How to apply for the Master of Research (Planning)

The Master of Research (Planning) is a two-year research training degree with an accredited specialisation in urban and regional planning. The course makes available a variety of career pathways in urban planning and management as well as doctoral study.

The first stage is coursework and the second stage is a supervised research project.

Step 1: Review the application periods

You can apply for admission at any time of the year, however, there are closing dates that apply for intake into the first half (1H) semester or the second half (2H) semester.

1H 2022 (January intake) applications close:

  • 14 November 2021 for international applicants
  • 23 January 2022 for domestic applicants

2H 2022 (July intake) applications close:

  • 1 May 2022 for international applicants
  • 15 May 2022 for domestic applicants

International applications are due earlier to allow for visa processing and travel to Australia.

Step 2: Review the admission criteria

Western Sydney University must be satisfied that you have the skills and experience to commence study at a suitable level for entry into the Master of Research (Planning).

To be eligible for admission, you must have:

  • successfully completed a Bachelor degree or a Masters degree in a discipline such as Planning, Architecture, Engineering, Property, Urban Studies, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Environmental Management; and
  • achieved an admission average mark equal to or above a minimum of 65 in your most recent degree.

You can calculate your admission average mark (AAM) by adding all your results awarded for completed units in your most recent degree, and then dividing the total by the number of units you studied in the degree.

If your most recent qualification is more than five (5) years old, you can apply based on demonstrated professional experience in an area related to your proposed research. Your experience will be considered at the discretion of the Dean, Graduate Studies.

Step 3: Check for available research projects

You can browse our range of currently available research projects to check for a project that interests you and is relevant to your qualifications or experience. These are opportunities where a research supervisor is actively looking for a student to join their project.

If you don’t find a project that interests you, don’t worry because you are not limited to choosing from this list. The projects are just to give you an idea of potential research areas.

Step 4: Find a research supervisor

If you have identified a project that you are interested in, you should contact the supervisor directly to discuss the project and your intention to apply.

If you have not identified a project, you can visit the find a supervisor page for more information about how to search for a potential supervisor or how to discuss your options with a relevant School or Institute.

When contacting potential supervisors, you should send an email to introduce yourself, describe your qualifications and experience, and provide a statement that clearly identifies your area of research interest. Supervisors receive a lot of enquiries from potential applicants so you need to make a good first impression!

When you have confirmed that an academic is interested in being your supervisor, you will need to request a letter of support to include in your application.

Step 5: Prepare your statement of intent

A statement of intent outlines a general research area for your project. It does not need to be very detailed and should be approximately 250-500 words in length.

Visit the how to write a statement of intent page for more information.

Step 6: Prepare your documentation

You are required to include the following documentation in your application:

  • Certified copies of all tertiary graduation certificates and academic transcripts for degrees completed outside of Western Sydney University.
  • Certified evidence of citizenship status (e.g. passport, birth certificate, citizenship papers, etc.) or certified evidence of residency status (for Australian permanent residents only).
  • Evidence of English language proficiency for applicants who completed their previous qualifications outside of Australia.
  • A letter of support from your proposed supervisor.
  • A statement of intent that clearly identifies your area of research interest.
  • Evidence of relevant employment or experience directly related to urban and regional planning and/or research training (if applicable).

All copies of official documents must be certified according to Western Sydney University requirements.

Step 7: Review the frequently asked questions

You should review the frequently asked questions below before submitting an application. It is important that you understand the expectations and responsibilities associated with applying for admission into a research degree.

Step 8: Submit an online application for admission

The final step is to submit an online application to be assessed for admission into the Master of Research Planning. Please ensure you include all the required information as this will help us to streamline the processing of your application.

Apply now and start your unlimited journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can review the available research projects page to find a list of potential projects and supervisors.

You can find a list of contacts for each of the Schools and Institutes from the find a supervisor page.

Yes, applications for the Master of Research (Planning) are always open and we encourage you to submit an application at any time.

If you have missed a closing date, late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis with priority given to applications received before the closing dates.

All applications will be considered for the next available intake.

Yes, you are required to provide a letter of support from a potential supervisor in your application. This will help us to ensure that we are resourced to support your research project.

It may take 6-8 weeks to receive an outcome for your application. All offers of admission require a full assessment and endorsement from the relevant School or Institute to ensure the provision of suitable supervision and resources.

We encourage you to contact the Course Advisor listed in the handbook entry for advice about this program before submitting your application.

If you have a specific question about the application process, please contact

Further enquiries

For more information or advice about applying for the Master of Research, please contact