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Bachelor of Planning


Faculty of Arts
Bachelor of Planning (BPlan)
English Language Proficiency:
Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 4 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (25 February 2019)
North Ryde — Session 2 (29 July 2019)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 4 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points for the degree 96
Of your 96 credit points, complete a maximum of 36 credit points at 100 level
Minimum number of credit points at 200 level or above 60
Minimum number of credit points at 300 level or above 30
Completion of a designated PACE unit
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

100 level

Environmental Management for a Changing World (3)
Biophysical Environments (3)
Geographies of Global Change (3)
Urban Planet: Cities and Planning in the Anthropocene (3)
3cp from
Introduction to Computer Programming (3)
Fundamentals of Computer Science (3)
IT & Society (3)
Introduction to Business Information Systems (3)
Introductory Statistics (3)
Statistical Data Analysis (3)

200 level

Australian Environmental Futures (3)
Introduction to Environmental Economics (3)
Introduction to Geographic Information Science (3)
Environment and Society (3)
Planning and Development (3)
Urban Dynamics: Population, Housing and Economy (3)
6cp from
Development Studies: The Anthropology of International Aid (3)
Climate Change (3)
Earth Surface Processes (3)
Geographies of Development (3)
Workforce Demography and Planning (3)
Consumer Demographics (3)
Methods of Social Research (3)

300 level

Environmental Decision Making (3)
Rethinking Resource Management (3)
Urban Strategic Planning (3)
Human Geography in Action (6)
Applied GIS (3)
6cp from
ANTH units at 300 level
ENV units at 300 level
ENVS units at 300 level
GEOP units at 300 level
SOC units at 300 level

400 level

Planning and Design Project (3)
Planning Experience (9)
Social Impact Assessment (3)
Local Government and Planning Law (3)

Balance of credit points required:



Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.

AQF Level Level 7 Bachelor Degree
CRICOS Code 060724M
Overview and Aims of the Program The Bachelor of Planning offers a four-year degree which receives professional accreditation from the Planning Institute of Australia. The degree has a unique interdisciplinary focus on integrating social and environmental domains in the planning and design of sustainable cities and regions.

The degree aims to produce professional, civically engaged graduates with demonstrated knowledge of planning theory, policy and governance, and with practical skills in plan-making, urban design, impact assessment and research.

A unique feature of the degree is the opportunity for students to undertake planning related Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) activities locally and overseas. For example, students undertake research projects in Sydney or Malaysia and professional work experience in a planning field in their fourth year.

Bachelor of Planning students are able to develop areas of specialisation in: environmental science and management; international development; demographics and social science; and in spatial science and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

The curriculum is based on lectures, tutorials, workshops, practicals, work experience, research based fieldwork, and field visits.
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 knowledge and practical engagement with urban and regional planning theory, philosophy and practice (K, T, I)
2. apply knowledge of planning law and policy to the preparation of strategic plans and development assessment (T, P, J)
3. apply the principles of community engagement and participation to urban and regional planning (P, C, E)
4. describe and apply reflective and ethical practice through work-integrated learning (I, C, A, J, L)
5. review, evaluate and demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary planning policy and practice across social, cultural and environmental domains (K, T, P)
6. demonstrate an understanding of land use and urban design principles (K, T, I, C, E, A)
7. gather, analyse and apply data to solve planning problems, create strategic plans and assess development (K, T, P)
8. develop, describe and apply the skills of professional literacy, including communication, presentation, spatial information and community engagement (I, C)
9. demonstrate professional skills and principles of ethical conduct (E, A, J)
10. demonstrate technical, research and problem solving skills and their application to professional workplace (K, T, P, C)
11. evaluate planning instruments and policies, interpreting their impact on urban and regional environments (T, P, J)
12. develop creative and innovative approaches to social, economic and environmental planning challenges in the 21st century (T, I, E, A, L).
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 planning program is structured so that you progressively develop applied knowledge and professional practice skills through a set of required units. You will also be able to choose from a pool of related units designed to increase your overall understanding and to allow you to develop a specialised interest in one of the following areas: environmental sciences, spatial information science and geographical information systems (GIS), demography and social research, or international development studies. Within this structure you will be exposed to diverse teaching and learning approaches that are designed to be student-centred and which offer numerous work-integrated learning opportunities.

The learning and teaching approaches are designed to encourage critical and creative thinking and the development of professional skills necessary for planning practice. Teaching and learning strategies involve a mix of weekly lectures and tutorials, planning studios and workshops, site visits and fieldwork, and an extended period of work experience. Within the program, you will be exposed to the interdisciplinary contexts of planning through units in law, anthropology, environmental sciences and social sciences. The interdisciplinary focus of the program encourages you to think critically and creatively across social and environmental domains and to apply planning knowledge to ‘real world’ problems.

A unique feature of the planning program is the opportunity to develop research skills and gain planning experience through PACE units, where you will engage in planning related research projects with external partners and undertake a professional placement in the final year. An optional PACE activity within the program is the opportunity to undertake research and fieldwork in Borneo Malaysia or in the Northern Territory.

The program mixes the knowledge and skills of academic staff with practicing professionals who play a prominent role in many of the teaching and learning activities. You will also have the opportunity to participate in social events organised on and off campus by planning students and professional planner networks.
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 in planning. The most common assessments involve writing essays and reports on contemporary planning and land-management 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, essays and critical reflections. 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 provided for specific assessment tasks to help tailor your work to 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 can 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. When conducting research for a public, private or community sector organisation as part of your training, feedback will also be sought from these entities.

One of the major assessment tasks of the program is based on work undertaken in the fourth-year Planning and Design capstone unit, where you will undertake a planning design project based in Sydney to showcase your skills in project planning. The Planning and Design unit will provide you with an opportunity to consolidate, integrate and synthesise prior learning and knowledge across multiple subjects of the program and provide opportunities to present this work to peers, academic staff and industry professionals.
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.

Information can be found at:

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 Career opportunities for graduates of the Bachelor of Planning include:
• local government planner and development assessor
• strategic planner
• social or environmental consultant
• social planner.

Employers of planners include:
• private firms and consultancies
• community sector organisations in urban development, housing and planning
• local, state and federal government
• residential developers.
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.
• Planning Institute of Australia.
• Accredited for 5 years in 2013.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

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