City Planning

Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

Introducing the new Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) 

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. We are very pleased to announce that enrolments are now open for the new Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

The new degree has been developed working with our industry, government and practice partners

Study at UNSW and play a pivotal role in addressing the key challenges and opportunities facing our cities, regions and communities. The new Bachelor of City Planning (BCP) is a four year Honours degree

The redesigned practice year ensures that UNSW Planning remains at the forefront of integrating practice within planning education here in NSW, Australia and internationally.    

Vocational learning is reinforced through the practice year which you undertake in the third year of your studies. 

The Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) degree will help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to play an influential role at the heart of contemporary challenges facing our built and natural environments, whether addressing sustainability and climate change issues, transport and infrastructure provision, facilitating urban renewal, or tackling social inequality and exclusion.

For more information contact Associate Professor Simon Pinnegar (s.pinnegar@unsw.edu.au), Director of Discipline, City Planning or the Built Environment Student Centre (fbe@unsw.edu.au) will be happy to help.

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 Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) degree will:

Help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to play an influential role at the heart of contemporary challenges facing our built and natural environments

  • Address sustainability and climate change issues
  • Address transport and infrastructure provisions facilitating urban renewal
  • Tackle social inequality and exclusion
  • You will Learn the multifaceted drivers and outcomes that shape our cities and regions
  • You will Learn broad foundational skills alongside the introduction to core disciplinary knowledge
  • You will benefit from our commitment to research excellence and learn first class research skills, undertake an exciting piece of self-determined research
  • You will experience further strengthening of the program’s relationship with Australia’s leading urban research centre, the City Futures Research Centre

What's new?


Our name: Bachelor of City Planning (Hons)

“City Planning” is a bold statement in the Australian context. It represents a logical trajectory of our ‘town’ planning origins. It reflects much about the strengths and focus of planning education at UNSW – degrees committed to metropolitan challenges at a metropolitan university. Our city is undergoing significant change and we have restructured our degrees to ensure that we remain at the leading edge of producing the planners and city shapers that the world’s cities and regions need.


The length of the degree, from 5 to 4 years

The current Bachelor of Planning degree is five years in length, with students undertaking work experience typically across their third and fourth year. The new structure will see students undertake a four year Bachelor of City Planning degree. The third year will be the “Practice” year within a framework drawing upon best practice for facilitating effective work integrated learning. 

Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) students will develop unrivalled practical skills.

  • Take up paid placements across a wide range of opportunities in planning and planning-related organisations, across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors
  • Be involved in live planning issues and projects.


Transformation of the nexus between learning and practice 

The structure and desired learning outcomes for the new practice year have been designed to greatly strengthen the value of the professional experience gained by students during their third year through enabling stronger synergies with their university education. Courses taken during the practice year encompass a suite of core skills and knowledge that all students, regardless of where they undertake their Practice, will be exposed to. Intensive blocks are back in the classroom bringing together students, lecturers and employers who will facilitate knowledge cross-over and ensure that students' academic and professional skills develop in tandem throughout the year.

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
  • Analysis and research are integral to the planners’ skills set and fostered throughout the degree, culminating in their final year thesis
  • Students also benefit from close synergies between the planning program and Australia’s leading urban research centre, The City Futures Research Centre, located within the faculty.


Strengthening our commitment to research excellence

The existing Bachelor of Planning degree has had an excellent record in producing graduates with first class research skills, with all students required to undertake a substantive piece of self-determined research as their capstone experience. This will not change in the new Bachelor of City Planning (Hons), with further strengthening of the program’s relationship with Australia’s leading urban research centre, the City Futures Research Centre and commitment to building a range of both research and analytical skills at each stage of the degree. 


Enabling pathways into a suite of associated Master's degrees offered by UNSW

The new Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) has been structured to enable students to pursue a greater depth of specialisation in their final year. Where students are seeking to continue their education with a Master's degree qualification offered by the faculty, students will, subject to entering into an identified stream, be able to undertake hybrid/postgraduate level courses in their area of specialisation which can act as advanced standing (between 12 and 24 units of credit).

What’s not changing?

UNSW has been one of the primary providers of planners in Sydney for decades and our graduates have an enviable reputation for employability. At heart, the core principles and values that have underpinned planning education at UNSW remain. The degree retains its strong foundations in the social sciences alongside valuing its position within the Faculty of Built Environment. All students graduating with an undergraduate planning qualification will continue to have world-leading professional practice requirements as an integral part of the degree and will have completed a major piece of independent research in the form of the final year Planning Thesis. 

Learn from our experience

Undergraduate planning education at UNSW is one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in Australia and has been preparing students to be leaders since the 1960s making 2016 is our 50th anniversary.


Creative and strategic

Planners need to be good thinkers, good analysts and good communicators. Learn how to foster feasible, equitable, sustainable and progressive outcomes. Understand how our cities function economically, how they are financed, and how they are governed and see the bigger, long-term picture, as well as ensure individuals and communities are heard and have a stake in their neighbourhoods and cities. Understand good urban design and how to preserve, create, and manage, great places and natural environments.


Professional experience is built in to your degree

Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) students will develop unrivalled practical skills through their Practice Year in year three of their studies. Students take up paid placements across a wide range of opportunities in planning and planning-related organisations, across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Through the year, students apply this hands-on experience and insight gained from being involved in live planning issues and projects through a series of skills-based practice courses which consolidate academic and vocational learning. 

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 to foster feasible, equitable, sustainable and progressive outcomes.


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.

UNSW can kick start your global impact

During your study with UNSW Built Environment you will have the opportunity to go on an international exchange program. UNSW has over 200 exchange partners from 39 countries so you literally have the world at your disposal. Once you have gained practical local knowledge and international experience while studying, the only question left is…which city in which country do you want to change?


A dual degree option

Planning/Law is a distinct and highly-sought after speciality within the legal profession. As part of the restructure of the undergraduate program and arrival of the Bachelor of City Planning (Hons), our prestigious Planning/Law dual award has also been transformed.

Specialised pathways

Are you are interested in:

  • property development
  • urban renewal and housing
  • sustainability and
  • urban design

You also have the opportunity to ‘fast-track’ to a Masters during the final year of the Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) through your choice of electives. This enables you to complete a Masters in one year following the completion of your undergraduate degree.  

Enabling pathways into a suite of associated Master's degrees offered by UNSW

  • Pursue a greater depth of specialisation in your final year
  • Continue your education with a Master's degree qualification offered by UNSW Built Environment
  • You will, subject to entering into an identified stream, be able to undertake hybrid/postgraduate level courses in your area of specialisation which can act as advanced standing (between 12 and 24 units of credit). 


Be in demand

Reflecting the skills developed through the degree and the practical, applied understanding of those skills during their year undertaking work experience, our graduates are highly sought after in the workplace. UNSW Planning graduates take up opportunities with:

  • Federal, State and Local Government
  • private sector consultancies
  • property developers.


Be professionally recognised

The UNSW Planning degree is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Many of our students take part in the PIA Young Planners network which brings together students and early career planners for social and professional events.

Do UNSW planning graduates just become planners?

You are taught to see issues from all perspectives and to listen as much as lead. These skills see many graduates move into:

  • Policy
  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Creative and community roles. 

We want to prepare you to be the urban ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ that our city and State needs, with skills applicable across a breadth of careers, both in Australia and internationally. 

 

Page Last Updated: 04 Nov 2016