Sustainability (Transport)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 7.75 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 20.3 k / Year(s)  
160 place StudyQA ranking:2736 Duration:12 months

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The way the world thinks about transport has changed. We now look for responses beyond ‘predict and provide’, and take a more holistic and longer-term view about the future of transport and its relationship with the development of sustainable communities.
This integrated Masters programme provides insight into this evolving debate and addresses fundamental issues such as ‘how can transport contribute to more sustainable development?’

It brings together the Institute for Transport Studies and theSustainability Research Institute, each with reputations for world leading research. Students benefit from the expertise in both Institutes and are trained in the analysis and development of solutions to local, regional and global problems.

The programme considers the interactions between the economy, society, the environment and governance and examines the design, evaluation and implementation of policies across sectors and spatial scales. Students examine emerging drivers such as climate change policies and corporate governance initiatives and they develop skills to help deliver integrated transport solutions.

Students learn to:

  • conduct strategic reviews of transport and land-use policy
  • evaluate frameworks for understanding sustainable development
  • consider the roles that governments, markets and community groups can play in encouraging sustainability
  • undertake sustainability assessments
  • conduct land-use zoning and development control exercises
  • evaluate key policy interventions which integrate economic imperatives with sustainable development
  • apply a range of tools and techniques to real-world case studies.

Programmes start in the third week of September and last for 12 months full-time or 24-32 months part-time. The academic year begins with an induction week and is then divided into semesters. Students spend the first semester studying the principles of the subject. The second semester involves specialist topics chosen from a list of optional modules, and the summer is spent completing a dissertation. The range of options and dissertation topics is a particular strength of ITS, reflecting both the size of the student cohort and the number of specialist staff.

Semester 1

  • Late September - January

Semester 2

  • Late January - May

Semester 3

  • June - late August

All the programmes have a credit-based modular system. Taught modules are each 15 credits and the dissertation is 60 credits. Students take 180 credits for a Masters, or alternatively 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma or 60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate.

Part-time study

Part-time students are an important group within ITS and contribute valuable life and sector experience to the cohort. Most already work in transport and are often sponsored by their employer. Part-time students can complete a Masters in two years, but we usually recommend up to three years, to allow for a detailed focus on the dissertation. The timetable is organised to enable part-time students to complete two modules on a single day of the week, although the precise day will vary according to the semester and the student’s choice of options. Please note that you may need to attend up to an extra 4 days per year for exams. For further flexibility, some optional modules are delivered intensively over 2-5 whole days. These modules can alternatively be taken as individual short courses, thus providing a flexible and incremental route, for those with work or other commitments which preclude attending the full Masters programme. Studying alongside a full-time job is a serious commitment - in addition to time spent at the University, part-time students need to find time for private study and to undertake research for the dissertation. It is expected that part-timers' dissertations will be closely related to their employment and in general it is very important to ensure that the employer is fully supportive.


  • The MSc Transport Planning and MSc Sustainability (Transport) programmes are suitable for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds.


Please see:

Applicants should normally have or expect a first or good second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Students come from a range of academic backgrounds and some of the relevant disciplines other than transport studies are: sustainability, earth & environment, geography, social policy, politics, town planning, engineering, logistics, business & management, psychology, natural sciences etc.Where English is not the applicant's first language, evidence of competence must be submitted with the application. This is typically in the form of a recent test certificate, such as IELTS, with a score of 6.5 overall and not less than 6.0 in any element. Please see the ITS website for further details: English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 94 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more. Work Experience No work experience is required. Other graduates and those with professional qualifications plus experience in the sector will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please also refer to our Admissions Policy document.

ITS, the University of Leeds and other organisations administer a number of scholarships each year for UK, EU and international students. These range from partial course fee payment to full maintenance grants of up to £10000 tax-free plus course fees. Key annual competitions are listed below, but for full details of those currently available, please see the Scholarships Office.

ITS scholarships 2015/16

For the September 2014 intake, ITS is offering up to five fees scholarships for Masters study. These scholarships are designed to provide exceptional opportunities to UK, EU and international students of outstanding ability, achievement and potential

Other scholarship competitions

UK/EU applicants

  • Brian Large Bursary
  • Rees Jeffreys Road Fund
  • University of Leeds Full-Fee Scholarships
  • Economic & Social Research Council ‘1+3’ (Masters + PhD)
  • Widening Access (2014 intake)

International applicants

  • British Chevening Scholarships
  • British Council Awards
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Plan
  • Commonwealth Shared
  • Scholarship Scheme (DfID)
  • Ford Foundation Fellowships
  • Shell Centenary Scholarships
  • Tetley and Lupton Scholarships
  • Techno Scholarships

There is strong competition for scholarships and early application is essential. For certain scholarship competitions, the procedure is for ITS to nominate which applicants it wishes to put forward for consideration to the awarding body.

Our nomination in these cases is based primarily on academic merit (degree result and references), but relevant previous experience and other factors may also be taken into account.

Other funding sources

Given the competitive nature of scholarships, it makes sense to also explore other possibilities, such as:

  • Sponsorship – some organisations provide funding for their current/future employees.
  • Part-time study over two or more years - this spreads the cost and can be alongside paid employment.
  • Career Development Loans.
  • Charitable trusts, professional bodies and other grant-making organisations.


The programmes are recognised by all the major professional bodies. They all fulfil the educational requirements for membership of CILT (UK) and IHT and provide a pathway towards the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification. The MSc (Eng) programme is an ICE accredited civil engineering course.

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