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Degree structure

Degree details

Students will achieve the following outcomes from the graduate certificate:

  1. identify and apply the principles, theories and concepts of urban and regional planning and draw upon appropriate knowledge of social, economic and environmental factors within a governance framework to practise planning, particularly in the Western Australian context;
  2. examine and challenge theories and practices of urban and regional planning, and generate creative solutions to planning issues
  3. access, evaluate and synthesise information in the context of urban and regional planning
  4. communicate effectively in writing, graphically, and orally with various audiences within a university context
  5. use appropriate technologies to gather and interpret research and data
  6. engage in self education within the Urban and Regional Planning profession to continue self development
  7. compare and contrast developmental processes in local and international contexts
  8. work ethically as individuals and in teams using skills central to the practice of integrated planning development

A career in planning can lead to a number of different opportunities in both the public and private sectors. For a long time, local government, specifically in Regional Australia has suffered from a lack of professionally trained planners.

The list of career opportunities includes (but is not limited to):

  • Local government planner
  • State government planner
  • Private planning consultant
  • Researcher or Academic
  • Development company
  • Regional development authority
  • Housing or transport agency
  • Environmental authority
  • Commonwealth Agency

An economic downturn is not likely to limit the need for employment of planners. In these times emphasis in the planning arena is much more focused on the provision of housing (affordable) and other welfare and social concerns.

Professional recognition

The Graduate Certificate in Development Planning carries no professional recognition, but provides a pathway to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning which is fully accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), the national professional body for planners. The PIA body establishes and maintains national standards for the education and skill development of planners entering into the planning profession. Curtin University has taught planning programs for over 40 years at both undergraduate and post graduate level.

Graduates from Curtin's Master of Urban and Regional Planning are eligible for full membership of PIA.

Higher education


Applicants require an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

Work and Life

Work experience

Entry may be granted to applicants who do not have an academic qualification but who can demonstrate through professional work experience their capacity to successfully undertake this course. Entry to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning for students without undergraduate qualifications is via this course.

English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants need to meet Curtin’s English Language requirement as all courses are taught in English. If your education courses were not solely in English, as per the International Handbook of Universities or the World Higher Education database, please attach a scanned original copy of English Proficiency Test results. Admission requires an overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) (or equivalent test) score of at least 6.5 and competence in all test components (IELTS score of 6.0).

Please refer to the 'Minimum English Entry Requirements' document at http://students.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/English_List.pdf.

Applications for Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) are assessed on a case by case basis according to Curtin University policies which is available at http://policies.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/policy/Credit_for_Recognised_Learning_Manual.pdf.

Students must be admitted in an award degree of study before lodging their completed CRL application, along with all necessary documentation for a formal assessment.

To officially apply for CRL, students need to submit the CRL application form available from http://students.curtin.edu.au/administration/documents/Application_for_CRL.pdf to opencurtin@curtin.edu.au along with supporting documents. Accepted documentation includes scans of the original Transcripts and/or Award Certificate; front and back; in colour; and original size. For detailed scanned documents requirements and guidelines, please visit http://courses.curtin.edu.au/course_overview/admission-requirements/scanned-documents.cfm.

For further information, please contact opencurtin@curtin.edu.au.

This degree provides an introduction to the planning principles, practices and techniques used by urban and regional planners. Examples and applications draw on local, national and international examples. It can be seen as a stand-alone qualification in its own right, or as the first step towards the Master of Urban and Regional Planning, which is a full professional qualification. It can also provide mid-career training for practising planners. A distinguishing characteristic of the degree is the use of interdisciplinary knowledge and techniques in addressing environmental, social and design issues of concern to the community. It is now widely accepted that successful human settlements must be properly planned and a range of statutory and non-statutory controls exist at all levels of government to protect the public interest in the development process.

The Graduate Certificate in Development Planning offers an alternative pathway into the Master of Urban and Regional Planning for those from a non-related discipline or with only industry experience.

Recommended Study Pattern

See the suggested study plans for full time and part time study below.

Graduate Certificate in Development Planning suggested full time study plans

Graduate Certificate in Development Planning suggested part time study plans

For students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Development Planning prior to Study Period 1 2017, please see the Transition Arrangements section below.

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of Graduate Certificate in Development Planning, students must complete 100 credit points:

  • 4 Core subjects
  • Students must complete the award within 5 years.

2017 Changes

Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Graduate Certificate in Development Planning have undergone a major change in 2017.

The new proposed course structures will only be for new students from 2017 onwards and the current students will follow the old structure.

For students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Development Planning prior to Study Period 1, 2017 you will need to complete 4 of the following 6 units. To enrol in these units, please refer to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning page.

  • URP500 Planning Law (SP1, SP3)
  • URP510 Regional Planning (SP1, SP3)
  • URP520 Development Processes (SP2, SP4)
  • URP530 Planning Theory (SP2, SP4)
  • URP550 Local Planning (SP1, SP3)
  • URP560 Integrated Plan Making (SP1, SP3)

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