Professional course Transport Policy and Finance

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Geography and Environmental Management
Six one-day sessions scheduled over twelve weeks (every other Wednesday)
Through lectures and workshops
Programme leader
Prof. John Parkin

Page last updated 2 April 2020


This course can count towards the MSc Transport Planning or the MSc Transport Engineering and Planning

This course will help you to acquire a critical appreciation of the context and process of transport policy-making, including the political, economic and socio-cultural constraints.

It will study the financial structures and constraints in which transport planners operate. It will examine the availability, advantages and disadvantages of differing sources of finance, both public and private.

The course will also examine the process of developing local transport plans in the UK, with examples of practical challenges to policy makers, such as different forms of rapid transit and the conflict between economic and environmental objectives in aviation policy.

International comparisons will also be made, drawing on the research and experience of Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) tutors, as well as people from the wide range of countries who have taken this course.

"Transport Policy and Finance provided a breadth and depth to subjects which had been new and daunting for me, but which I completed feeling informed and inspired." Jess Fox-Taylor, Bath & North East Somerset Council

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for participants wishing to undertake this course as a stand-alone CPD course without the optional module assessment.

If you wish to complete the course assessment you 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.

Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.

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?

  • Past and current trends in transport in the UK and internationally.
  • Role of transport in serving society and addressing major societal challenges.
  • Introduction to and recent history of transport policy in the UK, with international comparisons.
  • The policy process, including the roles of the state and private sector in transport provision.
  • The policy case for strategic transport investment and means of delivery.
  • The structure and finance of local transport.
  • The structure and finance of the rail and bus industries.
  • The process of developing a transport plan.

What will the course outcome be?

  • Enter into a sophisticated debate about the key challenges presented by increasingly mobile societies and economies worldwide and the appropriate responses for transport planning and finance.
  • Critically comment on the role of transport and how it interacts with different sectors.
  • Explain the recent history, structure and practice of transport policy, finance and delivery in the UK and compare it with those of one or more other countries.
  • Explain how policy, finance and regulation are applied in relation to the main modes of transport.
  • Critically analyse the concept of sustainable transport through application to the current transport system.

Learning and Teaching

The module will be delivered through a series of lectures, workshops and student presentations. There are six themed contact days (delivered between January and April), through which students build up the expertise necessary to respond to the assessment briefs.

All sessions will be interactive and one session per day will take a more student-led format, with particular perspectives presented or expertise shared.

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

This module will involve 6 hours direct contact time, per session, accross one semester.

Each 15 credit course (module) is expected to take 150 hours to complete.

  • 36 hrs directed contact learning
  • 36 hrs independent study
  • 78 hrs assessment, including preparation


The assessment for this course includes a presentation and project report.

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

This course runs once a year. The next module run is programmed for January 2021 and likely to follow the same delivery pattern: Six one-day sessions scheduled over 12 weeks (every other Wednesday).

As an indication, the cost of this course was £625 UK/EU and £1083 for International participants in the last academic year, so there might be a small increase for 2021.

Exact course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in September 2020. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once dates are available.

Course Location

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

How to apply

How to apply

As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the module tutor to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport). For non UK students, this must be a copy of your passport

Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.

January 2021Enquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Programme Leader, Prof John Parkin ( For all queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86927