Frequently Asked Questions: Master of Transformational Development

  • ‘Do I have time for the program?’
  • ‘Who will encourage me through the program?’
  • ‘Will I go through the program with a peer group?’
  • ‘What happens if I miss the 5-day intensive sessions of a unit?’
  • ‘Where are the unit 5-day intensives held?’
  • ‘Will accommodation be provided – and at what level of comfort?’
  • ‘Where will I get resources for my program?’
  • ‘Can I use a language other than English?’
  • ‘Do I need my own computer?’
  • ‘Do I need broadband internet access?’
  • ‘How much will my program cost?’
  • ‘Are scholarships available?’
  • ‘Do I need to pay my fees for the whole program up-front at the beginning?’
  • ‘Do I need a student visa?’
  • ‘What is the time limit to complete my program?’
  • ‘Can I attend the 5-day intensive of any of my units in Melbourne rather than in Malaysia?’

Do I have time for the program?

The Asia-based MTD program is a part-time study program, designed so that practitioners can continue to live at home and serve in their ministry/work. So there is no need to relocate family or leave them for long periods.

  • If you plan to participate in the units consecutively, consider this as equivalent to at least 35% of a typical full-time tertiary institution program load.
  • You need to attend the 5-day intensive sessions for each unit, usually held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • You also need to allocate good quality time for significant pre- and post-intensive research, study, interaction and writing.

Good time management is essential. You will need to restructure your work/ministry load and responsibilities for the duration of the program.

  • Some participants have study leave provisions in their organisation.
  • Others arrange to cut down their work/ministry load.
  • Others take unpaid leave.

Who will encourage me through the program?

Part-time, non-residential, blended-delivery mode programs like this Asia-based MTD program are a challenge to complete.

We will encourage you as much as we can – but you also need to be disciplined.

The program directors will journey with you for the duration of the program, providing advice and encouragement. We will be available by Skype to talk through any concerns you may have related to your studies, and to pray with you.

Will I go through the program with a peer group?

The Asia-based MTD program is effectively a peer-group program – you will be working through the modules with a core group of Asia-based participants. Community is a strong element of this program: As you share your experiences and challenges with others, we anticipate that you will make close and enduring friendships.

You may also have internet-based links with the students in the Melbourne-based program, and this will be potentially mutually enriching.

What happens if I miss the 5-day intensive sessions of a unit?

If you miss part of a 5-day intensive for genuine reasons, you may be given some directed studies to take the place of the missed elements. But if you miss all of a 5-day intensive, you are unlikely to be allowed to complete the unit.

Where are the unit 5-day intensives held?

The 5-day intensive residential facilitated learning workshops for the units will take place in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by Malaysian Care. Details of the specific location for these sessions for each unit will be given nearer the time.

Budget airlines operating to/from KL will ease the financial load, especially if you are able to book well in advance.

Will accommodation be provided – and at what level of comfort?

Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur for the 5-day intensive sessions is the responsibility of participants.

We will usually suggest accommodation options near to where the intensive sessions will take place. These will cover different price ranges, so participants may choose the standard they would prefer and are able to afford.

Where will I get resources for my program?

Most of the key resources for your program will be available on-line.

As you will be registered as a student with Eastern College Australia, you will have full access to Eastern College Australia resources, through its on-line learning environment.

Malaysian Care is developing a library of specialised books for the MTD program, which students are able to access.

We will help you find other resources, too – either on-line or as hard-copy books, etc. And if you come across helpful resources, we encourage you to share your discoveries you’re your fellow-students, too.

Can I use a language other than English?

The Asia-based MTD program is in English medium – so virtually all your interactions with faculty and fellow-students will be in English.

There may be scope for some work in the program to be completed in other languages, subject to special conditions, and on a case-by-case basis. For example, your post-intensive group social enquiry project in a unit may be written in a language other than English if that would be helpful for the particular agency the report is being prepared for. However, in every case an English translation of the work will also be required.

You will need to raise the possibility of using another language with the coordinator for any unit in which you would like to do so.

Do I need my own computer?

Access to a reliable computer will be an indispensible resource for your participation in this program. If your current computer is not very reliable, or you need to share it with too many other people, or it is placed in a noisy environment, then it may be well worth budgeting to acquire another one at the start of the your program.

We advise you to revise/enhance your computing/word-processing skills, too; as well as make sure you apply common-sense computer security practices (like backing up your data regularly, and installing reputable anti-virus software and keeping the virus definitions up to date).

Do I need broadband internet access?

As the program is a blended on-line and on-campus one, reasonably reliable broadband internet access is essential for participants in the program.

  • The 10-week pre-intensive guided reading/research for each unit requires you to be part of a small group of 3-5 students who will meet weekly to discuss the content of the readings. Usually these groups will be virtual groups meeting via Skype. These groups will also have regular internet-based interaction with the unit coordinator.
  • Completed assignments must be uploaded onto the Eastern College Australia Moodle website. If this cannot be done successfully, ‘soft-copy’ (e.g. as email attachments) must be emailed to the unit coordinator.
  • Much of your research and access to resource material will be via the internet.

How much will my program cost?

Click here to see the program tuition fees and other costs of the Asia-based MTD program.

We are trying very hard to keep the program fees affordable for all who will benefit from going through the program, so have a variable fee framework.

You will need to factor other significant costs into your program, especially the cost of travel and accommodation for the 5-day on-campus session for each of the six units – these costs are not included in the tuition fees.

Are scholarships available?

Yes, scholarships will be available for self-funded students who derive their income from lower economic countries. See the details in the fees schedule here.

In addition, further subsidies may be available to students on a case-by-case basis. This will be in negotiation with AGST Alliance/Malaysian Care. Contact Mr Pax Tan, Program Director (Asia).

Do I need to pay my fees for the whole program up-front at the beginning?

No. Fees/contributions to fees may be paid on a semester-by-semester basis.

Do I need a student visa?

Students in the Asia-based MTD program do not qualify for student visas.

You are officially attending a short training program. So a social visit pass is usually adequate to attend the intensive sessions in Kuala Lumpur.

It is your responsibility to check carefully about immigration regulations well in advance of the dates of the intensives. AGST Alliance or Malaysian Care are able to provide an official letter if required for immigration purposes.

What is the time limit to complete my program?

Normally the program will be completed in 3 years.

It is possible to defer a unit, and complete the missed unit in a subsequent cycle of the program. However, the offering of subsequent cycles of the program in Asia beyond 2018 will be dependent on sufficient student numbers. If a new Asia-based cycle doesn’t eventuate, Asia-based students will need to plan to attend Melbourne-based intensives.

Can I attend the 5-day intensive of any of my units in Melbourne rather than in Malaysia?

Australian Citizens and permanent residents of Australia have the option to attend the intensives in Melbourne. Sorry, but because of visa restrictions others are not permitted to do so.

In this option, you will need to enrol and participate in the whole Melbourne-based unit (that is, with the Melbourne-based cohort). No extra fees will be charged if you opt to do so. However, you will be responsible for the travel and accommodation costs involved.

If you are interested to participate in one of the Melbourne-based units, contact Steve Bradbury (Program Director) as much before the unit is due to begin as possible.