Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

MSc Transport Planning and the Environment

Transport is a major cause of environmental impact. Whether it’s air pollution, noise, encroachment on the green belt or climate change, it is widely accepted that further expansion of transport must be balanced against the environmental damage. This programme takes a detailed look at this relationship, and equips students with
practical approaches to environmentally sound transport planning.

Students study the core principles of transport planning and then apply these to the environmental issues. Having understood the nature of the problems, students consider how mitigation can be achieved, through a range of specific interventions.

Students learn to:

  • analyse the complex nature of the environment-transport interface
  • undertake environmental data collection and analysis techniques
  • develop technical knowledge of vehicle emissions, meteorology, noise air pollution, monitoring tools and approaches to modelling
  • assess the environmental impacts of specific transport schemes
  • propose and promote effective solutions which align with other policies
  • design traffic systems to reduce pollution
  • contribute to the wider critical debate, on local to global issues.

The programme is suitable for students from a range of numerate degree subjects. It will particularly appeal to those who want to learn new technical skills and apply these in a challenging and high profile sector. It is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. Please see for further information.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Postgraduate study involves a range of teaching methods, supported by independent learning. In addition to the traditional lecture and seminar formats, students experience a blend encompassing workshops, computer exercises, practical sessions, directed reading, reflective journal, student-led discussions and tutorials. Assessment is equally varied and can include coursework essays, case-study reports, group assignments, posters, presentations and exams. Fieldwork also forms an important part of the learning experience and ranges from half-day local site visits to a week-long European field trip.

Applicants should normally have or expect a first or good second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. For the MSc Transport Planning Environment course, a relevant Undergraduate degree in the following is required:

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.

Please also refer to our Admissions Policy document.

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.

ITS Masters programmes are recognised by the leading professional bodies in the transport sector.

The MSc Transport Planning and the Environment programme fulfils the educational requirements for membership of the Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and is an approved degree for the Transport Planning Professional (TPP) qualification.   

It is also accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate degree. Please see for further information. 



ITS Programme:


Bachelors degree & University:

ITS dissertation topic:



Rohit Sinha


MSc Transport Planning & the Environment 

Self funding

Civil Engineering, National Institute of  Technology, Patna, India

Micro-simulating the traffic flow and  environmental impacts of a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane

Dr James Tate

Why did you decide to study at ITS? 
I wanted my Masters from an Institute of repute and somewhere with a social life - both are important for holistic growth. I researched many possibilities and there was nowhere better than the University of Leeds, which offered both aspects. I also asked my Professors and they recommended ITS. I had applied to other Institutes but I finally zeroed in on Leeds because of its reputation.

What is it about transport that interests and motivates you to study it?
I did a Civil Engineering undergraduate degree and enjoyed it, as it gives pragmatic approaches for tackling real life problems. I liked the transportation course in particular, as transport has a ubiquitous presence in our daily life. A simple construction of road to connect a remote place holds the potential to change the lives of the people in that area. Transport is a subject which combines both the ‘hard’ science of geometric design, engineering and maths with the ‘soft’ disciplines of social sciences - and how transport decisions can transcend and change the social structure of an area.

How have you found living in the UK and Leeds in particular?
There are regular trips organised by the University to visit other parts of the UK. Global Cafe is  organised every Monday where all international students can go and meet new people – it’s a great way to socialize with your peers. I would just say it's been great - the people are very friendly. I have walked back home at odds hours and have never felt any security issues. Leeds is a great student city - there is so much to do. There are always events on in the Student Union and there are clubs for every hobby. It's your take as to how much you want to take away from here.

How would you describe the experience of being an ITS Masters student?  
Hard and challenging. There is so much to read and discuss for the courseworks, but it’s a very good learning curve. There is a lot of self-study required for each module; everyone gets stuck at almost the same point in a coursework and it requires a lot of   discussion, but in the end it’s all worth it. The process makes you think a lot and that's the beauty of the learning - you get to apply the concepts learnt in the lectures to real life situations.

What have you enjoyed most about the first semester and what are you looking forward to in the next semester? 
The modules in the first semester were very good and gave me a good understanding of what transport is all about. In the second semester I am looking forward to broadening my horizons and starting work on my dissertation. Apart from my studies, I have made some good friends here and I enjoyed trips to Liverpool and Cambridge

What have the lecture and seminars been like? And the teaching staff?
Lectures have been great. Complex concepts are made simple and delivered in a lucid manner. The teaching staff are very helpful and take care of all the academic matters in a friendly manner.

What do you aim to do once you’ve completed your Masters?
I will be applying for jobs in consultancy.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about studying for a Masters at ITS?
I would say go for it. It is a place where you can do work hard on  weekdays and party hard on weekends. You will surely make some great friends and life will change for the better. It all depends on you as to how much you extract. This place offers everything.



ITS Programme:


Bachelors degree & University:

ITS dissertation topic:


Nick Herbert


MSc Transport Planning & Environment 

ESRC 1+3 studentship

BSc Audiology, University of Leeds

Does hearing impairment have an effect on the perception of hazards whilst driving?

Dr Natasha Merat

Why did you decide to study at ITS? 

Having attended an open day for all of the Masters programmes offered at ITS I was very impressed with the department, and in particular the fact that it seemed so research intensive. Considering that I want to go into research after finishing my MSc (and PhD), ITS seemed like the most obvious choice - and I certainly have not regretted making it (yet!).

What is it about transport that interests and motivates you to study it?

Transport of some nature is used by everyone, and I think sometimes it's taken for granted. Something with such a large impact on society is certainly worth studying in order to maximise its capabilities.

How would you describe the experience of being an ITS Masters student? 

Very enjoyable, but hard work! The lectures are interactive and I really enjoy learning with the people in my cohort. Although the work seems daunting at first, it's definitely manageable and leaves you with an enormous sense of achievement once you've got it done...

What have you enjoyed most about the first semester and what are you looking forward to in the next semester?

I think I've just enjoyed learning something new. Transport studies is something completely novel to me, so I go into lectures always prepared to throw myself into a new idea or concept. I'm sure that this will continue next semester, and so I'm really looking forward to it.

What have the lectures and seminars been like? And the teaching staff?

As I touched on before, the lectures can be very interactive and give you a chance to get involved. This is made easier because all of the teaching staff at ITS are encouraging and friendly.

What’s it like living and socialising in Leeds?

Having taken my undergraduate degree at Leeds I am already familiar with the city, and I think it speaks volumes about the place that I still want to be here after four years...

What do you aim to do once you’ve completed your Masters? 

As per my studentship I will continue study at ITS for a further three years doing a PhD, after which I will hopefully go into research.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about studying for a Masters at ITS?

I would say 'go for it'! I was slightly unsure about the decision I had made to do an MSc at ITS, but having now gone one third of the way through the course I can see that it was a fantastic choice. I really enjoy the course and I'm sure that anybody else interested in research would too.

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