City Planning

  • 7147, 5147, 8147
  • Full-time or part-time
  • Semester 1 (March) or Semester 2 (July)
  • see program details


About Master of City Planning

What’s new?

The Master of City Planning (MCP) degree commences in 2016, replacing the Master of Planning (MPLAN) for all commencing students.

Building upon the strengths of its predecessor (Master of Planning) and enhancing the core qualities that underpin planning education at UNSW Built Environment, the new MCP represents a restructuring of our postgraduate degree to meet the needs and opportunities of our changing city and increasingly urbanised world.

New core courses in Planning Techniques and Urban Design have been introduced, and a series of specialist pathways developed which both capture the world-class research strengths of the Faculty and spearhead changing demands and employment opportunities for planners in the market place.

Sydney is a rapidly growing—and changing—city, and this means that the skills and knowledge of tomorrow’s planners need to be equally responsive and progressive. Working with our industry, government and practice partners, the new degree structure and content has been developed to ensure that UNSW remains on the front foot in shaping the next generation of city thinkers, planners and urban policymakers.

What is planning?

Planning is an exciting, varied and progressive profession which plays a pivotal role in decisions shaping the future of our cities and regions. The Master of City Planning degree will help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to play an influential role at the heart of contemporary challenges facing our natural and built environments. The MCP is also tailored for professionals working in other sectors, especially those whose work may intersect with the planning system, or requires involvement with planning agencies.

Get to use both sides of your brain

Planners need to see the whole picture: we need to be good thinkers, good analysts and good communicators. We work with stakeholders across the spectrum of interests shaping our cities and regions—from global developers to local communities—to foster feasible, equitable, sustainable and progressive outcomes.

Responsive to the needs of postgraduate learning

The program has been structured to fit in with busy lives and work commitments. Students can commence the MCP in either semester 1 or 2 each year, and complete the course either full or part time. Where possible, classes are scheduled in the late afternoon or evenings. A number of electives are offered in intensive mode.

Be flexible

The program is structured to offer you the option of either developing your general planning knowledge or—through your elective options and selected focus of your Planning Project—pursue specialisations in City Renewal and Development, City Design, History and Theory, and Healthy, Sustainable Communities. Close synergies with other taught postgraduate courses in the Faculty provide an excellent basis for interdisciplinary working.

One of the world’s great cities is our classroom …

Sydney provides a fantastic laboratory to help understand the crucial role played by planners in addressing the complex social, economic and environmental challenges faced by cities, regions and communities. Lauded as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is also a city where challenges of managing growth, climate resilience, housing affordability, urban renewal and social equity need to be at the heart of the planning agenda.

Be part of the leading centre for urban planning research in Australia

Understanding our cities and the complexity of social, economic and environmental issues that shape how they function requires us to engage with those issues head-on through research. In the final semester Planning Project, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct your own piece of research under the supervision of some of the country’s best researchers drawn from the Planning Program or Australia’s leading urban planning and housing research centre – City Futures – co-located within the Faculty.

Career opportunities

The Master of City Planning degree provides you with an excellent platform to take up planning and urban policy-related opportunities across all tiers of government (Federal, State, local), private sector consultancies, property development, and indeed the breadth of built environment professions where planning skills are required.

Specialist pathways taken as part of the MCP may direct you towards more specialist areas, for example in housing, urban renewal, environmental management, heritage or urban design related professions. The interdisciplinary skill sets developed through the degree also enable you to move into wider policy, research, analytical, creative and community roles both in Australia and overseas.

Be professionally recognised

Planning degrees offered at UNSW Built Environment are accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Page Last Updated: 23 Nov 2015