Courses Australian courses Bachelor of Planning

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Bachelor of Planning

Townsville, Cairns
February, July
4 years full-time
Part-time available
Attendance mode
Entry Requirements
OP 17 | English (4,SA)
ATAR 57.25 | English (Units 3/4,C)
Rank 65
CNS: 326271
TSV: 316271
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Study the Bachelor of Planning at JCU in the heart of tropical northern Queensland. Experience the relationship and coexistence between World Heritage listed environments and rapidly expanding cities.

Learn to apply lateral, multidisciplinary thinking when designing better cities and urban areas. Overcome various challenges when considering their overall appearance to services and facilities. Create a balance between lifestyle and sustainability to foster and support communities.

Gain practical work experience with State Government, non-government organisations, and private consultancies. Network with industry players to graduate with a head start.

Opportunities also exist within the degree to experience and apply your knowledge in an international context.

This course is fully accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia.
Additional information

About JCU's Bachelor of Planning in Queensland

You want to make a difference in the world around you. You can envisage solutions to current problems, and you have a passion to be part of sustainable solutions for our planet's future. With a Bachelor of Planning degree from JCU (similar to a Bachelor of Urban Planning), you will learn how to make your visions become reality.

A Planning School That Makes a Difference

Learn about the interrelation between natural and built environment and be ready to lead the way in improving liveability and climate impact for our world's cities. As you pursue your urban development degree from JCU, benefit from the university's unique location and access World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics, and rainforests. With a city planning bachelor's degree, you can have an impact on how urban planning affects our global future.

Enrol in a Planning Degree Course and Bring Balance to the World

As you work through your town planning courses, learn strategies to resolve crucial tensions. Understand the balance between urban development and sustainability or how to advance the lifestyles of marginalized people while protecting delicate ecosystems.

Provide appropriate, sustainable and clinically relevant services to address the issues found in rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical communities. As part of your JCU city planning degree, you will work in meaningful ways with communities as well as local governments. Be the point where diverse needs and perspectives come together to provide and implement sustainable solutions.

Forge a Meaningful Future

A degree and a job are important; so is making a difference in the world. Through each urban planning course, learn how to mix experiences from the past with the technologies of the future. Learn how to plan and develop safe, thriving cities that coexist with the surrounding ecosystems.

Benefit from hands-on practice in overcoming the challenges that stand between us and a sustainable future. With your urban planning degree, be ready to take jobs in government, as a private consultant, or with NGOs and private industry. Using skills applicable to diverse international planning environments, you will be ready to work anywhere at home or abroad.

Study Planning and Lead the Way

Your degree should prepare you to lead the way, and your town planning degree through JCU will equip you for effective leadership. Develop an understanding of how to operate in the legal, regulatory, and ethical contexts of urban planning. Your leadership skills will be honed through your partnership with JCU as you get practical experience in decision making, collaboration, and dealing with emergent problems.

As an accomplished spatial thinker and creative problem solver, learn how to gather appropriate information and use the technical tools at your disposal to make data-driven decisions. Using well-developed communication skills, you will be well equipped to make proposals and promote a clear course of action that others can follow.

Study a Bachelor of Planning and Experience the Incredible

Get ready today for tomorrow with a degree from an acknowledged leader in urban design. You are the future of sustainable, functional growth - take the first steps towards a rewarding career in urban planning today.

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Consult the handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects.


Honours is available only to students admitted to the Bachelor of Planning at JCU. High-achieving students may be invited by the College Dean to undertake the Bachelor of Planning (Honours). Refer to the Bachelor of Planning (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

Career Opportunities

JCU Planning graduates are qualified for high-demand positions throughout Australia.

Graduates pursue diverse careers which include developing cities, regions, and urban environments to enhance social, environmental, and economic well-being.

Upon graduation, you will be you will be nationally recognised as a planner and for graduate  with the Planning Institute of Australia. Membership enables you to access the relevant skills, emerging knowledge and valuable networks as your career develops.

Note the course QTAC code for the location you've chosen. You'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (316271) - Apply now
Cairns (326271) - Apply now
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Bachelor of Planning

Handbook year


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

Students will be required to attend intensive mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, as well as fieldwork, 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

EV2011:03 The Case for Sustainability

EV2130:03 Introduction to Urban Ecosystems

Level 3

EV3001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning

EV3110:03 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

IA3030:03 Navigating the Cultural Interface

BX3023:03 Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

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


Select 15 credit points of any Level 1, 2 or 3 subjects or 3 credit points of any Level 1, 2 or 3 subjects plus an Inter-Disciplinary Minor





Students will be required to attend intensive mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, as well as fieldwork, at their own expense.


Students will be required to attend intensive mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, as well as fieldwork, at their own expense.


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



Students may apply for a credit transfer for previous tertiary study or informal and non-formal learning in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Maximum allowed

63 credit points


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


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 20 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit 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 credit 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 exit the course prior to completion and have successfully completed 12 credit points of appropriate subjects, may be eligible for the award of Certificate of Higher Education.

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.

Annual Tuition Fee: $9,030. (Estimate only)

Student Services and Amenities fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

A variety of Scholarships are available to suit different student types.

An OP or ATAR is the score required for entry into most undergraduate courses. If you are not a Year 12 school leaver or do not have an OP or ATAR, you can be assigned an equivalent rank score. Ranks are calculated from previous study that you might have completed, either secondary, tertiary or vocational, or previous paid employment experience.

JCU offers pathway courses to help you move into a degree. Pathway courses provide you with an individualised study plan and specialised support as you transition to university.

Contact us to find about more.

Get real-world experience

Work-integrated learning through the Tropical Urban Design Studio allows JCU students to work with local councils across northern Queensland to develop masterplans for regional towns.