The University of Sydney
The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney has launched an interdisciplinary graduate program in transport, with the first intake of students in 2020:

Jointly, the Faculty of Engineering,  the School of Business / Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS), and the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning (ADP), are delivering a new 1.5 year full-time (72 credit points) interdisciplinary postgraduate Master of Transport (MTr) degree. The new program, the first such interdisciplinary program in Transport in Australia, and one of only a handful globally will encourage learning, innovation and application of emerging concepts in the area of transport engineering, planning, and management.

Transport enables us to travel to work, school, the shops, the beach, across the country, or around the world. It facilitates holidays, weekend getaways, and catch-ups with family and friends. It is not only passenger transport that plays a crucial social role. Freight transport is equally vital, enabling convenient market access to goods that have been produced elsewhere. With growing populations, increasingly congested road systems, and concerns about environmental pollution, transport and mobility are becoming important themes for governments everywhere.

Key questions on the design of effective transport options are virtually limitless. For example:

  • Where should we build road or rail infrastructure?
  • How should urban and transport planning be integrated?
  • What bus routes and frequencies are optimal?
  • How can we promote bicycles and walking as a healthy and efficient alternative to private vehicles?
  • Should we introduce road pricing to alleviate congestion and, if so, how?
  • Can high-speed train connections complement air traffic? What are the effects of an aging population on transport needs?

We can provide the knowledge and skills to answer these questions and design liveable cities and regions of the future. As well as gaining a theoretical grounding on the workings of systems for all modes of transport (including cars, trucks, trains, buses, bicycles, and walking), students will also acquire the quantitative and qualitative skills needed to examine travel behaviour, forecast conditions, and evaluate policies. They will learn to use software tools such as geographic information systems (GIS), and transport planning and traffic simulation software. They will be able to ‘drive’ in a realistic virtual environment using a 3D driving simulation in our unique laboratory with five connected simulators to investigate travel choices and traffic management measures.

Transport is a multidisciplinary field. It adopts economic theories to assess transport infrastructure, uses quantitative traffic principles to forecast traffic conditions, applies knowledge of finance for appraisal and investments in infrastructure mega-projects, and requires management skills for transport policy implementation. With population growth and associated transport congestion affecting quality of life, not just in cities but entire countries, transport planning and management is vital. In Sydney and other Australian cities, as in many cities in Asia and Africa, the population is rapidly growing and the demand for transport designers, engineers, planners, policymakers, and managers who can meet these challenges cannot be overstated.
Graduates of transport engineering, planning and management courses are in high demand and are employed at local, state, or federal government level, developing and implementing transport policies. They are also active in consultancy firms that advise government bodies. Wherever our graduates are employed, their decisions and advice will significantly impact the way people live.
The Master of Transport aims to provide the expanding transport sector with a steady supply of well-trained professionals at the executive level, as well as provide training to young graduates aspiring to pursue careers in the transport field. Our aspiration is for a globally recognised preeminent transport degree.

The goal of the teaching program will be to imbue in students the necessary analytical, technical, and software skills to analyse, design, implement and manage transport systems and to use these skills effectively in industry, government, and academia. The program will provide to students from different disciplines the necessary flexibility to achieve their individual professional goals within this framework. Learning outcomes will be synthesized in a core capstone project unit.
The research strength of the University and the Faculty of Engineering and IT, School of Business, and School of Architecture, Design and Planning will be leveraged to deliver a unique multi-disciplinary program that allows specialisation through electives. This will enable the University of Sydney to develop and enhance its world-leading position as a centre of excellence in transport research and education.


Overall Aims of the course include:

  • Instilling a broad understanding about transport in the real world,
  • Providing the necessary skill set, knowledge, and technical expertise to analyse, design and implement such systems,
  • Creating a strong multi-disciplinary learning community across the University connected to industry and government,
  • Graduating students able to work in multi-disciplinary environments

The Master of Transport will include the following key areas of learning

  • Economic Foundations of Transport
  • Logistics
  • Strategic Modelling
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Transport Policy, Planning and Deployment
  • Transport Data Analysis
  • Urban Design
  • Land Use and Infrastructure Policy
  • Technology Management
  • Communication skills


Core Units (54)

ITLS 5100
 Transport and Infrastructure Foundations CIVL 5702
 Traffic Engineering ARCH 9100 
Introduction to Urban Design
ITLS 5200 
Quantitative Logistics and Transport CIVL 5703
 Transport Policy, Planning and Deployment PLAN 9064 
Land Use and Infrastructure Planning
ITLS 6102 Transport Modeling and Forecasting CIVL 5704
 Transport Analytics PLAN XXXX

Elective Units (18)

ITLS 6103
 Sustainable Transport Strategies CIVL 5701
 Transport Networks PLAN 9063 
Strategic Planning and Design
ITLS 6301
 City and Port Logistics CIVL 9704 
Transport Informatics PLAN 9075 
Urban Data and Science of Cities
ITLS 6500
 Decision Making on Mega Projects CSYS 5010: Introduction to Complex Systems PLAN 9073 
GIS Based Planning Policy and Analysis
ITLS 6107
 Applied GIS and Spatial Data Analytics CSYS 5020: Interdependent Civil Systems

There are also a Graduate Certificate in Transport (48 cp), and Graduate Diploma in Transport (24 cp), which reduce the number of core and elective units required proportionally.