Master of Urban and Regional Planning

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Sydney is your pathway to the professional world of planning. The Planning Institute of Australia accredits this course, ensuring professional relevance and excellent employment opportunities.

Planners are strategic professionals that reconcile the complex demands of law, budgets and aesthetics to produce plans for vibrant, functional and desirable public spaces and cities. The planning program at the University of Sydney is recognised for its focus on the significant challenges of scale in planning. Our expertise in both Urban and in Regional planning means that when you study with us, you will be adept at working across the spectrum of planning works, whether for a population of 500 or for 5 million.

You will benefit from the expertise of our staff and our close ties with industry. Our academics are all active contributors to the profession, forging close links with state, national and international planning organisations. In 2012, the planning program celebrated its close ties with the Office of Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea through a Memorandum of Understanding. We regularly host prestigious international planning conferences, including the only UPE conference to be held in the Asia-Pacific. All of this combines to give you unparalleled access to the best teachers and a solid network of industry contacts as you complete your degree. This is consistently demonstrated in our high student-satisfaction and graduate employment surveys.

We give you flexible options to expand the scope of your degree by undertaking one of our exclusive enrichment options. Offered in Heritage Conservation or Urban Design, you can improve your employment prospects by taking these specialisations. No other program planning program in Australia gives you the flexibility to pursue these enrichment options

Planning is an important function in many professions. You may find yourself working as a consult alongside politicians or private companies. There is also a demand for planners by local councils and state planning authorities. Planners are allied professionals to engineers, architects and environmental consultants. They provide advice, support and their expertise in planning to ensure that proposed projects are appropriately scoped and investigated on all relevant scales. There is also an important role for planners in the development of policy, particularly in international development, where the Faculty holds expertise.

Planning is a vibrant, challenging and rewarding career. It is much more than the simple, technical evaluation of different design options. Instead, planning is infused with consideration for human welfare and social progress. The social and ecological impacts of a project are always at the forefront of a planner’s mind. Our planning program gives you the tools and approaches that will enable you to work in planning-based roles both in Australia and internationally, and can give you this experience during your degree through our extensive exchange network.

International Connections:

The Urban and Regional Planning program has strong international connections and is recognised for its expertise in the formulation of national planning strategies. Dr. Paul Jones has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Urbanisation Office in Papua New Guinea and has been instrumental in the launch of the first
national urbanisation strategy.

Students of the Urban and Regional Planning program benefit from this expertise and global connectedness. There are many exchange opportunities with institutions around the world, further expanding your understanding of urban planning in different national contexts. This all combines to give you perspectives on planning that go well beyond the classroom.

Graduates of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning are eligible, subject to professional experience requirements, for corporate membership of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

More detail on the Program including course planner, credit request forms and timetable links can be found at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning homepage.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan


Candidates for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning complete 72 credit points (cp) made up of at least six core units of study (48cp) and four elective units (24cp) from those available within the faculty, subject to meeting prior learning requirements and timetabling. Areas of study include history and theory in urban planning, planning procedures and planning law. All master's students will complete a planning report or planning dissertation.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will monitor students for satisfactory progress towards the completion of their award course. In addition to the common triggers used to identify students not meeting academic progression requirements, students must pass any unit of study identified in the course resolutions as being critical to progression through the course.

Capstone experience

A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed by the faculty to provide you with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with your prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. For the Master of Urban and Regional Planning students undertake either a research report or dissertation (available to those students who have achieved a Weighted Average Mark of 75) as a capstone experience. The objective of this capstone experience is to allow students to develop research and analytical skills by undertaking an in-depth study of their own selection.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of urban and regional planning follow careers in a wide range of areas, including urban development; strategic and metropolitan planning; environmental planning and assessment; land-use, transportation and infrastructure planning; planning for housing, health, educational and recreational facilities; community and regional development; and statutory planning. Planners work in a variety of roles, including policy analysis and implementation, consultation and public participation, besides preparing and administering planning instruments. Both the private and public sectors provide extensive career opportunities. Planners are employed by international organisations, all levels of government in Australia, and by a wide range of agencies. Private sector employment is primarily with developers and consultants. There are presently many career opportunities throughout Australia and overseas.

Course accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia. Masters graduates are eligible, subject to professional experience requirements, for corporate membership of PIA.

Further study

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning places a high emphasis on its research activity. We have a vibrantly diverse community of scholars and practitioners, many of whom have taken national and international leadership roles in their fields. The faculty offers the opportunity to pursue research degrees, both MPhil and PhD in four disciplines: architecture and allied arts; architectural and design science; design lab; and urban and regional planning and policy.
You may elect to study in any of these fields, or to pursue interdisciplinary studies in a combination of fields with the faculty or between the faculty and elsewhere in the University. The University and the faculty have formal links, including exchange agreements and memoranda of understanding, with institutions throughout Asia, Europe, Scandinavia and North America. These translate into research opportunities for students as well as staff.
These degrees are supported through a wide range of resources, including extensively equipped laboratories and comprehensive workshop facilities.

Other study options

The Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning runs continuing professional development short courses, including an online program, which provide a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. All of our courses qualify for CPD points with AIA, SBSE/EA and AIRAH members.

If you are considering further study it is also an opportunity to try a subject from a course to gauge its suitability. You have the choice to either complete the assessment work or not. If you do successfully complete the assessment work you will be eligible to receive 6 credit points per subject towards a future degree. For more information please see the faculty website [hyperlink: http://sydney.edu.au/architecture/programs_of_study/continuing_professional_development.shtml].

Admission

Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning will hold a bachelor's degree with a credit average.

Students may apply to upgrade at the completion of their program from the Graduate Certificate, through to the Diploma and then to the Masters by maintaining a credit average over the course of study.

More detail on the Program including course planner, credit request forms and timetable links can be found at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning homepage.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.