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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN2010 Transport Economics

10 creditsClass Size: 96

Module manager: Dr Tony Whiteing

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Transport Economics is a module which allows you to use your knowledge of economics to investigate current transport issues. What might be the best ways to slow down the growth of car traffic on our roads and to encourage use of public transport instead? What are the true costs of transport, not only to operators but to society at large? Should car drivers pay directly for the use of roads and the damage they cause, rather than the current methods of payments through taxation? What are the best ways to do this? Why have some rail fares risen so steeply, and why are there so many different rail or air fares for essentially the same journey? Were transport industries such as railways privatised in the most appropriate way in the UK and what forms of regulation might be advised? This module is taught through a series of lectures supported by seminars at which students present a review of a piece of literature on a topical transport economics issues. It is advisable to have some prior experience of microeconomic principles, gained for example through appropriate A-level study or through the study of an appropriate first-year microeconomics module. The module is assessed by an exam worth 67%, coursework worth 25%, and a presentation worth 8%. For more information please contact Tony Whiteing (


After completing this module, students should understand the fundamentals of transport economics including the characteristics and determination of demand; transport cost structures; pricing and resource allocation; and the implication of these for industry structure and market performance. They should also be familiar with case studies which demonstrate the use of these techniques in practice. This module complements TRAN2030 which deals with the analysis of investment.

Skills outcomes
- Essay writing skills
- Literature review skills
- Presentation skills


Characteristics and determination of demand (examples for car ownership and use, and for public transport)
Transport cost structures (costs of infrastructure and operation, user costs, resource costs)
Pricing (social pricing, externalities, commercial pricing, the theory of congestion pricing)
Ownership and regulation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Revision Class11.001.00
Private study hours81.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

12 hours - Essay
40 hours - Background reading
8 hours - Seminar preparation
21 hours - Revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution in seminars, feedback from coursework essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentCoursework25.00
PresentationSeminar Presentation8.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)67.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 23/02/2017


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