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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5291M Traffic Network Modelling

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dave Milne

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24


TRAN5020MPrinciples of Transport Model.
TRAN5031MTransport Data Collection and Analysis

This module is mutually exclusive with

TRAN5221MTraffic Microsimulation Models
TRAN5290MNetwork Analysis Models

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module has been designed to appeal to anyone who intends to pursue a career in Transport Planning. It introduces the main underlying principles and provides hands-on experience for two of the most popular types of model used to analyse road transport networks.


On completion of this module students will have developed a practical understanding of traffic assignment and simulation modelling. They will be familiar with the key principles on which such models are based and they will have gained hands-on experience of using the SATURN congested assignment model and the DRACULA traffic microsimulation model to investigate realistic planning scenarios. The module is aimed at individuals who intend to pursue a Transport Planning career path. It introduces two of the most well-used types of modelling software for representing road transport networks. It is also essential for any student intending to use SATURN or DRACULA as part of a dissertation project.

Learning outcomes
- Understanding of the key principles of congested assignment modelling and of the planning situations for which such approaches are suitable.
- Experience of using the SATURN congested assignment model to represent the impacts of a realistic planning proposal.
- Understanding of the key principles of traffic microsimulation modelling and of the planning situations for which such approaches are suitable.
- Experience of using the DRACULA microsimulation model to represent the impacts of a realistic planning proposal.


1. The basic principles of SATURN
2. Introduction to the SATURN software
3. Engagement with SATURN for a realistic case study
4. The basic principles of DRACULA
5. Introduction to the DRACULA software
6. Engagement with DRACULA for a realistic case study"

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours65.00
Private study hours54.00
Total Contact hours31.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

For the SATURN based material, students will be expected to use the software to analyse a realistic planning scenario, producing model outputs to be written up into a consultancy style report. Some background reading will also be required on underlying principles and about case studies where similar approaches have been used.
For the DRACULA based material, students will demonstrate a sound understanding of the fundamentals of traffic flow characteristics, and be able to specify and use DRACULA-based models to estimate speeds and delays to vehicular traffic and successfully interpret the model outputs.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored informally by demonstrators in the practical sessions. Non-attendance will be followed up. Formal feedback will be given following assessed coursework submissions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report2,500 words50.00
Report2,500 words50.00
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: 30/10/2023 16:58:11


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