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Postgraduate | CUR-URP530-2023

Planning Theory and Context

Draw on lessons from the past as you consider the state of planning theory in the present.Incorporate theories from Foucault and Marx. Spot the broad trends that characterise the planning field. Use theoretical thinking to solve a practical problem.

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

Prior study needed


13 weeks

Start dates

  • 29 May 2023
  • 27 Nov 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. explain how planning theories and urban theories shape and inform contemporary planning practice
  2. contextualise and explain the historical development of the central ideas and practices associated with the field of urban planning
  3. critically analyse the role of the planner and urban planning practice within broader social, political and global contexts
  4. apply theory to analyse and address emerging planning challenges
    • Justifications for planning
    • Theories of Urban Form and Structure
    • Utopian Planning
    • Rational Planning
    • Communicative Planning
    • Justice in Planning
    • Neoliberalism
    • Critical perspectives
    • The environment and planning
    • Postcolonial, settler colonialism and Southern theory
    • Planning futures
    • Unit review
  • This subject was previously known asPlanning Theory and Methodology.

    Develop an understanding of the relationship between planning theories and practice, critically examine past and present trends in planning theories and practice, and investigate the links between theory and practice by exploring contemporary issues and case studies in urban and regional planning.

    Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

    Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

    • Case Study (35%)
    • Portfolio (30%)
    • eTest (35%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • Start your career with Curtin’s globally recognised courses and extensive industry connections. Through OUA, their online courses offer an interactive and collaborative learning experience that gets you the same degree as if you studied on campus. Curtin is a global university with a vibrant culture of innovation and collaboration and is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide.

    Learn more about Curtin.

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    QS Ranking 2023: 13

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 11

Entry requirements


This subject is a prerequisite for another subject and must be taken prior to URP650 Planning Masters Dissertation.

Additional requirements

  • Equipment requirements - Audio / Video Conferencing
  • Software requirements - Standard Media. Web links. Embedded multimedia.
  • Other requirements - Essential Textbook. Online Assessment. Printable format materials. Resources & Links.

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following degrees

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