Imperial College London logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 13.3k / 2015 cohort
  • Foreign: $ 35.3k / 2015 cohort
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 2296pts.
  • Duration:
  • 1 year

    Photos of university

    Established in 1980, the Intercollegiate MSc in Transport Studies at University College London and Imperial College London brings together the transport research and graduate training capabilities of the Civil Engineering Departments of the two Colleges and their 30 years experience as leaders in this field of study. The Centre is a single source for the whole range of multidisciplinary transport expertise that the two Departments possess or can offer with input from colleagues elsewhere in London and in the transport profession.

    Course Objectives

    As a multidisciplinary activity, modern transport is the key to many of the advantages of the industrial era - widespread availability of material goods; choice of scale and location of industrial and commercial activity; choice for individuals of where to live, what activities to engage in and when and where to pursue them; and access to services for both individuals and organisations. The consequent challenge is to enable people in countries and societies of different kinds to benefit from modern transport in ways that are acceptable in the short term and sustainable in the longer term, our objectives are therefore to

    • Provide a systematic understanding of the causes and motivations of personal travel and goods movement and of the means by which movement takes place.

    • Provide a grounding in techniques for analysing transport problems and developing and implementing policies and measures for resolving such problems. 

    • Develop appreciation of the importance and methods of evaluating transport projects, plans and policies, taking into account the need for public consultation and recognising the political, social, commercial and financial issues involved.

    • Produce graduates equipped to pursue careers in industry, the public sector and non-governmental organisations;

    • Provide the basis for the recognition and understanding of the major features of transport;

    • Develop an understanding of how this knowledge may be applied in practice in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner;

    • Foster the acquisition and implementation of broad research and analytical skills;

    • Attract highly motivated students irrespective of race, gender, background and physical disability, from the UK and overseas;

    • Develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and the needs of the community including vocational training;

    • Provide an introduction to the subject for students from other relevant disciplines

    In pursuit of these objectives, the Course places emphasis on road and rail transport in the more industrialised countries, whilst recognising the important roles of other forms of transport and interchange with them, and the different context in which transport problems present themselves in less industrialised countries. Subject to this emphasis, the fundamentals are addressed in ways which are relevant to all means of transport and to every kind of society, thus equipping graduates for work in transport planning, engineering, operations, management, policy and research.

    Course Structure

    The year comprises two separate periods. The first comprising lectures, tutorials and individual coursework assignments, the second consisting of a research dissertation.  The dissertation may be undertaken at College, within a Partner Research Institute or university, or in collaboration with industry. 

    The course maintains a careful balance between the issues affecting developing and the developed countries. Particular emphasis is placed on the selection of appropriate technology regardless of the area of application, based on economics and environmental impact factors as well as the construction and operating skills available in the community. 

    Autumn Term

    • CI9-T-01 Transport and its Context
    • CI9-T-02 Quantitative Methods
    • CI9-T-03 Transport Engineering and Operations
    • CI9-T-04 Transport Economics
    • CI9-T-05 Transport Demand and its Modelling
    • CI9-T-06 Transport Policy

    Spring Term

    • CI9-T-07 Highway Engineering
    • CI9-T-08 Road Traffic Theory and its Application
    • CI9-T-09 Public Transport
    • CI9-T-10 Transport Safety
    • CI9-T-11 Quantitative Techniques for Transport Engineering and Planning
    • CI9-T-14 Advanced Transport Modelling
    • CI9-T-16 Transport and the Environment (not running 2014-2015)
    • CI9-T-17 Intelligent Transport Systems
    • CI9-T-19 Design of Accessible Transport Systems 
    • CI9-T-20 Freight Transport
    • CI9-T-23 Air Traffic Management
    • CI9-T-24 Ports and Maritime Transport
    • CI9-T-26 Urban Street Planning and Design (not running 2014-2015)

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    The minimum qualification for admission is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a 
    relevant academic discipline (e.g., Engineering, the Physical Sciences, Environmental Science, 
    Mathematics/Statistics, Computing, Economics, Geography, Planning) from a UK academic 
    institution or an equivalent overseas qualification. 
    Where an applicant has a lesser degree qualification but has substantial work experience and 
    outstanding references, the Admissions Panel may, exceptionally, make a special case for 
    admission; few such applications are made, and are subject to the approval of the Graduate 
    Candidates are normally expected to have at least A-Level Mathematics, or equivalent, or to have 
    professional experience that demonstrates a comparable level of understanding of relevant 
    mathematical concepts.

    Selection is primarily based on the information supplied in the application and supporting 
    documentation, with particular weight being given to the reference letters, work experience and 
    academic history. All applications are reviewed both by Imperial and UCL, and all decisions are 
    made jointly by the two institutions. Historical knowledge and familiarity with qualifications 
    presented inform judgements. A number of candidates are interviewed in each cycle.
    The minimum qualification for admission is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a 
    relevant academic discipline (e.g., Engineering, the Physical Sciences, Environmental Science, 
    Mathematics/Statistics, Computing, Economics, Geography, Planning) from a UK academic 
    institution or an equivalent overseas qualification. 
    Offers made to students are initiated by the Transport cluster admissions tutor. Where an 
    applicant has a lesser degree qualification but has at least 3 years’ work experience exceptionally 
    the Course Director will make a special case for admission; few such applications are made.



    Departmental MSc Scholarships

    All candidates who have indicated their wish to be considered for available funding at the application stage.
    Awards will be based on academic excellence and relevant experience. 
    Number of awards: up to 17
    Application Deadline: 31 March 2014

    Value - full or partial tuition fee waiver

    Rees Jeffreys Road Fund Bursaries
    Bursaries are awarded to students who obtained a first degree of at least 2.1 standard or equivalent and who wish to pursue a masters course in a subject directly related to highways and transportation Apply through the Department.

    Number of award: Up to 2

    Deadline to apply: 31 May 2014

    value - £10,000 each

    Graduates also gain the Diploma of Imperial College (DIC)  an international qualification unique to Imperial College London Graduates.

    Designated Pathways (Spring Term)

    Note: pathways are contingent on the relevant modules running. Minimum registration for each module is normally 12 students.

    Environment and Planning Required: T-16
    Plus at least one of: T-09, T-10, T-11, T-19 
    Engineering and Design Required: T-07
    Plus at least one of: T-08, T-09, T-16, T-17, T-19
    Modelling and Analysis Required: T-14
    Plus at least one of: T-08, T-10, T-11, T-17 
    Economics and Policy Required: none
    Plus at least three of: T-09, T-10, T-11, T-16, 
    Institute of Civil Engineers Membership (for non-engineers) Required: none
    Plus at least three of: T-07, T-08, T-09, T-10, T-11 

    Each designated pathway has various option unit requirements. In addition, the student must conduct his or her special project on a topic consistent with the chosen pathway.

    Business Management add-on module

    Is designed to provide you with the ability to think about the business side of civil engineering, addressing key principles of accounting, microeconomics, business law, human resource management and project management, and to complement your core technical MSc programme.  Crossing all disciplines, it enables you to interact and work with students from our other civil engineering MSc programmes to broaden your appreciation of the wider engineering business, its context and complexity.


    Business Management comprises four discrete units, taught over two terms (Microeconomics and Principles of Accounting in Autumn term, examined at the beginning of January; Project Management and Business Environments-Construction Law in Spring term, examined at the beginning of the Summer Term). Each exam is of two hours duration. Project Management is primarily assessed by hands-on project-based coursework. Each unit also has coursework assessment during term, including individual written work and classroom-based group work.

    Entry Requirements

    We look for good mathematical skills, in particular calculus. We would also look for a strong performance across the board in the first degree, to ensure that the student has a good grounding in the fundamentals, and permit a level of comfort required to switch between the disciplines. This is critical as you will be covering your core MSc material four days per week, and the business management subjects one day per week.

    Sustainable Development add-on module

    Is designed to provide you with the basic skills to incorporate the concepts of sustainable development into all the stages of an engineering project’s development. It is suitable for those who wish to direct their career towards issues of development and redevelopment, especially in the provision of infrastructure, and its renovation and renewal. You will gain the practical tools necessary to apply the principles of engineering for sustainable development in real world contexts.

    Comprises three units, taught over the autumn and spring terms, and covered by one 3-hour written examination at the beginning of the summer term, multiple pieces of coursework, both in-class, group and individual and a design guide.  Recent DesignGuides have included an analysis of tourist accommodation in Switzerland, concrete manufacturing processes, packaging design, and transportation projects.  The choice of topics is very broad, as the goal is not to do a detailed analysis of a specific industry, but to gain an appreciation of the general sustainability tools and techniques that might be used for analysing any engineering system.  By contrast, the special projects are more technical and are typically based on work within the core MSc subject (e.g. structures, transport, etc), with sustainability elements in parallel.  A recent example performed a life-cycle assessment of alternative structural designs.

    Entry Requirements

    If your application to the core MSc programme is successful, you will receive a request to submit a  500-word essay entitled  for consideration for a place on the Sustainable Development module.  The title of the essay is "What is the biggest challenge facing your county's sustainable development in the next twenty years?" The reviewer is looking for the applicant to demonstrate an informed interest in the subject, as well as general writing skills.  Specific technical expertise (e.g. a precise definition of sustainable development) is less important as that is a learning outcome of the course itself.

    MSc programme add-on modules

    Each of these options comprise 120 hours of study and are taken as an alternative to a corresponding amount of transport study.

    Business Management

    • CI9-B1 Microeconomics
    • CI9-B2 Principles of Accounting
    • CI9-B3 Project Management
    • CI9-B4 Business Environments and Construction Law

    Sustainable Development

    • CI9-SD1 Sustainable Development - Autumn Term
    • CI9-SD2 Sustainable Development - Spring Term

    Modules not taken with Business Management and Sustainable Development

    CI9-T-03 Transport Engineering and Operations; CI9-T-06 Transport Policy (both offered in the autumn term).


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