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Transport Planning and Management (MSc)

Course Description

This course develops your ability to initiate and implement advanced analysis and research in transport policy, planning and management. You will learn the techniques and methodologies you need to take decisions, or to provide the necessary information for others to take policy decisions.

The MSc course has been running successfully for many years, and is offered by the Department of Planning and Transport. It will give you full exemption from the examination requirements for Membership of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (MCILT), and also forms part of the pathway to the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification.

If you are unable to study for a full Masters course, we also offer a Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Diploma and a Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Certificate. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for information on these courses. Alternatively you can also study some of the individual modules from the Transport Planning and Management MSc course as stand alone short courses.

Course content

The MSc course balances theoretical and practical applications in the three separate components: core modules, option modules and a research dissertation.

Core modules

•Research Dissertation
Your dissertation will draw on techniques and background material introduced on the Masters course, and incorporate original analysis. Lectures are provided on research methods in Semester One, interlinked with the Statistics and Survey Methods for Transport module which provides a background in relevant techniques. Work is undertaken in Semester Two of the full-time course, or in the case of part-time students in Semester Two of Year 2 or Year 3. Final submission is in early September, and part-time MSc students may register to complete the dissertation in Year 3, rather than completing in Year 2.

•Statistics and Survey Methods for Transport
This module is designed to equip transport planners and managers with the basic concepts used in statistics and market research methods, and their application in the transport context, illustrated by suitable examples. You will explore topics including survey design and analysis, statistical modelling (including probability distributions and regressions), sampling methodology and qualitative research design. Students are introduced to specialist software including SPSS, Qualtrics and NVivo.

•Transport Economics
Through this module you will examine the application of relevant economic theory and principles to transport operations, in relation to a range of transport modes. Topics you will explore include transport markets and market structures, deregulated transport markets and contestability, transport operator costs, transport pricing, operator investment, and economic evaluation and appraisal.

•Transport Policy and Politics
This module introduces you to debates within transport policy and politics past, present and future. It draws on material from different disciplines in placing a range of relevant controversies, ideas and issues within their theoretical, policy and political contexts. You will cover specific levels of decision-making for different topics, and learn about non-governmental organisations, including lobby groups, that influence transport policy making.

Option modules

Choose three from the following:
•Airline Planning and Management
In this module you will examine the international regulatory framework for air transport and the impact of deregulation. You will evaluate economic principles in terms of costs and revenue structures. You will assess airline commercial strategies. You will investigate aircraft operations in relation to both technical and market requirements.

•Airport Planning and Management
This module examines the organisation, ownership and management of the airport industry. It assesses airport economics and discusses the airport's relationship with airlines. The non-aeronautical aspects of an airport are also considered. Airport operations and service quality are examined and the role of marketing is assessed. The airport's impact on the economy and the environment is explored which includes an analysis of surface access strategies.

•Freight Transport and Logistics Services
In this module you will examine the changing market for freight transport and logistics services in a European and increasingly global context. You will evaluate economic principles in terms of costs and revenues, and assess the changing demands for new services. You will investigate fleet operations and warehouse management in relation to technology and market requirements, and you will also explore strategic options for service providers.

•Land Use, Planning and Transport
The module explores changes in land use in relation to changes in city form and function. It focuses on how the changing planning system (including specific funding systems and processes, and the broader planning framework) shapes transport systems and their sustainability. The role played by modelling and forecasting in relation to transport planning is discussed. The module considers social and environmental trends and constraints as they affect planning for future transport systems.

•Public Passenger Transport
This module will give you an understanding of issues involved in planning and operation of public passenger transport systems, primarily in the urban context, but also with reference to rural and long-distance markets. This is interpreted mainly in respect of bus/coach and rail, but reference is also made to the roles of demand-responsive systems and taxis. You will analyse a primarily UK/European context, with reference to the experience of other countries where appropriate.

•Traffic and Streets
This module focuses on traffic and streets, where traffic refers to a range of urban transport modes. It covers movement and place functions in urban contexts, including tensions within and between each. You will analyse approaches to evaluating urban street environments, particularly focused on walking and cycling. This incorporates comparisons of methodological approaches used within different streetscape contexts and within different countries.

•Transport Field Trip
An optional field trip module where you will produce non-assessed collaborative work, usually undertaken in a European city or metropolitan area over three to six days. This option is offered to students as an additional module not contributing to their degree credits. As a non-credit bearing option this module attracts a non-standard fee.

Associated careers

Transport graduates develop their careers in a wide range of transport organisations, highlighting the breadth of the course content. Key employers regularly come in to speak to students about new opportunities in transport. Many part-time students are recruited from organisations including local government transport planning, transport consultancies, NGOs and transport operators.

Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Diploma

If you take the Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Diploma you take modules totalling at least 120 credits from the MSc course (listed above), and this must include all the core modules with the exception of the Dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma usually takes one year to complete full-time and two years to complete part-time.

Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Certificate

If you take the Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Certificate you take the modules Transport Policy and Politics, Transport Economics, and one other 20 credit module from the MSc course (listed above). The Postgraduate Certificate usually takes one year to complete part-time.

Visit the Transport Planning and Management (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should have at least a good Second Class Honours degree in a relevant subject area, and any relevant transport experience would further enhance your application. Part-time students should normally be employed within a relevant sector of transport for the duration of the course. If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5.

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