Year of entry 2024
- Start date
- September 2024
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 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
- £12,500 (Total)
- International fees
- £30,750 (Total)
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:
- Our Institute for Transport Studies’ globally-renowned research conducted right here on campus feeds directly into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking in sustainable transport planning – and beyond.
- 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.
- 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.
Join our online taster course
This two-week course offers a great taste of studying 21st-century transportation challenges at a postgraduate level.
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.
Your dissertation will allow you to gain a range of specialist knowledge and advanced research skills. You’ll apply these to a project chosen from a selection 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.
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
At the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), we want you to graduate with hands-on, real-world skills you can take into your career. Fieldwork gives you the chance to build those professional skills and put theory into practice – experiencing transport systems in action and meeting transport professionals who are actively working in the field.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|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 Integrated Project||15|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Analysing Transport and Society||15|
|Public Transport Planning and Management||15|
|System Dynamics: Modelling Policy||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|
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.
Leeds provides a great base for our transport students, with opportunities for on-site visits to Headingley and the City Square. You can also take part in our Metropoly game where you’ll work in teams travelling around West Yorkshire using a variety of transport systems to visit various places of interest. You’ll gain points for each destination reached and the number of different transport systems covered.
See photos from the Metropoly game on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ITSMetropoly.
The field trip to Sheffield undertaken around the end of semester 1 will build on the teachings you’ve learned from the first semester, showing you the reality of planning and managing transport in a practical setting. You’ll also independently explore the city’s main urban and transport features, whilst learning about recent or ongoing transport-related projects from local practitioners.
In addition, we offer an optional residential trip to the Peak District after the Sheffield visit – a fantastic way to get to know your fellow course mates better.
We also offer a week-long European field trip in June which usually involves a circular tour around parts of The Netherlands. For many students, this trip is the highlight of the course – offering the chance to experience first-hand some truly innovative transport solutions.
Activities could include a cycle tour of Delft, a planning walk around the redeveloped Rotterdam docks area and a review of the redesign of Utrecht main railway station. You might also get chance to experience a properly integrated city neighbourhood and hear from local transport experts and ITS alumni at various talks.
Check out our European field trip video – produced by one of our transport Masters students – to see the places they visited and get an insight into what the trip is like.
Please note: itineraries may vary from year to year.
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.
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 is equally varied and can include coursework essays, case-study reports, group assignments, posters, presentations and exams.
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.
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
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
30 June 2024 – International applicants
8 September 2024 – UK applicants
Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.
If you're still 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.
This course is taught by
Institute for Transport Studies Postgraduate Admissions Team
UK: £12,500 (Total)
International: £30,750 (Total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters 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.
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 10 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2023 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
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 Careers Service 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 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 careers fairs and industry talks in specialist areas and across broader industries, with employers who are actively recruiting for roles, giving you the opportunity to network and engage with industry sponsors.
- Employability skills training – to support your transition to the workplace, we embed training in a range of key transferable skills valued by employers such as research and data analysis in all our programmes.
- 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:
- Graduate Transport Engineer, AECOM
- Strategic Planning Assistant, Timetable Development Assistant, Junior Strategic Planner, Network Rail
- Transport Consultant, Fore Consulting
- Transport Consultant, Stantec
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