Master of Planning (Urban Design)

PLEASE NOTE: This program is currently unavailable.

Distinguish the spaces we all experience

Urban designers transform streets, squares, malls and other public areas to enhance community, cultivate culture and draw people.

They’re creative and strategic. They make sure the city areas experienced by residents, workers, shoppers and visitors are attractive, usable and safe.

What will you do?

Our Master of Planning (Urban Design) is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia. It gives you the skills and knowledge to design functional and attractive urban spaces. You will:

  • study the broad context of urban development and planning
  • understand urban design principles in depth
  • learn techniques for engaging communities in planning
  • consider environmental impacts and relationships
  • explore planning policy and law
  • apply your learning in real-life planning simulations and a major culminating design project.

Where could it take you?

You could use colour and texture to transform city squares and walkways. You might beautify buildings and clean city air at the same time with vertical gardens and living walls. Perhaps you’ll design spaces that encourage learning, play and socialising between strangers.


Entry Requirements

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Domestic applicants

Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Fees and Scholarships

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Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place: $8,625

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

With design-literate planners keenly sought by employers in government and the private sector, both in Australia and throughout the world, graduates are well equipped for rewarding careers. Likely roles include as an urban designer, planner, project administrator or project manager.

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 (Urban Design) is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Potential careers

Graduates of this program have gone on to roles such as:

Planning Officer / Urban Planner

Degree Structure

The degree shares studios with the Master of Landscape Architecture and emphasises practical design studies as well as mainstream planning topics such as planning policy, theory and 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.

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
PROP 7000: Development and Construction
ARCH 7034: Studio: Urbanism (M)
PLANNING 7034: Planning Policy and Regulation
LAW 7178: Planning Law
Year Level 2
Core courses LARCH 7031: Studio: Landscape Architecture (M)
ARCH 7042: Designing Research
PLANNING 7035: Planning Theory and Practice
GEOG 7002: Environmental Planning and Governance
PLANNING 7030: Urban Design Project


Assessment takes a number of forms including written reports and essays, studio based design exercises, oral presentations and simulations of real life planning situations. Formal examinations are not used for student assessment. A capstone Urban Design project allows students to demonstrate their mastery of urban design through a significant supervised study.

Related Degrees

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, 10 Oct 2023