Transport Planning & Engineering MSc

This well respected and industry credited course offers the gateway to a successful career in the transport professions


Developments in transport shape the world we live in and influence communities’ economic and social wellbeing. Transporting people and goods provides a serious challenge for politicians, transport planners and engineering specialists.

During your studies you will examine the major transport issues facing society and learn the main techniques applied in analysing and resolving transport problems.

Typical entry points to this course are in January and September. Please enquire for more information.

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Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Full-time | Online-learning)


2 years

Start date:


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Get in touch with programme leaders, lecturers and researchers.

Course details

You will gain an understanding of transport systems through studying issues such as transport modelling and appraisal techniques from a theoretical and practical perspective. You will also learn how to develop effective transport strategies to address a range of different scenarios.

Your studies will also benefit from our excellent links with industry and the transport research community, allowing you to gain a good understanding of the profession from industry-relevant teaching, guest lecturers and by engaging with transport practitioners and researchers.

Part-time and distance learning options allow those working in the industry to expand their professional capabilities and meet the educational requirements for chartership.

Popular modules

  • Public transport
  • Transport policy
  • Development planning and transport assessment
  • Traffic engineering control
  • Transport and traffic models
  • Transport research methods
  • Transport economics and appraisal
  • Traffic management
  • MSc project
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    How you’ll be taught

    You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and independent study.

    As well as our own academic staff, we regularly have guest lecturers from industry on specific relevant topics. Each module is also supported by an extensive range of online teaching and learning materials.

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    Due to accreditation requirements, all modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and final exam.
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    As a student of Edinburgh Napier University, you will have access to specialist IT labs subject related software that is used on the programme.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Public Transport ( CTR11130 )

The the module is broken down into three overarching themes:
Introduction to Public Transport:
This section outlines the major roles that public transport plays within society today, the different
governance structure surrounding the delivery of public transport, the different approaches taken to the
delivery of bus and rail public transport services, and some of the practical outcomes of these
Issues in Public Transport
This section of the course develops some of the ideas outlined above further, to examine the different
roles that public transport plays in supporting the local society and the wider economic community.
Specific topics will include urban based public transport (what American’s call ‘public transit’), the role of
public transport in the more general social inclusion debate, attitudes and behaviours towards public
transport usage, issues surrounding the provision of public transport in rural areas, and finally long
distance public transport, which also includes examination of high speed rail and domestic air services.
The Planning of Public Transport
The final section of the course considers topics associated with the planning and operation of public
transport services. This will normally be examined under four specific areas which are public transport
network design, the costing of public transport operations, including issues that need to be considered
when bidding for a local authority contract, the use of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in the planning
and management of public transport services and finally public transport information, and pricing, which
includes real time information and smart ticketing.

Further information

Traffic Engineering Design ( CTR11131 )

Road Network Operations – introduction to traffic flow, user characteristics, data collection, forecasting,
and capacity.
HighwayGeometric Design Considerations – highway link design, including design speed, crosssections, sight, and overtaking distances.
Highway Geometric Alignment Design – design of horizontal and vertical road alignment.
Intersections – general junction design principles and analysis of priority junctions.
Roundabouts – types of roundabouts, layout design and capacity analysis.
Introduction to Traffic Signal Control – principles of traffic signal control including
saturation flows, stages, phases, cycle times and green times.
Basic Isolated Traffic Signal Design – design of layouts and calculation of signal timings. Advanced
Isolated Traffic Signal Design.
Linked Traffic Signal Design - signal coordination, urban traffic control systems.
Intelligent transportation and urban traffic control systems for road network operations.

Further information

Transport Demand Management and Road Safety ( CTR11135 )

Development planning – development management, planning applications, Transport Assessment, Masterplanning.Parking management and analysis. Street layout and design.Designing for walking, cycling and inclusive mobility.Road safety - road collision prevention and reduction procedures, road safety audits

Further information

Transport Economics and Appraisal ( CTR11132 )

In the “economic” part of the module, we introduce the crucial economic problem of scarcity, and its relevance to transport issues. We describe the characteristics of free and planned markets, and how these resolve the basic questions of what, how and for whom goods and services should be produced. We then examine the underlying economics of the market in terms of demand and supply. The economic costs of mobility and how these are accumulated are then examined, before we study the economists’ model of perfect competition and then, from this hypothetical “ideal”, we move to consider government intervention in the form of transport subsidies and regulation that are needed in reality to provide society with the level of accessibility it requires in a sustainable and equitable way.
The “appraisal” part explains the need for appraisal procedures in the private and public sectors. We examine the business cases required to take decisions on public transport investments in the UK. We present WebTAG, the UK public appraisal system used to generate the evidence required in the transport business cases. We analyse the content of transport studies produced according to WebTAG guidelines, with particular focus on calculation of benefits for transport users and social cost benefit analysis. Finally, we examine the potential wider impacts of transport investments on the economy, the environment and society, and discuss the necessary conditions to foster positive impacts.

Further information

Transport Policy ( CTR11105 )

The module starts by considering the process of policy making and who is responsible for transport policy e.g. supranational, central and local government structures and the role of the private sector. Problems and trends in transport demand and an introduction to policy perspectives; economic instruments in transport; taxes and subsidies, funding mechanisms, road pricing; direct regulation of street space); Land use planning and the management of transport demand; evolution of road and rail networks; rural transport policy; parking policy; town-friendly traffic planning; green commuter plans; “Smarter Choices” behavioural change measures, the mobility impaired in transport policy.
Implementation and evaluation of transport policy. Case studies of transport policy and planning approaches in various International cities.

Further information

Transport and Traffic Models ( CTR11104 )

The module is divided into three parts including a total of 14 units. The contents of these units are as follows:Part 1: Introduction to transport planning and modellingThis section includes introduction to transport planning and modelling and data collection. Part 2: Transport and Traffic ModelsThis section includes trip generation techniques; trip distribution modelling (growth factor and synthetic techniques); modal choice modelling, Traffic flow theory, Microscopic simulation models, Random models of traffic and queuing models.Part 3: Assignment and Route Choice ModelsThis part includes route choice studies; traffic assignment models (including capacity restrained and stochastic methods); elastic demand methods; matrix estimation. Overview of currently used transport modelling software.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.*

See for further information.

*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a nonaccredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Transport Planning and Engineering?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above.  We look for applicants to have a background in Civil Engineering, Social Sciences, Geography, or Maths in order to be eligible for the programme. In addition, a sufficient level of mathematical ability is also required.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

The University does not sponsor students to study on part-time programmes in the UK under the Student Visa route. International Applicants must therefore have other valid immigration leave to study on this programme.

Can I get admission into Transport Planning and Engineering based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland-Taught modules *£1,050 *£1,105
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland-60credit Dissertation module £620 £650
Overseas and EU-Taught Modules *£2,560 *£2,820
Overseas and EU-60credit Dissertation £1,730 £1,900
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


This industry accredited qualification offers good career prospects, especially as there is an increasing demand for transport planning graduates in the UK.

On completing the course, you will go on to a career in one of the major transport consultancies, a local authority or a government agency.
Undergraduates wearing high visibility safety clothing while repairing a railway line