City Planning

Graduate Diploma in City Planning

Prog. Code: 
1 year full-time

Term 1, Term 3

Delivery Options

Full-time, Part-time

Commonwealth Supported Places


Professional Recognition


City Planning

The Graduate Diploma in City Planning degree is designed for students with an undergraduate qualification in a related discipline seeking to move into a planning or planning-related field.

It 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. 

Key Information

Program details

The Graduate Diploma in City Planning is a 1-year program consisting of 8 courses (48 Units Of Credit/UOC).

The program includes:

  • 7 Core Courses
  • 1 Elective Course 

Key Areas of Study
Urban society, theory, history
City economics and development
Environment and sustainability
City building – infrastructure and transport
Strategic spatial planning
Planning law and administration
Planning research and analysis
Urban management and development assessment
Communication, engagement and participation

Progression Pathway
The Graduate Diploma in City Planning is an articulated pathway to the Master of City Planning.

If you are considering progressing to the Master of City Planning, please review the specialist pathway options before selecting elective courses.

For course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook. 


The Master of City Planning is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) should you continue your studies upon successful completion of the graduate certificate and graduate diploma.

As a Planning student, you can take part in the PIA Young Planners network which brings together students and new graduate planners for social and professional events.

Career opportunities

The Graduate Diploma is your pathway to the Master of City Planning. Upon graduation, 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.

Pathways taken as part of the Master of City Planning 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.

Related Degrees
Graduate Certificate in City Planning
Master of City Planning

Why UNSW School of Built Environment
  • UNSW ranks 25th in the world and 4th in Australia in Architecture/Built Environment (QS World Rankings 2019)
  • UNSW Sydney ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019)

  • In the 2015 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) UNSW was rated as the equal-top university nationally in Built Environment and Design. Its rating in Urban Planning research was also the joint highest in Australia.

  • Accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)

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

  • Articulation from the graduate certificate into the Graduate Diploma or Master of City Planning

  • Part of the leading centre for urban planning research in Australia

Entry requirements

To be eligible for this program you must have: 

  • An undergraduate degree with a credit average or above (WAM 65+ or equivalent).
  • Advanced standing may also be granted for completed or partially completed postgraduate awards from UNSW or from another institution.
  • Students who do not meet these requirements may be eligible to commence their postgraduate planning studies by taking the Graduate Certificate. 

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of City Planning students may apply for entry into the Master’s program with full credit for courses completed in earlier programs in the sequence.

How to apply

All domestic and international students can apply for postgraduate coursework online:

  • Apply online (International students must pay an application fee of $125.)

Application deadlines:

  • Term 1 (February) - apply by 30 November*
  • Term 3 (September) - apply by 31 July

Late applications may be accepted after the closing dates subject to the availability of places.

If you gain entry into a program at UNSW, you can then be assessed for transfer credit for courses (subjects) studied in your previous degree. 

Fees and expenses