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 22 March 2018


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

UK & EU Students Fee £583

International Students Fee £1,042

Course dates

January 2018 cohort (attendance is required at all the following dates):

  • Wednesday 24 January 2018
  • Wednesday 7 February 2018
  • Wednesday 21 February 2018
  • Wednesday 7 March 2018
  • Wednesday 13 April 2018
  • Wednesday 18 April 2018

Timings will be confirmed in September 2017 once the University timetables are released.


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

How to find UWE Bristol

How to apply

How to apply

If you wish to gain university credits by completing the assignment please register for our Transport Framework (If you have already registered, please contact your course administrator directly to make a booking).

If you wish to attend the January 2018 run of our course without completing the UWE accreditation to gain postgraduate level credits, please complete our online booking form. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

For all enquiries, please complete our on-line enquiry form or contact us on the number below.

For further information

  • Email: For all queries, please complete the on-line enquiry form above.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86728

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