Be a part of sustainable solutions for our planet’s future with a Bachelor of Planning from JCU. Planners are responsible for ensuring that the physical spaces of towns and cities are designed to benefit the community as much as possible. Learn how to use infrastructure, transport and urban planning create a balance between lifestyle and sustainability to foster and support communities. You’ll explore the principles of planning and design, and how their application can improve the liveability, sustainability, income and vibrancy of urban and regional communities.
Explore the diverse work of planners and the many roles they fill — from town planners, regional planners, city planners, social planners, cultural planners, environmental planners and more. You’ll learn how planners participate in a range of roles that involve the creation and management of cities, towns and communities. Throughout your degree, you’ll become skilled at navigating the fundamental elements of planning public spaces, including environmental impact, sustainability, social welfare, heritage and urban development.
In the Bachelor of Planning degree, you will study core subjects including Environmental and Regional Planning, Human Geography, Project Management, Environmental Economics, Geographic Information Systems, Disasters, Communities and Planning, and Urban Design Studio. You will experience urban design and sustainable town planning on multiple levels, including the real-world scenarios incorporated into your assessments, and the opportunity to visit regional towns and international design landmarks like the Helix Bridge in Singapore. You can also expand your knowledge further through project-based learning and internships.
In your fourth year of study, you’ll gain hands-on experience in urban planning with the Urban Design Studio subject, which involves visiting regional towns in Far North Queensland with the aim of creating part of a design master plan to improve the town’s liveability. High-achieving students in this subject will have the opportunity to join JCU’s TUDLab Tropical Design Studio, which partners with industry professionals and local councils, have your design segment included in a real-life master plan for that town, and be a part of its journey towards implementation.
Experience firsthand what it’s like to be a town planner as you undertake practical work experience in your fourth year of study. You’ll get to participate in a professional placement with State Government, non-government organisations, or private consultancies. Sharpen your skills and network with industry professionals through over 140 hours of work experience. The network connections you make could lead to further opportunities post-graduation.
This course is fully accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia. Upon graduation, you will be immediately eligible for membership in the Urban and Regional Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia. Your in-depth understanding of planning, design and management for public and private spaces in urban and regional contexts will prepare you for a diverse career that makes a difference to tropical communities.
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.
Consult the handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects.
Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment,and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession. For more information please review the inherent requirements for the Bachelor of Planning.
An Honours degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees.
JCU Planning graduates are qualified for high-demand positions throughout Australia and across the world.
Graduates pursue diverse careers which include developing cities, regions, and urban environments to enhance social, environmental and economic well-being. You could work as a town planner, an urban planner, or in specialised areas such as social or cultural planning, environmental planning and sustainable planning. You can find work in government organisations, private corporations and public consultancies.
Your knowledge and skills will prepare you to make short-term plans about how to use land while keeping in mind the long-term future for population growth, economic improvement and environmental protection. You can work in roles that focus on public policy, informing and educating the public, or even advising state and city councils.
Upon graduation, you will be nationally recognised as a planner with the Planning Institute of Australia. Membership enables you to access the relevant skills, emerging knowledge and valuable networks as your career develops.
Entry score threshold
These are the lowest adjusted scores we made an offer to in Semester 1, 2023. Entry scores are based on the most recent Semester 1 intake and are updated in June each year. Meeting the threshold doesn't guarantee admission.
ATAR/Selection Rank: 63.20
Entry score range
This table shows the range of entry scores for recent secondary students offered a place in the Bachelor of Planning for Semester 1, 2023. The table includes offers deferred to Semester 1, 2023 which may have been assessed using the entry score threshold of an earlier year.
<5 – indicates less than 5 OP/ATAR-based offers made.
* Refer to Adjustment Factors
Find out more about who you might study with by viewing this course’s student profile.
James Cook University applies bonus ranks under the Regional Preference Scheme and QTAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS). Learn more about JCU’s adjustment factors.
Information valid for students commencing in 2024
Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)
Professional Accreditation Status
This course is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Graduates are eligible for immediate graduate membership of PIA and, after two years’ professional planning experience, are eligible to become Full Members (MPIA).
Science and Engineering
Recommended Knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C)
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.
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
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:
Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University's learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession. For more information please visit: Bachelor of Planning.
All JCU students have the opportunity to demonstrate, with reasonable adjustments where applicable, the inherent requirements for their course. For more information please visit: Student Disability Policy and Procedure.
EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change
EV1008:03 Human Geography
EV1009:03 Introduction to Planning
EV1011:03 Introduction to Sustainability
BX2077:03 Project Management
EV2003:03 Introduction to Environmental Economics
EV2301:03 Urban Geography and Design
EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
EV2011:03 The Case for Sustainability
EV3001:03 Environmental and Regional Planning
EV3110:03 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
IA3030:03 Navigating the Cultural Interface
EV3606:03 Disasters, Communities and Planning
EV3404:03 Field Studies in Tropical Geography
EV3454:03 Natural Hazards
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 3 credit points of subjects from List 1
EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution
LA2902:03 Environmental Law and Policy
Select 6 credit points of subjects from List 2
EV5614:03 Leadership in Disaster Management
EV5951:03 Development in Practice
EV5952:03 Critical Issues in Global Development
EV5607:03 Disaster Management Principles
Select 18 credit points of any Level 1, 2 or 3 subjects
Select 3 credit points of any Level 2 or 3 subjects
COURSE AVAILABLE AT
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
Maximum leave of absence
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 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
Supplementary exam for final subject
Students may apply for credit transfer for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.
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.
A maximum of 18 credit points of credit may be granted at level 3 or 4.
BACHELOR OF PLANNING
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.
Students may receive an Award of Recognition in accordance with the Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure
Available within the Bachelor of Planning (Honours) [Embedded].
Students accepted into 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.
JCU Prep provides a pathway into this course. Enrolling in this flexible program will enable you to meet entry requirements including subject pre-requisites and ATARs. Introductory academic subjects are also available to prepare you for tertiary study.
*Excludes entry into the Bachelor of Advanced Science, Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Marine Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Nursing Science – Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours), Bachelor of Physiotherapy, and Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours).
Note the course QTAC code for the location you've chosen. You'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.
Application dates vary between courses, whether they're delivered in semester, trimester or carousel study modes. View our Application due dates page for more information.
ATAR score is indicative only. Entry scores will be finalised in the major offer round.
Bachelor of Planning
Planning is a bit of everything from people, place to the environment. Studying planning at JCU with a tropical focus puts students in an area of rapid change, incredible social and economic challenge, and innovation. Singapore has been the highlight, spending two weeks in a city that really is a planning hub.
Townsville City Council
Studying the Bachelor of Planning (Honours) at JCU has provided me with the foundational knowledge to pursue a career in Town Planning. The wide array of subjects on offer within the degree program, guides students through a plethora of learning experiences, developing each student into a job ready graduate!
Associate Professor Lisa Law
Bachelor of Planning
The Bachelor of Planning suits many different kinds of students. If you’re creative there’s opportunity to do city designing, if you enjoy geographical information systems and planning schemes this could also be for you, or if you’re interested in environmental conservation you can focus on environmental policy.
Townsville City Council Manager Planning Services
The JCU student town planning placement program with council has been a long term initiative running for over 20 years. We have seen many high achieving JCU students go on to either work at council, state government agencies or private consultants as leaders in their field.