MC072 - Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning)

Go to Enrolment Program Structures Search

Plan: MC072DE - Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning)
Campus: City Campus


Program details
Objectives of the program
Articulation and pathways
Entrance requirements
External accreditation and industry links
Student expenses and charges in addition to fees
Library, IT and specialist resources

Program details

Award title: Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning)
Award abbreviation: MSocSc(Env&Plan)
Total credit points: 144
Career: PGRD
Duration: 1.5 years full time, 3 years part time
Location: Distance Education
Owning school: Global Studies, Social Science and Planning (365H)
Owning school URL:
ASCED code: 050999
CRICOS code:

*Top of page

Objectives of the program

The Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning) program brings together contemporary planning and environmental issues with related theoretical frameworks.

A feature of this is the integration of these theoretical concepts with their application to contemporary issues and professional situations. The program is firmly focused on policy and management related to the fields of environment and planning. The program may be taken on campus or via the internet with all core courses offered online, and some electives.

Specifically, this program is designed for professional development, academic interest and for entry into the rapidly expanding planning and environment fields. The areas of planning and environment are inherently interesting due to their multi-faceted nature and multi-disciplinary approach. They are concerned with solving many contemporary problems confronting urban, regional and rural environments. There is also high demand for graduates. The program is designed for those motivated by a desire to improve their environment, or move into a more exciting and challenging career, or a combination of both. The program has two main areas of study: environment and planning. You may choose one particular field of study (environment or planning) or a combination of courses from both.

Planning Field of Study -  The planning field of study at master level is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia, enabling you to become qualified in this area of considerable job opportunities.  It examines new statutory planning techniques, planning and environmental law, strategic planning, sustainable city planning, planning history and theory, public policy development, rural and regional planning, and a range of courses examining current planning issues.

Environment Field of Study - This field of study is recognised as a means of entry to the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. It emphasises natural resource policy and management, the concept of sustainability, globalisation, environmental policy at international, national, state and local levels, environmental management in industry, environmental effects statements, energy management, parks policy and management, water policy, and business-related environmental courses.

*Top of page

Articulation and pathways

Pathways refer to related programs for which you may be eligible once you have graduated from your current program.

There is a pathway into this Masters program from the related Graduate Certificate and then the Graduate Diploma programs. Alternatively, if you initially enrol in the Master's program, you may exit early after completing the requirements of the Graduate Certificate or the Graduate Diploma with that level of qualification.

*Top of page

Entrance requirements

Academic entrance requirements: An Australian undergraduate degree or its equivalent. Applicants with significant work experience may also be considered.

International English language requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
  • TOEFL (Paper based): 580 (TWE 4.5)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test – iBT): Overall score of 92 with minimum of 20 in any sections
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE(A)): 58 (no band less than 50)
  • Cambridge English – Advanced (CAE): CAE Grade B
  • RMIT English Worldwide (REW) – English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs: Advanced Plus certificate
*Top of page

External accreditation and industry links

The Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning) program at RMIT University has multiple linkages with associated profession bodies and the planning and environment industries.

In particular there is regular collaboration with the Planning Institute of Australia (Victorian Division) on a range of issues of mutual interest. Planning practitioners often participate in the program as guest and  sessional lecturers. In recent years selected planning agencies have partnered RMIT planning staff in Australian Research Council grant applications.

Planning courses on offer within the Master of Social Science (Environment and Planning) program are accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia.
If you successfully complete the relevant accredited planning courses (as outlined below) you will be eligible for membership of the Urban and Regional Planning Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia, with reciprocal membership of key international planning associations.

To be eligible for membership you must successfully complete four (4) of the following courses:
 - ARCH1261 - Managing Contemporary Planning Issues
 - ARCH1272 - Planning Theory and Contemporary Practice
 - ARCH1274 - City Building and Urban Design Process
 - ARCH1324 - Origins and Development of Urban Planning
 - ENVI1134 - Statutory Plan and Environment


Successfully complete an additional four (4) courses from the following electives:
ARCH1209, ARCH1260, ARCH1262, ARCH1263, ARCH1264, ARCH1265, ARCH1266, ARCH1268, ARCH1270, ARCH1271, ARCH1281, ARCH1282, ARCH1283, ARCH1287, ARCH1295, ARCH1297, ARCH1311, ARCH1321, ARCH1323, ENVI1149, ENVI1151, ENVI1173, HUSO2079

The Planning Institute of Australia is the peak body representing professions involved in planning Australia's cities, towns, regions and places. Completion of this program and nominated planning courses provides you with the ability to be eligible for membership of the Urban and Regional Planning Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia, with reciprocal membership of key international planning associations.
Further information about PIA can be found at

While there no is no formal accreditation of environment courses in Australia, successful completing of courses with an Environmental focus in the program is a recognised means of entry to the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

*Top of page

Student expenses and charges in addition to fees

Once you are enrolled as a student in this program you will need to allow for expenses other than university tuition fees.  Additional expenses may relate to the purchase of lecture notes, textbooks, stationery, consumables such as printer paper, fees levied by commercial internet service providers for internet access outside of the university campus, and other relevant costs.

*Top of page

Library, IT and specialist resources

Library resources and services
As a student enrolled in a program at RMIT University you can access the extensive services, facilities and
study space provided by the Library. You can access books, journals and other course related materials, such as DVDs, past exams, newspapers and e-books. Through our document delivery service you can also request items from any library in the world.

Computers for study are available at every Library site, where you can access the Internet, myRMIT
( or Library e-resources. If you have a laptop you can access the RMIT University
wireless network in the Library.

Library staff can show you how to find information for your assignments or you can work through web-based
tutorials or use our online Ask a Librarian service.

The Library is continually expanding our electronic collections to make it easier for you to get the information you need when you need it. All RMIT University students have unlimited access to quality electronic resources such as, e-books, e-journals and newspapers.

You can find more information on Library resources and services at:

Online learning tools and content
You can access online learning tools and content for your program and associated courses at myRMIT

Services available to you as a student at RMIT University
RMIT University provides a wide range of resources and opportunities to assist your learning and wellbeing so you can achieve your study and career goals.

Services are available face to face and online assisting with:

  • transition to tertiary study and learning
  • study skills, academic skills including literacy, mathematics and basic sciences if relevant
  • enabling assistance if you have a disability, long term medical condition or other form of disadvantage which may impact on your learning
  • career development and employment
  • living and wellbeing (including advice on health, housing and financial matters)
  • opportunities for scholarships, leadership and study abroad
  • opportunities for participating in arts, sport, recreation, fitness activities as well as student activism and university governance
  • We also offer a friendly and supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

You can find more information at

*Top of page
[Next: Learning outcomes]