Urban planning Environment

Urban planning Environment

Urban and regional planning is a profession shaping the places where people live, work and play.

At Macquarie you’ll focus on both social and environmental dimensions of urban management – learning from experts in urban studies, climate change, risk management and sustainability – to ensure you have a distinctive edge in the marketplace.


Undergraduate Courses

Postgraduate Courses


Undergraduate Courses

Postgraduate Courses

Careers in urban planning

  • environmental planner
  • local government planner and development assessor
  • social or environmental consultant
  • social planner
  • strategic planner


Bachelor of Planning and Master of Environmental Planning

Both the Bachelor of Planning and the Master of Environmental Planning are accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and thereby enables graduates of the program to take up membership of the PIA and pursue career opportunities in public and private sector positions which may require recognised professional PIA qualifications.

Professional experience

"One of the great benefits of doing the PACE program was that I got a job. That was over a year ago now and I'm really enjoying my current role at Place Partners."– Chris Patfield

Through the Macquarie University unique practical experience program, PACE, provides students with the opportunity to work on mutually beneficial projects with industry partners and gain important skills for your future careers.

Through PACE, Chris Patfield completed an internship with the urban planning organisation Place Partners. His work with the company required him to employ many professional skills including data analysis, market research, communication and reporting to help create an urban environment plan that was sustainable, economical, and took environmental and cultural factors into account.

Chris’s work with Place Partners helped him to secure a position with the company, where he is now considered an integral part of the team.

No matter what you decide to study at Macquarie, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Nicole Stephenson 

Bachelor of Planning

"I have always had a keen interest in geography and the Bachelor of Planning at Macquarie University offered the opportunity to explore my interests further, both through subject choice and also hands-on practical experience. Upon graduation I hope to work for planning sectors within local or state governments. After gaining a bit of experience, I would then really like to work overseas as a planner."

Gemma Bennett

Gemma Bennett

Master of Environmental Planning

"After working in local government for a number of years as an Environmental Strategist I discovered just how much planning influences local communities and environments. So I decided to do a Masters degree and Macquarie was at the top of my list as it has a great reputation for producing excellent planning practitioners.

"The degree allowed me to explore areas of research that I was passionate about. Consequently I was able to co-author a journal publication. In the midst of my degree my daughter came along. The academic staff were fantastic; their patience and flexibility allowed me to continue my studies resulting in me receiving the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence."

Matthew Golebiowski

Master of Environmental Planning

"I chose to study planning at Macquarie as it offers classes in planning law, social impact assessment, economics, sustainable development and the opportunity to work with planning professionals.

"I have found the staff to be highly experienced and approachable; who still work in their professions and choose to lecture due to their passion to prepare students for their careers. Great external guest speakers are also invited into the classroom to provide insight into the real world of planning, including all the frustrations and opportunities and sense of fulfilment that planning has to offer."

Our expertise

Dr Donna Houston

Director of the Bachelor of Planning

Donna Houston is an urban/cultural geographer and the Director of the Bachelor of Planning at Macquarie University. Donna has previously worked in the field of cultural heritage assessment and has a long-standing interest in urban industrial heritage. She currently teaches the history and theory of urbanism and planning; environmental sustainability; and planning for climate change. Donna regularly supervises 'work-integrated' student planning projects with local governments, consultants and non-government organisations. In addition to her university teaching, Donna's current urban research focuses the role of social innovation in local climate adaptation and the social and environmental dynamics of post-industrial urbanism.

Dr Kristian Ruming

Associate Professor of the Department of Geography and Planning

Kristian Ruming is a researcher, urban and economic geographer, and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. His research interests centre on issues of housing, urban planning and urban governance. He has explored social housing provision in New South Wales, in particular residents' experience of their neighbourhood and the evaluation of policies tied to urban renewal and community regeneration. Kristian's teaching currently focuses on the urban dynamics of population and housing and planning for healthy and liveable cities and regions. He has recently supervised student planning projects focussed on social housing and urban renewal in Macquarie Park.

Created in 2015, the Department emphasises understanding of coupled human-nature systems in the context of rapid social, economic, environmental and political change. It adds significantly to the Faculty of Arts' existing strengths in social sciences and humanities.

"Geography's interest in people, place and the processes of change offers exciting opportunities to collaborate across the Faculty of Arts," says Professor Howitt, former Head of the Department of Geography and Planning. "Our concern with urban planning and housing is reflected in our teaching and research. Through Planning and Development Studies we also have strong links already to colleagues in Anthropology, Law, Sociology and Indigenous Studies."

The new department will also continue strong teaching and research collaboration with the sciences and reflects Macquarie's strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration.

"Our students and our research collaborators can expect a renewed focus on growing capacity to build just, sustainable and equitable futures for communities at many scales through the programs we offer, the research we do, and our enthusiasm to make a positive difference to those we work with," Professor Howitt added.

Related stories

    There are no news items.

    Back to the top of this page