Want to play a pivotal role in shaping our future cities and regions? Through the Master of City Planning, you’ll gain professional accreditation for a career that improves lives by designing cities of the future. 

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Master of City Planning
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
2 Year(s)

Overview

The Master of City Planning at UNSW is a two-year, professionally accredited postgraduate degree that allows you to bring experience from previous study to launch a career in urban and regional planning.

City planning is an exciting, varied and progressive profession that plays a pivotal role in decisions shaping the future of cities and regions. Through a career in planning, you’ll improve lives by designing cities that are sustainable, equitable, healthy and inspiring.

As part of the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture you’ll join a uniquely interdisciplinary and supportive community. You’ll work alongside students and professionals from across the built environment, just as you would in the workplace. You’ll benefit from UNSW’s strong ties to industry and world-leading research in city planning, as you explore diverse subjects including city renewal, city analytics, housing policy and healthy sustainable communities.

In your second year you’ll devise and undertake an independent major research project, which allows you to deepen your expertise in an area of specialisation and empowers you to kick-start your career by adding to your professional portfolio. 

Key features

The key features and subject areas in this degree will see you explore a broad range of urban issues through theory and practice, preparing you for diverse, future-focused careers. Areas of study include:

  • Urban society, theory, history
  • City economics and development
  • Environment and sustainability
  • City building – infrastructure and transport
  • Strategic spatial planning
  • Planning law and administration
  • Planning research and analysis
  • Urban management and development assessment
  • Communication, engagement and participation

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Gain professional accreditation with the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Connect with Australia’s leading urban research centre - the City Futures Research Centre
  • Study in and learn from one of the world’s great cities. Sydney will be your classroom.
  • Establish networks through our strong industry links and partnerships
  • Study at a Built Environment School that ranks 33rd in the world and 4th in Australia (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2020
  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community
  • Access world class alumni connections
  • Joinn a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
8148
CRICOS Code
088355A
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
96
Indicative Enrolments
110

Want to see more from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture?

Entry requirements

To gain entry into the Master of City Planning, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a credit average or above (Weighted Average Mark 65+).

If you have an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline, or you’ve partially completed a relevant  postgraduate program, you can apply to have this study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit for certain subjects will be counted towards the Master of City Planning.

What is a cognate discipline?

City and urban planning are interdisciplinary in nature, which is why we recognise the benefits that students from diverse academic backgrounds bring to this program. If you’ve studied any of the following subject areas in your undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for RPL.

  • Built environment subject areas, including: architecture, landscape architecture, construction, property development and urban design.
  • Social, economic and environmental science subject areas, including: geography, urban studies and sociology, demography, economics, social policy and politics, communication studies, health studies, international development, environmental ecology, environmental management, environmental sustainability.
  • Law/Jurisprudence
  • Environmental and civil engineering subject areas, including surveying and spatial science degrees.

RPL for these study areas will be limited to 24 Units of Credit (UOC), which is normally the equivalent of 4 subjects. 

Alternative entry pathways

If you don’t meet the entry requirements outlined above, you may be eligible to study the Graduate Certificate in City Planning, then continue into the Master’s degree once this is complete. This will be at the discretion of the Program Director or Academic Coordinator who assesses applications on a case-by-case basis.

 

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

To gain entry into the Master of City Planning, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a credit average or above (Weighted Average Mark 65+).

If you have an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline, or you’ve partially completed a relevant  postgraduate program, you can apply to have this study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit for certain subjects will be counted towards the Master of City Planning.

What is a cognate discipline?

City and urban planning are interdisciplinary in nature, which is why we recognise the benefits that students from diverse academic backgrounds bring to this program. If you’ve studied any of the following subject areas in your undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for RPL.

  • Built environment subject areas, including: architecture, landscape architecture, construction, property development and urban design.
  • Social, economic and environmental science subject areas, including: geography, urban studies and sociology, demography, economics, social policy and politics, communication studies, health studies, international development, environmental ecology, environmental management, environmental sustainability.
  • Law/Jurisprudence
  • Environmental and civil engineering subject areas, including surveying and spatial science degrees.

RPL for these study areas will be limited to 24 Units of Credit (UOC), which is normally the equivalent of 4 subjects. 

Pathway programs

If you did not meet the entry requirements, UNSW Global has university pathway programs that provide seamless transition to UNSW Sydney so you can achieve your academic and career goals. Learn more about UNSW Global.

You may also be eligible to study the Graduate Certificate in City Planning, then continue into the Master’s degree once this is complete. This will be at the discretion of the Program Director or Academic Coordinator who assesses applications on a case-by-case basis.

 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

The Master of City Planning is a two-year full-time degree. It involves 14 courses plus a capstone project.

 

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period. The Master of City Planning involves 14 courses and one capstone project.

You can study full-time or part-time. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

Below is a summary of what you will study in a standard two-year, full-time study plan:

  • 1 Capstone project
  • 9 Core City Planning courses
  • 4 Prescribed electives.  

Capstone Project

In your final year of study, you'll devise and independently undertake a major capstone project, where focus on a particular area of specialised interest and build further depth and expertise to the critical ideas and knowledge you have already gained.

This means you’ll graduate with advanced skills and a specialised project that will set you apart as you kick-start your career.

For full course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook. 

Future careers

The Master of City Planning will prepare you for a career through which you can drive solutions to grand challenges like climate change and inequality through urban design.

Our graduates are in-demand and work in planning and urban policy-related roles across all tiers of government (Federal, State, Local), private sector consultancies, property development, and other built environment professions where planning skills are required.

The electives you choose can enable you to move into specialist areas with diverse positive impacts, like housing, urban renewal, environmental management, heritage or urban design. You’ll also gain interdisciplinary skills that will enable you to move into wider policy, research, analytical, creative and community roles. 

Potential careers

  • Strategic Planner

  • Local Government Planner 

  • Social and Community Planner 

  • Environmental Planner  

  • Urban Consultant 

  • Urban Policy Analyst 

  • Urban Policy Officer

  • Transport Planning 

  • Urban Designer

  • Heritage Officer 

  • Property Developer 

Accreditation

Planning Institute of Australia

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$31,200*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$62,640*

^There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$38,880*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$80,240*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included.

The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships

Our scholarships help you achieve your potential and enhance the university experience. Scholarships reward academic achievements and encourage international mobility, diversity and equity.