Master of Tropical Urban and Regional Planning

Information valid for students commencing in 2015.

Course code




Professional Accreditation Status

This course is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Graduates are eligible for immediate membership of the Urban and Regional Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia and, after two years’ professional planning experience, are eligible to become corporate members (MPIA).

Course type

Masters Degree (AQF Level 9)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF Level 7 Bachelor Degree in a cognate discipline (such as geography, environmental studies, planning or similar).

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Additional entry

Graduate Certificate of Science in Tropical Urban and Regional Planning is the pathway for entrants with a first degree from disciplines other than Geography, Environmental Studies, Planning or similar.

Post admission

For more information, refer to:

Infectious Diseases Policy and Immunisation Guidelines

Placement/ professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. For more information, refer to:

Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement

For flexible delivery option, computer and internet access is required.

Closing date


Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

36 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules


Additional completion requirements


Course learning outcomes

The graduates of James Cook University are prepared and equipped to create a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide.

JCU graduates are committed to lifelong learning, intellectual development, and to the display of exemplary personal, professional and ethical standards. They have a sense of their place in the tropics and are charged with professional, community, and environmental responsibility. JCU graduates appreciate the need to embrace and be acquainted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia. They are committed to reconciliation, diversity and sustainability. They exhibit a willingness to lead and to contribute to the intellectual, environmental, cultural, economic and social challenges of regional, national, and international communities of the tropics.

Graduates of the Master of Tropical Urban and Regional Planning at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply an advanced body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including understanding of recent developments, in urban and regional planning in the tropics

  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories from a range of sources

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field experiments/practices by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to urban and regional planning in the tropics

  • Organise, analyse and interpret complex planning data using advanced mathematical, statistical, qualitative and technological skills

  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, social science and scientific data, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media

  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying planning knowledge and skills with initiative and expert judgement

  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others

  • Apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques and tools to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.

Course Structure


EV5001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV5301:03 Urban Geography and Design

EV5603:03 Planning Legislation and Professional Practice

EV5602:03 Urban Design Studio


Select 12 credit points of specified subjects from either OPTION A or OPTION B

OPTION A: Dissertation (entry restricted to minimum Grade Point Average of 5.5)

EV5914:06 Independent Project and Dissertation (Part 1 of 2)

EV5915:06 Independent Project and Dissertation (Part 2 of 2)

OPTION B: Project

EV5910:03 Minor Project (Part 1 of 2)

EV5920:03 Minor Project (Part 2 of 2)


Select an additional 6 credit points of EV level 5 subjects from the following specified option groups 1-4


Select 3 credit points (one subject) from EACH of the four specified groups of subjects


EV5252:03 Indigenous Environmental Management

EV5601:03 Social Impact Assessment: Environmental Management

EV5606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning

EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment

EV5404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography


EV5502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV5505:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

EV5506:03 Remote Sensing


EV5002:03 Environmental Impact Assessment

EV5003:03 Environmental Economics

EV5200:03 Terrestrial Resource Management

EV5205:03 Conserving Tropical Rainforests

EV5209:03 Principles and Practices of Protected Area Management

EV5210:03 Management of Marine Protected Areas

EV5251:03 Environmental Impacts of Human Activities in Protected Areas

EV5401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology

EV5009:03 Foundations of Natural Resource Management


EV5008:03 Professional Placement

EV5605:03 Professional Planning Work Experience

EV5607:03 Disasters: Policy to Practice

EV5610:03 Native Title and Land Use Planning









Expected time to complete

1.5 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

10 years (including leave of absence)

Maximum leave of absence

5 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Accreditation requirements

Successful completion of all core and prescribed elective subjects fulfils the academic entry requirements for the Professional Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

6 credit points

Supplementary exam for final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject, may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject. However if that subject is required for accreditation, then the criteria specified by that accreditation will apply.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

18 credit points


Advanced standing should not be granted for subjects completed more than 10 years prior to enrolment for the award for which advanced standing is being sought.


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 20 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree.

Other restrictions


Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have completed 12 credit points of appropriate subjects, may be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate of Science in Tropical Urban and Regional Planning.

Course articulation

Not applicable

Special Awards

Where coursework is completed at a grade point average of 6 or above, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, on the recommendation of the College Dean may recommend the award of a Master of Tropical Urban and Regional Planning with Distinction.