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Thread: Master's in urban planning at U of Melbourne

  1. #1
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    Master's in urban planning at U of Melbourne

    I am just wondering if anyone might have any opinion about this particular program, especially from alumni or current students. My main concern is about job outlook in this field and salary range.

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    This is going to be a very useless reply, but a bump is a bump.

    I was going to apply, but then decided against it because (1) the application/recommendation letter forms were ridiculously long, and, (2) because I'm afraid of the various bugs in Australia.

  3. #3
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    Hey Folks,
    I wouldn't worry about the bugs in Australia, they only crawl on your face in the night time - you're asleep so you don't even know it!

    There is a great planners degree at Latobe University, Bendigo. There is a wealth of students from all parts of the globe, and many mature age students. The city is only 90,000, slightly conservative, but developing a sense of funk, only 90 mins to Melbourne by high speed rail. Lots of groovy, dynamic and politically green communities nearby. Planning oppportunities in Australia? Most students have work by 2nd Year and the industry has a 20% shortfall across the disciplines, offering good incomes.
    Worth a look.

  4. #4
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    I thought to add to my earlier post. The course is formally titled: BA (Batchelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning). It is fully accredited with the Planning Institite of Australia (PIA), the peak industry body. In part, the course focusses on stautory and stretegic planning, with strong industry links both in Melbourne and in Regional Australia. It has alo developed partnership programs with Universities across the globe and regularly has international field trips and exchange progrrams. For example, 2nd and 3rd Year students spent 6 weeks in Sri Lanka working with post-tsunami communities, local urban planners and students last summer. I am a first year (well and truly mature age with a bit of land-use design background) student in this course and already have work locally, working on planning applications and Environmental Management Plans.

    There are only 2 planning degrees offered in Victoria.

    Choose well.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by pj2hansen View post

    There are only 2 planning degrees offered in Victoria.

    Choose well.
    This is slightly incorrect. There are 3 currently-running courses accredited by PIA, namely Latrobe, UniMelb and RMIT. Check out the website here:

    http://www.planning.org.au/becomeaplanner/vic

    I'll add a bit to the OP's queries. I graduated from UniMelb then-Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development in 2005. Since then UniMelb has undergone a lot of changs to the courses on offer at the Urban Planning department and I can only recognise two to three lecturers teaching there.

    I would add that Melbourne's courses are generally more academic in nature, which means that lecturers like to look at theories and the like, for e.g. the politics of planning, history of urban planning in Australia, planning theories and processes, etc. Technical aspect of planning (densities, built form, layout of roads, road widths, forecasting of population, etc) are generally discussed as concepts rather than technical matters. While I thoroughly enjoyed the course, the lack of technical depth is my biggest lament.

    That said, I'm not sure how this has changed with the new course. It seems that the MUP has added in more practical aspects, such as dealing with the Victorian Planning Provisions, requires more studio work, and gives students more exposure to urban design and physical planning.

    I would suggest contacting the Uni to find out more on the specialties of the lecturers to see if it is in line with what you hope to study. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    joshww81, I see you're from Singapore..did you have a lot of problems obtaining financial aid to study in Australia? I'm asking because I'm from the US and have been looking into University of Melbourne's program, but they seem to seldom give out financial aid to international students..

    Quote Originally posted by joshww81 View post
    This is slightly incorrect. There are 3 currently-running courses accredited by PIA, namely Latrobe, UniMelb and RMIT. Check out the website here:

    http://www.planning.org.au/becomeaplanner/vic

    I'll add a bit to the OP's queries. I graduated from UniMelb then-Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development in 2005. Since then UniMelb has undergone a lot of changs to the courses on offer at the Urban Planning department and I can only recognise two to three lecturers teaching there.

    I would add that Melbourne's courses are generally more academic in nature, which means that lecturers like to look at theories and the like, for e.g. the politics of planning, history of urban planning in Australia, planning theories and processes, etc. Technical aspect of planning (densities, built form, layout of roads, road widths, forecasting of population, etc) are generally discussed as concepts rather than technical matters. While I thoroughly enjoyed the course, the lack of technical depth is my biggest lament.

    That said, I'm not sure how this has changed with the new course. It seems that the MUP has added in more practical aspects, such as dealing with the Victorian Planning Provisions, requires more studio work, and gives students more exposure to urban design and physical planning.

    I would suggest contacting the Uni to find out more on the specialties of the lecturers to see if it is in line with what you hope to study. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TheInternational View post
    joshww81, I see you're from Singapore..did you have a lot of problems obtaining financial aid to study in Australia? I'm asking because I'm from the US and have been looking into University of Melbourne's program, but they seem to seldom give out financial aid to international students..
    My grades were not good enough to land an international student scholarship (or at least a partial scholarship) to study in Australia.

    I'm not sure if the universities offer financial aid for international students though, which appears to be reserved for the locals. Unfortunately, with the Fed Government cutting down on money being channelled to the universities, the schools are now reliant very much so on international students to help prop up the finances.

  8. #8
    That's too bad..so I guess it's just the students who have well-off family that can afford the entire tuition to go. I have 3.8 GPA which probably isn't good enough for a good scholarship, but the fact that I would have to rely entirely on loans or grants for tuition will make it really hard to be able to attend.
    Quote Originally posted by joshww81 View post
    My grades were not good enough to land an international student scholarship (or at least a partial scholarship) to study in Australia.

    I'm not sure if the universities offer financial aid for international students though, which appears to be reserved for the locals. Unfortunately, with the Fed Government cutting down on money being channelled to the universities, the schools are now reliant very much so on international students to help prop up the finances.

  9. #9
    By any chance, has anyone here heard anything about the planning program at Bond University on the Gold Coast? I've been looking at the website and it seems like a well-rounded program..

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I went there for my Masters. I enjoyed it and did well; they are hooked into the U.S. financial aid system, so pell grants and the like came in without issues.
    This applies to lots of colleges, but make sure to keep records and the like and keep on top of the status of everything. Everyone I dealt with there was very competent, but things like transcripts and the like had a tendency to get mislaid or go astray while they were traveling between desks.

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