MSc Transport Planning & Engineering

Postgraduate, Full-time

Transport Planning & Engineering MSc

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


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.
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Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time | Online-learning)


1 year

Start date:


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Course details

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.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and independent study.

    As well as our own academic staff, we regularly have guest lecturers from industry on specific relevant topics. Each module is also supported by an extensive range of online teaching and learning materials.

    This is a full-time course and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September.


    • September starts: 12 months
    • January starts: 18 months with a three-month break over the summer (after the first taught trimester)
  • note and pen Assessments

    Due to accreditation requirements, all modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and final exam.

  • library Facilities

    As a student of Edinburgh Napier University, you will have access to specialist IT labs subject related software that is used on the programme.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Public Transport ( CTR11130 )

The the module is broken down into three overarching themes:

Introduction to Public Transport:
This section outlines the major roles that public transport plays within society today, the different governance structure surrounding the delivery of public transport, the different approaches taken to the delivery of bus and rail public transport services, and some of the practical outcomes of these approaches.

Issues in Public Transport
This section of the course develops some of the ideas outlined above further, to examine the different roles that public transport plays in supporting the local society and the wider economic community. Specific topics will include urban based public transport (what American’s call ‘public transit’), the role of public transport in the more general social inclusion debate, attitudes and behaviours towards public transport usage, issues surrounding the provision of public transport in rural areas, and finally long distance public transport, which also includes examination of high speed rail and domestic air services.

The Planning of Public Transport
The final section of the course considers topics associated with the planning and operation of public transport services. This will normally be examined under four specific areas which are public transport network design, the costing of public transport operations, including issues that need to be considered when bidding for a local authority contract, the use of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in the planning and management of public transport services and finally public transport information, and pricing, which includes real time information and smart ticketing.

Further information

Traffic Engineering Design ( CTR11131 )

Traffic flow – traffic flow theory, data collection surveys, traffic analysis.
Road geometric design – design speed, horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, stopping sight distance and overtaking sight distance.
Isolated junction design and operational analysis – priority junctions, roundabouts and traffic signal control, soft.
Linked traffic signals – design and analysis.
Road safety - road collision prevention and reduction procedures, road safety audits.

Further information

Transport Demand Management and Road Safety ( CTR11135 )

Development planning – development management, planning applications, Transport Assessment, Masterplanning.
Parking management and analysis.
Street layout and design.
Designing for walking, cycling and inclusive mobility.
Road safety - road collision prevention and reduction procedures, road safety audits

Further information

Transport Economics and Appraisal ( CTR11132 )

In the “economic” part of the module, we introduce the crucial economic problem of scarcity, and its relevance to transport issues. We describe the characteristics of free and planned markets, and how these resolve the basic questions of what, how and for whom goods and services should be produced. We then examine the underlying economics of the market in terms of demand and supply. The economic costs of mobility and how these are accumulated are then examined, before we study the economists’ model of perfect competition and then, from this hypothetical “ideal”, we move to consider government intervention in the form of transport subsidies and regulation that are needed in reality to provide society with the level of accessibility it requires in a sustainable and equitable way.
The “appraisal” part explains the need for appraisal procedures in the private and public sectors. We examine the business cases required to take decisions on public transport investments in the UK. We present WebTAG, the UK public appraisal system used to generate the evidence required in the transport business cases. We analyse the content of transport studies produced according to WebTAG guidelines, with particular focus on calculation of benefits for transport users and social cost benefit analysis. Finally, we examine the potential wider impacts of transport investments on the economy, the environment and society, and discuss the necessary conditions to foster positive welfare impacts

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 and Traffic Models ( CTR11104 )

The module is divided into three parts including a total of 14 units. The contents of these units are as follows:

Part 1: Introduction to transport planning and modelling

This section includes introduction to transport planning and modelling and types of data collection.

Part 2: Transport and Traffic Models
This section includes trip generation techniques; trip distribution modelling (growth factor and synthetic techniques); modal choice modelling, Traffic flow theory, Microscopic simulation models, Random models of traffic and queuing models.

Part 3: Assignment and Route Choice Models
This part includes 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

* 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.


Transport Research Institute

The Institute comprises some of Scotland’s leading applied transportation research and knowledge transfer centres. We cover a range of disciplines, including freight, transport policy, SMART mobility, and healthy transport.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

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. In addition, a sufficient level of mathematical ability is also required.

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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by 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’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU £5,850 £6,084
Overseas £13,000 £13,520

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


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.
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