Postgraduate Transportation Programme

The Deptartment of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering and the Deptartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, are collaborating to provide postgraduate qualifications in Transportation Engineering.

The programme was established in consultation with the land transport industry and the engineering profession, to meet the demand for graduates with advanced skills in transportation engineering. Financial assistance has been provided by

Certificate of Proficiency (COP) papers

You may want to study a particular aspect of transport engineering without working towards a full qualification (e.g. for Continuing Professional Development puroposes). Candidates with suitable qualifications and/or work experience may enrol for an individual course and be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency on passing.

Candidates may also enrol in a COP paper to determine their interest in and suitability to completing a longer transport qualification. COP papers may normally be subsequently credited towards that qualification.

Students undertaking degrees at other universities (e.g. Auckland postgraduate transport programme) may also take COP papers at Canterbury and credit them back to their qualification (check first with your institution before enrolling in the COP paper).

Postgraduate Certificate in Transportation Engineering (PGCertEng)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Transportation Engineering involves 0.5 EFTS (typically 4 x 0.125 courses) from the Transportation Engineering programme or other suitable alternatives. Full-time PGCertEng study takes at least 6 months. A part-time PGCertEng can be completed in 2-4 years; typically one paper is completed every (half-year) semester.

A relevant Bachelors degree (Engineering, Science, Planning, Geography, etc) is the normal requirement for entry. Candidates without a relevant Bachelor's degree will be considered for enrolment, subject to adequate qualifications and experience. Candidates for the MET programme may initially be enrolled into the PGCertEng programme with the option to upgrade to an MET, subject to good grades (typically a "B" grade average or better).

Master of Engineering Studies (MEngSt)

The master of Engineering Studies involves 1.0 EFTS (typically 8 x 0.125 courses) at 400-level or above, with at least 0.625 EFTS from 600-level courses, and no more than 0.375 EFTS from other approved courses. Students may also be able to undertake a small (0.125 or 0.25 EFTS) research project as part of their studies. Full-time MEngSt study takes at least 1 year (2 teaching semesters). A part-time MEngSt can be completed in 2-5 years.

Candidates must normally have completed a Bachelor's degree in Engineering with at least 2nd Class Honours, or a BSc(Hons) degree in relevant subjects. MEngSt students with good initial grades can also apply to upgrade later to the MET programme.

Master of Engineering in Transportation (MET)

The Master of Engineering in Transportation normally involves 6 courses (0.75 EFTS) plus a 0.5 EFTS research project, or fewer papers and a (1.0 EFTS) research thesis. Full-time MET study takes at least one calendar year (longer with a thesis). A part-time MET can be completed in 2-4 years; typically one paper is completed every (half-year) semester, followed by a year for the research project.

The preferred entry requirement is a Bachelor's degree in Engineering with at least 2nd Class Honours. Candidates with relevant science degrees (e.g. geography, psychology) or other qualifications (e.g. planning) will also be considered.

Doctor of Philosophy in Transportation Engineering (PhD)

A Doctor of Philosophy in Transportation Engineering involves an advanced research project in a specialised area; the results of which are presented in a thesis that is examined by international experts in the project area. There is a minimum period of enrolment of 2 years, but the degree typically takes at least 3 years (full-time) to complete (or up to 7 years if part-time).

Candidates must normally have completed either a relevant Bachelor's degree with good honours or a relevant Master's degree.

The Postgraduate Transportation programme caters for a wide variety of students with many different backgrounds and circumstances.

Our programme provides a range of appropriate entry points and progression paths, depending on the interests and ability of the students. Prospective students need not be put off study because of their background or for fear of committing to too much initially.

Engineering Graduate (BE)

Graduates with a suitable 4-year engineering degree from NZ may enrol full-time or part-time in a transportation Master's (MET/MEngSt) or PGCertEng (at least 2nd-class Honours is normally required for a Masters). If you have a good honours degree or subsequent postgraduate qualification you are also welcome to apply to enrol in a PhD (doctorate). A range of scholarships are available to help financially support good students.


If you have another relevant degree qualification (e.g. planning, geography, psychology, economics, science) you are welcome to apply to our programme. You will generally be enrolled in our PGCertEng programme first, with suitable bridging courses in basic transportation topics and the option to "upgrade" to the MET degree later, subject to good grades (typically a "B" grade average or better). Some courses in other relevant University programmes may also be included in your qualification.  Entry will be considered on a case by case basis.

Working Practitioner

Full-time working practitioners are able to study part-time for any of the postgraduate transportation qualifications on offer (subject to their previous qualifications and experience); many employers financially support employees doing this. One paper per (half-year) semester is common; this typically entails attending two 3-day teaching blocks during the semester, with background reading and assignment work done outside of these blocks in your own time. Practitioners are also able to enrol in one-off papers for a Certificate of Proficiency (COP), to obtain Continuing Professional Development training or to initially gauge their ability and interest to complete a longer qualification.

Distance (non-Christchurch) student

Our "block-mode" course teaching allows people from all over New Zealand (and even Australia) to take part in the programme. Students typically attend two 3-day teaching blocks on campus; away from these, background reading, assignment work and the final exam can all be undertaken at their home base. Support is also provided for off-campus students via our library distance services and our "Learn" online teaching content system. Some relevant courses from other Universities may also be included in your qualification (subject to our approval).

Overseas student/graduate

If you have obtained suitable engineering or other relevant degrees from outside New Zealand (incl. NZ Residents with overseas qualifications) you may apply to our programme (you need to apply first to the University for ad eundem statum admission). Depending on your background, you may be enrolled in our PGCertEng programme first, with suitable bridging courses in NZ transportation topics and the option to "upgrade" to an MET/MEngSt degree later, subject to good grades (typically a "B" grade average or better). Note that full international course fees may apply. Some funding support may also be available, particularly for research (MET, PhD) students.

Students studying at other institutions

Students studying for qualifications at other institutions (e.g. Auckland's postgraduate transportation programme) may be permitted to credit some papers from our transportation programme. Such students should enrol in a Certificate of Proficiency (COP) for each Canterbury paper and then apply later to their institution to credit them.

Note: Check with your institution beforehand that the papers are acceptable to their requirements.

Our courses feature a mix of traditional lecture presentations and more interactive tutorial, discussion and laboratory sessions. Class sizes typically range between about 6 and 20.

Some assignments involve practical investigation of real-world cases and such fieldwork can often be tailored to suit the students' interests and locations. Group project work and in-class presentations also feature in many courses.

Courses run for a (half-year) semester, and are mostly taught in 'block mode' (typically two 3-day blocks about six weeks apart), with background reading and assignments in between. This allows full-time practitioners and students from outside of Christchurch to take part while still working. Arrangements can also be made to sit final exams in their home town.

Assistance with traffic modelling labs by expert Tim WrightThe programme also makes use of Canterbury University's Learn online learning system. This allows students to remotely access course information and background reading, as well as taking part in electronic discussions with both staff and classmates.

Note: Course structure, content and assessment is the normally same for the whole class, irrespective of which qualification each student is enrolled in.

Research projects have no formal class sessions, but will usually require regular meetings (face-to-face or by phone) with your supervisor(s). With the guidance of staff, students will be expected to prepare a research proposal, undertake some research tasks (e.g. literature review, field work, lab testing, computer analysis), and prepare a final report and possibly a presentation.

One of the regular postgrad transport forumsOut-of-town students can also still make full use of Canterbury University's library facilities using their distance services, with documents sent to them on request and an array of online databases.

A regular feature throughout the year are transport research forums. Held during block courses, these social events allow students, staff, and visiting academic/industry guests to get to know each other better. There are also usually some brief presentations about recent or current transport research within the Department, as well as an opportunity for passing on other programme news.

The following can all count towards either a Master of Engineering in Transportation (MET), a Master of Engineering Studies (MEngSt), or Postgraduate Certificate in Transportation Engineering (PGCertEng(Trpt)):

Full-time working practitioners may also apply to take UC Transportation Engineering postgraduate courses as one-off Certificate of Proficiency (COP) papers.

Most courses are taught in "block-mode" (typically two 3-day teaching blocks plus background reading and assignments), making it easier for full-time and non-local practitioners to take part - see block course dates below.


Enquiries are welcome from candidates with Engineering and other relevant degrees (e.g. geography, planning). Candidates without a relevant degree will also be considered, subject to adequate qualifications and experience (e.g. NZCE and substantial transportation work experience). To enrol please see Enrol at UC.

A number of financial options available to assist students contemplating postgraduate studies including scholarships, industry research funding and employer support.

Canterbury Transportation Programme Contacts

For general enquiries please contact the Postgraduate Administrator and the Director of Transportation Engineering, Dr Mofreh Saleh for any academic enquiries.

Mehdi Keyvan-Ekbatani

Senior Lecturer
Programme Director, Transportation
Civil & Natural Resources Engineering E438
Internal Phone: 95121