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    New urban planning degree for Western Sydney

    Gemma Battenbough

    As Greater Western Sydney burgeons, the need for skilled urban planners is mushrooming.

    The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is launching a new Bachelor of Social Science/ Master of Urban Management and Planning degree.

    Professor Kevin Dunn, from the School of Social Sciences, says the Urban Planning program is intended for local students with aspirations for a career in urban management, strategic planning and policy development.

    "GWS is one of Australia's most diverse, dynamic and profitable regions, and is expected to significantly change over the next decade as businesses, industry and residents are drawn into the area," Dunn said.

    "In the coming years, employers will be seeking out urban planning professionals who have an understanding of the local region and can respond to the community's needs,” he said.

    The four-year program has been constructed to meet the needs of students and employers in GWS and has strong links with local councils and industry.

    Students begin by studying the Bachelor of Social Science. This initial component of the program is designed to give students the professional and scholarly education to take a leadership role in urban management, strategic planning and policy development.

    Following the successful completion of the initial three-year degree, the students will receive guaranteed entry into the final year Master of Urban Management and Planning.

    Penrith City Council, Blacktown City Council and Wollondilly Shire Council have all signed to support the new program by providing scholarships to students, as well as being involved in guest lectures, local field trips and student placements programs.

    Students will also benefit from working closely with the University's own Urban Research Centre, a national leader in research on cities and urban management.

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