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Study urban planning

Make a valuable contribution to the liveability of our cities

A postgraduate qualification in urban planning will give you specialised knowledge and an understanding of how cities and sites are constructed, physically and socially.

What is urban planning?

Urban planning and design are essential to underpin good social, environmental and business outcomes and enable liveability in cities. Professionals in these disciplines apply critical thinking and expertise to manage and inform our urban places and meet the challenges of growth.

Objectives of strategic place-making and the integration of land use with transport and infrastructure, as part of the dynamic fabric of a city, are some of the mandates that lead to improvements in people’s lives.

We offer a variety of programs to equip you with specialised knowledge in strategic planning, design of public spaces and the spaces between buildings.

Our Master of Urban and Regional Planning and the Master of Urbanism (Urban and Regional Planning) programs are accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia and graduates are eligible for membership of the institute.

Urban planning is increasingly diverse, and the types of roles that planners can take on are continually expanding and changing. This makes it suitable for a wide range of professionals looking to enhance their career options in areas ranging from policy creation to implementation, or leading interdisciplinary problem-solving teams. 

As a graduate of our programs, you will be a highly sought-after professional able to work across a variety of projects at different levels, including national, state and local governments. You could also be involved in the private sector and work for property developers and real estate entrepreneurs.

Career pathways include:

  • policy development
  • urban planner
  • urban designer.

Urban planning courses

Urban and Regional Planning

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning focuses on developing an understanding of the ways that cities and sites are constructed: physically, socially and environmentally. You will develop the professional communication skills, reasoning and analytical processes required to make valuable contributions to the policy, technical and regulatory aspects of urban and regional planning.


This degree is a two‑year, 96-credit-point version of the specialist 18-month master’s programs in Urban Design, Heritage Conservation and Urban and Regional Planning. This extended timeframe enables you to experience a cross‑disciplinary approach while still specialising in a specific area of professional interest.

Related courses

At the master’s level, our Urban and Regional Planning degree will take 1.5 years full time to complete (72 credit points). The program can also be taken at the level of:

Our inspiring students

Philip Deakin

Master of Urban and Regional Planning, 2017
Economic and Urban Planner, RPS Group

"I am currently working as an Economic and Urban Planner at RPS Group where I work primarily in strategic and economic planning. For me, the master’s program allowed me to learn new skills in urban planning that complemented my undergraduate studies in economics and finance, as well as my past work experience in commercial and economic advisory. My current role allows me to tap into both skillsets."

Stella Fielding

Stella Fielding

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

“I have secured an internship working in climate change adaptation with the United Nations, in Myanmar. I hope this will be an amazing experience in itself, while enriching my final planning report that I will be writing while in the field. This opportunity will strengthen my CV when looking for comparable roles in Australia.”

Anna Kaskanlian

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

"I’ve always been interested in the built environment but have a humanities background. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning allows me to combine my undergrad skills with a practical master’s degree that will result in an industry-recognised qualification.

The Urban Planning department offers a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities, like the Festival of Urbanism, units of study that involve overseas travel (for example, the recent international development trip to Indonesia), exhibitions of student work, and teachers who are always happy to foster links between industry and students through university-run events and in their spare time."

Chakshu Bansal

Master of Urbanism, 2018

“I decided to specialise in urban design when I developed an interest in the spaces between buildings and a passion for a community-centric approach to design during my architecture degree. The Master of Urbanism at the University of Sydney offers a holistic approach to understanding the urban context. It combines urban design, urban planning and heritage conservation in one program.”


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