MSc Transport Planning and Engineering

Postgraduate, Distance Learning

This well respected and industry credited course offers the gateway to a successful career in the transport professions

  • Napier code:

    52718MM

  • Course type:

    Distance Learning

  • Duration:

    3 years

  • Award:

    MSc

  • Location:

    Distance learning

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Course introduction

Developments in transport shape the world we live in and influence communities’ economic and social wellbeing. Transporting people and goods provides a serious challenge for politicians, transport planners and engineering specialists.

During your studies you will examine the major transport issues facing society and learn the main techniques applied in analysing and resolving transport problems.

Identical in duration and content to a part-time course, this option replaces campus attendance with specially developed printed and online learning materials. You can study at your own pace, in your own time.


transport planning and egineering

You will gain an understanding of transport systems through studying issues such as transport modelling and appraisal techniques from a theoretical and practical perspective. You will also learn how to develop effective transport strategies to address a range of different scenarios.

Your studies will also benefit from our excellent links with industry and the transport research community, allowing you to gain a good understanding of the profession from industry-relevant teaching, guest lecturers and by engaging with transport practitioners and researchers.

Part-time and distance learning options allow those working in the industry to expand their professional capabilities and meet the educational requirements for chartership.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

This industry accredited qualification offers good career prospects, especially as there is an increasing demand for transport planning graduates in the UK.

On completing the course, you will go on to a career in one of the major transport consultancies, a local authority or a government agency.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above.  We look for applicants to have a background in Civil Engineering, Social Sciences, Geography, or Maths in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry. 

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Home/EU-Taught modules *£570 *£570
Home/EU- Dissertation £350 £350
Overseas-Taught modules *£870 *£870
Overseas- Dissertation £580 £580
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Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Development Planning and Transport Assessment ( CTR11120 )

The module first sets out the background to transport and land use planning processes. You then study the role of masterplans, including the travel connectivity considerations. Considerable time is spent in discussing and preparing a Transport Assessment and the supporting Travel Plan for development proposals. A significant part of the time is spent on the transport infrastructure design aspects, including roads and junctions and the design of streets.

Further information

Dissertation (Transport) ( CTR11117 )

The module comprises two components. The taught part of the module (term 2) offers an introduction to research in transport. Students learn how identify research objectives and questions linked to the existing knowledge gaps in the transport field. They develop the skills to carry out a literature review, searching for literature by means of the resources available through the University, and learn about research philosophies and methods. We exemplify research methods by focusing on surveys. We present the fundamentals of statistical inference and run some tutorials on statistical tests. Students attend research seminars, which give them the opportunity to interact with academic and professional researchers. Students have to submit a research proposal and review the proposal of a fellow student. The second component is the development of a dissertation on a topic chosen by the students. Students work under the supervision of a member of the staff.

Further information

Issues in Freight Transport ( CTR11121 )

The module is divided into four distinct but related sections. Section one provides you with an introduction to the subject, with a background to freight transport issues and an examination of the overall trends in modal splits up to the present day. Section two then considers individual modes of transport, particularly road haulage and rail freight, and the current issues and challenges facing these modes. It also considers intermodal/combined transport. Section three focuses on the international dimension, and hence greater focus is given to the global economic environment and maritime and air freight modes of transport. The fourth and final section gives far greater focus to the key challenges facing freight transport, in which you will specifically examine location issues, the development of logistics, network planning and likely future scenarios and policy directions affecting freight transport.

Further information

Public Transport ( CTR11112 )

The module will be broken down into the following three overarching themes: Introduction to Public Transport: - roles in society today, organisation of public transport, the bus and rail industries Issues in Public Transport: - urban rail, social inclusion and public transport, rural public transport, long distance public transport The Planning of Public Transport: - public transport network design, the costing of public transport operations, public transport information and ticketing

Further information

Traffic Engineering and Control ( CTR11115 )

Traffic Surveys and Monitoring -Measurement of speeds, volumes, concentrations and fundamental diagram. Automatic Monitoring, collection techniques. AADT and NRTF forecasts for traffic growth. Traffic Signals: -Isolated junction design. Principles of saturation flow, RFCs. Assessing existing designs/new designs. Stage vs Phase based operations. Design for pedestrians. OSCADY classic and OSCADY pro software use. Advanced isolated control (MOVA), use of PCMOVA software. Ramp Metering. Urban Traffic Control: -Principles and purpose of area-wide coordinated design. Fixed time linking, theory of TRANSYT, traffic responsive linking (SCOOT, SCATS etc), benefits and critical review. Intelligent Transport Systems: -Advanced Transport telematics, automatic incident detection, route guidance systems, auto tolling, traffic and travel information systems. IVHS, auto tolling. Site Visit/Guest Speakers: -Visit to NADICS traffic control centre, Glasgow. -SCOOT talk: Guest lecturer from TRL.

Further information

Traffic Management ( CTR11103 )

Accident Investigation: •Accident investigation, STATS 19, UK and worldwide trends, site selection, remedial measures, economic justification, issues in monitoring, risk compensation, road hierarchy, safety management. Accident Analysis: •Statistical models, exposure measures, trends and comparisons, Smeed’s Law, effectiveness measures, regression to mean, accident migration, predictive models, Safety Audits and Signage for safety: •Practice and principle of safety audits, monitoring, traffic regulation orders (types and procedures), rules and standards for signs and markings (TSRGD). Traffic Management Issues: •Vulnerable road users; management of pedestrians and cyclists; traffic calming and speed management. Parking.

Further information

Transport and Traffic Models ( CTR11104 )

Introduction to transport planning and modelling; methods and types of data collection; network and zoning systems. Trip generation techniques; trip distribution modelling (growth factor and synthetic techniques); modal choice modelling. Route choice studies; traffic assignment models (including capacity restrained and stochastic methods); elastic demand methods; matrix estimation. Overview of currently used transport modelling software. Practical experience with software (generation, modal split and assignment).

Further information

Transport Economics and Appraisal ( CTR11116 )

In this module you will consider the basic economic problem, that of scarcity, and its relevance to transport issues. The key issue of the market v the planners is then considered, and how the basic questions of demand and supply are resolved in free and planned transport markets. Economic costs and how these are accumulated are then considered, before we study the economists’ model of perfect competition. This gives the hypothetical ‘ideal’ from which the issues of transport subsidy and regulation are considered. Investment appraisal in the private and public sectors. Social costs and benefits: the valuation of time, accidents and other non-marketable goods. UK and EU methodologies for measuring and assessing environmental impacts (noise, vibration, pollutions, community severance, etc) DMRB vol. 13 and other methodologies. The problems of transport integration and the allocation of resources between modes. WebTAG. International comparisons in appraisal methodologies.

Further information

Transport Policy ( CTR11105 )

The module starts by considering the process of policy making and who is responsible for transport policy e.g. supranational, central and local government structures and the role of the private sector. Problems and trends in transport demand and an introduction to policy perspectives; economic instruments in transport; taxes and subsidies, funding mechanisms, road pricing; direct regulation of street space); Land use planning and the management of transport demand; evolution of road and rail networks; rural transport policy; parking policy; town-friendly traffic planning; green commuter plans; “Smarter Choices” behavioural change measures, the mobility impaired in transport policy. Implementation and evaluation of transport policy. Case studies of transport policy and planning approaches in various International cities.

Further information

Transport Research Methods ( CTR11106 )

The module will be broken down into the following three components: - Part 1 content concentrates on issues relevant for the research process from developing research ideas to writing research projects: Research paradigms and methodologies; Research strategy definition and assessment; Literature review. - Part 2 focuses on some research methods, e.g. survey through questionnaires and qualitative research methods such as focus groups and interviews. - Part 3 provides insights on fundamentals of inferential statistics and tutorials on the use of common statistical software packages (e.g. SPSS or R).

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.