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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5013M Understanding Travel Behaviour

15 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Ann Jopson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Acceptance on to any of the masters programmes at the Institute for Transport Studies or equivalent experience if taken as an individual module.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Understanding Travel Behaviour offers the opportunity to analyse and explore traditional and emergent thinking on travel behaviour and understanding why people travel. This module aims to equip Masters degree students with the analytical skills necessary for the development and evaluation of policy and practice in the transport sector in both professional environments and higher academic studies.


This module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of the different disciplinary perspectives currently dominant in the study of transport, including: economic theories of behaviour, including derived demand, utility and the value of time; social psychological models of attitude and behaviour; the 'new mobilities paradigm', including corporeal travel, flows and communicative practices; and time geography considering organisation of activities across time & space. The study of each of these strands will be used to understand why people travel to inform the development of more effective transport policy and practice.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. Knowledge and comprehension of the dominant economics-based theoretical perspectives on travel behaviour.
2. How to describe, analyse, synthesise and evaluate relationships and links between theories and concepts.
3. A critical and nuanced appreciation of the differences, similarities, links and complementarities between the various key theoretical standpoints to understanding travel.
4. How to apply that knowledge to the study of transport policy.

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Critical thinking
2. Academic writing
3. Information searching
4. Effective communication
5. Applying interdisciplinary literacies


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

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

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored through the 6 seminars that are integral to the module. These are usually delivered in week 1, 3, 5, 8, 10 & 11. Discussion between students & between students & staff during these seminars will provide students with the opportunity to communicate & clarify their understandings through directed group work with peers, as well as whole class feedback currated by the lecturer.

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: 19/03/2024


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