Master of Planning and Urban Design

Courses & Study   Courses   Master of Planning and Urban Design

Course overview

Graduates of the Master of Planning and Urban Design at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based design studio and/ or field experiments/practices by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to urban and regional planning in the tropics
  • Organise, analyse and interpret complex planning data using advanced mathematical, statistical, qualitative and technological skills
  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, social science and scientific data, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media
  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying planning knowledge and skills with initiative and expert judgement
  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work
    effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts
Start dates
March, July, November
16 months full time
Study mode
On campus


Study Program

Students are required to complete a total of 48 credit hours as per the following:

Course Structure

Core Subjects

  • Environmental and Regional Planning
  • Urban Geography and Design
  • Planning Legislation and Professional Practice
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

+Select 8 subjects from List 1
+Select either OPTION A or OPTION B

OPTION A (Dissertation – entry restricted to minimum Grade Point Average of 5.5)

  • Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (1 of 2)
  • Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (2 of 2)


OPTION B (Professional Minor Project)

  • Professional Planning Project (1 of 2)
  • Professional Planning Project (2 of 2)

+Select 2 subjects from List 1

Students have an option to complete 3 subjects with Pomeroy Academy: Distil Design Disseminate, Smart and Sustainable Cities, and Vertical Urban Theory. Upon successful completion of Pomeroy Academy’s subjects, students can obtain respective transferable credits for: Advanced Design Communication, Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment, and Urban Ecosystems.


Note: Themes listed below are for guidance only

Sustainable Urbanism Theme

  • Advanced Design Communication
  • Urban Ecosystems
  • Field Studies in Tropical Geography
  • Urban Design Studio

Disaster Resilience Theme

  • Disasters, Communities and Planning
  • Disaster Management Principles
  • Leadership in Disaster Management
  • Natural Hazards

Development Planning Theme

  • Asia Pacific Development: Culture and Globalisation
  • Sustainability In Practice
  • Development in Practice
  • Critical Issues in Global Development

Other Options

  • The Practice of Cultural Heritage Management
  • Native Title and Land Use Planning
  • Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Design Thinking Principles
  • Planning for Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment
  • Economics for a Sustainable World
  • Professional Placement
  • Special Topic 1
  • Special Topic 2
  • Tourism and the Environment
  • Global Destination Competitiveness

Eligibility & Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • Completion of an AQF level 7 Bachelor Degree at this or another University.

English Requirements

  • Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of IELTS 6 (no component lower than 6.0) / TOEFL (Internet Based) 74 (no component less than 18) / Pearson PTE Academic 52 (no component less than 52); or
  • Satisfactory completion of James Cook University Singapore English Language Preparatory Program (ELPP); or
  • Successful completion of other qualifications completed in English Language deemed comparable to Australian standards within the last two years on a case-by-case basis.

Advanced Standing

Credit may also be granted for the following:

  • An AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a cognate* discipline – up to 12 credit points
  • An AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a non-cognate discipline in conjunction with two (2) years relevant professional experience** – up to 12 credit points
  • An AQF level 8 bachelor degree in a non-cognate discipline – up to 12 credit points
  • An AQF level 8 bachelor honours degree or a graduate diploma in a cognate* discipline - up to 18 credit points

*Cognate disciplines: Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Design, Urban Studies, Geography, Sustainability or other disciplines where students will have completed study relating to design, visual communication, planning, land use, sustainability, transport planning, real estate development and economics.

** Professional experience: Applicants must have a minimum of two (2) years full-time equivalent professional work experience in a management, leadership or supervisory level in a planning, urban design, landscape architecture, or architecture environment or be eligible for a member grade status of a relevant professional organisation. Students will have demonstrable effective experience relating or urban planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, land use, master planning, design communication skills.

Note: Students who have completed Pomeroy Academy subjects may be granted advanced standing.

Application Procedures

Prospective students can click here to find out more about enrolment, courses available and application procedures and forms.

Attendance Requirements

International students holding a valid student’s passes are required to attend at least 90% of scheduled classes per month. Failure to attend classes is a breach of the student visa conditions. Being absent from classes for a continuous period of seven days or more, or attendance falling below 90% without valid reasons will result in the student needing to surrender their Student pass for cancellation.

Domestic students must attend at least 75% of the scheduled lecture and tutorial activities to be eligible for assessment.

Career Outcomes

Depending on the specialization that you choose, you can work in government, not-for-profits, developing countries or independent corporations. When you graduate, your work could include tropical planning and urban design to meet the major challenges facing society today, such as:

  • Designing cities, towns and remote communities to cope with climate change
  • Population growth and change
  • Rapid urbanisation
  • Poverty and homelessness
  • Conflict over land use
  • Planning to include cultural diversity
  • Economic development
  • Hazard mapping
  • Planning sub-divisions
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Social and planning policy development
  • Environment impact assessment
  • Environmental law
  • Urban and regional planning

Tuition Fees

Domestic* International
S$49,648 S$51,360

*Fees apply to all Singapore residents (Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and all pass holders excluding those holding a Student Pass)

Note: All course fees include prevailing 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Planning and Urban Design

Download the Planning and Urban Design brochure here.

Note: International students in Singapore on a Student Pass are not permitted to work. For more information please visit

James Cook University is EduTrust Certified. The EduTrust certification scheme is administered by the Committee for Private Education (CPE), a part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). EduTrust requires all students to be covered under a Fee Protection Scheme. In James Cook University, this is provided through an insurance protection scheme. Further, EduTrust also requires that the students must be covered under a medical insurance coverage which has provision for hospitalisation, surgery and treatment costs throughout their course duration. James Cook University will advise in the Standard Student Contract the total amount of insurance payable.

For more details please visit the Committee for Private Education (CPE), a part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) website:

Although James Cook University endeavours to ensure the accuracy of this information, there is no guarantee it will remain accurate all year. Applicants are advised to confirm program details with the appropriate school before making an application.