JCU’s Master of Planning and Urban Design provides an interdisciplinary approach that blends the latest industry ‘best practice’ with urban theory, and is underpinned by a rigorous understanding of the green agenda. You will be equipped with skills in sustainable urban planning and design to prepare for the public or private sector.
This course draws heavily from the disciplines of planning, geography and architecture, as well as environmental science and engineering to create a truly unique experience.
You will have the option to take some subjects at JCU’s other campuses (subject to immigration requirements). There is the further benefit of having electives taught in Singapore and Venice– each of which focuses on a particular aspect of urbanism.
The Master of Planning and Urban Design at JCU will appeal to those interested in how rural, suburban and urban habitats are shaped by how people live, work and play.
Consult the handbook for further information.
Depending on the specialisation that you choose, you can work in government, not-for-profits, or independent corporations in Australia and overseas. developing countries or independent corporations.
When you graduate, your work could include planning and urban design to meet the major challenges facing society today. This could include designing cities, towns and remote communities to cope with climate change; planning for population growth and change; addressing problems associated with rapid urbanisation, including disaster resilience; and reducing poverty and homelessness.
This degree is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).
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) for the Townsville and Cairns Campus offerings of this program. Graduates are eligible for immediate graduate membership of the PIA and, after two years' professional planning experience, are eligible to become Full 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 intensive or mixed mode 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
EV5130:03 Urban Ecosystems
EV5010:03 Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment
EV5110:03 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
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
EV5107:03 International Environmental Policy and Governance
EV5020:03 Human Dimensions of Nature, Environment and Conservation
EV5209:03 Principles and Practices of Protected Area Management
IA5030:03 Navigating the Cultural Interface
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.
Only available for SP51 intake
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.
Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.
Master of Tropical Urban and Regional Planning
The most interesting aspect about this course has been the unforgettable experiences that I’ve had throughout the process of completing my degree, which I don’t believe I would have been able to have anywhere else.
Dit Sang Lee
Master of Planning and Urban Design
The best part of my degree has been the opportunities and hands-on experiences at JCU, such as travelling overseas for field study in Singapore with other planning students. The staff here are really helpful and want people to succeed and that was the best thing for me — you’re not considered a number but a student.
Associate Professor Lisa Law
Bachelor of Planning
The JCU Master of Planning and Urban Design creates future leaders in city, urban, and regional development and offers students opportunities to plan for better social inclusion, for energy efficiency, and for innovation.