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Graduate Certificate of Environmental Planning


Faculty of Arts
Graduate Certificate of Environmental Planning (GradCertEnvPlan)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in a related discipline
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Part-time: 1 year
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 0.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 16
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Local Government Approval Process (4)
Environmental Planning (4)
Sustainable Urban Regions (4)
Local Government and Planning Law (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Certificate
Overview and Aims of the Program The Graduate Certificate in Environmental Planning is a interdisciplinary degree aimed at preparing students for a variety of positions in the public and private sector. A key feature of the degree and the expertise of Macquarie University is how environmental and sustainability theory can be applied in practice to strategic and statutory land use planning.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate a high practical and theoretical knowledge of environmental law and planning theory (K)
2. critically evaluate planning and sustainability theories and practice and apply this knowledge to contemporary issues (T,P)
3. evaluate the environmental implications of urban and regional planning (J, E)
4. demonstrate a capacity to make and explain sustainable and ethical decisions on environmental planning issues (C, E)
5. synthesise multiple principles of urban and regional planning within an interdisciplinary context (T, P, L, J) .

6. evaluate planning instruments and policies, interpreting their impact on urban and regional environments (K, T)
7. demonstrate the skills of professional literacy, including communication (oral, written, graphical), interpersonal (teamwork, negotiation, resolution) and ethical conduct (C, E)
8. devise innovative solutions to environmental problems within a planning context (P, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods You will be encouraged throughout this program to develop the relevant subject skills, methods, knowledge and understanding through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. The program is structured so that you engage in a set of required units while also being able to choose from a pool of related units designed to increase your overall understanding and to allow you to further specialise in particular areas. Within this structure you will be exposed to diverse teaching and learning approaches that are designed to be student-centred and flexible, providing opportunities to pursue a range of options oriented towards fitting your schedules.

The teaching and learning approaches are designed to encourage creative and critical thinking about environmental and planning issues as well as a range of practical skills oriented towards professional development. Teaching and learning strategies include weekly workshops that typically involve a lecture accompanied by in-class activities involving peer-to-peer learning; block-mode teaching where teaching is condensed into extended blocks involving guest lectures and practical activities spread over two or three days; and field trips to collect and analyse data and critically assess the impact of development on the environment. In each case staff will work closely with students to ensure the best learning outcomes. The program mixes the knowledge and skills of academic staff with practicing professionals. This ensures teaching and learning activities are focused on applying theory to practice.

Within the program there is an emphasis on student directed learning through peer-to-peer interaction and discussion, drawing on the diverse skills and backgrounds of people within the class. Students are expected to research subjects outside class time and present that research via a variety of formats in class. Many units are aimed at developing professional teamwork skills and require students to work in small teams to generate and present ideas and research. There are also opportunities to apply skills and knowledge to practical ‘real world’ problems by producing research reports for public, private and community sector organisations.
Assessment You will be exposed to a wide range of assessment tasks through this program. The majority of these are individual pieces of work oriented at developing the critical thinking, practical and communication skills required for a career as an environmental planner. The most common assessments involve writing essays and reports on contemporary environmental and planning topics; writing reviews and evaluations of current policies and approaches; and making presentations and participating in discussions with your peers. Other individual assessment tasks may include quizzes, exams, proposals, research projects, academic papers, critical reflections and the application of relevant environmental planning skills. You will also be required to work in groups on group assessment tasks that will reflect your knowledge, as well as teamwork and communication skills.

Clear standards and criteria for coursework are included in the unit guide. Marking rubrics are provided for specific assessment tasks to help students tailor their work to clarify what is expected. Feedback on submitted assignments takes a range of forms but will generally involve written notes regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your work as well as either quantitative or qualitative assessment in accordance to the assessment marking rubric. Teaching staff also provide feedback in-class or through personal appointments for further feedback and guidance. Constructive peer feedback may be sought for some assessment tasks, particularly those that require presentations.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Planning is a diverse profession. Planners may focus on strategic planning and policy, environmental impact assessment or development assessment and control.

Career opportunities include:
• state government (in the areas of strategic planning, policy development and research, statutory planning, development assessment and control, environmental and social impact assessment)
• local government (including strategic planning, statutory planning, development assessment and control, environmental impact assessment)
• federal government (such as policy development and research, environmental and social impact assessment)
• private sector (that would include specialist and multi-disciplinary environmental management, planning and engineering consultancies, development companies and agencies)
• Non Government Organisations (NGOs)
• research organisations.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148