Sustainability in Transport MSc

The following modules are available in 2022/23 for Sustainability in Transport MSc and are examples of the modules you are likely to study. All Modules are subject to change.You will study 180 credits in total. 

Compulsory modules

Environmental Policy and Governance - 15 credits
This module examines the multiple pathways through which human-environment interaction is governed. We recognise how both structural forces and multiple actors at and between multiple scales and levels may shape and constrain environmental governance processes and outcomes. A central focus of the course is how the alleged limitations of conventional state-led environmental protection have given way to a proliferation of 'new' environmental policy instruments where state-market-civil society distinctions blur. We explore changing modes of climate and environmental policy and governance within and between the international, regional, national and local levels of analysis. The course illustrates these ongoing processes through the use of practical examples from both developed and developing countries.

Environmental Science and Sustainability for Transport - 15 credits
This module equips environment and sustainability students with the knowledge and skills required for specialising in these fields and influencing decision making in transport towards environmentally and socially sustainable solutions.

Shaping Future Transport Systems - 15 credits
The Shaping Transport Futures module provides students with an understanding of the fundamental relationships involved in transport systems, their interactions with other sectors, and future opportunities and challenges. It provides understanding of the case for interventions in managing transport systems. Students will be able to understand and contrast international approaches to transport planning and management and develop appreciation of the contribution of different roles in the delivery of transport sector implementations. Finally, students will be equipped with the fundamental techniques necessary to work in inter-disciplinary teams, which will prepare them for the Transport Integrated Project module delivered in the following semester. 

Transport Data Collection and Analysis - 15 credits
This module provides fundamentals of data collection and analysis in the context of transport. It addresses the loop covering research questions, data requirements, data collection/generation, data analysis, and interpretation.

Transport Dissertation - 60 credits
The Transport Dissertation module gives you the opportunity to develop and apply research and/or design skills in a specialist topic within the transport discipline. You’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of your chosen subject area and demonstrate your findings in a 15,000-word report.

Transport Integrated Project - 15 credits
This module will be run in the second semester and aims to enhance a range of personal and professional related skills by placing students in a multi-disciplinary project group and asking them to undertake a specific transport project as suggested by a client (an external organisation or ITS). 


Optional modules

Environmental Economics and Policy - 15 credits
The module introduces the micro-economic approach to environmental issues, which conceptualises environmental problems as market failures leading to a loss of social welfare and environmental policies as interventions that seek to restore optimal allocation of resources. The module provides an overview of the key areas of environmental economics and helps students develop an ability to interpret, analyse and assess in economic terms environmental issues and policies that they will encounter as part of their studies and careers.

Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development - 15 credits
The purpose of this module is for students to obtain a well-grounded understanding of the key theoretical, conceptual and practical debates and issues within the environment-development field. Theoretically, political ecology is used as a starting point in part 1 of the module to push critical and reflective thinking about mainstream ideas of environmental change and development. In part 2 of the module, key concepts and topical issues in the environment-development field are explored. Conceptual focus is given to the issues of biodiversity, land degradation and desertification, with practical examples drawn from a variety of fields including conservation, agriculture, forestry and water management. The module draws significantly on the international research expertise of staff in the Sustainability Research Institute.

Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation - 15 credits
This module gives an overview of climate change impact assessment and predictions, and key concerns and strategies of adaptation to climate change. It covers climate impact causation, impact assessment methods, sectoral and regional climate change impact predictions, environmental risks and hazards, adaptation strategies, governance and policy for adaptation, and economics and delivery of adaptation. The course lays down the foundation for literacy in scholarship on climate change impacts and adaptation, which is essential for academics as well as practitioners, policy makers at all levels. 

Climate Change Mitigation - 15 credits
This module outlines the relative significance of main sources of greenhouse gases and the potential technologies and strategies for reducing them. Students will gain an understanding of the key challenges for controlling the emissions of greenhouse gases from different sources. The module is divided into two overarching themes. The first theme provides an understanding of the mitigation options in different sectors including the energy, transport, housing and the agricultural sector. The second theme explores how the transition to a low carbon economy could happen through the use of different scenarios and pathways and policy options.

Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics - 15 credits
This module aims to develop research skills to enable students to carry out quantitative research projects, which integrate environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Through lectures, seminars and computer exercises, the module will familiarise students with some of the most extensively used methods and research frameworks for the analysis of coupled socio-economic and environmental systems. The content of this module is relevant to some of the most innovative and cutting edge research in ecological economics, effectively paving the way towards a systematic understanding of sustainability. This module will cover both top-down macro-economic approaches and bottom-up social and technical approaches, providing students with a broad foundation for their future work and research. 

Sustainable Spatial Planning and Analysis - 15 credits
This module will make students aware of the key aspects of integrated transport and land-use planning which contribute to more sustainable outcomes. Transport is an inherently spatial phenomenon, which cannot be divorced from considerations of urban form, spatial planning, social processes and people. The module delivers this understanding by developing beyond basic generic GIS skills and applies leading edge techniques in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and spatial analysis which can be deployed to explore contemporary planning problems, alongside theoretical considerations. 

Green Logistics - 15 credits
This module re-appraises supply chain logistics using the latest thinking and endeavours to offer possibilities to reduce the environmental impact.

Analysing Transport and Society - 15 credits
This module aims to equip Masters Degree students with the skills and knowledge necessary to apply a social analysis in practice and policy in the transport sector in both professional environments and higher academic studies. 

Public Transport Planning and Management - 15 credits
This module provides an understanding of the key issues affecting the planning, management and financing of public transport in developed and developing countries.

System Dynamics: Modelling Policy - 15 credits
This module develops an understanding of the structure and dynamics of complex systems and how systems dynamics models can be used to address systems problems primarily in the field of transport. Students will learn how to apply causal loop techniques enabling them to communicate ideas and model structures effectively.

Traffic Management - 15 credits
Traffic Management is the process of adjusting or adapting the use of an existing road system to meet specified objectives without resorting to substantial new road construction. The objectives of traffic management have evolved reflecting the changing nature of road systems as well as changing travel patterns in the past decades. This module will equip students with knowledge of how to select, design and implement a range of appropriate measures and techniques, as well as knowledge of practical experiences for enhancing the efficiency of road transport systems for all groups of road users. In addition to UK practice, a wide range of international evidence is included to broaden the scope of module delivery.

Global Transferability of Policies, Models and Methods - 15 credits
Geographic transferability is defined as the process through which something (such as a policy or method) that has been implemented in one location is subsequently implemented in a second location. It is of particular interest when the characteristics of the second location are highly different to those in the first location, thus potentially influencing the effectiveness of what is being transferred. The geographic transferability of policies, models, assessment methods and visioning approaches is becoming increasingly important in a globalised world, from both practitioner and academic perspectives. In a nutshell, what can those involved in policy-making in a specific location learn from the policies implemented and the policy-formulation techniques used in other locations? The module addresses these issues through a combination of state-of-the art theory and up-to-date information on specific case studies. In particular, it emphasises the lenses of ‘global south' and ‘global north', providing theory and examples of ‘north-north', ´north-south', ´south-north' and ´south-south' transferability. The module will encourage students to disseminate their past experiences on these issues in a variety of interaction modes.

Railway Investment Appraisal - 15 credits
Starting from the principles of cost-benefit analysis and Business Cases, this module covers the key methods and techniques of railway investment appraisal. It includes worked examples and case studies from the UK and internationally, featuring urban, regional and high speed rail. Recent innovations in appraisal methods are covered, and ex post evaluation is explored. The role of railways in the spatial economy is addressed using recent examples. Current major infrastructure projects are used to aid discussion. The link with project finance, and links with decision-making and transport policy are considered.

Transport Investment Appraisal - 15 credits
Starting from the principles of cost-benefit analysis and financial appraisal, the module covers the key methods and techniques of transport investment appraisal. It includes worked examples and case studies from road and rail. Recent technical developments and appraisal issues are covered. Current major infrastructure projects are used to aid discussion. The link with project finance, and links with decision-making and transport policy are considered.

Transport and Urban Pollution - 15 credits
This module will develop students understanding of noise and air pollution in urban areas. The module covers urban pollution sources, processes and trends. The module also aims to equip Masters degree students with the skills necessary to analyse data. Practical experience of open-source innovative data analysis tools will be provided. Through analysis of complementary traffic flow, dispersing air-flows, noise and air pollution information, students will learn through practical experience about the important interactions and processes that govern urban pollution.

Transport in Development - 15 credits
This module provides a broad outline of the role of transport mobilities in development. Over the course of the module we will become more familiar with the economic, financial, institutional and demographic characteristics of developing countries and their significance for transport sector policies and technical practices. We will examine development policy in developing countries and its interaction with transport policy and explore the applicability and transferability of policy approaches, analytical tools and techniques to different economic, institutional and social contexts.

Road Safety Management - 15 credits
Road accidents is a cost of mobility. This cost is applicable to individuals, such as injuries, as well as to other road users, such as to reduced journey time reliability due to occurrence of road accidents. While accidents are unexpected events, there is established evidence indicating the causation between a range of factors and accident occurrence. This module covers problem identification and solution development, in terms of policy, engineering application, and evaluation, as well as the ISO standard for Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems.


More information for this course is available in the course catalogue.