Postgraduate Diploma in Planning – PGDipPlan

Shape the places where we live, work and play with Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Planning. Get the essential planning skills you need for a great career.

Type of qualification

Postgraduate diploma

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

NZQF level 8

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (120 credits)
Up to 4 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Study a Postgraduate Diploma in Planning – PGDipPlan

Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Planning will give you perspectives on managing both the natural and urban environment. You will become a well-rounded professional capable of working anywhere. The qualification has a strong emphasis on developing critical skills. This will ensure you can respond to the rapid change in our political, urban and resource environments. The knowledge and skills you develop will help future-proof your career.

Take your study to the next level

The ultimate goal for many students is the internationally recognised professional qualification, the Master of Resource and Environmental Planning. The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning provides a pathway towards this qualification.

Flexible learning

You can study in distance learning mode using Massey’s online learning platform. You can complete your studies while still working, which can reduce the financial strain of making a career change.

Further study

The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning provides a pathway towards the Master of Resource and Environmental Planning.

A PGDipPlan is a good fit if you:

  • would like to change career while still in the workplace
  • want to develop critical planning skills and knowledge
  • are interested in progressing to the Master of Resource and Environmental Planning.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete 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

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 be 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Planning

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

The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning must be completed within a maximum of four years.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
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).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Specialisations
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

120 credits

  • Compulsory course(s) from Schedule A – At least 30 credits
  • Elective courses from Schedule B – Up to 90 credits

Course planning key

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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 course selection (Choose at least 30 credits from)

Choose at least 30 credits from
Course code: 132731 Planning Law 30 credits

The Resource Management Act 1991, and the New Zealand legal system as it relates to environmental law and the planning process.

View full course details
Course code: 132732 Planning Theory 30 credits

The philosophical and theoretic foundations of planning and the principles of urban design are identified and analysed using studios and seminars. Business, other disciplines and indigenous approaches to environmental planning challenge traditional views about 'public interest'. The role of planners in collaborative and communicative approaches to urban and environmental planning is identified, along with the effect of jargon in communication. The future of planning, including changes to codes of ethics and practice given a global focus on sustainable management is discussed.

View full course details
Course code: 132736 Professional Practice 30 credits

Development of the knowledge and skills required by the professional planner in practice. The course focuses on a range of issues in current planning practice and examines a variety of techniques that might be used to address those issues. Interactive teaching techniques are combined with lectures.

View full course details

Schedule B: Elective courses

Course code: 132730 Policy Analysis and Evaluation Techniques 30 credits

Analytical techniques used in planning. Evaluation methods, impact assessment, forecasting and scenario methods, use of performance indicators, soft system approaches and natural resource accounting. Techniques are illustrated by case studies and practised in computer-based exercises.

View full course details
Course code: 132734 Urban Planning and Development 30 credits

Different theoretical and practical approaches to urban planning and development, and consequences for the urban landscape, infrastructure, economy and services

View full course details
Course code: 132735 Natural Resource Policy and Planning 30 credits

Natural resource planning principles and practice. Application of the concept of sustainable development to the management of biophysical resources and systems.

View full course details
Course code: 132741 Long-Term Community Planning 30 credits

An examination of the theoretical and empirical aspects of long-term community planning and exploration of evolving good practice.

Restrictions: 132737 (2008 only)

View full course details
Course code: 132742 Planning History: From Town Planning to Resource Management 30 credits

An advanced exploration of the historical development of planning as a discipline and profession in New Zealand.

View full course details
Course code: 132751 Natural Hazards and Resilient Communities 30 credits

A study of natural hazards and the role of planning in building sustainable and disaster resilient communities. Develop and apply planning 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: 145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30 credits

A conceptual and operational understanding of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course provides a postgraduate-level introduction to fundamentals of spatial data creation, manipulation, management, visualisation and analysis.

Restrictions: 132738

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

With a Postgraduate Diploma in Planning, you could work in fields as diverse as planning, policy making, economic development, nature conservation or international development. You’ll be able to apply your training locally or overseas in a variety of professional and applied environments such as:

  • city/district councils
  • regional councils
  • central government (eg Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Agency)
  • private consulting firms
  • international humanitarian and aid organisations.
  • NGOs (non-governmental organisations).

Related study options