Master of Planning and Urban Design
James Cook University (JCU) has brought together some of the world's most creative and visionary planning professionals to enable you to gain the maximum benefit from this unique Masters degree. They'll share their extensive international experience, including in South East Asia, Brazil and in Indigenous communities.
So whether you're an international student, an Australian student studying Planning, or adding to your existing qualifications in Arts, Social Sciences, Engineering, or Science - if you dream of embarking on an important career in Planning where you can really make a difference in your world - this Masters degree offers you opportunities not available at any other university.
Part time available
Depending on the specialisations you choose, your career could see you working anywhere in Australia or internationally in highly creative roles in government, not-for-profits, developing countries or independent corporations. Your options will be extensive. When you graduate your work could include tropical planning and urban design to meet the major challenges facing society today, such as:
- Designing cities, towns and remote communities to cope with climate change
- Population growth and change
- Rapid urbanisation
- Poverty and homelessness
- Conflict over land use
- Planning to include cultural diversity
- Economic development
- Hazard mapping
- Planning sub-divisions
- Ecological sustainability
- Social and planning policy development
- Environment impact assessment
- Environmental law
- Urban and regional planning.
When you graduate, you'll be able to offer special knowledge and skills in tropical planning and policy development. You could even use the communication and political negotiation knowledge you'll gain to establish a career in politics. For those wishing to contemplate planning issues in a scholarly way, your Masters degree could be a stepping-stone towards a career in research.
If you're already studying Planning, this JCU degree allows you to seek advanced standing to fast-track your Masters degree. And if you want to add to your existing qualifications which could be in areas such as Arts, Social Sciences, Engineering or Science, and embark on a highly creative career as a Tropical Urban or Regional Planner, this JCU course offers you that opportunity.
You’ll study both in the classroom and in the field in order to integrate your theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Field-based learning you may participate in includes:
- Study of Urban Design and Disaster Resilience units in Singapore, whose tropical urban planning is recognised worldwide for its excellence
- Work and study with industry experts such as local architects whose experience includes addressing changing planning needs to address ageing populations, disappearing youth populations, limited job opportunities, declining tourist numbers - key issues that you may choose as your focus when you graduate
- Study planning relevant to Yarrabah's Indigenous community
- Visits to regional farming, tourism/eco-tourism locations, where you'll gain an understanding of the issues facing these communities and businesses.
This JCU Masters course provides you with academic knowledge and practical field experience that will enable you to make a positive impact on communities, and navigate through political environments involved in planning for a changing world. Among the core subjects and optional units you'll study are:
- Environmental and Regional Planning
- Urban Geography/Design
- Field Studies of Tropical Geography
- Design Communication
- Urban Ecosystems
- Disaster Management Principles
- Natural Hazards
- Sustainability in Practice
- Native Title and Land Use Planning
- Indigenous Environmental Management
- Practice of Cultural Heritage
- Asia Pacific Development: Culture and Globalisation.
This JCU Masters degree is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).
Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.
Master of Planning and Urban Design
Masters by Coursework (AQF Level 9)
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
Completion of an AQF Level 7 Bachelor Degree in a cognate discipline (such as geography, environmental studies, planning, engineering or similar), at this or another University
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.
Academic Requirements for Course Completion
48 credit points as per course structure
Additional course rules
Students may be required to attend block mode or flexible delivery subjects on other campus', and some subjects will require fieldwork that includes additional costs for food and accommodation.
Course learning outcomes
Graduates of the Master of Planning and Urban Design at James Cook University will be able to:
EV5001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning
EV5301:03 Urban Geography and Design
EV5603:03 Planning Legislation and Professional Practice
EV5505:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Select 24 credit points of subjects from List 1
Select either Option A or Option B
OPTION A (Dissertation – entry restricted to minimum Grade Point Average of 5.5)
SC5912:06 Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (1 of 2)
SC5913:06 Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (2 of 2)
OPTION B (Professional Project)
EV5910:03 Professional Planning Project (1 of 2)
EV5920:03 Professional Planning Project (2 of 2)
Select 6 credit points of subjects specified in List 1
Note: Themes listed below are for guidance only
Sustainable Urbanism Theme
EV5120:03 Advanced Design Communication
EV5130:03 Urban Ecosystems
EV5404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography
EV5602:03 Urban Design Studio
Disaster Resilience Theme
EV5606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning
EV5607:03 Disaster Management Principles
EV5614:03 Leadership in Disaster Management
EV5454:03 Natural Hazards
Development Planning Theme
AN5006:03 Asia Pacific Development: Culture and Globalisation
EV5015:03 Sustainability In Practice
EV5951:03 Development in Practice
EV5952:03 Critical Issues in Global Development
AY5026:03 The Practice of Cultural Heritage Management
CP5639:03 Problem Solving and Programming I
CP5641:03 Design Thinking Principles
EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment
EV5610:03 Native Title and Land Use Planning
LB5229:03 Economics for a Sustainable World
SC5008:03 Professional Placement
SC5901:03 Special Topic 1
SC5902:03 Special Topic 2
TO5002:03 Tourism and the Environment
TO5103:03 Global Destination Competitiveness
COURSE AVAILABLE AT
Some subjects are only available in external mode. Core subject EV5603 is delivered in intensive mode at the Townsville campus. Cairns-based students are required to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements in order to attend this subject, at their own expense.
Some subjects are only available in external mode or intensive mode at the Cairns campus.
Not all subjects are available in Singapore.
Expected time to complete
2 years full-time or equivalent part-time
Maximum time to complete
Maximum leave of absence
Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)
Maximum allowed Pass
Supplementary exam for
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.
Students may apply for credit transfer for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.
Credit may also be granted for the following:
*Cognate disciplines: Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Design, Urban Studies, Geography, Sustainability or other disciplines where students will have completed study relating to design, visual communication, planning, land use, sustainability, transport planning, real estate development and economics.
** Professional experience: Applicants must have a minimum of two (2) years full-time equivalent professional work experience in a management, leadership or supervisory level in a planning, urban design, landscape architecture, or architecture environment or be eligible for a member grade status of a relevant professional organisation. Students will have demonstrable effective experience relating or urban planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, land use, master planning, design communication skills.
18 credit points
Except where a student transfers from one JCU award to another, then credit may be granted for more than two-thirds of the new award, where there is subject equivalence between the awards
Credit should not be granted for subjects completed more than 10 years prior to enrolment for the award for which credit is being sought.
Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 19 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
MASTER OF PLANNING AND URBAN DESIGN
Inclusion of majors on
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 Graduate Certificate of Science.
Where coursework is completed at a grade point average of 6 or above, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, on the recommendation of the College Dean of Science and Engineering may recommend the award of a Master of Planning and Urban Design with Distinction.
This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.