Student cycling along Frenchay campus path

Professional course

Changing Travel Behaviour

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Geography and Environmental Management
Six one day sessions scheduled over a period of up to 14 weeks
Course director:
Prof. John Parkin
Programme leader:
Dr Steve Melia
Key fact:
This course can count towards the MSc Transport Planning or the MSc Transport Engineering and Planning

Page last updated 1 May 2019


Much of transport planning and transport policy is about trying to change the way that people travel, to reduce environmental impacts or to achieve economic or social goals.

This course considers the theory and practice of travel behaviour change. It considers 'smarter choices' (or voluntary travel behaviour change as it is known internationally), and also more broadly cities, countries and specific initiatives which have changed or attempted to change travel behaviour.

Entry requirements

For those not wishing to undertake the optional assessment, there are no formal entry requirements.

If you wish to complete the course assessment are expected to have a first degree at 2.2 level or above (or equivalent) or alternatively have industrial experience.

We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutor prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

Careers / Further study

This module can be taken as a stand-alone CPD course, or used to build up credits towards the following named postgraduate qualification by completing the module assessment:

·        PG Certificate; Diploma or Masters in Transport

·        PG Diploma or Masters in Transport Planning or Transport Engineering and Planning



What does it cover?

  • Introduction to the principal theories of travel behaviour, and behaviour change including: rationality and bounded rationality, cognitive and social models.
  • The social and political context of travel behaviour change.
  • The techniques of behaviour change in different contexts e.g. workplace, neighbourhood/settlement, new developments, as applied to route choice, mode choice and the decision to travel.
  • The application of research techniques to monitor and evaluate transport plans and strategies.
  • Evidence of the effectiveness of travel behaviour change programmes in practice, and the academic debate around the validity of travel behaviour evaluation methods.
  • International examples of where and how modal shift has been achieved (or attempted with limited success) over the longer-term.

What will the course outcome be?

  • To be able to critically compare different theoretical models of travel behaviour and identify their relevance to transport planning practice.
  • To be able to identify and analyse evidence on different international contexts where travel behaviour change has occurred.
  • To evaluate different approaches to travel behaviour change and the evidence about their effectiveness.
  • To apply travel behaviour modelling techniques in different aspects of transport planning.

Learning and Teaching

Watch the video of students comments on transport teaching at UWE Bristol and find out why recent students chose to study Transport at UWE Bristol.

Study time

The course is delivered through a series of lectures, interactive workshops and student presentations over one semester.

  • Directed contact learning = 36 hours
  • Independent Study = 36 hours
  • Assessment, including preparation = 78 hours
  • Total =150 hours


The assessment for this course includes a presentation, project report and exam. For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

View our Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) pages for further information on activity including upcoming events and opportunities in transport.

Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

DatesUK & EU Students Fee / International Students Fee*
This course will next run in our 2019-20 academic year. To be kept up-to-date with our course dates please complete the enquiry form below.TBC

*Please note parking and refreshments are not provided as part of this course fee


UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to find UWE Bristol

How to apply

How to apply

January 2020Enquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For all queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link. For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Course Director.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86304

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