Transport Planning MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,750 (total)
International fees
£27,750 (total)

Course overview

A metro train at a station

Our Transport Planning MSc will equip you with the knowledge and planning techniques to help you develop transport networks and systems that are founded on robust evidence, sustainable and equitable social principles, state-of-the-art modelling, accurate data analysis, and a profound understanding of travel behaviour. You’ll also develop the tools to help address global challenges such as equitable development and climate change mitigation and reduction through the development of safe and efficient city transport networks and mass public transport.

Working with leading researchers at Institute of Transport Studies you’ll learn about policy, travel behaviour, modelling, data analysis, land use planning, and public transport planning and management using research and evidence from around the world. The course also addresses the multi-disciplinary nature of transport – enabling you to make effective decisions for clients, employers and society.

Studying in the Institute of Transport Studies at Leeds will give you a unique head start in your career in transport. The course has been designed following close consultation with industry practices and is shaped by our impactful and topical research, delivered by leading researchers with an international reputation – so you’ll be learning the most up-to-date and relevant information throughout the course.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Learn the latest innovations in sustainable transport planning and beyond from our Institute for Transport Studies’ world-leading research conducted right here on campus that feeds directly into the course.
  • Advance your knowledge and skill set in critical areas of transport planning including hands-on experience in collecting and evaluating data: the key to good transport planning.
  • Tailor the course to suit your career aspirations with a wide selection of optional modules in areas such as such as road safety, traffic network modelling, public transport planning, traffic management and more to hone your knowledge and specialise in topics that interest you the most.
  • Build industry experience collaborating on a multi-disciplinary team project with students from other degree specialisms that focuses on a real-world transport problem posed by Leeds City Council and/or choosing our optional four-month industrial placement scheme.
  • Familiarise yourself with industry-standard models and techniques such as AIMSUN, VISSIM, SATURN, spatial analysis using GIS and systems dynamics.
  • Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team made up of researchers and academics from the Institute for Transport Studies who have extensive expertise across a variety of transport disciplines.
  • Enhance your career prospects by building your industry work experience before you graduate with work placements and project work throughout your course.
  • Take advantage of our close working relationships with big organisations in industry such as ARUP, AECOM and Transport for London who actively advertise and recruit directly from the Institute of Transport Studies.
  • This course offers flexible study options where you can study full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 or 36 months to fit in with your lifestyle.

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Course details

Throughout this course, you’ll learn the theory of transport planning and travel behaviour by studying a range of core topics. Your studies will consider many of the key challenges currently facing transport industry professionals across the world. These will provide you with a holistic overview of transport problems and approaches to policy formulation.

You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules. This allows you to develop more specialised skills and tailor your degree towards your preferred career interests. You'll also study our Transport Integrated Project module, which gives you an experience of a typical real-world transport project.

Throughout your course, you’ll gain a range of specialist knowledge and advanced research skills. In your dissertation, you’ll apply these to a project chosen from a wide range of topics. Some topics are suggested and supported by industry, giving you the chance to address a real-world problem and gain experience of working with industry. Your supervisor will support you throughout the process of developing your dissertation topic.

Project work

In the second semester, you'll study our Transport Integrated Project module. This project lets you experience what it is like to be part of a multi-disciplined team working within the transport sector. You’ll work alongside students from our other Masters degrees, using your different specialisms to solve a real-world transport problem posed by Leeds City Council.

The Transport Integrated Project module helps you develop a real-world experience of working in the industry. You’ll gain insights into how planning, economics, environmental science, modelling and engineering can work together to develop sustainable solutions to global challenges.

Throughout the project, you’ll be advised by industry experts and will be required to write both group and individual reports. At the end of the module, you'll present your final work as a group.

Previous projects have included:

  • Designing a new park and ride site
  • Designing a new train station
  • Redesigning Leeds’ City Square

Fieldwork

Our fieldwork opportunities give you the chance to experience transport systems in action, allowing you to meet and hear directly from transport professionals and see what you’ve learned in practice. Field trips have included visits to cycle and traffic calming facilities, motorway traffic control centre, guided bus system and town planning features.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Transport Planning MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Transport Planning MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Understanding Travel Behaviour 15
Shaping Future Transport Systems 15
Principles of Transport Modelling 15
Transport Data Collection and Analysis 15
Sustainable Spatial Planning and Analysis 15
Transport Dissertation 60
Transport Integrated Project 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Green Logistics 15
Analysing Transport and Society 15
Public Transport Planning and Management 15
System Dynamics: Modelling Policy 15
Traffic Management 15
Global Transferability of Policies 15
Choice Modelling and Stated Preference Survey Design 15
Traffic Network Modelling 15
Railway Investment Appraisal 15
Transport Investment Appraisal 15
Transport and Urban Pollution 15
Transport in Development 15
Road Safety 15

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Transport Planning MSc module descriptions for more detail on what you'll study.

Learning and teaching

Postgraduate study involves a range of teaching methods, supported by independent learning. You'll learn through a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, seminars, workshops, computer exercises, practical sessions, directed reading, reflective journal, student-led discussions, fieldwork and tutorials. You’ll also learn through independent study, allowing you to develop critical problem-solving and research skills that are relevant to a career in transport.

Throughout your degree, you'll be supported by a personal tutor who you can meet regularly to discuss any study or career questions you might have. There is also the opportunity to apply to the Institute for Transport Studies mentorship programme, where you'll be assigned an alumni mentor who currently works in the industry. The mentorship programme is a great opportunity to receive personal career advice and develop a relationship with someone who is successful in the transport industry.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

Active research environment

The Institute for Transport Studies was established as the UK’s first multi-disciplinary transport department, and we continue to lead the field with our research. Our reputation allows us to invest in world-class facilities and a variety of specialist software tools including those we’ve developed in-house such as SATURN, PLUTO, DRACULA, MARS and KonSULT.

Other study options

This programme is also available part-time, over 24 or 36 months. We are flexible as to how you choose to study this course so that you can combine it with other commitments, such as an existing job. Please get in touch with our admissions team to discuss part-time study options.

Programme team

The Programme Leader, Frances Hodgson, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies. Her research has been conducted both nationally and internationally, with her interests including sustainable travel behaviour, the social impacts of mobility technologies, and the use of data and ICT in transport schemes.

The wider programme team is made up of researchers and academics from the Institute for Transport Studies who have extensive expertise across a variety of transport disciplines.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Assessment is equally varied and can include coursework essays, case-study reports, group assignments, posters, presentations and exams.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject such as (but not limited to) geography, town planning, earth and environment, architecture, sustainability, logistics, business and management, psychology, social policy, history, politics or public administration.

Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience plus experience in the sector will also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

30 July 2023 – International applicants

10 September 2023 – UK applicants

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

Institute for Transport Studies

Contact us

Institute for Transport Studies Postgraduate Admissions Team

Email: courses@its.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £11,750 (total)

International: £27,750 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

Students wishing to attend the optional European Field Trip are advised to allow a minimum of £500 for accommodation and travel during the week-long trip.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

A degree from the Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds opens up a range of opportunities to pursue a rewarding career in this industry. This course will equip you with an extensive specialist skill set, alongside industry experience and the chance to interact directly with industry organisations which could give you the edge with employers.

Transport consultancies are the largest employers of our graduates, but other common careers include those in government, academia, regulatory bodies, transport operators, logistics companies, not-for-profit and international agencies.

Our graduates work across the private and public sectors. Many work abroad, whether for UK companies with overseas offices, for international organisations or for national governments.

Plus, the University of Leeds is in the top five most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2022 report.

Here’s an insight into some of the job roles and organisations previous graduates on this course have secured:

  • Transport Planner, ARUP
  • Transport Officer, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Transport Planner, JMP Consultants
  • Transport Planner, MDS Transmodal
  • Airport Infrastructure Planner, Ministry of Transportation
  • Principal Analyst, Transport for London
  • Assistant Modelling Manager, Transport for London
  • Strategic Transport Planner, City of Stockholm Transport Administration
  • Senior Transport Planner, Islington Council
  • Senior Transport Manager, Bradford City Council
  • Transport Planner, London Borough of Hackney
  • Principal Transport Planner, Bright and Hove City Council
  • Principal Urban Design Officer, Tower Hamlets Council
  • Senior Network Analyst, Network Rail
  • Station Capacity Analyst, Network Rail
  • Route Performance Analyst, Network Rail
  • Rail Modeler/Analyst, Jacobs Foundation

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one — that’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers. The University’s Career Centre is one of the largest in the country, providing a wide range of resources to ensure you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Links with industry – we have close working relationships with a number of organisations and many employers visit the Institute for Transport Studies each year to interview our students for graduate schemes and other vacancies. We also regularly circulate specific job vacancies to students. Organisations include ARUP, Mott MacDonald, AECOM, Capita, Transport for London, Pell Frischmann, Leigh Fisher, JMP, Amey and Hyder among many others. Read more about graduate employability at the Institute for Transport Studies.
  • Dedicated Employability Officer — gain quality advice, guidance and information to help you choose a career path. From CV and cover letter writing to supporting you with job applications, our School’s dedicated Employability Enhancement Officer is on hand to help maximise your capabilities through a process of personal development and career planning.
  • Employability and networking events — we run a full range of events including the School of Earth and Environment Careers Fair with employers who are actively recruiting for roles and a dedicated Industry Recruitment Day, giving you the opportunity to network with industry sponsors. 
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more at the careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Four-month placement scheme

You’ll have the opportunity to gain four months industry experience in the UK with companies such as Network Rail and AECOM at the end of your Masters course. After a competitive application process, paid placements are offered from September to December at the end of your studies.

Some of the employers and the job titles of previous placement students are listed below:

  • AECOM (Graduate Transport Engineer)
  • Network Rail (Strategic Planning Assistant, Timetable Development Assistant, Junior Strategic Planner)
  • Fore Consulting (Transport Consultant)
  • Stantec (Transport Consultant)

The scheme is open to all Masters students, including those on a student visa, within the Institute for Transport Studies. Placements aren’t guaranteed.

Alumni profile: Ariel Jorre de St Jorre

ITS was a life changing experience for me and it can open a lot of doors for you when applying for jobs.
Find out more about Ariel Jorre de St Jorre's time at Leeds