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Start date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2021: AUD$ 36,600 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

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 60 years’ experience, we’re Australia’s longest provider of planning education.
  • Gain real-world experience when you complete a professional work placement or project during your second year.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the professional practice of urban and regional planning.
  • Develop advanced critical thinking, analytical, problem solving and communication skills on a range of complex planning fields of contemporary global relevance.
  • Graduate with advanced research skills.
  • Gain a qualification that is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in urban and regional planning is ranked world-class1.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



Planners help make spaces and life more liveable. Planners shape cities, towns and regions through the management of development, infrastructure and services. They develop plans, strategies and designs to shape communities, to improve the quality of life for its people and environment1.

A key component of this masters degree relates to the planning and development of sustainable cities and regions. You will also develop advanced research skills when you complete an individual research project under the guidance of a qualified research supervisor.

The courses studied pivot around real-world issues and provide you with relevant skills that are transferable in the workplace. You will get the opportunity to practice these skills when you complete a professional work placement or project during your final year.

1Planning Institute of Australia, Become a Planner 2020

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This masters degree 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
  • social policy and community based planning
  • transport and planning
  • research techniques

You will also develop an advanced knowledge of research methodologies and their applications in the fields of architecture, art and design.

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 Rule(s): 1
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 Rule(s): 1
Environmental Planning, Climate Change and Sustainability ARCH 5041 4.5
Planning Law and Ethics ARCH 6014 4.5
Development Assessment ARCH 6013 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
AAD Research Methods VSAR 4003 4.5
Social Planning and Community Issues ARCH 5022 4.5
Planning Theory and Practice ARCH 5017 4.5
Sustainable Urban Design Studio ARCH 5030 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Research Project in Planning ARCH 5053 9
Professional Placement or Project GRAP 5004 4.5
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1

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 and 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, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • presentations
  • reports
  • essays
  • placement or professional project
  • literature/artefact reviews
  • research proposals
  • research projects.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. 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 Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Why this Degree

UniSA has more than 60 years’ experience in planning education – that makes us the longest provider of planning education in the country.

Throughout your studies, you will have access 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. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

Real-world connections

During your final year you will have the opportunity to embark on a professional placement or project where you will work alongside professional planners – this is a great learning opportunity, and a great way to begin building an important network of industry contacts.

UniSA offers an extensive range of career-related events and workshops online, on campus and around Adelaide to develop your skills and increase your knowledge.

Career outcomes

Your career

Planners work at local, national and international levels and are involved in a diverse range of professional activities, including environmental, social, heritage, transport and community planning, and urban design. Planners often find employment with local, state and federal governments and in private consultancies.

This degree opens up excellent career opportunities for graduates. Graduates 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 of healthy cities
  • neighbourhood and urban regeneration
  • development of regional and rural communities.

Professional accreditation and recognition

This program is recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and provides full exemption from the educational requirements for membership of the Institute. Holding a professionally accredited qualification enables graduates to apply for Corporate membership of PIA and subsequently undertake training to gain status as a Professional Certified Planner. Graduates will be required to undertake continuing professional development which is offered by PIA.

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.

Alternative Pathways


There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


This degree is part of a nested suite of degrees, which means it may be possible to exit early and graduate with a graduate diploma.


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 student at the University of South Australia 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, laboratories, and areas 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 have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, 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 has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect 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

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

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

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

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 advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas 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


Mr Stephen Ward

Program Director

Portrait image for Mr Stephen Ward
Portrait image for Mr Stephen Ward

Mr Stephen Ward

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

I chose to study at UniSA because it is one of the best universities in Australia to study Urban and Regional Planning. The variety of subjects offered is closely aligned to real life professional practice and the teaching staff are very knowledgeable and supportive. 

Farug Ibnul Haqi

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Farug Ibnul Haqi

Farug Ibnul Haqi

Master of Urban and Regional Planning