Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities)

Postgraduate coursework

Learn how to influence circular city systems with a focus on the design and implementation of urban environments that prioritise sustainable practices.

Key facts


1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent


New course from Trimester 1, 2025

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Be ready to step into the job opportunities offered by the booming green economy with the Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities). This course is situated in the cutting-edge arena of sustainable urban development through a new understanding of circularity in the built environment and will equip you with the skills to succeed as a leader in the growing field of urban sustainability. The expertise you gain will enable you to help influence a more sustainable future and create environmentally resilient communities.

Learn how to effectively influence circular city systems with a focus on the design and implementation of urban environments that prioritise sustainable practices, such as the minimisation of waste and efficient use of resources. Through a mixture of core and course elective units you'll learn to apply circular economy principles to urban challenges including public space and cultural heritage, green infrastructure, governance and policy, economics and supply chains.

Passionate about a career in building a sustainable future?

With the world adding 1 million people to cities every five days the need for jobs that contribute to environmental preservation and support the transition to more sustainable cities is clear. Deakin's Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities) prepares you to meet this demand.

Learn by doing through participation in joint projects with our UNESCO Cities of Design international network. Get hands-on experience in the applied design research lab, where you'll apply design thinking and research methods to real-world problems and build innovative thinking and problem-solving skills. Gain in-depth foundational knowledge via core units covering environmental systems, urban life or urban systems, before exploring the topics in urban sustainability that interest you most through electives. Choose topics such as food security, climate change, community development, leadership and finance and data analytics to name a few.

As issues of sustainability become increasingly central to our built environment, businesses and how we live, your cutting-edge knowledge and work-ready skills will be highly sought after by employers.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities)

2024 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
114664A Waterfront (Geelong)
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9

Course structure

To complete the Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities), students must attain 12 credit points, which must include the following:

  • DAI001 Academic Integrity (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • SRA710 Safety Induction Program (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • five (5) core units (totalling 8 credit points)
  • four (4) course elective units (totalling 4 credit points).

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.


Core credit points


Elective units




  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Safety Induction Program (0 credit points)
  • Components of the Circular City (2 credit points)
  • Indigenous Narratives and Design Processes
  • Interactions and Enablers of the Circular City (2 credit points)
  • Geo-Planning and Design
  • Applied Design Research Lab (2 credit points)
  • Plus any four (4) units (4 credit points) from the course elective list (subject to meeting unit requirements)

    Course elective units

    Environmental Systems - Natural Capital

  • Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Systems and Strategic Thinking
  • Food and Water Security
  • Regional Development Economics and Planning
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Policy and Practice for Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems
  • Built Environment Research Project
  • Built Environment Study Tour

  • Urban Life - Social Cultural Capital

  • Health Promotion
  • Introduction to International and Community Development
  • Health Equity and Human Rights
  • World Heritage
  • Heritage Practice: Conservation and Managing Change
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Public Relations, Activism and Social Change
  • Principles and Practice of Public Health
  • Community Consultation and Participation
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice
  • Built Environment Research Project
  • Built Environment Study Tour

  • Urban Systems - Human-made Capital

  • Environmental Science and Global Change
  • Foundations in Leadership
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Property and Real Estate Context
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Financial Markets and Digital Innovations
  • Principles of Finance
  • Foundation Skills in Data Analysis
  • Sustainability in the Anthropocene
  • Challenges to Democracy
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Circular Economy
  • Managing Innovation (Tour)
  • Enterprise Value Creation: Sustainability and Integrated Reporting
  • DMC713-OD Life Cycle Assessment (0.5 credit points) ^, and

    MMC715-SY Sustainable Leadership to 2030 (0.5 credit points) ^

    ^ Must be completed together. These fully online microcredentials (Stackable Short Courses) suit professionals with busy lives and work commitments, allowing you to complete microcredentials anytime and anywhere. Please refer to Microcredential learner support for more information.

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waterfront (Geelong)

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Waterfront (Geelong)

    New course from Trimester 1, 2025

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.


    You can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, site visits and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Participation requirements

    Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information is available at Disability support services.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    $29,600 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    Not applicable

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.  The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.  

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.  Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Some of our courses have limited places available - to browse those still open for application, visit courses by trimester.

    To apply, create an account in the Deakin Application Portal, enter your personal details and education experience, upload supporting documents and submit. Need help? Play this video, or contact one of our friendly future student advisers on 1800 693 888 or submit an online enquiry.

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    Upon completion of the Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities) you could use the credit points you've earned to enter into further study, including:

    Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities) (Professional) (S719)

    Alternative exits

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.


    Career outcomes

    Architecture, engineering and construction industries are some of Australia's biggest employers. But our biggest services sector also produces roughly 40% of landfill waste and accounts for 18.1% of Australia's carbon footprint. The sector must change its practices fast for Australia to meet its commitments to cut emissions.

    The Master of Science (Design for Circular Cities) gives you the advanced knowledge and skills to meet this demand for more sustainable development practices. As a graduate you may pursue career opportunities in areas such as:

    • urban design consultancies (in planning, engineering, architecture, landscape)
    • urban management and governance
    • property development and housing
    • circular design specialists
    • environmental consultancies
    • urban regeneration and environmental agencies.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Develop a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between urban design, architecture, engineering, social sciences, and environmental sciences in the context on circular cities.

    Develop an understanding of policy, governance and economic frameworks that support circular cities and critically evaluate their effectiveness in different contexts.


    Communicate complex urban concepts, processes, and outcomes persuasively through a range of media, including verbal presentations, written reports, and visual representations.

    Digital literacy

    Use digital tools and technologies to enhance circular design and planning processes.

    Critical thinking

    Apply design and systems thinking approaches to discover, analyse and reframe complex urban problems related to circularity.

    Problem solving

    Analyse and synthesize data and information to identify opportunities for circularity in cities and catalyse them into propositions that address environmental, economic, and social challenges.


    Demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurial skills in designing, implementing, and promoting circular urban solutions.

    Apply research methods to investigate and evaluate the effectiveness of circular urban interventions and propose recommendation for future improvements.


    Collaborate effectively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and sectors to develop circular city solutions that are contextually relevant and socially equitable.

    Conduct interdisciplinary research and integrate knowledge from multiple fields to inform circular city design.

    Global citizenship

    Critically reflect on the ethical, social, and cultural implications of circular cities in relation to the role of design in shaping circular cities.

    Approved by Faculty Board 3 August 2023