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

EV5603 is a  block mode subject 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.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

96 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

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

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

EV1010:03 The Environmental Professional

EV1011:03 Introduction to Sustainability

Level 2

BX2077:03 Project Management

EV2301:03 Urban Geography and Design

EV2360:03 Population Geography and Demography

EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

SC2202:03 Quantitative Methods in Science or SY2005:03 Qualitative Research

EV2120:03 Design Communication

EV2130:03 Introduction to Urban Ecosystems

Level 3

EV3001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV3110:03 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

EV3252:03 Indigenous Environmental Management

BX3023:03 Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

EV3454:03 Natural Hazards

EV3606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning

EV3404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography

Level 4

EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment

EV5602:03 Urban Design Studio

SC5008:03 Professional Placement

EV5603:03 Planning Legislation and Professional Practice

EV5910:03 Professional Planning Project (Pt 1 of 2)

EV5920:03 Professional Planning Project (Pt 2 of 2)



Select 6 credit points of specified subjects from List 1

List 1

EV5605:03 Professional Planning Work Experience

EV5607:03 Disaster Management Principles

EV5610:03 Native Title and Land Use Planning


Select 12 credit points of any Level 1, 2 or 3 subjects or an Inter-Disciplinary Minor









Expected time to complete

4 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

11 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


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 Credit 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

Students who have completed 24 credit points of their course award requirements, and withdraw from or fail to meet the requirements for progression in the later years, may be eligible for the award of Diploma of Tertiary Studies.

Course articulation

Not applicable


Honours availability

Available within the Bachelor of Planning (Honours) course [Embedded].

Students accepted into the Bachelor of Planning (Honours) will be required to transfer into that course.


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.