Master of Planning

Note: This program is currently unavailable.

Big picture thinking

Urban planning is about how we organise, regulate and manage our cities, neighbourhoods and buildings. With cities getting larger and more complex all around the world, it’s important we manage their growth in intelligent ways.

Planners make sure our cities are attractive places to live and work now, and sustainable into the future.

What will you do?

Our Master of Planning is an intensive, broad-based degree that builds knowledge and skills for the professional realm. It is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia. You will:  

  • study urbanisation, policy, theory, practice and planning law
  • understand urban development processes in depth
  • consider resilience to natural disasters and climate change
  • explore techniques for engaging communities in planning
  • apply your learning in real-life planning simulations and an architectural design project.

Where could it take you?

You might write policy to guide long-term regional planning. You could work to protect and preserve natural and historic heritage sites. Perhaps you’ll renew declining urban areas or develop master plans for housing, transport or infrastructure.

Note: This program is offered in semester mode with intakes in February and July.

Entry Requirements

Please note: For programs including placements and/or study-related activities in settings where COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory, it is an inherent requirement that all students be fully vaccinated prior to undertaking the placement and/or study-related activity.
For our students who are studying offshore in 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses.
Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for further information and a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
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Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3CM083
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Additional Entry Requirements
Applicants who have not completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Adelaide MUST submit a Curriculum Vitae to the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Adelaide, but who have not achieved a GPA of 5.0 or better (out of 7.0) must submit a Curriculum Vitae and academic transcript to the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed undergraduate degree from the University of Adelaide with a GPA of 5.0 or better (out of 7.0).
How to Apply
SATAC Code: 3CM083

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
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Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place: $8,345

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

A degree in urban planning opens the door to a wide range of employment in both the public and private sectors, and is applicable in many countries. Graduates are well equipped to pursue careers in urban, regional and environmental planning.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Professional Accreditation

The Master of Planning is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Potential careers

Planning Officer / Urban Planner

Degree Structure

The Master of Planning provides a broad-based education in planning covering urbanisation, policy, theory, practice and planning law.

The urban development process is a central area for study. This prepares students for negotiation with developers and landowners. Community consultation is also emphasised as a key skill in achieving successful outcomes in urban planning.

The program includes some elective choice which allows students to pursue topics of interest chosen from a broad spectrum of courses in architecture, geography and property studies.

Example Study Plan

Indicative Study Plan
Year Level 1
Core courses GEOG 7015: Introduction to Urbanisation
PLANNING 7033: Urban Design Principles
GEOG 7016: Engaging Communities: Techniques and Analysis
GEOG 7002: Environmental Planning and Governance
PLANNING 7034: Planning Policy and Regulation
LAW 7178: Planning Law
PROP 7000: Development and Construction
Year Level 2
Core courses ARCH 7045: Development Studio
GEOG 7009: Research Methods
PLANNING 7035: Planning Theory and Practice
GEOG 7019: Planning Dissertation
ARCH 7043: Final Architecture Project
+ the choice of one 6-unit elective from the list below.
Electives 6 units of elective courses chosen from:

GEOG 5003: Environmental Impact Assessment
GEOG 5004: Environmental Economics and Policy
GEOG 5006: People and Environment in the ASIA Pacific Region
GEOG 5008: Ethics in Environmental Policy and Planning
GEOG 5009: Regional Planning
GEOG 7091: Sustainable Cities: Climate Change and Planning
GEOG 7092: Sustainable Cities: Planning for Climate Change
ARCH 7034: Studio: Urbanism
PROP 7001: Property Research and Marketing
Any other postgraduate course deemed appropriate by the Program Director.


Assessment takes a number of forms including written reports and essays, short in-class exercises, oral presentations and simulations of real life planning situations. Formal examinations are not used for student assessment. A capstone research dissertation, following an introduction to research methods, allows students to demonstrate their mastery of planning through a significant supervised study of their own choice.


The degree has provided me with opportunities to challenge the conventional and develop innovative design solutions that consider place, people and environment.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 Apr 2022