Graduate Courses

The below table details all graduate-level courses available at SCARP.

  • Watch for course eligibility carefully.
  • Non-SCARP students who wish to take eligible SCARP courses may contact info.scarp@ubc.ca.
  • As detailed in the fields below, some courses will be discontinued or re-classified as of the 2022/2023 academic year. 
  • For course dates and times, or more information, please visit the UBC Course Schedule

Are you an undergrad student looking to take a graduate course?

List of SCARP Graduate Courses
PLAN 500
Comparative Perspectives on Planning History and Futures
Instructor: TBD
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
This course undertakes a detailed, comparative examination of the history, present and future of planning in a global context. It examines planning in diverse settings and highlights how planning has been, is, and might be conceived and practiced.
PLAN 501
Reconciliation and Planning
Instructor: TBD
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
History of colonization in Canada and other parts of the world, including impacts on Indigenous peoples. Distinguishing features of Indigenous planning practice and traditions. How planners can contribute to social justice, decolonization, and reconciliation between settlers and Indigenous peoples.
PLAN 502
Sustainability and Resilience in Planning
Instructor: TBD
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
How sustainability and resilience concepts shape planning practice, including planning’s successes and failures in addressing environmental problems. Policies and tools that communities can adopt and employ in response to climate change, loss of biodiversity, and related challenges.
PLAN 503
Planning for Community Economic Development
Instructor: Will Trousdale
Available during: Winter Session 
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
(will be discontinued as of 2022/2023 cohort)

This course focuses on the planning process, examining key issues such as how to get started, community engagement (stakeholders and public participation), situation assessments, visioning, issues identification, objective elicitation/structuring, option evaluation/prioritization, action planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

PLAN 504
Urban Design and Visual Representation
Instructor: TBD
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Neighborhood and site-level urban design. The role and power of visual representation. The use of information technologies for mapping, visual representation, and engagement.
PLAN 505
Planning Theory, Values, and Ethics
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Major theoretical debates in planning and their influence on practice. Values in planning and their role in decision-making. Planning’s role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity. The nature of ethical issues in planning and professional practice.
PLAN 506
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Information and Analysis in Planning
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Gathering and analyzing information from a variety of sources to support planning and decision-making. Presenting information to a range of audiences, in a way that is meaningful and helps to support decision-making.
PLAN 507
Engagement, Facilitation, and Conflict Resolution for Planners
Instructor: 
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Inclusive consultation and engagement with stakeholders and the public in decision-making. Facilitating meetings that foster equitable participation and mutually-agreeable outcomes.
PLAN 508 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Foundations of Planning Theory and History
Instructor: Leonie Sandercock
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This course explores the history of planning ideas and theories. What are the modern roots of (community and regional) planning, its colonial history, and how does this shape and perhaps limit contemporary practice? Why do we need planning? Why is it important to theorise about planning? This course covers the leading thinkers and schools of thought and is primarily focused on western ideas about planning.

PLAN 509 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Urbanism as a Global Way of Life
Instructor: Su-Jan Yeo
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This course is structured around the intersection of two essential themes that shape the theory and practice of planning in our world today: the shift to an increasingly urban world, and the expansion of interconnectivities between places, referred to as globalization, which has had such an important influence on the nature of urbanism around the world. 

PLAN 510 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Environment and Sustainability Concepts for Planning Practice
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
 
PLAN 511
The Legal and Institutional Context of Planning
Instructor: Bill Buholzer
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The legal framework in which planning operates, including major legislation and institutions across Canadian provinces. Particular areas of planning law, including growth management and cultural heritage management.
PLAN 512
Urban Economics, Infrastructure, and Real Estate Issues in Planning
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The real estate development process, from both public and private sector perspectives. Land economics and how economic forces shape land use decisions. Diversified economic development. Public infrastructure and services.
PLAN 513
Making and Implementing Community and Regional Plans
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The process communities and regions follow to create plans, including identifying issues, setting goals, and developing polices to achieve the goals. Tools that communities/regions employ to implement plans and monitor progress. Roles of different actors in creating and implementing plans.
PLAN 514
Indigenous Planning: Ways of Being, Knowing, and Doing
Instructor:
Available during: 
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Contemporary Indigenous community planning. The political, social and cultural protocols and values, history, philosophy, social structure, traditional knowledge, and ecology of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
PLAN 515
Indigenous Law, Governance, and Community Planning
Instructor:
Available during:
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The laws within which Indigenous Peoples in Canada (particularly in British Columbia), live, and which impact their communities and Nations. How law and governance inform planning with Indigenous communities.
PLAN 516
Planning for Community Economic Development
Instructor:
Available during:
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The planning process, including how to get started, community engagement (stakeholders and public participation), situation assessments, visioning, issues identification, objective elicitation/structuring, option evaluation/prioritization, action planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
PLAN 517
Theory and Methods of Urban Design
Instructor: Erick Villagomez
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
This course focuses on the fundamentals of urban design theory and methods, and its application to neighbourhood design. This is a required course for Urban Design students and a foundation for anyone interested in gaining basic urban design literacy. It meets the distributional requirement for the Urban Design and Transportation area within SCARP’s Masters level degree program. PLAN 517 is an entry point into the urban design field, from which students can build deeper understanding, with additional coursework and focused research.
PLAN 521 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Quantitative Skills for Planners
Instructor: Stephanie Chang
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

The course enables students to develop basic capabilities in working with quantitative data for analysis in professional planning practice, including the appropriate use of statistical measures. This includes developing core vocabulary, conceptual understandings, critical awareness, analytical capabilities, and computer skills.

PLAN 522 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
Instructor: Nora Angeles
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This two-credit course focuses on the what, why, who and how of qualitative mixed methods research design, data collection and analysis relevant to professional planning practice. This practice-based course provides beginning and more advanced students an opportunity to prepare for their professional careers. Students will learn about and apply each step of various methods and strategies in qualitative data collection and analysis useful for planning practice.

PLAN 523 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
The Profession of Planning
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
 
PLAN 524 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Legal Concepts for Professional Planning
Instructor: Bill Buholzer
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This course is designed to familiarize planning students with the legal principles that will apply to their work as policy advisors, decision-makers and advocates. Planning law can be, as one Supreme Court of Canada judge observed in a recent case, a “dry, forbidding and not very fashionable subject”. Yet on a daily basis, Canadian courts make decisions in cases involving collisions of sometimes epic proportions between community interests in sound management of land use and resources, and private property and business interests – cases at whose core can be found the work of a planner. Plans are implemented by means of regulatory systems whose operation is governed by certain legal principles, and it’s essential that those designing and operating such regulatory systems, and beneficial that those whose activities are subject to the regulations, know the relevant law.

PLAN 525 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Planning Practice Methods
Instructor: Mark Stevens
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This course examines/evaluates issues related to (1) community decision-making; (2) creating community plans; and (3) implementing community plans.

PLAN 526 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
The Planning Studio
Instructor: N/A
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

The planning studio is an intensive year-long professionally oriented course in which students partner with community, municipal and private sector organizations to identify problems and propose solutions.

PLAN 527A / PLAN 527B (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
MCRP Internship
Instructor: N/A
Available during: Winter and Summer Sessions
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

The Internship Program that provides the mechanism for students to earn academic credit for relevant work experience outside the University. An Internship is essentially a three-way partnership among the student, the agency and the School. The primary goal of the Internship Program is to assist students to develop professional skills and capabilities through guided "hands on" experience in a workplace environment while gaining academic credit.

PLAN 528A / PLAN 528B (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
MCRP Capstone
Instructor: N/A
528A Available during: Winter and Summer Sessions
528B Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility:  Enrolled in MCRP Program

The major purpose of the Capstone is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their planning education and to synthesize their knowledge of planning. The Capstone serves as a culmination of the MCRP degree program. It allows students to articulate and demonstrate the competency they have developed in their chosen focus area, through synthesis and/or application of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities they have gained in the program. It is expected that students will be able to use the Capstone output to demonstrate their professional competency to potential employers.

PLAN 530
Affordable Housing Policy and Planning
Instructor: Peer-Daniel Krause
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student

This course will provide an introduction to affordable housing policy and planning. The history of Canadian housing policy and programs will be examined followed by current issues and challenges faced by municipalities, regional governments, non-profit housing providers, and others. The causes and responses to homelessness will also be addressed, as well as the evolution of social or non-market housing in Canada and elsewhere. Students will undertake a major research project in partnership with a local organization.
PLAN 531
Planning for Disaster-Resilient Communities
Instructor: Stephanie Chang
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course will study natural disasters from the perspective of risk analysis, risk reduction, and planning for disaster-resilient communities. The focus is primarily on Canada and the U.S. but includes disaster risk globally.
PLAN 532
Strategic Planning: Developing and Implementing Policy Plans
Instructor: Ann McAfee
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
The first half of the course introduces the theory and practice of developing and implementing strategic/policy plans using examples from metropolitan, city, and neighbourhood plans. A range of topics including land use, transportation, environment, economic, social, and financial directions are combined into integrated plans for sustainable futures. The course considers the challenges and opportunities of engaging broad public participation in plan preparation and implementation. The second half of the course explores techniques for writing and managing plans both at the city and regional-metropolitan levels. Classes will introduce example plan making under various governance systems including the challenge of integrating new issues such as resilience into established plans.
PLAN 533
Indigenous Planning:
Ways of Being, Knowing, and Doing

Instructor: Leonie Sandercock
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The intent of the course is to empower emerging planners by introducing substantive knowledge of contemporary Indigenous community planning, built on a foundational understanding of the political, social and cultural protocols and values, history, philosophy, social structure, traditional knowledge, and ecology of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
PLAN 534
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Instructor: Bill Gushue
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course introduces students to the theory, history and capabilities behind GIS, with customized laboratory exercises that incorporate urban design and planning themes.
PLAN 535
Transportation Planning and Analysis
Instructor: Alex Bigazzi
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course covers fundamental urban travel demand modelling techniques and aims to help students understand how travel models are used in the planning process.
PLAN 540
Planning Praxis
Instructor:
Available during: Year-Long
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Learn about professional planning practice and appropriate professional conduct directly from practice internship experience. Develop understanding of the processes of social change and action in relation to real world administrative and institutional settings.
PLAN 541
Planning Studio
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session (2-term)
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Collaborate with classmates and community, municipal, and private sector organizations in a mini-consultancy capacity to complete a real-world planning project for a real-world clients or project partners.
PLAN 542
Practical Practice: City Planning as a Craft
Instructor: Larry Beasley
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course will explore the approach, roles, styles, and essential skills of planners in the normal situations of practical urban planning. Typical planning formats will be surveyed: area planning; policy planning; development management. Regulatory tools, development economics, practical urban design, and applied sustainability will be emphasized.
PLAN 543
ICP Practicum
Instructor:
Available during: Winter Session (2-term)
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
The ICP Practicum consists of (1) the Studio, which provides students an opportunity to experience service directly with an Indigenous community/agency, and (2) the Capstone, which allows students to articulate and demonstrate their competency developed in Indigenous community planning.
PLAN 548D (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Current Issues in Planning: Real Estate and Planning
Instructor: Julia Harten
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student

Cities are not built by planners. Instead, urban space and the built environment are the product of negotiated interests. This course focuses on the real estate development perspective on the city. Students will develop a rich understanding of how urban land markets operate and how developers and investors assess and create value. The objective of this course is to equip students with the tools to navigate the planning-real estate developer relationship from a solid foundation of urban economics, urban political economy, and the basics of investment analysis and valuation.

PLAN 548E
Current Issues in Planning: LED Theory, Issues and Applications
Instructor: Will Trousdale
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
Local Economic Development (LED) is centered on local resources, capacity and leadership to build sustainable communities, towns and cities. The course will introduce students to the principles, approaches and tools to LED through lessons and case studies drawn from Canadian and developing countries context. Include prerequisites.
PLAN 548G
Current Issues in Planning: 
Critical Spatial Thinking for Urban Planning

Instructor: James Connolly
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course prepares urban planning students to be critical spatial thinkers. Students develop skills in geographic information systems as a tool for solving planning problems while critically engaging with the contextual dynamics that impact spatial data and analysis.  
PLAN 548H
Current Issues in Planning: Short Film Production
NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED
Introduction to the basic approaches, theories, and production methods used in creating short documentary and motion graphic films for community advocacy and educational purposes. Indigenous and decolonial approaches to filmmaking will be emphasized. Jessica Hallenbeck, Lyana Patrick, and Dave Shortt will mentor students in the creation of short films.
PLAN 548K (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Current Issues in Planning: Plan Evaluation
Instructor: Mark Stevens
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student

This course examines/evaluates issues related to evaluating plans. This course builds upon material on plan creation and implementation by students are exposed to in the course, PLAN 525.

PLAN 548L
Current Issues in Planning:
Urban Transportation Systems

Instructor: Alex Bigazzi
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course provides an overview of multi-modal urban transportation systems, including key characteristics, interactions, and analytical techniques. There are no prerequisites for the course, but some quantitative analysis is required and students should be comfortable working with spreadsheet software.
PLAN 548M
Current Issues in Planning:
Urban Planning and Policy in the Global South

Instructor: Michael Hooper
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student

This course undertakes a detailed examination of urban planning and policy in the Global South. It adopts a seminar format, with most class sessions involving a discussion of readings and a group exercise, debate, role-playing scenario or guest speaker. The goal is to engage in a thoughtful analysis of the place of urbanization, and urban settlements more broadly, in the diverse and rapidly changing countries that constitute the Global South. We'll address both theoretical and applied aspects of urbanization and, as a result, is relevant for students hoping to pursue professional planning work as well as those intending to engage in research on urbanization and development topics. From a theoretical perspective, we will examine the debates that have framed the urban policy decisions taken by international organizations and national and local governments. At the same time, we will draw on case studies and examples from around the world to provide a grounded perspective on how these policies play out in real world contexts. The course ultimately seeks to provide students with a fluency surrounding the main issues and debates in urban planning and policy, and their relationship to development, and with the critical skills to approach related topics, whether in professional or academic contexts, in an informed and analytically rigorous manner. 

The course will begin with an introduction to the historical context for urban growth in the Global South. Early course sessions will examine, in particular, colonial policies towards urban settlements and urbanization and the ways in which post-independence governments have built upon and departed from these approaches to planning. The course will then address the key policy frameworks and theoretical paradigms through which the challenges facing contemporary urban settlements in the Global South are understood and addressed. Later sessions will focus on an in-depth analysis of the principal substantive challenges facing cities in the Global South, including rural-urban migration, service delivery, rapid growth of informal settlements, displacement and urban governance. The course makes a concerted point throughout of examining areas of overlap between experiences in the Global South and North, looking in particular at parallels between urban challenges in the South and issues facing communities in North America and Europe.

PLAN 548O
Current Issues in Planning:
Practical Legal Basics for Professional Planners

Instructor: Pat Kendall
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This is a practical “how to” course - it does not address the substance of policies or decisions, but it teaches students how to lawfully implement and execute those policies and decisions.
PLAN 548P (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Current Issues in Planning:
Reconciliation and Planning

Instructor: Maggie Low
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
What is the role of planning in reconciliation in what is now known as Canada? How do planners decolonize planning?  What is Indigenous community planning? If you are interested in these questions, and have an open and curious mind, please join me in exploring the relationships between planning (as a discipline and profession) and reconciliation efforts happening in cities and communities across Canada. During our 12 weeks learning together, we will: spend time contextualizing ourselves within Indigenous and settler-colonial histories; critically examine what reconciliation means (and does not mean) and how it plays out in the ‘era of reconciliation’, learn from Indigenous planners and worldviews, and; examine what it might look for planners to decolonize their practice and genuinely contribute to reconciliation efforts through city and community planning.
PLAN 548Q
Current Issues in Planning: Futures Planning
Instructor: Sue-Jan Yeo
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
In the process of planning with change and planning for change, planners indelibly play an active role in shaping the future. It is this relationship to the future that makes planning fundamentally transformative—where plans and policies can wield long-term effects on people and places (for better or worse). Yet, the notion of “futures” as a crucial dimension of planning is often understudied. This course will engage with the imaginative and visionary potential of planning.
PLAN 548S
Current Issues in Planning: 
Infrastructure Planning and Smart Cities

Instructor: Martino Tran
Available during: Summer Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
Major drivers of change are influencing global cities including urbanization, climate change and disruptive technology. At the same time, large future investments in infrastructure are required to improve the sustainability and liveability of cities. This class will explore the major drivers of urban change, assess the latest advancements in understanding the societal and physical implications of urban infrastructure; and understand how that is being influenced by disruptive technology and the broader smart city movement.
PLAN 549C
Master's Thesis
Instructor: N/A
Available during: Winter and Summer Sessions
Eligibility: Enrolled in SCARP RM
Research and preparation of a thesis on a topic in public policy or professional practice.
PLAN 550A / PLAN 550B
Directed Studies
Course Instructor: N/A
Available during: Winter and Summer Sessions
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
In special cases and with the approval of the Director of the school, a student may study an advanced topic under the direction of a faculty member.
PLAN 553 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Indigenous Law, Governance, and Community Planning
Instructor: Crystal Reeves
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This course will introduce students to the laws within which Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and particularly in British Columbia, live, and which impact their communities and Nations. Students will gain an understanding of how law and governance inform planning with Indigenous communities.

PLAN 558
The Role of Theory in Planning Research
Instructor: Heather Campbell
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in SCARP RM
The instructor will offer an overview of benchmarks in the evolution of planning theory, and its relationship with political movements and transitions in governance and policy values and models, as well as principal urban theory drawn from the fields of sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies
PLAN 559
Design of Planning- and Policy-Oriented Research
Instructor: Mark Stevens
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in SCARP RM
The purposes of this course are to develop understanding and skill in the design of empirical research used in the analysis of policy and planning problems, as well as to develop the ability to critically evaluate policy-related research products.
PLAN 560
Masters Thesis Workshop
Instructor: Heather Campbell
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in SCARP RM
The format will be an interactive workshop. Course structure and content will include discussion on the scope of the master’s thesis in planning; the role of informing theory and relationship with the larger planning and urban studies discourses and debates; and a reading list drawn from planning, the humanities and social sciences, and urban/community policy studies. 
PLAN 561 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Seminar in Real Property Development and Planning
Instructor: Jay Wollenberg
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student

This course provides an introduction to financial analysis and market analysis for urban development projects and applications in urban/regional planning, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis.

PLAN 565
Seminar in Real Property Development and Planning
Instructor: Jay Wollenberg
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
This course provides an introduction to financial analysis and market analysis for urban development projects and applications in urban/regional planning, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis.
PLAN 583
Housing and Community Planning Policy
Instructor: Michael Gordon
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
Homes and communities are a focus of public policy for local and senior governments. Overview of past and current policies addressing the design and development of homes and communities. This course includes two walking tours and two field exercises to observe first hand best practices in home and community design. Students prepare a "thought piece" on the meaning of home, house, housing and neighbourhood and a Policy Case Study and presentation.
PLAN 587A
Urban Design
Instructor: Erick Villagomez
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
This course is designed to expose students to the fundamentals of urban design, such as issues and skills in physical planning, designing with hands-on graphic tools, verbal and graphic communication, as well as the development of conceptual tools to understand the built landscape.
PLAN 587B
Urban Design Studio
Instructor: TBD
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program
Students will undertake diagramming and spatial decision-making to create visions, policy statements and designs for an urban neighbourhood. Students will employ urban design techniques including graphic presentation and public presentation. PLAN 517 and PLAN 587A or the instructor’s consent are prerequisites for this course.
PLAN 591
Land Use and Environmental Policy
Instructor: Mark Stevens
Eligibility: UBC Graduate Student
 
PLAN 595 (discontinued as of 2022 cohort)
Facilitation, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution for Planning
Instructor: Aftab Erfan
Available during: Winter Session
Eligibility: Enrolled in MCRP Program

This is an experiential course, focused on building the practical skills of planners as facilitators and negotiators.

PLAN 597
Planning for Water Resources Management
NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED
The relationships among relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and institutional systems as applied to regional planning for watersheds, lakes, estuaries, coastal zones and international river basins. Water supply, waste disposal, fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, hydropower and flood control.