Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design

Course 831AA (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012
CRICOS Code: 049404J
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months


Associate Professor Justyna Karakiewicz


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

This course is in the process of being discontinued and will not be accepting new students from 2012 onwards. For information about the new MSD Master of Urban Design please go to:

The Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design at the Melbourne School of Design helps develop professionals who are capable of seeing the city from multiple viewpoints and who relish working with interdisciplinary teams.

The Postgraduate Diploma equips students with the skills necessary to undertake design research and to learn about urban history, theory and communications. Successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma can lead to admission to the Master of Urban Design, a studio based course in which students gain expert knowledge, enabling them to forge a career in urban design or a related field.

The strengths of this course are the people involved and the atmosphere they create. People who make urban design at the University of Melbourne what it is are the staff and students. Our core group of staff brings together experience and active involvement in current urban design research, design research and education. A broader teaching team with expertise in landscape architecture and urban planning adds diversity and richness. Urban design students contribute their own experiences, energy, new themes and aspirations and add to a multicultural complexity that make our courses special.

Our urban design courses encourage interaction and an appreciation of creativity and difference which creates an atmosphere of collegiality and common endeavour.

Course specialities

The key quality of the urban design programs is their combined strength of urban design theory and design studios. Studio projects are always approached as design-research exercises, where innovation and discovery represent a major part of the educational experience. Studios emphasise the importance of place and fieldwork represents a significant component of studio work. Professional and wider community involvement is a regular part of the Urban Design studio experience


The program aims to:

  • The course aims to develop skills in urban design-related topics and to fill in gaps in student's knowledge and skill-base, such as design or theory, to enable them to enter the Master of Urban Design if they wish; and,
  • Serve an integrating role between the disciplines of the Faculty, building cross disciplinary strengths and teaching efficiencies.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

All students must complete:

  • 25 point graduate MSD studio design subject
  • 75 point graduate electives
Students are required to complete a minimum of one (25 point) MSD studio design subject, however are encouraged to take additional studios.

Students select subjects in consultation with the course coordinator from the offerings available in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning postgraduate programs. Students should select subjects from outside of their current field of practice, for example, architects should choose subjects from the Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning areas whilst planners should choose subjects from Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Students should contact the Environments and Design Student Centre (details above) to organise subject selection.

Details on the programs may be viewed at the following course handbook descriptions:

Note: after completion of 50 points of study (including a 25 points studio design subject), exceptionally successful students may be permitted to transfer into the Master of Urban Design course at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
Subject Options:

A selection of appropriate subjects are listed below.

For a complete listing of subjects offered by the Melbourne School of Design click here.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criteria-

· an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, or equivalent.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references, to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

For information about how to apply click here.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Design is the graduate school of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. It offers professional entry programs in Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Property and Urban Planning. It offers specialist development programs in Property Valuation, Planning and Design and in Urban Design.

The Melbourne School of Design welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is the University and Faculty (Architecture, Building and Planning) policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable students’ participation in degrees offered by the Melbourne School of Design (MSD).

A candidate for degrees offered in the MSD must have abilities and skills which include the following: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and
behavioural and social. Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however, particularly at Masters level, students need to be able to participate in programs in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

(i) Observation: Candidates must be able to read text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. Candidates should be able to observe details at a number of scales and to record useful observations of environmental contexts.

(ii) Communication: Candidates should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. Candidates
must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing.

(iii) Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from environmental contexts. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites,
urban, rural and/or remote environments. Candidates should have sufficient motor ability to prepare documentation of analytic texts, drawings and models of findings and for the
preparation of proposals for environmental interventions via digital or other means. Candidates should have the ability to actively participate in appropriate site and/or design
studio-based activities.

(iv) Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and, importantly, the ability to
interpret results of such work. Problem resolution, the critical skill demanded of graduates, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, given the disciplines pursued in the
MSD, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships in environmental structures of a wide range of scales –
from smaller than the individual through individual buildings and urban spaces to large geographic areas. Further, graduate study entails learning to master one’s own abilities and
skills and to deploy them strategically. This requires further developing skills in both reflective and reflexive thinking and being able to practice these skills.

(v) Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are
required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating
interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes: Refer to University of Melbourne graduate attributes located at
Links to further information:

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