Start date

1 year(s) full-time


Program Code

AUD$ 38,500 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Benefit from our long-standing history – with more than 70 years’ experience, we’re Australia’s longest provider of planning education.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway into the professionally accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
  • Study in a state that has developed a world class e-planning system for development assessment based on a fundamental overhaul of procedures, policies, zones and overlays.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the professional practice of urban and regional planning.
  • Develop advanced land use policy, urban design, spatial analysis and communication skills in a range of complex settings that can help state and local governments and the private sector respond to the pressures of population growth, climate change and the rise of chronic diseases associated with lack of physical activity.
  • Gain skills working in a multi-disciplinary context.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in urban and regional planning is ranked world class1.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities2, we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
2UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.



Planners help make inner cities, suburbs and regional towns more liveable and sustainable. Planners shape cities, towns and regions through the development planning policy that integrates infrastructure and services. They develop plans, strategies and designs that can improve the quality of life for people and support ecosystem services1

A key component of this postgraduate qualification relates to the planning and development of environmentally sustainable cities and regions that acknowledge social diversity and the need for greater physical activity and contact with nature, which can help to prevent chronic diseases associated with excessive sedentary behaviour.

The courses studied focus on real-world issues and therefore provide you with relevant skills that are transferable in the workplace.

This qualification lays a solid foundation of knowledge and is a great pathway into the professional accredited and recognised Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

1Planning Institute of Australia, Become a Planner 2020

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This graduate diploma will equip you with the knowledge, skills and practical expertise needed to embark on a career in the field of urban and regional planning. 

You will learn about:

  • sustainable urban design and development
  • planning governance and policy
  • planning for healthy cities
  • planning law and ethics
  • development assessment
  • transport and planning

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Principles of Urban and Regional Planning ARCH 5011 4.5
Planning Governance, Stakeholders, Politics and Policy ARCH 5054 4.5
Transport and Planning ARCH 5014 4.5
Planning for Healthy Cities ARCH 5043 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Sustainable Urban Design ARCH 5013 4.5
Environmental Planning, Climate Change and Sustainability ARCH 5041 4.5
Planning Law and Ethics ARCH 6014 4.5
Development Assessment ARCH 6013 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical and professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary.

You can expect them to include individual and/or group:

  • presentations 
  • reports
  • essays
  • literature/artefact reviews.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning

Why this Degree

UniSA offers the only urban and regional planning qualifications in South Australia and has more than 70 years’ experience in planning education – that makes us the longest provider of planning education in the country.

Throughout your studies, you will have access to and learn from prominent industry figures through lectures, national and international field trips, industry/professional based projects and workshops.

You will graduate with highly developed professional competencies, placing you to make sound, logical and ethical decisions in a range of planning contexts throughout your career.

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 100 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. 

We are fast becoming a renowned centre of innovation and enterprise in the sectors that will drive Australia's future, including health.

Study at UniSA

Hear about Rajat's experience studying Urban and Regional Planning at UniSA.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

This degree opens up excellent career opportunities for graduates. You may be involved in:

  • planning and designing towns and suburbs
  • development assessment
  • environmental and transport planning
  • social and community-based planning
  • the protection of heritage buildings and landscapes
  • planning for active living health promotion
  • neighbourhood and urban regeneration
  • infill and master planning
  • development of regional and rural communities.

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

As an urban and regional planning student you will have access to:

Your study spaces

Your program director

I am the Program Director for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning, and the Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning. My enthusiasm for the field of urban and regional planning was in part kindled through the experience of peri-urban post-migration life on the fringe of multicultural Melbourne and also a period as an elected member and then mayor of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield in Adelaide. My academic education has largely focused on sociology. I felt very honoured to be awarded the Peter Harrison Memorial Prize at the State of Australian Cities Conference in Sydney in 2013 for a paper based on my PhD research analysing the suburban context of adjustment to retrenchment in the automotive industry. The paper discussed the impacts and opportunities that arise during and following retrenchment and how new jobs, the journey to work and the meaning of home play a role in adjusting to new circumstances.

Dr Johannes Pieters

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Johannes Pieters
Portrait image for Dr Johannes Pieters

Dr Johannes Pieters

Program Director


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