Graduate Diploma in Bushfire Planning and Management

Course GD-BFIREPM (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Creswick
CRICOS Code: 073111M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Christopher Weston



Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

The Graduate Diploma in Bushfire Planning and Management combines specialized bushfire science, urban planning, design and construction and fire management subjects to meet the urgent need to equip existing professionals with world's best practice skills in managing fire risk across the urban-natural environment interface. Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in case studies of best practice and to develop professional networks in the fire risk management arena. The course will cover aspects of bushfire knowledge from building planning and regulation (Planning Stream) through to fire management and landscape-level considerations (Management Stream).

Learning Outcomes:

The Graduate Diploma in Bushfire Planning and Management will qualify graduates for specialist bushfire assessment planning and design or bushfire management positions within either the building practice sector (Bushfire Planning Stream) or the forest and natural resource management sector (Bushfire Management Stream) and provide a pathway to further study, by:

Bushfire Planning Stream

• Developing knowledge, skills, understanding and competence in the area of bushfire science and building and planning design to mitigate bushfire risk;

• Developing a thorough approach to bushfire planning assessments theory and practice through an understanding of conceptual planning and building issues and knowledge of the environmental, regulatory and policy drivers that influence building and planning in fire-prone areas of Australia;

• Increasing knowledge and analytical capabilities appropriate to building and planning in bushfire prone environments;

• Developing risk management strategies including knowledge of emergency risk management arrangements and bushfire safety policies that influence the planning of new development and the necessary considerations and actions in response to bushfire threats;

• Developing competence in the assessment, planning and design of new developments or modification to existing buildings in bushfire prone environments using both prescribed provisions and through development of alternative solutions based on sound principles;

• Increasing knowledge of the principles of performance based design;

• The completion of a bushfire planning project that addresses alternative solutions within the bushfire building and planning regulatory space and,

• Extending scholarly and critical attitudes in bushfire planning disciplines.

Bushfire Management Stream

• Developing knowledge, skills, understanding and competence in the area of bushfire science and management;

• Developing a thorough approach to bushfire management theory and practice through an understanding of the biological, environmental and social drivers of forest fire management in Australia and internationally;

• Increasing knowledge and analytical capabilities appropriate to bushfire management;

• Developing competence in the design, conduct and analysis of bushfire management practices;

• The completion of a project report that critically reviews a fire-related topic that is current in a fire management workplace and,

• Extending scholarly and critical attitudes in bushfire management disciplines.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students should select the two core subjects relevant to both streams;

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Students to select either the Bushfire Management Stream or the Bushfire Planning Stream

Bushfire Planning

Students to complete the following subjects;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Bushfire Planning Electives

Students should select one of the following electives for the Bushfire Planning Stream;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1

Bushfire Management

Students should complete the following internship subject;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Bushfire Management Electives

Students should select 50 points from the following list of elective subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average, or equivalent;
• an undergraduate degree in any area including at least 25 points in one or more of Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics or Statistics, or equivalent, and with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average, or equivalent;
• an undergraduate degree in any area and a Graduate Certificate in Environment with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average in the Certificate, or equivalent;
• a two-year associate degree or diploma in a relevant discipline, or equivalent; and
• five years documented, relevant professional experience; and
• an appropriate level of performance on a test conducted by the Selection Committee to confirm generic skills necessary for successful study in the program.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• professional experience; and
• the score on the test conducted by the Selection Committee.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. The minimum English language requirements for this course are Band 6.5

Note: The requirement for at least H3 (65%) weighted average in each case may be waived where the applicant can demonstrate significant professional development in a relevant area since graduation.

The task-based assessment will be conducted in a single period of two hours duration where students will be required to demonstrate the following abilities to gain entry to graduate study:
• analyze and interpret scientific or technical data
• comprehend and use scientific literature
• conceptualize a problem

Core Participation Requirements:

The Faculty of Science (Science) welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Faculty policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable the student’s participation in the Faculty's programs. Science contributes to the New Generation degrees and offers a broad range of programs across undergraduate and graduate levels many of which adopt a multi-disciplinary approach. Students of the Faculty's courses must possess intellectual, ethical, and emotional capabilities required to participate in the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the School. Candidates must have abilities and skills in observation; motor in relevant areas; communication; in conceptual, integrative, and quantitative dimensions; and in behavioural and social dimensions. Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however students need to be able to participate in the program in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others. I. Observation: In some contexts, the student must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and applied sciences. More broadly, observation requires reading text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. The candidate should be able to observe details at a number of scales and record useful observations in discipline dependant contexts. II. Communication: A candidate should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. A candidate 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 necessary for participation in the inherent discipline-related activities. The practical work, design work, field work, diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, require varying motor movement abilities. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites, urban, rural and/or remote environments. IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of professionals in land and environment industries, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. 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 their disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

The GD-BFIREPM entitles graduates 100 points credit towards the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science that in turn enables progression to a research master or PhD program.

Graduate Attributes: None
Professional Accreditation:

Students completing the GD-BFIREPM (Bushfire Planning Stream) will be eligible to apply for accreditation under the Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) scheme administered by FPA Australia (Fire Protection Authority Australia)

Links to further information:

Please note that some subjects are taught at the Creswick campus and some are taught at the metropolitan campuses. Costs associated with accommodation and travel is at the students’ own expense.

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