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Overview

NOTE: The number of discounted places being offered in response to the COVID-19 Higher Education Relief package for the Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning has been reached and applications for discounted and full fee places have closed for Semester 2 2020.

The program is your pathway to the professional world of planning and the design, economics and theory of urban and regional environments. You will be shown the tools and methodologies to work in planning-based roles for the private sector and government agencies ranging from national levels to site-specific projects.

The Planning Institute of Australia accredits this course, ensuring professional relevance and excellent employment opportunities. Planners are strategic professionals that reconcile the complex demands of law, budgets and aesthetics to produce plans for vibrant, functional and desirable public spaces and cities. The planning program at the University of Sydney is recognised for its focus on the significant challenges of scale in planning.

Our expertise in both Urban and in Regional planning means that when you study with us, you will be adept at working across the spectrum of planning works, whether for a population of 500 or for 5 million. You will benefit from the expertise of our staff and our close ties with industry.

Our academics are all active contributors to the profession, forging close links with state, national and international planning organisations. We regularly host prestigious international planning conferences, including the only UPE conference to be held in the Asia-Pacific. All of this combines to give you unparalleled access to the best teachers and a solid network of industry contacts as you complete your degree. This is consistently demonstrated in our high student-satisfaction and graduate employment surveys. We give you flexible options to expand the scope of your degree by undertaking one of our exclusive enrichment options.

Offered in Heritage Conservation or Urban Design, you can improve your employment prospects by taking these specialisations. No other program planning program in Australia gives you the flexibility to pursue these enrichment options. Planning is an important function in many professions.

You may find yourself working as a consultant alongside politicians or private companies. There is also a demand for planners by local councils and state planning authorities. Planners are allied professionals to engineers, architects and environmental consultants. They provide advice, support and their expertise in planning to ensure that proposed projects are appropriately scoped and investigated on all relevant scales. There is also an important role for planners in the development of policy, particularly in international development, where the Faculty holds expertise.

Planning is a vibrant, challenging and rewarding career. It is much more than the simple, technical evaluation of different design options. Instead, planning is infused with consideration for human welfare and social progress. The social and ecological impacts of a project are always at the forefront of a planner's mind. Our planning program gives you the tools and approaches that will enable you to work in planning-based roles both in Australia and internationally, and cangive you this experience during your degree through our extensive exchange network.

The Urban and Regional Planning program has strong international connections and is recognised for its expertise in the formulation of national planning strategies. Dr. Paul Jones has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Urbanisation Office in Papua New Guinea and has been instrumental in the launch of the first national urbanisation strategy.

Students of the Urban and Regional Planning program benefit from this expertise and global connectedness. There are many exchange opportunities with institutions around the world, further expanding your understanding of urban planning in different national contexts. This all combines to give you perspectives on planning that go well beyond the classroom.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

Unit of Study information on faculty page
Study plan
Candidates for the Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning complete 24 credit points (cp) made up of at least three core units of study (18cp) and one elective unit (6cp) offered by the faculty, subject to meeting prior learning requirements and timetabling.

Units of Study

Admission requirement

A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate of Urban and Regional Planning will hold a bachelor's degree or possess experience which is considered to demonstrate the knowledge and aptitude required to undertake the course. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate with a WAM of 70 or higher are able to apply to to continue into the Master in Architectural Science in the same course stream. Masters and Diploma students may also opt to graduate with a lower level of certification once the required units are complete. Please note that students may commence studies in Semester 2, however some courses are only available in part-time capacity due to the units on offer.
Career pathways & prospects
Future study options

Career Pathways

Graduates of urban and regional planning follow careers in a wide range of areas, including urban development; strategic and metropolitan planning; environmental planning and assessment; land-use, transportation and infrastructure planning; planning for housing, health, educational and recreational facilities; community and regional development; and statutory planning. Planners work in a variety of roles, including policy analysis and implementation, consultation and public participation, besides preparing and administering planning instruments. Both the private and public sectors provide extensive career opportunities. Planners are employed by international organisations, all levels of government in Australia, and by a wide range of agencies. Private sector employment is primarily with developers and consultants. There are presently many career opportunities throughout Australia and overseas.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.