Urban Policy and Strategy - 7313

Program Summary

Faculty: Built Environment

Contact: Built Environment

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 0.5 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 24


Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy and Strategy (Specialisation)

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Program Description

Program Summary
The Graduate Certificate is the first tier of a sequence of postgraduate programs in Urban Policy and Strategy. It is typically completed in one semester. The program is a unique degree offered by the Faculty of Built Environment for professionals wishing to develop advanced skills in urban management. Work in this field is challenging and complex and requires a capacity not only to understand the range of issues confronting urban managers but also to understand how to use and interpret data, to prepare evidence based policy, and to understand core development finance feasibilities. Courses in the program are delivered in intensive teaching blocks in order to enable those still working to participate.

The program utilises a number of different teaching strategies including: studios, master classes, problem-based learning, case studies and field trips, consulting projects with clients, and evidence-based research (depending on course choices). Class sizes in the program are deliberately small to allow students to engage in highly interactive classes with other students, researchers, professionals, adjunct faculty and teachers.

Admission Requirements
In order to apply to the program applicants must have at least 3 years of post graduate, industry experience, including work in an urban, regional or related professional role. An undergraduate degree with at least a credit average in a relevant discipline is also required. A relevant degree would encompass studies in a built environment discipline as well as studies in social science, social policy, business and law. Local and international students are eligible to apply. The program is particularly suited to professionals wanting to up skill after being in the field for several years. Applicants will be required to undertake an interview process as part of their application for entry into the program.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Program Objectives

At the end of the program students will:
  • understand the theory and practice behind the development of urban policy and strategy
  • have a comprehensive understanding of the key issues driving the management of cities, and be aware of the governance, politics and ethics of managing urban policy
  • be able to analyse and present concisely the arguments around a policy problem, and understand how to manipulate data to extract the issues for this analysis.
  • have the skills necessary to prepare and manage strategic planning processes
The balance of these skills will depend on which four courses are selected by students.

Graduate Attributes
  1. Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of urban policy and strategy
  2. Apply research principles and methods applicable to urban policy and strategy in local, national and international contexts
  3. Critically analyse, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and apply established theories to practice
  4. Justify, interpret and communicate knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  5. Apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the field of urban policy and strategy in its interdisciplinary context, and the ability to manage complex interdisciplinary problems
  7. Demonstrate leadership through the capacity for entrepreneurship and innovation, and the capacity to initiate and embrace change
  8. Demonstrate cultural awareness, environmental and social responsibility, and a respect for diversity

Program Structure

To qualify for the Graduate Certificate of Urban Policy and Strategy students will be required to complete a program of study totaling 24 UOC. Students must complete any 4 core courses OR 3 core courses and one elective from the following:
BE Select Elective courses:
Urban design may also be studied as an elective through selected course offerings in the Master of Urban Development and Design (MUDD) program.

Additional electives may also be offered in a particular semester. Students are advised to contact the Program Director prior to enrolment for information about the availability of courses in a particular semester.

Academic Rules

  1. No advanced standing nor exemption will be given for the Graduate Certificate Program.
  2. Candidates whose entry to the Graduate Diploma is approved may carry 24 units of credit from the Graduate Certificate.
  3. Students may apply to progress from the Graduate Certificate to Masters level with full credit for courses completed in earlier programs in the sequence, provided that the earlier awards are not conferred.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.