Professional course Transport Economics and Appraisal

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
Twelve sessions scheduled over fifteen weeks
Through lectures and workshops
Course Director
Ben Clark

Page last updated 24 May 2023


This course can count towards the MSc Transport Engineering and Planning

The course emphasises aspects of economic methodology relevant to the understanding of practical transport problems, in order to equip you with the relevant skills for a career in transport planning.

Appraisal is a central theme through this course, which examines benefit-cost analysis and other means of assessing planning options and their use in the appraisal of transport projects and policies.

"Transport Economics and Appraisal provides a comprehensive and evaluative exploration of the methodology and processes underpinning contemporary transport investment in the UK". David Kearney

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements if you wish to undertake this course as a stand-alone short course without the optional course 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 Programme Leader prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

If you are a non-UK student you will need to show your passport on entry to the UK. Please check your eligibility to visit and study in the UK here. If you are a non-Irish EU national currently resident in Ireland please contact us directly for further advice.

If English is not your country's first language, you will be required to provide evidence to show you meet the UK Border Agency and the University's minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on our English Language Requirements webpage

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 Diploma or Masters in Transport Engineering and Planning



What does it cover?

  • Links between transport and the economy
  • Aspects of economic methodology relevant to the understanding of practical transport problems
  • Demand and supply
  • Appraisal of transport schemes
  • Interventions
  • Case studies in transport economics and appraisal
  • Public hearings

What will the course outcome be?

The purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of, and competence with, state-of-the-art appraisal techniques as they are applied to the transport sector in the UK.

Participants will understand how contemporary appraisal techniques have emerged from the sustainability discourse and will appreciate the complexities and conflicts raised by seeking to reconcile economic objectives with social and environmental ones.

On completion of the course the participant will be able to:

  • Explain the need for public sector intervention in the transport market, and in particular the justifications for public investment.
  • Recognise and critically debate the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of promoting travel and transport within society, reaching conclusions about the effectiveness of the concept of sustainability.
  • Critically evaluate current approaches for the appraisal and mitigation of transport investment and implementation in the UK, including reference to the role of EU legislation.
  • Communicate economic arguments making appropriate use of economic terminology, both orally and in writing.

Learning and Teaching

The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and workshops. Given the technical nature of the syllabus, these will be largely delivered and lead by a range of the core programme staff.

The interactive lectures will seek to explain the economic and appraisal concepts; these supported by practical exercise in the workshops and private study. The lectures will prepare participants for a culminating session in which they are requested to role-play within a mock public hearing format. Additionally, the formative sessions will enable the participant to write a summative essay critiquing a particular and contemporary appraisal case.

Study time

This module will involve 3 hours direct contact time, every week, for 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 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.

Get a feel for the Geography and Environmental Management facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Course dates

This course is planned to run again in 2023/ 2024. Course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in the summer of 2023. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once these details are made available

Cohort 2023/2024TimeLocation
TBCTBCFrenchay Campus

Should government restrictions be enforced this module will move to online delivery.

Course fees

As an indication, the cost of this course was £750.00 for UK students and £1,188.00 for international students in the last academic year 2022/23, so there might be a small increase for 2023/2024. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once these details are made available. 

All prices are VAT exempt

For information on fees, managing your money and determining your fee status, please go to our fees and funding pages.

Course location

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

How to find UWE Bristol

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
2023/2024Enquire 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.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)