Skip to main content

Transport Engineering and Planning


School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Civil Engineering

Start Date(s): September


MSc (one year full-time or three years part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,065 per 30 credit module

UK - £6,390

International - £12,600, part-time £6,300

In Brief:

  • Member of the national Universities Transport Partnership
  • Emphasis on methodology and practice, guided by the needs of employers
  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Highways & Transportation) as fully satisfying requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course has been running for more than forty years and is recognised as providing a good grounding for students interested in the management, engineering and planning of transport infrastructure. It takes students from a wide range of relevant backgrounds.

The emphasis of the course is on current methodology and practice to improve your employability with engineering and planning departments of local and central governments, passenger transport executives, and transport consultants.

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

Course Details

Transport engineering modules relate to traffic engineering and transport systems design. Transport planning modules consider policy (such as reducing car dependency), travel demand forecasting and appraisal. If you have a civil engineering background you can elect to take an optional module in transport infrastructure design as an alternative to the extended modelling and appraisal work.

The course is supported by field surveys, seminars and studio work, allowing students to experience a range of relevant computer packages and methodological approaches.

You are also required to produce a dissertation with the close supervision of an expert academic member of staff.

This course may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The part-time course enables candidates who would not normally be able to obtain a year’s release from employment to also study in depth and is used by some employers as part of their formal graduate training programme.

The aims of this module are        
  • a) to present the principles and methods involved in planning coherently for all modes of transport;
  • b) to demonstrate this through examination of case studies and computer models;
  • c) to review the measures available to promote sustainable travel.
In this module you will design, construct and assess standard traffic surveys and apply statistical methods for analysing traffic data and interpreting results. You will also study issues underlying current practice in the basic design of transport infrastructure for a range of transport modes including cycles, motor vehicles, rail and mass transit systems.
This module will teach you to analyse problems and propose outline solutions relating to the management and control of traffic. Analytical studies apply both theoretical and practical models for capacity appraisal of links and junctions. A parallel programme of lectures has an emphasis on road safety, environmental and amenity objectives, incorporating practical safety investigations in the local road network.
You will study the theory and practice underpinning the key components central to classical travel demand forecasting and more recent approaches using microsimulation. You will also gain a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the current and innovative methods used to appraise and evaluate transport schemes, with specific reference to economic, environmental and safety issues.
Students with a civil engineering first degree may choose this module as an alternative to Transport Planning: Forecasting and Appraisal. This will allow more advanced studies in mainstream civil engineering in a transport context, including developing practical skills to undertake design and analysis of bridge structures (abutments, bearings, cables, beams, trusses and decks) and associated transport-related infrastructure with regard to structural form, materials and operational performance and to appraise the established methodologies.
The dissertation module is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate scholarship and intellectual ability at an advanced level, working under the guidance of an academic supervisor, by conducting original research and analysis in a specific area of the Transport Engineering and Planning syllabus.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:2 honours degree in an appropriate discipline, or equivalent.

A wide variety of first degrees are accepted, including engineering, science, geography and social science.

For non-standard applicants, relevant work experience may be taken into account.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 6.0) is proof of this.

Suitable For

Graduates come from a wide variety of backgrounds including civil engineering, geography, economics, mathematics, physics, business studies and social studies wishing to specialise in the field of transport engineering and planning. Students will need a reasonable aptitude for mathematics/statistics.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,065 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£12,600, part-time £6,300

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section

There are also other sources of funding available to you. Bursaries are available for full time Home/EU applicants, such as Rees Jeffrey's Road Fund (worth £10,000) and The Brian Large Bursary Fund (worth around £5,500). For further details on how to apply, please contact the Programme Leader on and visit


The course combines formal lectures and seminars with extensive coursework including transport planning studio work, traffic survey projects, appraisal assignments and statistics tutorials. The teaching panel includes visiting specialists with expert knowledge of specific topics.

You will be exposed to a range of relevant transport software.

Part-time students study the taught modules over two years on a day-release basis (currently Thursdays)


Assessment is by a combination of formal examinations, tutorial and seminar work, course assignment portfolio and a dissertation.  The overall breakdown is:

  • Examination: 50%
  • Coursework: 50%

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Ralph Henson


Ralph Henson has been programme leader for this course since 1992. He graduated with a first class Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick in 1974 and an MSc in Transport Engineering and Planning from the University of Salford in 1985. After brief spells with the Post Office and with Trafford Borough Council, he joined Merseyside County Council in 1977 and had responsibility for traffic surveys, accident investigations and analysis and special projects before leaving to join the University of Salford as a lecturer in Transport Engineering in 1985.

Ralph is responsible for teaching all aspects of transport engineering and planning to postgraduates. He has published research on traffic safety and road accidents and sustainable transport networks and is currently supervising a study into residential trip rates in city centres.

He was Chair of the North Western Branch of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation during 2005/2006


Career Prospects

Graduates from this course work in local authorities, consultancies and transport utilities. Some graduates work on projects overseas. The postgraduate qualification is highly valued by employers.

The MSc award is approved as further learning for those working towards Chartered Engineer status. The  programme team has close contacts with local employers and the Professional Institutions.

Alumni Profile

Alex Vogt

MSc Transport Engineering and Planning 2004. Graduate Transport Planner.

"Starting work after university is a daunting prospect for many graduates. However, this course provides students with an introduction to the current transport policy and practice issues that are necessary to make a confident transition to the workplace. I strongly believe that the vocational element of this course is what makes it such a success."

Daniel Bimpson

MSc Transport Engineering and Planning 2010. Graduate Transport Planner.

“One of the biggest strengths of the MSc is the strong links to the industry, along with such dedicated course leadership.”

Further Study

Some of our students go on to study in our Civil Engineering Research Centre.  

Research in this Centre is focused into four main themes, aligned with the core elements of the civil engineering curriculum: Structural Engineering, Transport Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Hydraulics. Our aim is to provide leading edge sustainable research that is both fundamental and relevant in today’s changing society and environment that is underpinned by strong links with academics from throughout Europe and with industrial partners, such as Network Rail, GMPTE, Atkins, Veolia and UIC.

Not the course you're looking for?

If this course isn't for you then please retry our course finder below.


Visit our A-Z list of courses.

A-Z courses