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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN2030 Project Appraisal

10 creditsClass Size: 95

Module manager: John Nellthorp

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

How do public authorities, or private businesses, approach investment decisions? How can governments make decisions about even the most sensitive issues - like where to deposit nuclear waste, or whether or not to build a new generation of nuclear power stations - in a transparent, accountable way? By completing this module, you will gain an understanding of the concepts and theory which underlie investment appraisal and decision making; practical methods used in the public and private sector; and applications not only to transport investment but in other policy areas such as energy policy and regional development. The module uses a variety of teaching methods to engage & stimulate students to develop their understanding of the module content & support assessment, including focused discussions of case studies & more traditional lectures. This is a 10 credit semester two module. A large proportion of the materials are available online, to avoid time spent waiting for library books. Project appraisal is relevant to a wide range of students. The techniques learned (including cost-benefit and multi-criteria techniques) are transferable across many fields of business and public life. One reason for the good feedback on this module is that no special prior knowledge is assumed - we have recently taken students from geography, environment, management, economics, languages, aviation and other programmes, and those from any background can do well in this module. Some prior study of microeconomics and quantative methods is advised. For any further information please contact John Nellthorp (


After completing this module, students should:
- understand the concepts which underlie the appraisal of investment projects and the advantages and drawbacks of each of the main approaches used (namely cost benefit analysis, multi criteria analysis and framework approaches);
- be familiar with case studies which demonstrate the use of these techniques in practice.

Skills outcomes
- Working knowledge of analysis methods and their application to public policy problems;
- Discounted cash flow techniques widely used in business and public sector;
- Effective essay writing;
- Communication skills in a seminar group environment.


- Project appraisal as a tool of policy analysis
- The framework and elements of project appraisal
- Objectives and criteria
- Commercial and social appraisal
- Social cost-benefit analysis
- Valuing benefits - time, life environment
- Capital budgeting: discounting for time, risk and uncertainty
- Applications of commercial appraisal, cost-benefit and cost effectiveness analysis, and other appraisal frameworks

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Revision Class11.001.00
Private study hours86.00
Total Contact hours14.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

46 hours - Coursework/preparation
20 hours - Background reading
20 hours - Revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance in coursework exercises

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 14/08/2023 15:23:40


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