« Asia and the Pacific/Understanding the Pacific

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This foundational credential defines what we mean by ‘the Pacific’. Pacific countries and territories are characterised by diversity and commonalities, set against the backdrop of a multi-dimensional regional architecture, that features regional and sub-regional organisations, both old and new, notably the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Community. Through this Micro-credential, participants explore how Pacific Island countries perceive their region, and their place in the international system, interrogating the drivers and obstacles to change across  multiple dimensions (cultural, political and economic) and applying a critical lens to address  critical questions for the future of the Pacific region. To guide these crucial conversations, practitioners and Pacific experts share their experiences and provide real-world examples that illustrate the complexities of addressing the future challenges for Pacific Islands Countries. Upon completion of this Micro-credential, participants will be able to understand the foundational concepts required to critically engage in analysing the complexities of the Pacific Islands region. 


  1. What do we mean by the Pacific? 
  2. The Pacific diplomatic system 
  3. Economic development in the Pacific 
  4. Aid in the Pacific 


  • Course Code: DPA01
  • Workload: 12 hours, face-to-face or online. Individual study and assessment approximately 50-60 hours 
  • ANU unit value: 3 units
  • Course Code Level: 8000
  • Contact: ANU Department of Pacific Affairs: dpa@anu.edu.au

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion, participants will have the knowledge and skills to: 

  1. Understand the diversities and commonalities of the Pacific Islands, including in the way politics works in varied cultural circumstances 
  2. Critically assess the factors that are driving change in regionalism in the Pacific, and how the system is evolving 
  3. Engage in discussions on the structures of different and diverse Pacific island economies 
  4. Understand specific challenges associated with giving aid successfully in Pacific Island countries 

Indicative assessment

  • 1,500 word country profile: 40%; Links to learning outcomes 1,3
  • 2,000 word case study on a policy challenge confronting the Pacific: 60%; Links to learning outcomes: 2,4

Assumed knowledge

This Micro-credential is taught at graduate level and assumes the generic skills of a Bachelors or equivalent.

Who should enrol?

This credential is designed for policymakers, program designers, researchers and analysts working on and in the Pacific region, to provide an introduction to  foundational knowledge and concepts.

Micro-credential stack information

This Micro-credential is currently not part of a stack.

This Micro-credential is taught at a graduate level.  This is not an AQF qualification.

View all Upcoming Micro-credentials