre-placement documents as well as completing a pre-departure briefing. Please contact BHCS course coordinator for further information.

All preclinical documentation need to be submitted in PDF format as certified true copies via email to sochumplac@cdu.edu.au


Student Placement Agreement

Original CDU Student Placement Agreement (PDF 200KB)


CDU Student Card

All students are required to have a current CDU Student Card (expires 31st March each year). Students can apply on campus at Casuarina, Palmerston or Alice Springs. External students can apply via mail by following the process outlined on student card page.


National Police Check (NPC)

  • National Police certificate/National Criminal History check is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
  • Students must ensure that the police certificate is up-to-date prior to nominating for a placement unit. Receipt as a proof of new police check application is accepted ONLY during the nomination period.
  • Students can apply for police certificates through SafeNT or CrimTrac Accredited Brokers.
              SafeNT/NT Police website: National Police Certificate
              National Crim Check Website: National Criminal History Check
  • If the option is available to apply as a student or volunteer at a discounted rate and the university is required to sign off the application, students can contact BHCS course coordinator for further information.

HLTAID003 Provide First Aid Certificate (including CPR Certificate)

  • All undergraduate students are required to supply a current First Aid Certificate (HLTAID003 Provide First Aid or equivalent). This certificate is valid for 3 years.
  • Students are responsible for arranging and funding their own First Aid course through an accredited training organisation.

NT Working with Children Check-OCHRE Card


Equal Opportunity Online Training

Please visit EO Online to complete Equal Opportunity awareness training. Completion of Module 1 is mandatory for all students attending placements and will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. It is not necessary to complete Module 2. Students must register to use Equal Opportunity Online upon the first visit (read these instructions) and a Certificate of Attainment will be issued upon completion. This certificate must then be provided to the placement officer as one of the pre-placement requirements.