Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning – BRP

With Massey’s Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning you can contribute to shaping the future of liveable cities and regions, ensuring sustainable use of resources.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

4 years full-time (480 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand, or studying online outside New Zealand
Note: Not all minors are available by distance learning

Study a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning – BRP

Massey’s Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning (BRP) is a unique degree that combines urban and natural resource planning.

A planning profession is a future-focused discipline that deals with the natural and human dimensions of the world around us. It is concerned with the diversity of our communities, productivity of our economy, and vitality of our natural systems.

You’ll study core planning courses. You’ll also take a minor in a related subject that meets your particular interests and aspirations.

Graduate with honours

If you achieve high enough grades in the compulsory second-, third- and fourth-year planning courses, you’ll graduate with honours.

Flexible study

Massey’s BRP is the first undergraduate professional planning degree in New Zealand and Australia that you can study by distance.

Build your career skills

This qualification has a strong focus on creating sustainable and resilient communities.

You’ll develop interpersonal, communication, ethical and conflict resolution skills essential for working in teams of diverse professionals. You’ll also learn the skills to interact with people from diverse cultures, communities and backgrounds. This will prepare you for a variety of roles shaping the places in which we live, work and play.

Enjoy an established environment of excellence

For 35 years, the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning has been led by our faculty of passionate staff. It has a vibrant social scene connecting current students with graduates. Massey is renowned for providing an excellent, practical planning education.

A BRP is a good fit if you:

  • want an accessible professional planning qualification
  • want to make your city or region a better place for future generations
  • are interested in sustainable development.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Recommended prior learning

Working as a planner will involve a wide range of skills and knowledge from many subject areas.

While subjects such as geography have direct links to planning, a number of other subjects may also be useful. For instance, if you have done language and communication-related courses, that will help with the consultation and writing plans that most planners get involved with. Equally, graphics will help you with the design aspects of planning and science will help you understand some of the ecological and geological aspects of planning. In other words, whatever you have done at school will help with some part of your planning degree.

The rest you will learn during the course of your BRP studies.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this qualification within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this qualification.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this qualification thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

The Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second, etc. There are four parts in total.

You must complete all of Part I (120 credits) within two years of first enrolling in the degree before you can enrol in Part II and in order to progress from Part II to Part III and from Part III to Part IV you must pass all of the compulsory Planning courses.   

The degree involves practical experience, which you gain through fieldwork, workshops, studio work, case studies and interaction with current practitioners.

2023 Part Three

132313 Advanced Planning Techniques is no longer offered. If you are enrolling in Part Three in 2023 you can choose an elective course at any level to replace 132313. You will need to use the Special request button in Course Enrolment to add a course of your choice.      


Your specialisation in the BRP is called a minor. Completing a minor is compulsory.

You are advised to carefully check the availability of your minor courses because they may not all be available at Manawatu / by Distance.  

The available minors are:

Ecology (120 credits)

Available Manawatu campus (Palmerston North)

Select from
120101 Plant Biology 15 credits
120303 Plant Evolution and Speciation 15 credits
121214 Landscape and Human Ecology 15 credits
162304 Applied and Environmental Microbiology 15 credits
188363 Applied Environmental Management 15 credits
196205 Ecology and Conservation 15 credits
196313 Freshwater Ecology 15 credits
196315 Conservation Science 15 credits
196316 New Zealand Plant Ecology 15 credits
196317 Community and Ecosystem Ecology 15 credits
199103 Animals and the Environment 15 credits
199206 The Fauna of New Zealand 15 credits
199312 Behavioural Ecology 15 credits
199317 Animal Biodiversity 15 credits

Economics (120 credits)

Available Manawatu campus (Palmerston North) and Distance and online

Select from
115113 Economics of Business 15 credits
115114 Finance Fundamentals 15 credits
115115 Management in Context 15 credits
178200 Intermediate Macroeconomics 15 credits
178201 Intermediate Microeconomics 15 credits
178240 Managerial Economics 15 credits
178242 Land Economics 15 credits
178300 Advanced Macroeconomics 15 credits
178301 Microeconomic Theory and Applications 15 credits
178360 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics 15 credits
178370 Development Economics 15 credits

Geography (120 credits)

Available Manawatu campus (Palmerston North) and Distance and online

Select from
145111 Society, Environment and Place 15 credits
145120 Geographies of Aotearoa/New Zealand   15 credits
145202 Working With Geographic Data 15 credits
145203 Geographies of Inequality 15 credits
145213 Resource Conservation and Sustainability 15 credits
145214 Social Change and Environment 15 credits
145216 Urban Environments 15 credits
145300 Cartography and Data Visualisation  15 credits
145301 Research Practice in Human Geography 15 credits
121213 Land and Water Science 15 credits
121313 Applied River Management 15 credits
145311 Geographies of Globalisation 15 credits
145318 Geopolitics 15 credits
233212 Earth Surface Processes 15 credits
233312 Natural Hazards 15 credits
233105 Our Dynamic Earth 15 credits

Management (120 credits)

Available Manawatu campus (Palmerston North) and Distance and online

Select from
115114 Finance Fundamentals 15 credits
115115 Management in Context 15 credits
152203 Business and Society 15 credits
152232 Small Business Management 15 credits
152250 Managing Organisations 15 credits
152252 Project Management 15 credits
152261 International Business 15 credits
152304 Managing Services 15 credits
152325 Designing and Developing Organisations 15 credits
152333 New Venture Project 15 credits
152336 Leadership Practice 15 credits
152350 Strategic Management and Governance 15 credits

Māori Studies (120 credits)

Available Distance and online

Select from
150114 He Tirohanga Taketake: Māori Perspectives 15 credits
150202 Mauri ora: Māori Wellbeing and Vitality 15 credits
150204 Mana Māori: Māori and Politics 15 credits
150213 Tikanga-ā-Iwi: Tribal Development 15 credits
150216 He Huarahi Rangahau: Māori and Research 15 credits
150301 Te Mana Te Kawanatanga: Māori Policy and the State 15 credits
150302 Whānau ora: Principles of Flourishing Whānau 15 credits
150303 Mana Wahine: Māori Women 15 credits
300110 Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Te Reo 15 credits

Property Management (120 credits)

Available Manawatu campus (Palmerston North) and Distance and online

Select from
115113 Economics of Business 15 credits
115114 Finance Fundamentals 15 credits
115115 Management in Context 15 credits
127241 Property Market Principles 15 credits
127242 Introduction to Property Valuation 15 credits
127341 Property Management and Development 15 credits
127342 Applied Property Finance and Investment 15 credits
127343 Applied Property Valuation 15 credits
155201 Law of Property 15 credits
178242 Land Economics 15 credits
218102 Construction Technology and Services I 15 credits
218201 Construction Technology and Services II 15 credits

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Minor courses A minor is compulsory. Study a subject area from within the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning.

Elective courses Follow your interests. Your qualification may have selection guidelines for elective courses.

Year one
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Minor course
Minor course
Year two
Planning core course
Policy core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Te Tiriti core course
Minor course
Minor course
Minor course
Year three
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning/Elective course
Minor course
Year four
Planning core course
30 credits
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Planning core course
Minor course
Minor course

Courses are each worth 15 credits, unless otherwise indicated

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

480 credits

  • Core courses – 330 credits
  • Minor courses – 120 credits
  • Electives from Schedule C – 15-30 credits
  • Elective – Up to 15 credits

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two etc.

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Schedule A: Compulsory Planning courses

Part One

Course code: 132101 Introduction to Professional Planning 15 credits

This course is an introduction to professional planning, and provides a foundation to the development of a contemporary professional identity. It introduces students to the key ideas and individuals involved in the evolution of the rationale and origins of planning. The course is taught through reference to planning as conceived and practiced in New Zealand and internationally.

View full course details
Course code: 132102 Introduction to Planning Analytics 15 credits

This course introduces the information and techniques for analytical practice in professional planning.

View full course details
Course code: 132111 Oranga Taiao, Oranga Tangata: Planning and the Environment 15 credits

A critical, Māori-centred introduction to environmental planning that emphasises protecting the environment for future generations.

View full course details
Course code: 132112 Planning for Sustainable Development 15 credits

The multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary nature of planning is explored with reference to the challenge of sustainable development and the application of planning principles to real-world issues.

View full course details

Part Two

Course code: 132212 Professional Practice I 15 credits

The institutional, professional and legal settings for urban and environmental planning in New Zealand. Topics will include policy and plan development, implementation at different levels of government and the role of tangata whenua. Lectures are complemented by workshop exercises.

Prerequisites: 132111, 132112

View full course details
Course code: 132213 Policy Analysis and Evaluation 15 credits

This course examines the theory and principles of policy analysis and evaluation in the context of planning and develops skills in fundamental qualitative and quantitative methods.

View full course details
Course code: 132217 Planning Hazard-Resilient Communities 15 credits

An introduction to the role of planning in building sustainable and disaster resilient communities through the use of various processes and tools to assess hazard vulnerability, reduce hazard risks, improve disaster readiness, develop effective response capabilities and facilitate recovery.

View full course details
Course code: 145202 Working With Geographic Data 15 credits

An exploration of techniques for the collection, interpretation, analysis and representation of social and environmental geographic data using geographic information systems (GIS).

Restrictions: 132106

View full course details
Course code: 150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society 15 credits

A study of the Treaty of Waitangi background, texts, principles, and application to contemporary New Zealand. There is a particular focus on land, legislation, court decisions, social policies, the environment, constitutional matters, claims to the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements. Differing perspectives of hapū/iwi/Māori and the Crown, as well as opportunities for resolution, are explored.

Restrictions: 269274

View full course details

Part Three

Course code: 132304 Tūhono Taiao: Foundation of Māori Planning 15 credits

This course introduces students to the Māori Planning world. Students will learn and apply Māori concepts, processes and practices, and critically explore the relationship between Māori and (post)colonial Planning to equip themselves to work effectively with Māori communities on Planning issues.

Prerequisites: 150201

View full course details
Course code: 132305 Natural Resource Policy and Planning 15 credits

An interdisciplinary approach to the cultural, philosophical, legal, institutional and practical issues involved in the strategic planning and management of New Zealand's natural heritage, including analysis of appropriate New Zealand and international case-studies.

View full course details
Course code: 132311 Planning Theory 15 credits

A critical study of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of planning.

View full course details
Course code: 132312 Environmental and Planning Law 15 credits

An introduction to New Zealand Environmental Planning law with a specific focus on the Resource Management Act 1991 and the legislative, judicial and administrative aspects of the New Zealand legal system as they relate to environmental law and the planning process. The place of law in the sustainability debate, property rights and legal aspects of the Treaty of Waitangi are covered.

View full course details
Course code: 132313 Advanced Planning Techniques 15 credits

This course develops advanced skills in selecting, critiquing and applying appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods to issues in planning practice.

View full course details
Course code: 132314 Transport and Urban Planning 15 credits

People-centred approaches to transport and urban planning. A critical analysis of the determinants of urban planning and transport policies and procedures at national, regional and local levels in the context of sustainable urban development for hapori (communities).

View full course details
Course code: 132318 Collaborative Planning, Communities and Public Conflict 15 credits

Advanced study of collaborative community planning, with a particular focus on the theory and practice of public participation and conflict resolution.

View full course details

Part Four

Course code: 132403 Planning Project 30 credits

A planning study of an approved topic. Emphasis is on locating the study within an accepted planning paradigm or process; problem definition based on theory and precedent; an appreciation of practice issues; researching and analysing relevant information; and producing a solution to the problem. Findings are presented in a seminar and planning report. Collaboration with academic staff. Tutorials cover presentation skills.

View full course details
Course code: 132412 Professional Practice II 15 credits

The knowledge and skills required by the professional planner in practice. The course makes use of workshop sessions and other forms of interactive teaching to explore current practice issues, including plan and policy development for urban and environmental issues, consultation, environmental education, mediation, resource consents and the role of the expert witness.

View full course details
Course code: 132414 Urban Planning and Design 15 credits

Application of the theory and design of development planning to modern cities. The institutional and disciplinary contexts and constraints within which development plans are formulated. Case studies and fieldwork, together with practical studios covering analytical methods and design. Relationship between transport, urban form and urban design.

View full course details
Course code: 132415 Environmental Planning 15 credits

Sustainable natural resource development approaches and debates are considered within the context of integrated natural resource planning. The course explores and applies planning theories and methods to a selected natural resource problem or issue in New Zealand. Field work as part of project research.

View full course details
Course code: 132419 Professional Practice Studio 15 credits

A practical context for the integration and application of knowledge to contemporary planning practice and investigation and resolution of current issues. Students' understanding of current planning debates and the role of planning as a profession is extended through participation in debate with current protagonists of different points of view and group work to resolve and defend a position.

View full course details

Schedule B: Minors

  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Management
  • Māori Studies
  • Property Management

Schedule C: Elective Planning courses

Course code: 145111 Society, Environment and Place 15 credits

An introduction to the diversity of human geography focusing on themes such as state and economy; geography of consumption; identity and exclusion; agrifood; migration; geographies of the lifecourse.

View full course details
Course code: 150114 He Tirohanga Taketake: Māori Perspectives 15 credits

An analysis of Māori knowledge, custom and economic foundations. Customary lifestyles will be examined within a context of ritual, philosophy, technology, economic principles, and social organisation in order to understand Māori culture.

View full course details
Course code: 176101 The Sociological Imagination 15 credits

A foundation course in Sociology covering the key substantive aspects of contemporary society e.g. individual and social processes, globalisation and social inequalities.

View full course details
Course code: 178100 Principles of Economic Policy 15 credits

The course provides students with a basic understanding of economic policy at industry, national and international levels.

View full course details
Course code: 200161 Introduction to Politics 15 credits

An introduction to the study and nature of politics, including political theory, political parties, electoral systems, public policy and international relations.

View full course details
Course code: 219101 Media Skills 15 credits

Understanding and working with the news media combining practical skills with critical and ethical perspectives on media use. Skills include media strategy, writing media releases, broadcast interviewing and running a media conference.

View full course details
Course code: 230110 Tūrangawaewae: Identity & Belonging in Aotearoa NZ 15 credits

This course examines formations of identity and belonging in relation to concepts of place and turangawaewae (‘standing place’). The multiple factors shaping identity formation, citizenship and public engagement will be explored, and students will develop awareness of and reflect on diverse perspectives regarding identity and citizenship, and apply this understanding to analyse issues in contemporary New Zealand society.

View full course details
Course code: 230111 Tū Kupu: Writing and Inquiry 15 credits

This course introduces students to cultures of writing and inquiry in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is designed to help students write effectively at undergraduate level by practising a variety of writing tasks, including analytical, persuasive, and research-based writing and argumentation. Students will learn practices of writing, research, peer-review and revision that have application in the university and broader contexts.

Restrictions: 230100, 119155, 119177, 237130, 247155, 250100, 247177

View full course details
Course code: 230112 Tū Arohae: Critical Thinking 15 credits

This course develops students’ foundational analytical and critical thinking skills. It is designed to provide students in any discipline with the ability to describe, evaluate, and generate reasoning / arguments effectively, appropriately, and sympathetically, alongside an understanding of the hidden complexities inherent in this approach and its limits when employed as a form of persuasion.

Restrictions: 134103

View full course details
Course code: 300110 Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Te Reo 15 credits

An introduction to elementary Māori language structures, Māori terminology and the correct pronunciation of the Māori language.

View full course details
Course code: 300111 Te Reo Kōnakinaki: Developing Te Reo 15 credits

Ko tēnei whakaakoranga reo Māori hei mahinga mā te tauira kua tīmata kē ki te ako i te reo Māori. Ko tōna tino kaupapa, ka whakamahia te reo hei reo whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro, hei reo kōrerorero i waenganui i te tangata. This course extends listening, speaking and writing competency to enable students to express themselves in Te Reo on a wide range of topics at an introductory level. Emphasis is on spoken and written Māori as a language of communication and interaction.

View full course details

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning, you will find jobs quickly. On average you can earn around $60,000 in your first year of employment.

While rooted in the New Zealand context, the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning draws on international experience and planning approaches. You can therefore apply your training locally or overseas in a variety of professional and applied environments such as those listed below:

  • city/district councils
  • regional councils
  • central government (eg, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Agency, Environmental Protection Authority)
  • private consulting firms and corporates (such as Fonterra)
  • environmental and other non-governmental organisations.

You can take on a variety of roles such as:

  • resource consent planners/ officers
  • urban planners
  • environmental planners
  • transport planners
  • urban designers
  • policy analysts.

What our students say

“I secured my graduate job in October, before I completed my degree.”
Kendyll Harper

Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning

“A degree in planning equipped me with the skills and knowledge to facilitate sustainable development as cities continue to grow.”
John Yin

Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning

Accreditations and rankings

New Zealand Planning Institute

Massey's planning degrees have been accredited by the New Zealand Planning Institute – Te Kokiringa Taumata for decades.

Learn more

Related study options