Introducing the MSc Transport Economics

By Dr. Phill Wheat


September 2016 will see the launch of the new MSc Transport Economics programme at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. This course will equip a new generation of economics professionals to develop in the transport sector. Our future graduates will contribute to addressing key challenges such as improving infrastructure resilience and climate change mitigation, investing for future growth whilst balancing health and environmental impacts of transport and effective economic regulation and incentives to promote high quality and cost efficient service delivery.

A solid base- World leading alumni
Seasoned observers will note that our existing course MA Transport Economics has been a feature of our teaching offering over a number of years (and even decades!). Our students are highly sought after by employers and a number of students yield jobs directly from our employer interview programme, where employers approach ITS to come and interview our students (usually in February each year). Other students, who are sponsored by their employer quickly, accelerate their career progression on completion of the course. Past students hold or have held many senior positions in diverse organisations including:
• Asian Development Bank
• UK government organisations including Office for Rail and Road, Civil Aviation Authority and Department for Transport
• Government ministries across the globe both in transport ministries and finance ministries.
• World Wide Transport Consultants
• Economic and Management Consultants including NERA and KPMG

We also have a strong track record of students who have used the Transport Economics course as a stepping stone to PhD research in transport economics. The strong emphasis on micro economics, transport applications and research skills (especially in the dissertation), equips students to undertake PhD research. Many PhD students have subsequently gone on to high profile careers within academia.

Examples of our alumni can be found here.

More than a name change – Enhanced micro economics and embedding key employability skills
The new offering is more than a name change from MA to MSc. We have consulted with students, examiners and employers to understand student and industry needs and aligned our programme to best meet these. In particular the new course will:
• Strengthen our economic appraisal teaching through a new module Economic Appraisal and Economic Performance. This module will equip our students to contribute to the key issues in economic appraisal including the interface between transport and the wider economy.
• Maintain our core micro economics and econometrics teaching to provide our students with a distinctive and in depth economic understanding of issues in transport.
• Expose our students to the multi-disciplinary nature of transport research through our new ‘Shaping Future Transport Systems’ module where students will gain understanding as to how their discipline interacts with planners and engineers to solve grant challenges in the sector
• Give our students first-hand experience in working in multidisciplinary team environment in order to develop and justify a broadly-based solution to a realistic and meaningful transport problem in our second semester Transport Integrated Project module
• Continue to provide students with the opportunity to undertake their own independent research in the form of a dissertation. This can be a student selected topic (perhaps from their country of origin) or one from our extensive list of topics (last year we had over 200 industry and staff suggested topics).

How to apply
Applications are encouraged from those with economics experience. A first or good second class honours degree, or equivalent in Economics (single or joint) is required. However applications from other graduates (particularly in quantitative subjects) and those with professional qualifications plus experience in the sector will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more details see or contact Dr Phill Wheat


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