A groundbreaking and critical perspective on transport planning, with an urban and international focus.
About the course
The aim of the MSc in Transport and City Planning is to equip students to work effectively as transport and planning practitioners in urban contexts.
It has close links and shared modules with two other Bartlett School of Planning courses: the MSc in Sustainable Urbanism and MSc in Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development.
The programme has an integrative design, providing perspectives from core disciplines without being rooted in any one. Students are encouraged to anchor their studies in a core discipline:
- Urban Transport Planning examines the role and nature of transport planning in the delivery of sustainable cities internationally. It covers everything from the context and rationale for transport to infrastructure and the psychological and sociological dimensions to mobilities.
- Sustainable Cities introduces some of the key sustainability debates and literature. It considers the tensions and synergies between environmental, social and economic objectives and the theory underpinning city planning.
- Investing in Major Projects provides a critical review of major infrastructure theory and international practice.
You’ll also take two elective modules from within UCL. These could cover:
- the different key perspectives in transport planning
- urban planning
- advanced spatial analysis
- international development
You can also choose one module from wider disciplines throughout UCL. This provides an excellent interdisciplinary grounding and allows you to develop a stronger emphasis in a particular field.
Why choose the Bartlett?
- a programme that draws on UCL's position as a leading research-led university
- an opportunity to acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge, while setting foot on the path towards specialisation
- a principle- and theory-driven programme giving both conceptual understanding and the skills needed to tackle practical problems
Who should apply?
Candidates who wish to work across disciplines at strategic levels, and also those who wish to specialise in particular areas:
- transport planning or engineering graduates or specialists interested in the design of sustainable cities
- planning or geography graduates wishing to specialise in transport planning, who want broad knowledge in transport, planning and the delivery of the sustainable city
- graduates wishing to enter the transport planning or urban planning professions
- For key information, including how to apply, visit the UCL Graduate Prospectus
- Browse the sections below for more detailed course information
The diagram below shows the structure of the one-year full-time MSc programme. If the programme is taken flexibly over two to five years, students would normally complete the modules marked T1 before moving on to the modules marked T2.
Further details of these modules can be found on our postgraduate modules page
Students will be required to produce a 10,000 word (60 credit) dissertation on a topic of their choice. Their choice of supervisors will feasibly extend across the Faculty and potentially CTS, but most likely be from the BSP.
The MSc in Transport and City Planning comprises 120 credits of taught modules, including two elective modules and a group project, and a dissertation carrying 60 credits. Students are required to take and pass 180 credits for the MSc (and 120 credits for the related postgraduate diploma).
A week's field visit to selected best practice case study developments in Europe will enable students to explore the way that different contexts – including cultural, political and institutional – frame transport and city planning. This event will be informed by talks from key experts.
Further details of these modules can be found on our postgraduate modules page.
BPLN0060 Transport Planning and the City (15 credits): examines the role and nature of transport planning as part of the delivery of sustainable cities. The context and rationale for transport is explored, including the policy context and drivers, concepts of sustainability, urban structure and travel, policy and strategy development, infrastructure and travel demand management, low emission vehicles, psychological and sociological dimensions to mobilities, transport futures and scenario analysis, and institutional arrangements.
BPLN0061 International Case Studies in Transport and City Planning (15 credits): explores the practice of transport planning internationally, particularly in Asia and South America. It examines changing paradigms in transport, the development of high speed rail in China, bus rapid transit systems in South America and Asia, public transit orientated development (TOD), emerging modes of transport, new fuel technologies, paratransit, walking and cycling, investment bank appraisal methodologies, and the role of transport in city development and sustainability.
BPLN0058 Sustainable Urban Development: Key Themes (15 credits): introduces some of the key sustainability debates and literature. It broadens students' understanding of the tensions and synergies between environmental, social and economic objectives. It provides a cross-sectoral evaluation of how this manifests in practice, drawing on a range of international case studies; and provides a sound theoretical basis from which students can conduct the sustainable urban development and transport project.
BPLN0059 Sustainable Urban Development: Project (15 credits): has an integrating function as it brings together some of the key contextual and specialist material presented in the earlier modules. The aim of the project is to investigate and develop a macro-scale masterplan, with developmental and transport aspects, and to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in terms of contributing to the goal of urban sustainability. There is an emphasis on group investigation and tram work as well as individual initiative.
BPLN0024 Infrastructures as Agents of Change (15 credits): defines the overarching characteristics of infrastructure projects, programmes and plans and examines their roles as agents of change. It encompasses the understanding of past perspectives of the roles of infrastructure and the investigation of 21st-century perspectives, where the global interdependency of economic growth and environmental impacts appears stronger than ever before, and where sustainability looms large as a key challenge for future generations.
BPLN0027 Critical issues in Infrastructure Funding, Financing and Investment (15 credits): focuses on critical issues in infrastructure development across all sectors in both the developed and developing world. It will be founded on topics such as the role of public and private partnerships (PPPs) in the investment of such infrastructure, drawn from independent reading as a basis for critical reflection. Led by a facilitator, this module comprises an introductory lecture and seminar contributions by experienced practitioners in infrastructure development, followed by student presentations on these same themes.
BPLN0039 Dissertation (60 credits) – gives the student an opportunity for supported, independent study. The student (in conjunction with their tutor) will identify a topic/problem/question that they wish to study in greater depth. Over the designated period the student will pursue this topic through independent study (reading, data collection, site visits etc.) supported by regular meetings with their tutor. Output from the project may either be a 10,000 word dissertation or project work equivalent.
Beyond these core studies, students take two more modules as electives from across the Faculty and wider within UCL. These would include selected module(s) in transport planning from the CTS, planning from the BSP; advanced spatial analysis from CASA; or international development from the DPU. A free-ranging elective would also allow choice of one module from wider disciplines throughout UCL.
Staff teaching on the programme currently
- Careers and employability
Graduate students from the Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. There is growing demand for our Masters' graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers. While the main source of employment remains in planning and transport-related consultancy, and in local government and central government, graduates are also employed in the following areas:
- transport, planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies
- international funding institutions (European investment Bank, Asian Development Bank)
- third sector and lobby groups
- public and private utility companies
- teaching and research