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 related 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 Sustainability in Transport MSc will equip you with the technical and professional skills needed to help solve some of the grand challenges of sustainable transport. Taught by researchers at the forefront of the subject, you’ll look at how we can respond to the critical need for fast transport decarbonisation, along with ways to tackle urban pollution and enable social equity and inclusion in mobility. The course also examines the relationships between sustainable transport and economic development, liveable cities, social justice and energy scarcity.
Whatever your background, this Masters degree will ignite your imagination and expand your horizons. You could be a social or political scientist, a geographer, philosopher, law graduate, engineering graduate or science graduate. What’s most important is that you thrive on critical thinking and you have a willingness to move outside disciplinary comfort zones.
Studying in the Institute of Transport Studies at Leeds will also give you a unique head start in your career in transport. Not only does our world-leading research shape the course, but our close links with large corporations means you’ll have chance to interact with potential employers and possibly interview for graduate schemes and other vacancies. We also offer opportunities to build your industry work experience before you graduate with work placements and project work throughout your course.
Why study at Leeds:
- This Masters degree is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)
- 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.
- Advance your knowledge in a range of key areas including shaping future transport systems, environmental science and sustainability in transport and strategic assessments of transport and environmental policy.
- Develop a professional and specialist skill set that will enable you to manage projects in industry effectively, run visioning workshops, stakeholder engagement events, strategy meetings, and make persuasive presentations to policy makers.
- Tailor the course to suit your career aspirations with a broad selection of optional modules that’ll hone your knowledge in the topics that interest you the most.
- Build industry experience collaborating on a multidisciplinary 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 tools. 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 and become part of our successful alumni who have secured jobs in some of the most influential companies and institutions in transport including Jaguar Land Rover, Network Rail and the Department of Transport.
- 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.
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.
This course is accredited by The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the global professional body for everyone working in environment and sustainability.
This Masters degree guarantees your eligibility for free student membership of IEMA for the duration of the course and on successful completion, you qualify for GradIEMA.
Graduate membership is a launchpad for future leaders within environment and sustainability and offers a range of benefits to support you throughout your career. You can then “Fast track” to Practitioner Membership.
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 a range of modules that address key issues in sustainable transport. You’ll first learn important fundamentals through a selection of core modules – these provide you with a holistic overview of challenges for sustainability in transport and approaches to policy formulation.
You’ll then be able to specialise in your preferred interests by choosing from a wide range of optional modules. This allows you to tailor your degree towards your career interests. You will also study our Transport Integrated Project module, which gives you experience of a typical real-world transport project.
You’ll gain 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.
In the second semester, you will 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 will 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.
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.
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
|Climate and Environmental Policy and Governance||15|
|Environmental Science and Sustainability for Transport||15|
|Shaping Future Transport Systems||15|
|Transport Data Collection and Analysis||15|
|Transport Integrated Project||15|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Environmental Economics and Policy||15|
|Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development||15|
|Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics||15|
|Sustainable Spatial Planning and Analysis||15|
|Analysing Transport and Society||15|
|Public Transport Planning and Management||15|
|System Dynamics: Modelling Policy||15|
|Global Transferability of Policies||15|
|Railway Investment Appraisal||15|
|Transport Investment Appraisal||15|
|Transport and Urban Pollution||15|
|Transport in Developing Countries||15|
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Sustainability in Transport MSc module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Learning and teaching
Postgraduate study involves a range of teaching methods, supported by independent learning. You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, workshops, computer exercises, practical sessions, directed reading, reflective journals, 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 will 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 will be assigned an alumni mentor who currently works in the industry. The mentorship programme is a great opportunity to receive personalised career advice and develop a relationship with someone who is successful in the transport industry.
Active research environments
The Institute for Transport Studies was established as the UK’s first multidisciplinary 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 SATURN, DRACULA, the Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) and specialist open-source analysis packages such as AQEval for tracking the impact of Air Quality policies using R and the stplanr package for sustainable transport planning with R.
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, Dr Caroline Mullen, is an Associate Professor whose research primarily focuses on transport’s relations with social and environmental sustainability, and on the governance, politics and practices that shape transport. Dr Mullen’s research has been used to inform policy and planning, to contribute to work of non-governmental organisations and in public engagement.
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 qualifications 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. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.
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 about additional costs.
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:
- Business Improvement Manager, Amey Plc.
- Acting Executive Director of Major Transport Projects, Department of Transport (WA)
- Sustainable Travel Officer, Devon County Council
- Rail Manager, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
- International Inbound Transportation Manager, Jaguar Land Rover
- Continuous Improvement Manager, Unipart Rail Ltd.
- Industry Consultation Manager, Network Rail
- Business Operations Manager, Act TravelWise
- Assistant Consultant - Sustainable Transport, Steer Davies Gleave
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: Lucia Southworth
The Institute for Transport Studies thoroughly prepared me for my job and career. I utilise the subject knowledge and teamwork experience I gained there every day.Find out more about Lucia Southworth's time at Leeds