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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5631M Economic Appraisal and Economic Performance

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr John Nellthorp

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Economics (Level 3 preferred)

Alternatively, students with a strong quantitative background can approach the Module Leader to discuss the possibility of joining with a lower level of economics, some catch-up work before the start of the module may be required. The student may be asked to sit in on selected lectures in TRAN5060 Welfare Economics and Cost-Benefit Analysis in Semester 1.


TRAN5060MWelfare Economics/Cost-Benefit

This module is mutually exclusive with

TRAN5540MRailway Investment Appraisal
TRAN5630MTransport Investment Appraisal

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This advanced economics module will provide students with the opportunity to study the latest developments in economic appraisal, focusing on the key theoretical innovations and their application. Students will learn about the economic analysis underpinning the evaluation of major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, urban realm improvements, active travel measures which impact public health and a range of other interventions which test the boundaries of current methods.


Economic appraisal is being transformed as it opens up to related areas of economic science, including the new economic geography, modern welfare economics, health economics and the latest valuation techniques. On completion of this module, the student should have an understanding of the key areas of the research frontier and how economics is applied to real interventions in multiple sectors, but with a particular focus on transport and mobility.

Learning outcomes
The student will gain the essential knowledge to approach an evaluation in challenging areas of for example, infrastructure investment and transport & land use policy. The types of question addressed will include:

- What are the most important linkages through which infrastructure networks impact on the economy and welfare, and what is the evidence about the size of those impacts for different types of intervention?
- How do we assess impacts on agglomeration and growth?
- What are causal linkages through which infrastructure networks and the urban environment impact on quality of life, and how can these impacts of interventions be captured in welfare analysis? How do we bring health into the analysis?
- How do we assess complex multisectoral interventions such as major urban realm changes or land-use and transport policies?
- How do we integrate the economic impacts and wider impacts into a welfare-based analysis? What are latest and best economic techniques to measure the total welfare impact of alternative policies?

Students will learn appraisal techniques relevant to these topics and will be able to apply the knowledge to real cases.

Skills outcomes
Conduct of multi-sectoral welfare assessments using spreadsheets and other relevant software.
Consistent application of discounted cash-flow analysis to these assessments.


The syllabus includes:

- Economic foundations of appraisal and evaluation
- Valuation including advanced topics
- Evaluation of infrastructure investment
- Evaluation of urban realm and renewal multisectoral evaluation
- Value capture and financing
- Regional growth theories and firm level changes
- Ex post evidence of economic impacts
- Valuing economy impacts in a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)
- Modelling economic impacts
- Evaluation of policy across sectors
- The research frontier

(provides a summary of key results from Semester 1 TRAN5060 Welfare Economics and CBA, and sets out how the topic will be extended and developed in this module).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Reading and synthesis. Students are expected to read and assimilate key articles and sources introduced in lectures. 2.5 hours per lecture.
45 hours

Coursework (assessed). Evaluation of a multi-modal investment project that has significant impacts on the wider economy, active travel and urban realm (spreadsheet work + 1 essay-style question from a choice of 2).
40 hours

Practical exercises. Excel/software-based/other exercises to support lectures and prepare students for the coursework.
16 hours

Revision, exam preparation.
25 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

During class exercises (weeks 2 and 3), the workshop sessions (weeks 4 and 8) and the cluster-based session (week 9) staff will interact with students and monitor understanding and progress.
Assessed coursework will be introduced in week 4 and students encouraged to discuss with the lecturing team during their work on it up to week 9. Marking will take place in advance of the examination period, so feedback on the coursework will inform students revision for the exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report2000 word analysis + quantitative results50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 29/04/2022 15:39:42


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