In the planning profession, employers are seeking planning graduates who can work with clients, other professional practitioners and local communities. Course coordinators in the Bachelor of Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours) program have adopted a scaffolded approach to work integrated learning which helps students develop the skills needed to meet professional expectations over the four years of the program accredited by the Planning Institute Australia (PIA).
Early planning studios
In the early Planning Studios, ENP255 Public Space Planning and Design - Studio II and ENP355 Neighbourhood Planning and Design - Studio III students work with planning practitioners to solve community urban design problems and plan a suburb redevelopment or green-field subdivision.
Each year the projects are different and supported by mentors from the planning profession and other associated professions (e.g. transport planning).
In third year, students also work with sections of communities in analysing community views about an issue (ENP365 Participation and Conflict Resolution) and completing consultation plans.
In the fourth year community planning studio (ENP455 Community Planning and Design - Studio IV) students work with local community, including businesses and community groups to prepare a strategic plan to support future community initiatives. Again students will also work with local planning practitioners in preparing the strategic plan.
The Planning Practicum is a compulsory course in the final year of the Bachelor of Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours) program. ENP460 provides an opportunity for students to be placed in a planning office for four weeks (160 hours) gaining valuable experience in a planning office before completing their studies and seeking employment in the planning profession.
Opportunities and assessment
Placements are offered by Regional Councils, a number of planning consultancies, State Government departments and NGOs – all offering planning students an opportunity to develop professional skills.
Students attend a pre-placement workshop and develop criteria for writing a reflective journal about their work experience and their experiences putting planning theory into practice. At a post-placement session students are able to share their experiences with other students and hear their stories also.
Feedback from past cohorts shows that in the Bachelor of Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours) program, students overwhelmingly agree that the planning practicum was the most interesting and challenging experience in their degree. Students admire the planners who mentor them, especially in terms of their knowledge and their relationships with clients/applicants and others. They also generally agree that their work in other courses preceding the planning practicum prepared them well for the experience.
Remuneration and insurance
No remuneration is made by planning offices to the students or the University. Students undertaking the Planning Practicum are covered by the University’s insurance policies for workers compensation and third party insurance.
Please contact the Bachelor of Urban Design and Town Planning (Honours) coordinator for more information: Dr Nicholas Stevens
For general enquiries about work integrated learning opportunities please contact:
Course Coordinator Nicholas Stevens
Email: Dr Nicholas Stevens
Placement Team/ Technical Operations - Work Integrated Learning