The Master of Planning (MPlan) degree requires two years of full-time, or the equivalent in part-time, study and entails postgraduate coursework in planning and planning-related subjects, as well as a significant piece of supervised research. There are two streams: one involving a thesis, and the other a research project. The normal admission requirement for both streams is a completed Bachelor's degree in any subject(s) relevant to planning.
A candidate's academic programme is decided at enrolment, and the research topic is determined at the end of the first year of studies. The thesis or the research project must be submitted by the end of the final year of the programme.
The MPlan is a professional qualification, and graduates are employed in local, regional and national government agencies, health boards, industry and planning consultancies in New Zealand and overseas. Some proceed to doctoral studies in preparation for employment in a university or as consultants on policy and planning.