City Analytics

Master of City Analytics

Prog. Code: 
1.7 years full-time


Delivery Options

Full-time, Part-time

Commonwealth supported places


Professional recognition


A unique offering, upskilling the next generation of practitioners and policy-makers

Smart cities, big data, open data, geo-design, visualisation, modelling and simulation and virtual reality offer exciting new data-driven methods, tools and technologies to support city shapers in planning more sustainable, productive and resilient cities.

However, such approaches and technologies need to be properly understood, critically appraised and effectively used by government and industry to ensure our cities of the future are equitable, prosperous and sustainable. At the same time as our cities are becoming more complex and we need to be able to map and model this complexity through understanding flow and networks of people and how they move through the built environment.

The Master of City Analytics (MCA) provides you with a unique offering, upskilling the next generation of practitioners and policy-makers with the ability to harness the power of data-driven approaches for understanding the inherent complexity of the city. This course will play an integral role in growing the skill set and culture of data-driven evidenced-based policy and decision making across our cities, both in Australia and internationally.

*This program is suspended and the final intake will be T3 2020. From 2021 you will be able to study City Analytics as a sequence of recommended electives in the UNSW Master of City Planning, as well as electives in other Built Environment programs.

Key Information

About this course

As a graduate, you will have a well-grounded knowledge of city data, analytics, modelling and visualisation skills and how such skills can be applied to support evidenced-based decision making and innovative forms of citizen engagement.

The Master of City Analytics will provide you with a unique and complementary offering upskilling the next generation of practitioners and policy-makers with the ability to harness the power of data-driven approaches to understanding the spatial and temporal dimensions of our cities, both past, present and future. 

Upon graduation from this program you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate both theoretical and practical grounding to be competent and confident in understanding, analysing, modelling, and visualising urban data
  • Develop skills and applications in relevant computer technologies and a critical appreciation technology transfer in practice in the changing global context
  • Develop and apply specialised knowledge and analytical skills to inform evidence-based policy and decision making processes
  • Demonstrate ability to apply research principles and methods applicable to smart cities in local, national and international contexts
  • Demonstrate ability to interpret and communicate knowledge, skills and ideas to both specialist and nonspecialist audiences with a focus on technology
  • Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct and personal accountability consistent with industry expectations in the context of new technology and data governance
Program details

The Master of City Analytics is a 1.7-year program. It consists of 10 courses and a major project. (72 Units Of Credit/UOC).

The program includes:

  • 7 Core Courses 
  • 3 Elective Courses
  • 1 Major Project  

Major Project
This major project represents the culmination of studies in Smart Cities and Urban Informatics. Students will work closely with the Director of the Program to develop a proposal. Projects which tap into current ‘live’ projects, and build upon existing international and local partnerships with universities, industry and government organisations will be encouraged. The major project report can take the form of a research thesis or a practice-oriented report. Each student will be assigned a supervisor, and it is expected that many students will also benefit from engagement with industry partners. Where partners have been directly involved, students will be encouraged to provide a short debrief to the relevant organisations. The production of the thesis will explore and provide new insights into one or more of the challenges facing cities through the integration of research and/or practical insight.

Key Areas of Study
Smart Cities
Scientific Programming
Digital Cities
GIS in Planning
Urban Data Visualisation



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

Career opportunities

If you are interested in smart cities, big data and visualisation then this is the degree for you.

Here are some of the areas you could find employment during your studies or after completion:

  • Mapping technologies
  • Spacial thinking
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Government employment via planning
  • Employment in an analytics centre
  • A Data Scientist specialising in cities

Which could lead to jobs such as:

  • Be the Head of a Future City department
  • Smart City Managers
  • Future Transport Director
  • Spatial Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Urban Data Specialist

Don't forget we have very close industry ties and we often have industry practitioners teaching in our school.

Why UNSW School of Built Environment
  • Be connected to a global network
  • Graduate Certificate entry available
  • Pathway to the extension program
  • Top 27 in the world and 4th in Australia in Architecture/Built Environment (QS World University Rankings, 2020)
  • World class alumni connections
  • We're a global top 50 university. UNSW ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings, 2020)
  • UNSW has the Most Employable Students (Winner, Australian Financial Review Most Employable Students Award 2020)
  • We're ranked 13th in the world and 2nd in Australia for Employer Reputation in Built Environment
  • Member of prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
  • Strong industry links and partnerships
Entry requirements

The emerging field of smart cities is of interest and relevance to a wide range of professions and disciplines areas. Accordingly, the range of Bachelor degree subject areas considered a relevant background for admission to this program is quite broad. Applicants with undergraduate degrees in the following subject areas and who have achieved a credit average will be eligible for admission to the suite of City Analytics programs. 

  • Built Environment subject areas
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Law/Jurisprudence
  • Social science, social and public policy
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