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Bachelor of City Planning (Honours)

Arts, Design & Architecture
Seek and solve problems to improve life on earth
Shape the communities of tomorrow. When you study the Bachelor of City Planning (Honours) at UNSW, you’ll get to the heart of what makes great places thrive while gaining job-ready skills and accreditation for a career in urban planning. Sustainable, equitable and inspiring built environments start here.
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration
4 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Campus
Kensington
Codes
UAC code 423600
Program code 3362
CRICOS code 088837E
Entry Requirements
ATAR/2023 lowest selection rank
80
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$9,000*
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
$38,500*
Law student portrait with building exterior and building shadows

Overview

The UNSW Bachelor of City Planning is a four-year, full-time honours degree that shows you how to shape the future of built environments to benefit residents, businesses and communities alike. Because cities and regions need to be more than efficient and convenient – they need to adapt to foster a sense of connection, create new ways of living, and make sure we can sustainably grow.  

Learn to thrive at the intersection of development, land use, environment and urban design. At the same time, gain the knowledge and skills to turn your creativity and critical thinking into solutions. From protecting our natural and heritage-built environments to working with communities in cultivating fair, equitable and inclusive neighbourhoods – you can make real change.

This planning degree gets to the heart of what makes great places tick. Shape the future of our cities and regions and make your mark on what urban and regional planning will be capable of for years to come.

Key features

Work experience 
Learning from real-world experience is vital to getting ready for your next step, which is why work experience is a defining feature of this degree. As part of our diverse Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA) community, you'll work alongside students and professionals across the built environment sector. You'll benefit from our strong ties to the industry when you complete our highly regarded and world-leading Practice Year in your third year of study.

Strong connections
Throughout this bachelor’s degree, you'll be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive community and gain access to our world-class alumni connections. What's more, you'll also have access to networking events with the PIA Young Planners and opportunities to connect with Australia's leading urban research centre, the City Futures Research Centre.

Become job ready
Prioritise your career success and increase your employability through our honours program while taking the first steps toward gaining corporate membership with the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Not only did UNSW win the Australian Financial Review's 'Most Employable Students Award' in 2023, but we're also ranked in the top 40 worldwide as a leading Built Environment school.

Grow your knowledge 
You'll explore city planning through crucial subject areas, including:

  • Urban society, theory, history
  • City economics and development
  • Heritage planning
  • Housing policy and urban renewal
  • Rural and regional planning
  • Environment, sustainability and resilience
  • Planning law and administration
  • Strategic planning
  • Social and community planning
  • Urban design and plan making
  • GIS and city analytics
  • Infrastructure and transport planning

 

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • UNSW is ranked in the top 20 universities in the world by QS Rankings^
  • Increased employability with an honour’s degree
  • Accreditation with the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Network with the PIA Young Planners
  • We've got Australia's leading City Futures Research Centre
  • Current research informs your education 
  • Ranked top 40 worldwide and 4th in Australia*
  • Strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access to world-class alumni connections

*According to QS Rankings by Subject 2023

^QS World University Rankings 2024

Program Code
3362
CRICOS Code
088837E
Campus
Kensington
UAC Code
423600
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
192
Indicative Enrolments
259

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

Entry requirements

2023 Lowest Selection Rank
80
2023 A levels
13
2023 IB Diploma
29
2023 Lowest ATAR
73.65*
    1. The 2023 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023.
    2. The 2023 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. The 2023 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2023 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Domestic students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: 48 UoC (equivalent to first year)
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC (equivalent to first year and a half)
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC (equivalent to two years)

Considering your previous qualifications and their relevance to the chosen program at UNSW, the type and amount of credit you can apply for, as well as the duration of your remaining program, will then be determined. 

Assessment by the Program Director is required for RPL applications toward Professional Accredited programs. Please note that eligibility for the full volume of RPL may be subject to accreditation requirements.

Portfolio Entry 

At UNSW ADA, you will find the freedom and support to design the future you want. An ADA Portfolio Entry submission will demonstrate your passions alongside your best work, to boost your chances of admission to a bachelor’s degree of your choice. For more information and to see specific guidelines for portfolio submissions visit UNSW Portfolio Entry.

Adjustment Factors


We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Admission pathways


Your ATAR is not the only measure of your potential to succeed, which is why we offer a range of pathways into university. Explore your options below and get in touch with our future student advisors to discuss your path to UNSW. 

Gateway Admission Pathway
This scheme is open to students in Years 11 and 12 who attend Gateway schools. It significantly adjusts the ATAR requirements for your preferred UNSW degree and provides you with an early conditional offer to UNSW. 

Entry programs for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
We offer entry programs for Indigenous Australians, including the Indigenous Preparatory Programs and the Indigenous Admission Scheme (IAS). The entry pathway program you apply for will depend on the degree you want to study. 

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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Typically, international students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: Up to 48 UoC
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC

Generally, International students must ensure that their prior qualifications are assessed and deemed relevant to the program they intend to pursue. Additionally, they are required to maintain a full-time study load as part of the conditions for their Confirmation of Enrolment.

Admission pathways


If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. 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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

What will I study?

Have you ever wanted to change the places and spaces we inhabit? Make them easier to navigate, more rewarding, or sustainable for visitors and residents alike? This degree will give you the skills and knowledge to create and shape the environmental planning that affects how we live.

Consisting of 28 courses, including the Practice Year and a research thesis, this program will challenge you to see beyond what you think is possible and set in motion your vision for the future. 

The Practice Year applies your city planning theory and skills in the real world. You'll make industry connections and experience diverse workplaces in public and private organisations. - including state government, local authorities, urban consultancies, development companies, private practice and NGOs.

You'll bring new insights back to the classroom for your final year. With a self-directed research project, you'll deepen your knowledge of different contexts, analytical skills, and strength of conviction. This year prepares you to graduate and kick-start your career with solid skills that stand out. 

Program details: 

  • 15 core courses
  • 3 prescribed elective courses (choose from within City Planning)
  • 2 free electives
  • 2 general education courses (choose from other schools)
  • The Practice Year - five professional practice courses completed during one year of practical experience
  • A studio course in plan making

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period. You can study full-time or part-time.

Some courses need to be studied in your first and second year, so you’re prepared for courses that can only be studied in later years. 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.

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 an example of what you could study in a standard four-year-year, full-time study plan.

First year

  • 6 Core courses
  • 2 Electives

Second year

  • 8 Core courses

Third year (Practice Year)

  • 5 Practice courses
  • 3 Electives

Fourth year (Honours)

  • 1 Research core course
  • 1 Studio core course
  • 2 Electives
  • 1 Thesis

For further information on coursework, course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook.

Future careers

More than a foot in the door or a pathway towards your first job – this degree sets you up with the professional, practical and research skills you'll need as a successful city planner. 

Graduate with confidence and career-ready skills that turn creativity and critical thinking into real-world solutions. Look forward to building a career that addresses the local and global challenges facing our natural and built environments. 

Potential careers

  • Strategic planner
  • Local government planner
  • Urban 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, Graduates are eligible for Corporate Membership of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), subject to practical experience.

Double degrees

Combine your interests for a unique career connected to your talents and passions. In a double degree, you focus on two areas of expertise to graduate with more knowledge, skills, and career options. 

Despite the name, it's not double the workload. A double degree has the core courses from two programs. You'll graduate with two certificates sooner than studying for one degree followed by another.

The Bachelor of City Planning (Honours) pairs with the Bachelor of Laws. This double degree gives you a broad and comprehensive understanding of professional demands, global trends, and contemporary social issues - such as sustainability, equitable environments, land law, strata and community titles, and construction contracts.

Explore the UNSW Bachelor of City Planning (Honours)/Law.

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to start your application?

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 start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$9,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$38,500*

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at 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.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$47,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$206,000*

*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 here.

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


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


  • Top 20
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2024.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

The student community collectively inspire and encourage my individual career goals.
ADA alumni Shirelle Altona

Shirelle Altona

Current Student

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