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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5630M Transport Investment Appraisal

15 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Manuel Ojeda Cabral

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is mutually exclusive with

TRAN5540MRailway Investment Appraisal

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Starting from the principles of cost-benefit analysis and financial appraisal, the module covers the key methods and techniques of transport investment appraisal. It includes worked examples and case studies from road and rail. Recent technical developments and appraisal issues are covered. Current major infrastructure projects are used to aid discussion. The link with project finance, and links with decision-making and transport policy are considered.


- To provide a firm grounding in the principles and practice of investment appraisal in the transport sector.
- To equip students with skills relevant to a wide range of investment analysis.
- By understanding the key issues, to enable critical reflection on investment projects in various professional settings.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

- familiarity with the key principles and methods of transport investment appraisal, including practical tools;
- awareness of the current technical and policy issues surrounding transport investment appraisal, and the emerging technical solutions;
- an ability to apply this knowledge to a wide range of cases.

Skills outcomes:

- familiarity with techniques – especially discounted cash flow and risk analysis, valuation and CBA
- experience carrying out key elements of appraisal using spreadsheet-based tools;
- working knowledge of the capability of key methods (CBA, FA and MCA in particular) that are used in business and government; and of appraisal systems used worldwide, e.g. WebTAG (UK); HEATCO (EU); the World Bank Toolkit.

In general terms, this module will develop the student’s ability to analyse transport problems, utilise research resources, and demonstrate written communication skills.


- Principles of project appraisal; financial appraisal and cost-benefit analysis
- Capital budgeting. Acceptance tests, choice between alternatives, capital rationing, deferment, examples
- Financing transport projects; the effects of alternative financing media in appraisal; purchase and lease finance
- Valuation of costs and benefits (1): willingness to pay methods (RP & SP); valuation of travel time benefits and service quality
- Valuation of costs and benefits (2): applications to safety and environmental impacts
- Allowing for risk and uncertainty in transport appraisal
- Frameworks; multi-criteria analysis; the Transport Business Case; WebTAG; HEATCO; the World Bank Toolkit and applications
- Road project appraisal case studies
- Public transport project appraisal; rail projects and High Speed Rail
- Transport and the economy; development and regeneration benefits
ppropriate case studies and computer based exercises

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Induction Session11.001.00
Coursework Discussion Session11.001.00
Private study hours130.50
Total Contact hours19.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report3,500 word coursework comprising some analysis in Excel, interpretation of the results, and a set of essay-style questions on topics covered by the module100.00
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: 24/04/2024


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