Warning! This degree has changed. Read the transition arrangements.

Warning! This is a restricted degree. Subject enrolment is only available to students admitted into this degree.

Degree structure

Degree details

Students will achieve the following outcomes from the Masters:

  1. disseminate 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. think critically at the highest order to analyse and challenge theories and practices of urban and regional planning, and generate creative solutions to planning issues
  3. critically access, evaluate and synthesise information in order to undertake research relevant to urban and regional planning
  4. communicate effectively at a high order which is both innovative and ground-breaking in writing, graphically and orally with various audiences (academic, professional and community)
  5. use appropriate technologies to practice urban and regional planning
  6. use learned skills to continue self development and influence others in continued learning in the profession
  7. have a high level of awareness and skills to understand and respond to cultural diversity and difference in national and international perspectives
  8. recognise and consider the needs and aspirations of the diversity of populations served by urban and regional planning, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the cultures of other minority ethnic groups in Australia and internationally
  9. work ethically as individuals and in teams demonstrating skills in leadership and negotiation and conflict resolution, recognising and valuing the contribution of other disciplines and interests.

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 Master of Urban and Regional Planning 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 50 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 with an undergraduate degree in a related discipline from a recognised tertiary institution can enter directly into the Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree in a non-related discipline will be granted entry via the Graduate Certificate in Development Planning.

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 degree. Entry to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning for students without undergraduate qualifications is via the Graduate Certificate in Development Planning.

English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants need to meet Curtin’s English Language requirement as all degrees are taught in English. If your education degrees 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.

Applicants for a Graduate Certificate are required to meet University academic and English language entry standards; details are provided at http://courses.curtin.edu.au/course_overview/admission-requirements/. Applicants generally require a Bachelor Degree or equivalent credit gained for recognised learning.

*** Please Note: If any academic or legal document is not in English, you must provide a colour scan of the non-English documents, including a colour scan of the official English translations of these documents. This is for comparison purposes. ***

Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) is assessed on individual merit and is awarded for different types of learning, for example, studies you have previously completed or for relevant work experience.

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

To apply for CRL, please visit the Curtin University website: https://study.curtin.edu.au/credit/

It is important to note accepted documentation includes scans of the original Transcripts and/or Award Certificate; front and back; in colour; and original size. For further information see the scanned documents and certification requirements and guidelines.

More information about the policies and procedures related to CRL assessment and appealing a CRL assessment outcome can be found in the Credit for Recognised Learning manual (PDF).

If you have any questions, please contact opencurtin@curtin.edu.au

This degree is designed to develop the requisite skills and knowledge to enter the planning profession. It examines the theoretical foundations of planning, it’s legislative and governance frameworks and develops practical skills required by planning practitioners in government agencies, the private sector and NGOs. It also teaches research skills and develops critical analytical capacities through the completion of a major piece of original planning research. Participation in projects that involve real planning issues and engagement with planning professionals prepare graduates for professional life.

Students will have opportunities to experience local, national and international examples of best and worst practice.

Urban and Regional Planning plays an important role in ensuring that the built environment operates in an efficient and effective manner and balances the demands of economic development, environmental conservation and social inclusion.

This degree is designed to prepare graduates for planning practice. The first year of the degree introduces planning theory, law and practice. It also imparts an understanding of land development, the functions and ethics of practice in the public and private sectors and the development of plans that serve the needs of government agencies and communities. Finally, students acquire critical analytical and research skills in preparation for the final semester of the degree which involves undertaking and presenting a piece of original research.

Recommended Study Pattern

Generally the degree is fully planned in sequential progression. See the suggested study plans for full time and part time study below.

Master of Urban Regional Planning suggested full time study plans (PDF, 156Kb)

Master of Urban Regional Planning suggested part time study plans (PDF, 158Kb)

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of Master of Urban and Regional Planning, students must complete 11 subjects including a double subject (300 credit points):

  • 7 core subjects (200 credit points)
  • 4 optional subjects (100 credit points) either as offered by the teaching area or as approved by degree coordinator prior to the commencement of the options
  • Students must complete the award within 7 years.

Choose your subjects


In addition to the seven core subjects, students must complete four elective subjects selected from the electives listed, or any approved OUA postgraduate subject.

Students must contact the Course Coordinator for approval of their elective subjects before enrolling (if outside the list provided).

This degree underwent a major degree review at the end of 2016.  If you were enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Development Planning prior to 2017, please contact Curtin University for a study plan DBEOUA@curtin.edu.au.