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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5540M Railway Investment Appraisal

15 creditsClass Size: 31

Module manager: Manuel Ojeda Cabral

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Bachelors degree or equivalent non-degree experience, including familiarity with quantitative subjects.(requirements of the Programme give a guide to the background required: A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject such as Engineering.

This module is mutually exclusive with

TRAN5630Transport Investment Appraisal

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Starting from the principles of cost-benefit analysis and Business Cases, this module covers the key methods and techniques of railway investment appraisal. It includes worked examples and case studies featuring urban, regional and high speed rail. Recent innovations in appraisal methods are covered. The role of railways in the economy is addressed. 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 critical understanding in the principles and practice of railway investment appraisal.

- To equip students with skills relevant to conducting, critically evaluating and interpreting a wide range of railway investment appraisals and Business Cases.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Synthesise the key principles and methods of railway investment appraisal, including practical tools;

2. Have awareness of the current technical and policy issues surrounding the railway investment appraisal, and relate these issues to emerging technical solutions;

3. Apply knowledge gained to a wide range of cases and justify the chosen method;

4. Working knowledge of the capability of key methods that are used in business and government and of appraisal systems used worldwide.

Skills learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Technical skills on transport appraisal
2. Problem solving and analytical skills
3. Information searching
4. Critical thinking
5. Systems thinking


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

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours16.00
Private study hours110.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A practical workshop in the middle of the module provides opportunity for face to face individual and group-based feedback on learning progression. Interactive exercises on various lectures during the module also allow for progress monitoring. A revision session is scheduled in-between the last lecture and the deadline for the coursework, and this provides an opportunity for Q&A and an open discussion to monitor class progress.

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: 10/04/2024


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