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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5014M Environmental Science and Sustainability for Transport

15 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr James Tate

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module equips environment and sustainability students with the knowledge and skills required for specialising in these fields and influencing decision making in transport towards environmentally and socially sustainable solutions.


This interdisciplinary module seeks to advance students’ critical abilities to understand and solve real-world environmental problems stemming from transport. It aims to improve the students’ ability to inform and affect decisions in transport involving environmental technologies and policies, resource management and social equity. This objectives of this module are twofold:

- Firstly, students will acquire a well-grounded understanding of concepts of sustainability, the science behind environmental impacts and of governance for environmental and sustainability policy in transport.
- Secondly, it will improve the students’ ability to critically assess solutions to current transport problems and understand current governance structures in transport policy to achieve sustainability in transport.

Learning outcomes
- Understand the principles of sustainable development for the management of the environmental and social impacts of transport
- Understand the science behind the key environmental impacts of transport activities
- Be able to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex environmental information to determine sustainable courses of action for transport
- Be able to determine and apply appropriate methodologies and tools for monitoring and evaluating sustainability and environmental impacts
- Be able to critically evaluate transport interventions and their short and long-term social and environmental implications
- Understand the role of stakeholders in sustainable transport planning and environmental policy


- Introduction to sustainability for transport and for the urban environment
- The environmental science context for transport
- Monitoring and evaluating environmental and sustainability performance
- The environmental performance of road transport vehicles
- Air quality – evidence and policy
- Stream specific lectures and workshops
o Environment: Modelling vehicle emissions
o Sustainability: Sustainability discourses and assessment
- Transport and Energy
- Governance for environmental policies in transport and sustainable urban mobility planning

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours130.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will need to carry out independent learning in order to be able to pass the coursework element of the module. Depending on stream, this will be more based either on critical review of literature or on data analysis.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Summative feedback through workshop discussions.

Formative feedback on coursework.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssaySUSTAINABILITY STREAM: Discursive Essay (3000 words)100.00
ReportENVIRONMENT STREAM: Scientific Report (3000 words)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)200.00

For students taking MSc Sustainability in Transport, this will be assessed by a discursive essay to include environmental science content/section For students taking MSc Transport Planning and the Environment, this will be assessed by a scientific report

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 16/10/2023


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