The Master of City Planning is a two-year, professionally accredited degree consisting of one research project or urban design studio and 14 courses. It allows you to choose one of four specialisations on the way to planning accreditation: City Development and Renewal, City Design, History and Theory, and Healthy Sustainable Communities. In the second year you devise and undertake an independent major research project, which allows you to deepen your engagement with your area of specialisation or, under the City Design pathway, you may be able to undertake the Urban Design Studio (which is undertaken together with students from the Master of Urban Development and Design).

The Master of City Planning provides you with an excellent platform to take up planning and urban policy-related opportunities across all tiers of government, as well as private consultancy, property development and anywhere that planning skills are required.

Program Code




Total units of credit (UOC)




Indicative Enrolments


Why choose this degree?

The Master of City Planning is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia, with one of the worlds great cities as our classroom. As a student, you can also take part in the PIA Young Planners network which brings together students and new graduate planners for social and professional events.

Who should choose this degree?

Students with an undergraduate qualification in a related discipline who intend to become an accredited planner should choose this course.

Degree Structure

Degree Handbook

Career Opportunities

  • City Planner or Urban Designer
  • Urban Renewal Consultant
  • Environmental Manager
  • Heritage Policy Officer
  • Housing Consultant

Entry requirements

Admission requirementsA Bachelor degree with a credit average or above (WAM 65+). Students with an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline are able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Advanced standing may also be granted for completed or partially completed postgraduate awards from UNSW or from another institution. Applicants who do not meet these standard admission requirements may be able to enter the Grad Cert City Planning in the first instance. This will be at the discretion of the Program Director or Academic Coordinator who will assess applications on a case-by-case basis.

What is a cognate undergraduate qualification?

Urban planning is interdisciplinary in nature and requires students to develop skills sets and build knowledge across a breadth of areas. As such, planners often enter the profession from a commensurate range of backgrounds. Four key subject areas at undergraduate level offer a strong and appropriate background for a postgraduate planning education. These may either be reflected either as a degree specifically in any of these areas, but also where one (or more) of these areas are demonstrated in a substantive Major of a general Arts or Liberal Arts degreeBuilt Environment subject areas, and in particular architecture, landscape architecture, construction, property development and urban design.

Social, economic and environmental science subject areas, in particular geography, urban studies and sociology, demography, economics, social policy and politics, communication studies, health studies, international development, environmental ecology, environmental management, environmental sustainabilityLaw/JurisprudenceEnvironmental and Civil Engineering subject areas, which would also encompass surveying and spatial science degrees RPL Provisions.

Students with an undergraduate qualification in the above subject/discipline areas will be eligible for RPL provisions of up to 24UOC, subject to application by the student and agreement of the Program Director on a case by case basis. Students from cognate backgrounds do not have to apply for RPL and can complete the full 96UOC, two year full-time degree if they wish.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.



2021 Indicative First Year Fee


2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree


^There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

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