Bachelor of Planning

Bachelor of Planning

Course code


Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

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).


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites


Minimum English language proficiency requirements

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

Post admission

EV3601 and EV5603 are block mode subjects offered in Townsville only, while EV5010, EV5602 and EV3252 are also core subjects which require face to face teaching on the Cairns Campus.  Students will be required to attend block mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, at their own expense.


The Honours degree is available only to students admitted to the Bachelor of Planning at this university.

A student may be invited by the College Dean to undertake the Honours degree if the student has satisfied the College requirements relating to the standard of academic achievement necessary to undertake the honours degree.

Under approved circumstances students may enrol in Honours part time.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

96 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

A minimum of 9 credit points must be taken at level 1

A maximum of 30 credit points may be taken at level 1

A minimum of 24 credit points may be taken at level 2

A minimum of 15 credit points may be taken at level 3

A minimum of 18 credit points may be taken at levels 4 and 5

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 Bachelor of Planning at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge, with depth in underlying principles and concepts in the discipline of urban and regional planning

  • Evaluate and reflect on strategic, statutory, professional and ethical frameworks to perform key urban and regional planning tasks, especially in diverse tropical contexts

  • Review critically, analyse, consolidate and synthesise information and evidence relevant to diverse planning, land use and development contexts

  • Utilise appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods, technical tools and geographic information systems for data analysis and spatial mapping

  • Communicate issues, proposals, and actions clearly and coherently to diverse audiences through advanced written and oral English language, numeracy and graphical skills and a range of media

  • Apply strategic, critical, creative and spatial thinking, and planning knowledge and evidence, to identify, analyse and generate solutions to complex, unpredictable and/or emergent problems

  • Demonstrate initiative and responsibility in decision making and management of time, risk and conflicts in planning and design projects

  • Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with other planners and, where appropriate, multidisciplinary, culturally diverse, Indigenous, minority and/or special needs groups

  • Review, evaluate and/or monitor planning tools, processes, proposals and plans

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

  • Apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques and tools to plan and execute a minor piece of research.

Course Structure


Level 1

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change

EV1008:03 Human Geography

EV1009:03 Introduction to Planning

Level 2

BX2077:03 Project Management

EV2003:03 Introduction to Environmental Economics

EV2301:03 Urban Geography and Design

EV2360:03 Cradle to Grave: Population Economy and Environment

EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

LA2902:03 Environmental Law and Policy

MA2401:03 Statistics and Data Analysis or SY2005:03 Qualitative Research or SY2012:03 Social Survey Design and Analysis

Level 3

EV3001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV3002:03 Environmental Impact Assessment

EV3252:03 Indigenous Environmental Management

EV3601:03 Social Impact Assessment: Environmental Management

EV3454:03 Natural Hazards or EV3606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning

Level 4

EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment

EV5602:03 Urban Design Studio

EV5008:03 Professional Placement

EV5603:03 Planning Legislation and Professional Practice

EV5910:03 Minor Project (Part 1 of 2)

EV5920:03 Minor Project (Part 2 of 2)


Select 15 credit points of specified level 1 or 2 subjects:

AN1001:03 Anthropology: Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective

BA1002:03 Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place

BU1003:03 Economics for Sustainable Business

BZ1001:03 Introduction to Biological Processes

BZ1005:03 Introductory Ecology

BZ1006:03 Diversity of Life

BZ1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity

BZ1008:03 Functional Biology

CP1401:03 Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming

CU1010:03 Effective Writing

CV1520:03 A Fine Line: Drawing Concepts and Techniques

CY1001:03 Deviance, Crime and Society

CY2001:03 Perspectives on Criminology

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

EV1011:03 Introduction to Sustainability

EV2011:03 The Case for Sustainability

HI1302:03 World History Since 1900

HI2005:03 Environmental History

IA2013:03 Ecology and Australian Indigenous Cultures

IA2016:03 Australian Indigenous Politics

IA2017:03 Impact of Change on Indigenous Peoples: A Global Perspective

LA1101:03 Legal Institutions and Processes

LA1102:03 Legal Research, Writing and Analysis

LA1104:03 Legal Concepts

MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics

NM1500:03 Introduction to Visual Arts

PL1001:03 The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science

PL2002:03 Policy Analysis and Management

SC1101:03 Science: Nature, Knowledge and Understanding

SC1102:03 Modelling Natural Systems

SS1010:03 Australian People: An Introduction to the Social Sciences

SY1001:03 Australian Society: An Introduction to Sociology

SY2001:03 New Forms of Work, Organisation and Career


Select 6 credit points of specified level subjects:

EV5404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography

EV5605:03 Professional Planning Work Experience

EV5607:03 Disasters: Policy to Practice

EV5610:03 Native Title and Land Use Planning


Select 9 credit points of specified level 3 and 5 subjects:

BX3033:03 Cost Benefit Analysis

CY3001:03 Perspectives on Criminology

CY3456:03 Crime Prevention and Community Safety

EV3011:03 Sustainability in Practice

EV3201:03 Managing Coastal and Marine Environments

EV3251:03 Environmental Impacts of Human Activities in Protected Areas

EV3401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology

EV3404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography

EV5009:03 Foundations of Natural Resource Management

EV3502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV5605:03 Professional Planning Work Experience

HI5005:03 Environmental History

LA3006:03 Administrative Law

PL3002:03 Policy Analysis and Management

SY3001:03 New Forms of Work, Organisation and Career

TO5002:03 Introduction to Tourism and the Environment

TO5104:03 Tourist Management Strategies









Expected time to complete

4 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

10 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites

Must successfully complete 9 credit points of science subjects at level 1 before attempting any level 2 science subjects.

Must successfully complete 18 credit points of science subjects at level 1 and level 2 before attempting any level 3 science subjects.

Must successfully complete 60 credit points before attempting any level 4 subjects.

Must successfully complete 12 credit points of science subjects at level 3 before attempting any level 5 science subjects.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable

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

63 credit points


Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


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

A maximum of 18 credit points of advanced standing may be granted at level 3 or 4.

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable