(Full time / Part time) 2023 start
Transport Economics MSc
If you're an ambitious numerate graduate, or a practitioner in the field, this Masters degree will equip you with the analytical skills for a rewarding career supporting transport delivery and policymaking at national, regional and local levels.
You'll develop a range of economic skills to help promote economic growth within a regulatory framework that minimises any damaging health and environmental impacts, while incentivising the best use of resources. You’ll also gain insights into how economics, planning, environmental science, modelling and engineering can work together to design sustainable solutions to global challenges.
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.
Our industry links with large corporations mean 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.
This means you’ll be fully equipped to pursue your next steps in industry, with the topical knowledge, specialist skill set and practical experience to excel in this field.
Why study at Leeds:
- Learn the latest innovations in transport economics 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 understanding of the complex interface between transport and the wider economy (economic appraisal), learning pricing techniques, the importance of economic regulation and the valuation of third-party costs and benefits (micro-economics).
- Develop a professional and specialist skill set that will enable you to create quantitative models using real-world data and test economic theories (econometrics).
- Tailor the course to suit your career aspirations with a selection of optional modules that’ll hone your knowledge in the 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.
- 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, Transpennine Express and Transport for London who actively advertise and recruit directly from the Institute of Transport Studies.
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In semester 1, you'll study core modules that lay the foundations of the programme. You’ll develop the knowledge of key principles and topics in transport economics, as well as econometrics and cost-benefit analyses. You'll also be exposed to the multiple disciplines within the transport sector and have an overview of transport modelling, planning and engineering and how these fit with transport economics.
Semester 2 allows you to expand your understanding and gain specialist knowledge relevant to your career. You can choose from a range of modules giving you the chance to learn about a variety of topics, such as public transport planning, funding of infrastructure projects, investment appraisal and transport in the context of development. You'll also study our Transport Integrated Project module, which gives you experience of working on a real-world transport project by collaborating with a team of students from our other degrees.
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.
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
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.
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 Economics MSc Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Transport Economics MSc Part Time in the course catalogue
- Shaping Future Transport Systems 15 credits
- Principles of Transport Economics 15 credits
- Welfare Economics and Cost-Benefit Analysis 15 credits
- Transport Econometrics 15 credits
- Economics of Regulation 15 credits
- Economic Appraisal and Economic Performance 15 credits
- Transport Dissertation 60 credits
- Transport Integrated Project 15 credits
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 economics research has been successful in bridging the interface between academia and industry. For example, the Cost, Quality, Customer (CQC) Efficiency Network initiative offers local authorities throughout Britain the ability to quantify the scope for cost savings in the delivery of highway services and to identify better practices.
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.
Online taster course
‘Transport Systems: Global Issues and Future Innovations’ is a free online course, delivered via FutureLearn, introducing how the transport sector can develop infrastructures that meet the needs of a 21st century population.
Whether you're a current undergraduate student, or a mid-career professional considering a Masters degree, this course offers a great taste of studying transportation challenges at a postgraduate level.
The Programme Leader, Dr Thijs Dekker, is an Associate Professor in Transport Economics at the Institute for Transport Studies. He is Deputy Leader of the Choice Modelling Research Group and his research primarily focuses on travel demand and travel behaviour analysis with specific interest in the links between transport and the environment. In terms of methodology his research makes use of welfare economics and applied econometrics.
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.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in economics (single or joint honours).
Graduates from other disciplines with professional qualifications and 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 Economics and Finance (6 weeks) and Language for Business: Economics and Finance (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 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.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
- 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.
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
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 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 or similar have secured:
- Economist, Department of Highways
- Senior Economist: Public-Private Partnerships, Ministry of Finance, Namibia
- Economic Analysis Manager, Northern Trains
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, Transpennine Express, 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.