Taught course

Highways and Transportation Engineering

Coventry University · Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold a 2.2 honours degree in Civil Engineering.

Holders of a CEng accredited Bachelor’s degree can enrol on the course provided they meet the entry requirements. This will automatically meet the educational base for Chartered Engineer status.

Holders of an IEng accredited or an overseas Bachelor’s degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to be formally approved for CEng. They may be required to complete extra modules if their Bachelor degree is deemed to be not technical enough.

Applicants with an engineering degree and substantial industrial experience in construction will considered, with the understanding that on completion of the award they may not be eligible for Chartered status as they will not be fulfilling the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) requirements Applicants are therefore strongly advised to check with the JBM and Engineering Council before committing to the course.

This course requires IELTS 6.5. Alternatively students may be admitted with IELTS 6.0 if they attend a compulsory five week pre-sessional English course, operated by Coventry University, before joining their master’s programme. If you don’t have the required level of English then view our range of Pre-Sessional English courses.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content


This course starts in September 2017 and January 2018.

Within the UK, Highways England has predicted five times more highway engineers will be needed to implement the Government’s confirmed road building programme over the next 10 years. Elsewhere in the world, there is similarly high demand for highways and transport infrastructure, especially in countries like China, India and the Middle East where infrastructure projects are growing at an exponential rate.

This exciting new course responds to the rapid growth and demand in the highways and transportation industry, both in the UK and overseas. Accreditation is currently being sought from the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) to be approved as ‘further learning’ for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.


The course aims to equip you with the advanced technical knowledge and analytical, problem solving and decision making skills to design, build and maintain transportation infrastructures. You will play a vital role enabling the safe, efficient movement of people, livestock, products, equipment and materials, keeping the wheels of modern society turning.

Ranked in the UK’s top 25 for Civil Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2017, Coventry has close relationships with employers, many of whom like Hyder, Arup, MottMacold and Geotechnical Ltd, provide direct input into course development as members of our Civil Engineering and Building Advisory Boards.

Whether you are interested in starting a career in the transportation industry, or are already an experienced highways or transport professional keen to enhance your skills, our innovative Master’s and links with Highways England will help you stay abreast of the latest technologies, trends and challenges in this dynamic environment.

You’ll have access to our £55m Engineering and Computing building, which features our High Performance Engineering Centre with its specialist laboratories for soils, highways and materials. You’ll get to use industry-standard software, such as MIDAS, Plaxis and ANSYSS, which are widely used by design and consulting engineers.

Many of our members of staff have professional experience in the civil engineering and construction industries, having worked for companies such as Carillion, Hyder and Laing O’Rourke as principal, senior and management engineers. We also have a strong portfolio of industry-related research, ranging from applied technology such instrumentation and measuring to pure innovative research, which ensures you stay abreast of new technologies and emerging issues. As part of your research project, you have the opportunity to work on a research topic aligned with your supervisor and make a contribution to the School’s research agenda by publishing papers and attending research seminars.


Professional accreditation is being sought from the Joint Board of Moderators (JMB) on behalf of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

Course designed to satisfy the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status for holders of a CEng accredited Bachelor’s degree. Holders of an IEng accredited or overseas Bachelor’s degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to be formally approved for CEng.

Access to specialist software to investigate realistic planning scenarios – two of the most well used types of modelling software for representing road transport networks.

Expert visiting lecture programme which in the past has featured the chairman of Geotechnical Ltd.

In-depth modules covering a range of structural concepts to management and contract issues.

High levels of postgraduate student satisfaction for ‘Civil Engineering’ subjects – 89%, above the sector average of 82% (2016 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey PTES).

Strong portfolio of research with 60% of ‘General Engineering’ research rated as 4* or 3* in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.


The course is designed to provide topical and industry-focused postgraduate education to enhance career opportunities in highways and transportation engineering.

From concept to construction, we will cover the technical skills required to analyse, design and develop sound solutions to highways and transportation projects. You will gain a critical understanding of traffic flow theory and traffic signal control, together relevant issues, such as the effects of transport on the environment, congestion, the movement of freight and the challenges of public transport.

Using case studies, practical sessions, simulation labs and site visits to ‘live’ projects, you will apply engineering principles and use computer modelling techniques to analyse complex engineering systems, covering both links and junctions, as well as junction capacity analysis, gaining valuable experience of the work you will carry out in an industrial context. For example in October 2016, the students were taken on a site visit to the A46/Broad Lane junction, Coventry and Walsgrave Road, Coventry. More site visits are planned for individual modules.

You will learn the latest laboratory testing procedures and modern techniques used to assess material and structural performance. These include: lightweight concrete and heavy structural steel beam testing techniques using modern and upgraded loading equipment automated with data loggers; saturated and unsaturated stress path soil testing apparatus; and commercial civil engineering materials, mixing and synthesising equipment.

We will study the economics behind construction, examining the regulatory and legal framework within which the industry operates, health and safety in the construction workplace, as well as corporate management processes in the construction industry, such as procurement systems and standard forms of construction contracts.

Your main study themes are:

Transportation planning: Develop your knowledge and understanding of the main underlying fundamentals and principles of transportation planning. We examine different approaches to transport planning, transport sustainability, sustainable transport, transport economics and provide practical experience of working with tools, data and research findings so that you learn to take a transport related problem and propose appropriate solutions.

Geometric and pavement design: Provides a critical understanding of highways and transport, covering all the necessary pavement foundation material needed for practitioners in the industry. We cover central topics, such as: geometric alignment of roads and highway intersections; design of links and junctions; junction capacity analysis; design of different types of pavements; performance, evaluation and maintenance of highway pavements; while ensuring a sound understanding of theoretical concepts such as traffic analysis and economic appraisal.

Safety engineering: Develops a practical understanding of safety engineering, which will include an assignment of crash trends. You will gain background knowledge as to how the discipline of safety engineering arose and the techniques used to identify whether intervention is necessary. Reference will be made to Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015, non-motorised users and road restraint systems.

Traffic engineering: Develops your understanding of traffic flow to inform operational analysis and design of key features of the road transport system, particularly the design of the various types of road junction. You will develop knowledge of traffic assignment and simulation modelling, using specialist software.

Earthwork engineering: Covers the principles and theories behind earthwork design, construction and performance in the context of transport engineering. You will develop the analytical, decision making and critical powers required to solve complex geotechnical problems, along with the transferrable skills to enable a leading career in transport engineering.

Global Professional Development: You will develop knowledge and understanding of the relationship between strategic management, leadership and leadership styles and principles that support organisational ethical and value-based approaches to leadership.

Bridge engineering: Develops your knowledge and understanding of motorway bridge design and management. We emphasise design and execution for durability as an integrated concept, which links deck design with other bridge components, such as bearings, parapet and drainage system for inspection, corrosion protection and economical fabrication/erection. The design of medium span composite decks is also covered in more detail.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Click here for more information on funding.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions Office
+44 (0) 24 7765 4321