Transport Planning and Management MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific 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.
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.
The MSc course balances theoretical and practical applications in the three separate components: core modules, option modules and a research dissertation.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
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.
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.
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
(non-credit bearing module)
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.
- Dr Rachel Aldred, Course Leader
The MSc course will give you a full exemption form the examination requirement 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.
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.
Length of course
One year full-time; two to three years part-time
Students on the Transport Planning and Management MSc full-time course usually need to attend classes at University on Tuesday and Thursday in Semester One, and the days of attendance in Semester Two will depend on the options chosen.
Part-time students usually need to attend classes at University:
- Year One Semester One: all day on Tuesday
- Year One Semester Two: date of attendance depends on the options chosen
- Year Two Semester One: all day on Thursday
- Year Two Semester Two: date of attendance depends on the options chosen
Please note, this timetable is subject to change.
Other Transport Planning and Management courses
We also offer a Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Diploma and a Transport Planning and Management Postgraduate Certificate.
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. If you wish to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma you should apply now via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052049).
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. If you wish to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate you should apply now via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052048).
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.
Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.
We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
There are many reasons to study Transport Planning and Management MSc at Westminster:
Professionally accredited course
The course provides full exemption from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) exams and also forms part of the pathway to the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification.
A flexible professional course
You can develop your own dissertation research topic and select topics of interest to your employers, benefiting your work directly.
Central London location and contacts
Based in central London, we have direct access to professional institutions and practice. The course is informed by current industry priorities.
You will be taught by academic specialists and visiting lecturers from the transport sector
Join a diverse and vibrant student community, with one of the UK's largest international student populations
The course is run by the Department of Planning and Transport, within the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment. 20% of our research in Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as 'World Leading and a further 45% as 'Internationally Excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Our Transport Studies Research Group conducts extensive research and provides a support to student research.
Our students' work is highly-regarded. Westminster students have won the Voorhees-Large Prize for the best dissertation by a UK resident studying for a Transport Masters, twice in the last five years.
Prospective full-time students may be eligible for external studentship awards/bursaries offered to transport Masters students. For more information contact Rachel Aldred, Course Leader at R.Aldred@westminster.ac.uk
Study at the newly refurbished Marylebone Campus, where a £20million development has provided world-class facilities
Course: Transport Planning and Management MSc
Current employer: Bournemouth Council
Job title: Cycling Officer
Do you currently work in the Transport sector?
I'm the Cycling Officer at Bournemouth Council. I lead on the Bournemouth-wide cycling and walking strategy and communicating this vision. I advise on relevant strategies and documents and highways design schemes.
Why did you choose the Transport Planning and Management MSc course?
It was in order to be able to progress in career terms that I needed an MSc with a view to becoming chartered. My area of interest is active travel and urban design. Given the course is run by Dr Rachel Aldred, who is probably the leading researcher in the UK on cycling, it made perfect sense to choose this particular MSc.
The focus of Westminster’s Transport Planning and Management MSc is policy, which aligned closely with my work on local transport policy at Bournemouth Council.
What do you enjoy most about the course?
It gets you thinking. It gave me the academic tools and knowledge to challenge the status quo which is very much in favour of preserving the dominance of the car in traditional engineering circles.
Being based in London the course leader manages to secure a range of great lecturers – Professor David Metz (who wrote Peak Car), Phil Jones of Phil Jones Associates, Professor Peter Jones, and speakers from TfL and DLR. An MSc outside of London simply would not have had this input. There were also visits to Docklands Canary Wharf and a study tour of Nottingham with speakers on the work-place parking levy, trams and buses. It's a great opportunity to meet new people from a range of cultures and work places.
What is the most interesting project you have worked on?
The most interesting topic is perhaps the flaws of traffic modelling and transport assessments. It was also fascinating to read academic literature on failings and repercussions of current road safety techniques and traffic engineering as a profession which has resulted in clutter and casualties. The need for multi-disciplinary teams with the inclusion of design-based professions was made clear.
How do you think the University of Westminster will help you progress in your career?
It's a step towards becoming a chartered Transport Planner. More than that, it is an incredibly enriching and mind-broadening course. It’s given me knowledge, and therefore more confidence and ability to debate issues such as traffic models or cost benefit ratios and take on more responsibility in these areas.
What advice would you give to students planning to study this course at the University of Westminster?
Take it one step at a time. And speak to the other students - you can help each other by talking through ideas and just sharing your thoughts and concerns.
Course: Transport Planning and Management MSc
Current Employer: Suffolk County Council
Current job title: Senior Transport Planner
Why did you choose the University of Westminster for your studies?
I selected Westminster on the recommendation of a colleague who attended a few years ago.
What do you like about the course?
The modular nature of the course allows me to focus on themes each semester and to relate these to my day-to-day role at work.
How is your experience at the University of Westminster helping you in your career?
I made a major career change in 2007 and the course is providing me with a solid baseline for my knowledge and learning. At the end of the course I will have a more in depth knowledge of my role and it will allow me to work with a greater level of professional assurance.
What does your current role involve?
My role involves promoting the strategic goals of the Council and working to progress transport-related improvements across the area.
What has been the highlight of your career or personal achievements to date?
I identified an opportunity to provide a bus shelter made of mostly recycled materials. Working with a local social enterprise and specifying the requirements and assisting in the design of a prototype, I was fortunate enough to see shelters deployed onto the roadside, providing a "green" and lower cost solution for communities.
Transport and Logistics - why Westminster?
Architecture and the Built Environment
We are one of the country's leading centres for the study of Architecture and the Built Environment, covering the core subject areas that address the future shape of our cities.