Core Module Information
Module title: Transport Economics and Appraisal

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

Module code: CTR11532
Module leader: Achille Fonzone
School School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Built Environment


Description of module content:

In the “economic” part of the module, we introduce the crucial economic problem of scarcity, and its relevance to transport issues. We describe the characteristics of free and planned markets, and how these resolve the basic questions of what, how and for whom goods and services should be produced. We then examine the underlying economics of the market in terms of demand and supply. The economic costs of mobility and how these are accumulated are then examined, before we study the economists’ model of perfect competition and then, from this hypothetical “ideal”, we move to consider government intervention in the form of transport subsidies and regulation that are needed in reality to provide society with the level of accessibility it requires in a sustainable and equitable way.
The “appraisal” part explains the need for appraisal procedures in the private and public sectors. We examine the business cases required to take decisions on public transport investments in the UK. We present WebTAG, the UK public appraisal system used to generate the evidence required in the transport business cases. We analyse the content of transport studies produced according to WebTAG guidelines, with particular focus on calculation of benefits for transport users and social cost benefit analysis. Finally, we examine the potential wider impacts of transport investments on the economy, the environment and society, and discuss the necessary conditions to foster positive impacts.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Apply economic theory to transport
LO2: Identify and plan for contexts in which the free market cannot generate socially desirable transport market outcomes
LO3: Evaluate costs and benefits of mobility in the context of sustainability.
LO4: Design and deliver some parts of a transport study according to the UK regulations
LO5: Understand the wider implications of transport investments and the requisites to foster sustainable development

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Achille Fonzone
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & Teaching methods including their alignment to LOs We present concepts, theories and techniques of transport economics and appraisal in face-to-face lectures (LOs 1-5). Lecturers devote part of class time to tutorials that support critical understanding of the topics, and introduce to the implementation of methods (LOs 1, 3, 4). Whenever possible tutorials involve group works to foster collaborative learning. We invite guest lecturers from industry and academia to speak about big trends underpinning transport markets, impacts of transport investments, relevant case studies (Los 1 and 5). Students develop a comprehensive and operational knowledge of the topics dealt with in the lectures through the material available in Moodle. We encourage students to share questions and discoveries through Moodle forums. In particular, we use forums to answer revision questions. The module relies on a blended learning approach, to support directed study. We use Moodle intensively to manage the course, to disseminate updated material (class slides, notes, material for exercises, essential and further readings) and foster collaborative learning with the participation of distance learners. We use WebEx to extend the possibility to attend on-line some of the class activities, in particular seminars of guest lecturers. Conditional on the consensus of the guest lecturers and on the technical feasibility, we record the seminars and put the videos in Moodle. The coursework promotes active and reflective learning. The coursework is based on a case study, which each student has to choose considering the familiarity with it. This helps puts concepts into practice and personalises the learning experience. Students develop presentation skills during class discussions and tutorials. The interaction with the invited speakers during and after the seminars introduces students to the job market, enhances their attitude to and possibilities for networking, and so increases their employability. The essay required as coursework improves the writing skills of students. Part of the coursework is a review of scientific literature and/or policy documents relevant to the case study. This increases the information and academic literacy of students, and gives them the opportunity to enhance the capacity to assess critically and summarise existing knowledge. This way we encourage students to engage with the work we propose. We introduce students to the current debate on transport economic and appraisal through the seminars of the invited speakers. The review required for the coursework is the occasion to build a systematic picture of such a debate.

Formative Assessment:
Regular feedback is provided to students through tutorials. The coursework includes a self reflection on the carried out work and fosters interaction with the lecturers and collaboration with other students.

Summative Assessment:
The coursework can concern either an application of economic theories to a transport problem (LOs 1-3), or the conceptual design, analysis and qualitative evaluation of a transport project (LOs 3- 5). The essay requires a preliminary review of scientific literature and/or policy documents. The coursework is normally submitted in the middle of the course. We provide students with extended feedback, which allows them to identify the strengths and shortcomings of their understanding. The final examination has two parts, one on economics (LOs 1-3) and one on appraisal (LOs 3-5). The exam has a purely summative purpose. Normally the students have to answer four questions (selected out of six), two for each part. The exam paper includes questions of different types, ranging from numerical exercise to discussion of trends and theories. We provide students with revision questions to get ready for the exam, and discuss them in Moodle when the students ask for advice.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 30
Online Tutorial 2
Face To Face Tutorial 4
Independent Learning Guided independent study 161
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 3
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 30 1,2,3,4,5 10 HOURS= 4000, WORDS= 0
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 70 1,2,3,4,5 14/15 HOURS= 3, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 30
Component 2 subtotal: 70
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
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