Module title: Public Transport

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CTR11130
Module leader: Jonathan Cowie
School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Civil and Transportation


2019/0, Trimester 1, Blended,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Jonathan Cowie
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The LTA approach is based around a series of lectures that are designed to introduce you to the main issues concerning each topic (LO1). Activities are then designed to develop these ideas where you are encouraged to work in small informal groups on a particular aspect of the topic and then participate in a class wide discussion on your findings (LO2, LO4 - 6). The final aspect of the LTA is workshop based, where small group tutorials are designed around problem identification and problem solving activities (LO3).

Embedding of employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
This module offers the possibility to specialise in public transport issues, and these can be built on and further developed in the dissertation module. The transportation consultative industries (i.e. transport planners, consultancies, central and local government bodies) are increasingly focusing on mass movement transport, however there is a distinct skills shortage in this area. As regards scholarship skills, the module is designed to encourage critical thinking. Many of the issues examined are discursive in nature, and hence students are actively encouraged to think about the material that is being examined.

Assessment (formative or summative)
The assessment for this module is in two parts, a formative course work (LO4) and a summative exam (LOs1 to 6). The coursework surrounds practical aspects of public transport, where you are asked to put forward a proposal for a new public transport scheme, either infrastructure related or service related. This is designed to not only examine your knowledge of public transport but is also used to develop and refine research skills. The final three hour exam is aimed at assessing the depth of knowledge rather than the volume of it i.e. is not designed to be a speed writing test. For that reason it will also usually contain a compulsory question that will directly assess LO3.

Research / teaching linkages
Public transport is a constantly changing area of study, what was relevant ten years ago is now largely irrelevant today. The course needs continual updating and revising and research outputs and the results of continuous scholarly activity are constantly incorporated into the course. The coursework is also designed to show the clear link between research outputs (at all levels) and the development of public transport policy and key practical developments.

Formative Assessment:
to be added

Summative Assessment:
to be added

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 18
Face To Face Tutorial 18
Face To Face Groupwork (Scheduled) 30
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 90
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 3
Independent Learning Guided independent study 41
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40 4 8 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Centrally Time Tabled Digital Examination 60 1-3 14/15 HOURS= 3, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The the module is broken down into three overarching themes:

Introduction to Public Transport:
This section outlines the major roles that public transport plays within society today, the different governance structure surrounding the delivery of public transport, the different approaches taken to the delivery of bus and rail public transport services, and some of the practical outcomes of these approaches.

Issues in Public Transport
This section of the course develops some of the ideas outlined above further, to examine the different roles that public transport plays in supporting the local society and the wider economic community. Specific topics will include urban based public transport (what American’s call ‘public transit’), the role of public transport in the more general social inclusion debate, attitudes and behaviours towards public transport usage, issues surrounding the provision of public transport in rural areas, and finally long distance public transport, which also includes examination of high speed rail and domestic air services.

The Planning of Public Transport
The final section of the course considers topics associated with the planning and operation of public transport services. This will normally be examined under four specific areas which are public transport network design, the costing of public transport operations, including issues that need to be considered when bidding for a local authority contract, the use of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in the planning and management of public transport services and finally public transport information, and pricing, which includes real time information and smart ticketing.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to

LO1: critically examine the role and function of public transport in the modern era;
LO2: evaluate the role of the public and private sectors in the delivery of public transport services;
LO3: appraise public transport policy objectives and delivery;
LO4: design, evaluate and propose in outline a public transport enhancement scheme;
LO5: critically review public perceptions of public transport usage
LO6: appraise the use of ITS in the provision of public transport services

Indicative References and Reading List - URL: