Master of Planning (Professional)

Course summary for current students

Year2018 course information
Award granted Master of Planning (Professional)
Duration2 years full-time or part-time equivalent
CRICOS course code073436A
Deakin course codeS764
Approval statusThis course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognitionThe award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Note: The Healthy Cities specialisation can only be completed in campus mode at Burwood (Melbourne). Cloud (online) students may be required to attend short campus mode intensive study periods at Waterfront (Geelong). The Healthy Cities specialisation is not available to international students.

Note: Offered to continuing students only.

Continuing students should contact their course advisor for further information.

Further course structure information can be found in the handbook archive.

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Master of Planning (Professional) is designed to meet the challenges of an ever-changing metropolitan, regional and rural environment and produces professionally qualified graduates who are analytical, informed and committed to improving the quality of the urban environment.

Students have the opportunity to specialise in Urban Design, Landscape Environmental Management, Healthy Cities or Cultural Heritage. These specialisations are central to facilitating strategic change on complex planning issues locally, regionally and globally.

As a graduate, you’ll understand the broad range of disciplines that need to work together to achieve innovative and effective planning outcomes. You’ll be equipped to collaborate on projects that deliver integrated solutions for both the public and private sectors.

The Master of Planning (Professional) is ideal if you have a related undergraduate degree or significant professional experience in this field and are looking to up-skill, enhance or broaden your professional qualifications. It is also suitable if you are seeking a career change and have successfully completed an undergraduate degree from another discipline.

This course, professionally accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), has been designed in direct consultation with PIA, potential employers, industry, government and professional representatives to ensure it provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and competencies sought by employers.

Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.

Professional recognition

The Master of Planning (Professional) has professional accreditation from the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Career opportunities

There is a critical shortage of skilled, qualified and experienced practitioners, especially in rural and regional areas, who are able to plan, design, and manage sustainable social and urban change. Due to the immense change in the planning and design industry, government and professional bodies are increasingly calling for graduate programs which address this complex array of changes in an integrated way.

The Master of Planning (Professional) can provide you with the skills that will enable you to work across diverse sectors of the planning industry, with the potential to find employment in all aspects of the built environment within the public and private sectors.

Income support

Domestic students enrolled in certain postgraduate coursework programs may be eligible for student income support through Youth Allowance and Austudy.

Further information can be found at Deakin University's Fees website.

Alternate Exit

Graduate Diploma of Planning (S663)
Graduate Certificate of Planning (S563)

Fees and charges

Fees and charges vary depending on your course, your fee category and the year you started. To find out about the fees and charges that apply to you, visit the Current students fees website.

Course Learning Outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

Apply an integrated specialised and scholarly knowledge of ever-changing urban, regional and rural environments to produce plans that guide the development and improvement of liveable sustainable environments and communities.

Apply broad and advanced discipline-specific planning knowledge and capabilities with adaptability and fluency in designing, developing and improving sustainable environments and communities.

Synthesise knowledge of planning history, theory and practice to research, design, develop and manage planning projects demonstrating initiative and judgement through professional practice and scholarship.

Develop in-depth understanding of specialist knowledge, contemporary planning practice and current research directions within the planning discipline.


Communicate clearly, professionally and responsibly with specialist and non-specialist audiences in a variety of contexts using oral, written, digital, graphic and interpersonal communication modes to ideate, inform, motivate public and private planning decisions and to effect change.

Engage stakeholders in ideas and concepts; mediate, negotiate and collaboratively resolve issues and planning conflicts; and propose logical actions with formulation and cohesion appropriate to the situation.


Digital literacy

Apply knowledge of relevant technical tools and methodologies to locate, collect, analyse, interpret and synthesise complex information in planning practice.

Apply digital technologies, including geographic information systems to evaluate and assess modelling and scenario building.

Critical thinking

Laterally think and review problems, scenarios, designs and plans to address planning problems at different scales and complexities.


Ideate to inform the creation of solutions to authentic real-world problems by comprehending systems and threads.

Subsequently implement plans in the particular circumstances of a place using the lens and knowledge of existing and past planning theory and practice.


Problem solving

Apply and develop planning knowledge to identify environmental, cultural and social problems, devise ways to investigate and resolve opportunities and constraints, drawing on research-based evidence, and producing solutions as the basis for appropriate action.

Make appropriate choices in ethically ambiguous situations based on knowledge of social, economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of planning.


Represent and maintain professional standards and opinions and standards by working individually and collaboratively to produce designs and plans in an ethical and timely manner.


Apply knowledge and skills in an independent way to solve contemporary planning problems and thereby demonstrate autonomous and expert judgements.


Produce plans with multi-disciplinary and diverse groups, including lay people, while representing and maintaining professional opinions and standards.


Critically reflect on stakeholders needs and develop processes in order to work efficiently in teams to formulate integrated planning options.

Implement designs and plans with a commitment to shared goals by engaging in team processes and applying knowledge of advanced interpersonal skills and time management.

Global citizenship

Engage with global trends and challenges confronting cities, settlements and regions and operate in a manner that recognises cultural diversity, the need for equity in outcomes and the knowledge of and implementation of high ethical professional standards.

Interpret and document relevant governance frameworks in the development, implementation and administration of designs, strategic and statutory plans, policies and regulations.


Approved by Faculty Board 27 July 2017

Course rules

To complete the Master of Planning (Professional), students must attain 16 credit points.  Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.

The 16 credit points include 10 core units equalling 11 credit points (these are compulsory), 1 four-credit point specialisation from the list below and 1 elective unit (you can choose which one to study). 

  • 10 core units (11 credit points)
  • 1 four-credit point specialisation from the list below
  • 1 elective unit


Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.

Course structure


Trimester 1

SRD761Designing Urban Environments

SRP782Smart Cities and Infrastructure

SRR782Research Methodology

Trimester 2

HSH724Healthy Cities and Urban Communities

SRA744Urban Patterns and Precedents

SRM781Managing Change and Innovation

SRR711Thesis (2 cps)

Trimester 3

SRP733Contemporary Planning and Design Challenges

SRD762Interdisciplinary Planning and Design

SRP781Planning Processes and Practice



Select from a range of elective units offered across many courses. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).

Details of specialisations

Urban Design


Waterfront (Geelong)

Unit set code



SRA742Urban Perspectives

SRA760Urban Ecologies

SRD764Urban Design Studio

SRM771Work Place Assessment (not available from 2018)

Healthy Cities


Burwood (Melbourne)

Unit set code



HSH709Health and Social Impact Assessment

HSH736Community Consultation and Participation

HSH740People, Health and Planning

SRP761Ecological Cities and Futures

Cultural Heritage


Cloud (online)

Unit set code



AIM734Understanding Significance

AIM703Introduction to Heritage Planning

AIM705Conservation Management Planning

AIP747Policy and Program Evaluation

Landscape Environmental Management


Waterfront (Geelong)

Unit set code



SRL731Landscape Narrating and Meaning

SRL733Indigenous Narratives and Processes

SRD760Geo-Planning and Design

SRP761Ecological Cities and Futures