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MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert Transport Planning

Course Description

Transport touches everyone's lives. Transport planning is all about finding out how to reconcile today's needs for movement and development with protection and improvement of natural and urban environments. This course provides the necessary academic background to begin or enhance your career in transport planning.

Bristol is the home of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and an exciting place to study transport. The city has some interesting and complex transport problems, and plans to tackle them include a bus rapid transit network, continuing developments to cycling networks as the country's first Cycling City, and experimental closures of the city centre to motor traffic. We have close links with local authorities in the area, and have been commissioned to evaluate Bristol's Local Sustainable Transport Fund project.

Why do most Park and Ride schemes cause an increase in overall traffic? Why do people living in high-density housing make fewer journeys than people in suburbs, yet cause more traffic congestion? Does an increase in traffic inevitably equal increased collision and injury rates? These are just some of the questions posed by researchers from the Centre for Transport and Society at UWE Bristol.

Key benefits

This is an approved course for those wanting to gain the Transport Planning Professional Qualification, the equivalent qualification to chartered status in other professions.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK), and is designed to meet all the academic requirements for becoming a Chartered Member. It is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a specialist planning programme.

Course detail

MSc Transport Planningdraws on our strong links with employers, and offers the potential for a summer work placement linked to your dissertation.

Throughout the course, you will acquire the knowledge and skills transport planning employers look for in potential employees. You will also focus on how spatial planning interacts with transport needs and transport systems, and we encourage you to be open to new ideas and to critically examine established practices.

All of our teaching staff are engaged in research and consultancy, and often advise national and local government.


• Transport economics and appraisal
• Travel demand analysis
• Transport policy and finance
• Changing travel behavior

You will also study:
• Plan making
• Implementation and design quality
• Dissertation


We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, debates and discussion, teamwork, presentations and external visits. Teaching staff are mainly active researchers in the Centre for Transport and Society, but where appropriate we include contribution from UWE Bristol experts working and teaching in other related fields.

We also have guest lectures from professional practitioners, which give you valuable insights into the latest developments in practice.

Transport planners must be numerate. If you lack confidence in this area, we can provide guidance and assistance for the mathematical content of the course.


A feature of this course is the potential for a work placement. This gives you the chance to gain valuable experience in practice and a competitive edge over graduates from other courses. If you choose to, we will help you to find a suitable placement with an employer based in the area, for a few weeks in the summer after the end of teaching and assessment. The placement (which may or may not be unpaid) will involve a project designed to address an employer's genuine need. Your experience and findings will contribute to your project-based dissertation.


Assessment is through coursework presentations and examinations.

Careers / Further study

Opportunities in transport planning are growing. UWE Bristol's transport graduates have an excellent reputation, and several have since secured senior positions around the region and further afield.

Every year, employers ask the programme leader to advise students of their vacancies. Several of our students have been hired as a direct result by employers such as Arup, Halcrow, ITP, WSP, Matrix, Parsons Brinkerhoff and Bristol City Council.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

Visit the MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert Transport Planning page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above. This course is suitable for graduates of degrees from any academic background, and particularly social sciences, geography and planning.We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirement, but who do have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications.

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