Master of Research (Planning)

Planning at Western

The first stage combines coursework training in comprehensive research methodology with an advanced specialisation in urban and regional planning. In the second stage, you will undertake a supervised year of higher degree research and produce a thesis. The second stage also includes a series of workshops and seminars designed to enhance your research and professional capabilities. 

You will develop the professional communication skills, reasoning and analytical processes required to make valuable contributions to the policy, technical and regulatory aspects of urban and regional planning. The teaching curriculum covers both Australian and international contexts.

Course structure

Stage 1 of the program involves intensive coursework where you will engage with your peers and academics in an interdisciplinary environment. The coursework is designed to help you build your skills as a researcher, master the art of knowledge translation and develop a strong research proposal.

You will undertake core units including:

  • Research Design 1: Theories of Enquiry
  • Research Literacies
  • Research Design 2: Practices of Research
  • Managing Cities: History and Theory
  • Planning and Environmental Regulation
  • Developing Sustainable Places
  • Financing Cities in the Global Economy
  • Urban Management Practice: Governance and Power in the City

The coursework structure is outlined in our handbook where you can find more information about the units (subjects) you will be studying.

Stage 2 of the program involves completing your own research project under the supervision of an academic expert in your area of research. Your project will focus on the development of a 25,000-word thesis that will be externally examined.

Fees and delivery

You should refer to the Higher Degree Research Fees page for information about tuition fees for this program.



Start your unlimited journey today.

"Master’s is great because you have the freedom to study what you want and project based units allow you to undertake your own design."

— Nicholas Ralph. Master of Research.

Apply now and start your unlimited journey.

*The tuition fees quoted above are the fees for the normal full-time study load of the course (80 credit points) per annum. International students will be subject to a variable fee regime; i.e. enrolled students will be required to pay fees during their course based on the approved fee for each calendar year. Fee changes (if any) will occur at 1 January each calendar year. Students who extend their course past the normal finish date of the course will be required to pay additional fees based on the prevailing fee level. Western Sydney University is a multi-campus institution. The University reserves the right to alter the location of its courses between campuses and other locations as necessary. Students should be aware of the possibility of change of location for the whole or part of courses for which they enrol and should plan for the need to travel between Western Sydney campuses.