Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

How to Apply

Applicants should normally have or expect a first or good second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Our students come from a wide range of academic backgrounds and some of the relevant disciples other than transport studies are:

ProgrammeRelevant undergraduate degrees
MSc Transport EconomicsEconomics (single or joint honours)

MSc Transport Planning
MSc Sustainability in Transport

Geography, town planning, earth
& environment, architecture, 
sustainability, logistics, business
& management, psychology, social policy, history, politics, public administration
MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering
MSc Transport Planning and the Environment
Engineering, environmental science, maths, physics, computing, natural sciences and quantitative subjects

Other graduates and those with professional qualifications plus experience in the sector will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their language proficiency. This is normally in the form of a recent test certificate:

English testMinimum score required
IELTS6.5 overall 
with not less than 6.0 in any component
Pearson (PTE) Academic64 overall
with at least 60 in all components

Applicants who have not quite achieved the minimum score may be admitted in certain circumstances. Those achieving an overall IELTS score of 6.0 may be accepted conditionally, on attendance of the University’s 6-week pre-sessional English language course. 

For further details including recognised alternatives to IELTS, please contact us or visit the Language Centre website.  The Language Centre provides a range of English for Academic Purposes Pre-sessional courses which are designed to help international students develop the necessary language and academic study skills required for successful postgraduate study.  These courses  start  in September, January, April, July or August.  For further information, please see visit the Language Centre’s website or contact via email: langc(at)

To find your local test centre, please visit the IELTS website.

Please submit your 2018 application through our online application system

(including applications for 2018 pre-sessional language courses).

The Application Portal will allow you to login and track the progress of your application at any time.

You will need to upload the following supporting documents with your application:

  • Copy of your degree Certificate and Transcript with module breakdown and final degree classification (or, if you are yet to complete your degree, please upload evidence of your marks to date). You should also include a copy of your University grading system, this can usually be found on the back of the transcript. If your documents are not in English, we will require a certified translation.
  • Copy of your CV / Resume.
  • Statement of Motivation (200 to 400 Words) outlining your reasons for applying for your chosen course (see the FAQ link to the left for details). This can be written in the application in the Statement section however, we would prefer you to upload a separate document if possible.
  • Please enter contact details for 2 academic referees. We will only contact referees if we decide that we need references to support your application. If you have substantial, relevant work experience you may send employer contact details instead.
  • Documents should be emailed or uploaded in JPG, PDF or Word format.

NB - Please ensure the filename you use to save your documents does not include any of the following characters: . “ # % * : < > ? / \ & { } _

If you experience any difficulties applying online, please email our admissions team

Faculty Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy

Download the 2018 Entry Admissions Policy

Application Process

How the application process works:

  • When you submit your application you will receive an acknowledgement through the portal.
  • Admissions staff will review your application and request any documents or information required to make a decision. (Please note that this can take 4-6 weeks in busy periods. If you intend to apply for any scholarships you should do so at least 6 weeks before the scholarship deadline).
  • When your application is complete it will be considered and a decision will be communicated to you via the portal.
  • If you are offered a place you will be able to view and print your offer letter via the portal. If your offer is unconditional a hard copy will also be sent to you by post.

You do not have to wait until your final undergraduate degree or English language results are available before applying, as we will normally make an offer which is conditional on achieving the required grades. 

Early application is recommended, particularly for international students and those seeking scholarships.  The earlier you begin the process, the better, and the more time you will have to make other important arrangements such as visas, travel and accommodation.  (Masters programmes start in the third week of September).

Applicants with disabilities

The University actively encourages applications from people with disabilities and provides a high level of support. If you are considering applying and would like to discuss your support needs please contact the University’s Disabled Students' Assessment and Support, Tel: 0113 343 3927.

Visiting ITS

Where feasible, we encourage applicants to attend the annual ITS Open Day. This provides the opportunity to see ITS for yourself, discuss courses and scholarships with academic staff, as well as meet current students.

How do I apply?

Applications can be made online and should be accompanied by all supporting documents which can be scanned and uploaded with your application:

  • degree certificate and transcript,
  • two academic references
  • where appropriate, proof of English language proficiency.

How many entry dates are there each year?

There is just one entry date each year – September.

What is the duration of the programmes?

All Masters programmes start with induction in the third week of September. Full-time students then study for 12 months, finishing in the first week of the following September, when the dissertation is submitted.  Official results are published in November and the graduation ceremony is in December.

What are the minimum academic entry requirements?

Applicants should normally have or expect a first or good second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. In some circumstances, a lower degree may be accepted if substantial experience and career progression in transport related employment can be demonstrated.

  • The MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering and the MSc Transport Planning & Environment programmes are suitable for students from engineering or other numerate backgrounds.
  • The MA Transport Economics programme is designed for students with an economics background.
  • The MSc Transport Planning and MSc Sustainability (Transport)programmes are suitable for students from a wide range of academic backgrounds.

Do both my references have to be academic?

Ideally, both references should be academic, particularly if you are planning on applying for funding. However, if you have been out of education for some time, an employer reference can be used. In fact, this can be particularly useful if your employment has been in the transport sector.

What are the English requirements for International students?

Applicants whose first language is not English must include with their application evidence that their ability in the various skills of English is sufficient, i.e. details of any recognized English language qualifications and experience in using English. The most usual qualifications are TOEFL or the British Council IELTs test. We require at least an IELTS(Academic) score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any individual skill; or TOEFL (internet-based test) of at least 94 with at least 21 in listening, 23 in reading and speaking and 24 in writing or a PTE (Academic) score of 64 with at least 60 in all components.

My English scores aren’t quite good enough – what can I do?

You can keep re-taking your English test until you achieve the required scores, or alternatively you could consider applying to attend a pre-sessional English course at the University’s Language Centre. Applications should be made direct to the Language Centre

There are two summer courses run each year:

  • 10-week: Entry requirement is IELTS with overall score of 6.0, with two components below 6.0. Closing date for applications is usually towards the end of May.
  • 6-week: Entry requirement is IELTS with overall score of 6.0, with one component below 6.0. Closing date for applications is usually towards the end of June.

How many days/week do part-time students have to attend the university?

The timetable is arranged so that part-time students can attend just one day per week, although this does mean a restricted module choice. We also offer some of the optional modules as ‘short fat’ modules in the second semester. These run on 3-5 consecutive days and prove popular with part-time students. In addition, you will need up to 4 extra days to cover exam periods and we would advise you to save some annual leave if your employer is not willing to cover this.

What is the deadline for application?

Applications can be accepted as late as August, but it is advisable to apply much earlier than this.

In particular, international students should apply early to ensure that visa applications can be submitted in time to enable joining the programme on time.

Early applications are also advisable for students who are looking for funding. You are required to hold an offer before applying for scholarships.

What proportion of students is International?

ITS attracts students from all over the world, and from diverse backgrounds. Around 80% of our students are from outside the UK.

What do I need in order to apply for a visa?

Before you can apply for a visa you must be issued with a CAS statement from the University. These are issued, usually from around the end of April, to students who have an unconditional offer and have accepted their place.

If you need help or advice regarding your visa application, contact the University’s International Office, where they have experts on hand to guide you through.

I need funding for my studies: are there any scholarships available?

There are a number of scholarships on offer each year and details are posted on the ITS website and the University’s Scholarships website. Remember that before you can apply for a scholarship you must first apply for and be offered a place on one of our programmes.

Can I have help in finding accommodation?

You can contact the University’s Accommodation Office for help and advice and to arrange University accommodation. Alternatively, you can contact Unipol which is a charitable organisation which provides accommodation in the private sector.

You can also get housing advice and help from the Student Union.

My family is accompanying me: is there any family accommodation available?

A limited amount of family accommodation is available via the University’s Accommodation Office, but more is available in the private sector via Unipol. The Student Union will also be able to help.

How much will my living expenses be?

The Students Union provides information on their website which will help you to budget for your stay in Leeds. This includes information on such things as the cost of accommodation, food, utilities, etc.

How can I pay my fees?

You can find all the information you need about paying your fees by visiting the How to Pay page on the Student Financial Administration website.

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