The University of Southampton

CENV6171 Highway and Traffic Engineering

Module Overview

This module will provide you with a good knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of road traffic flow and its analysis, using this as a basis for you to be able to undertake operational analysis and design of key features of the road transport system, particularly the design of the various types of road junction. You will also learn about the Highway Engineering process from its inception of planning and route location, through detailed geometric design and on to structural design, construction, condition monitoring, maintenance and eventual rehabilitation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Achieve a thorough knowledge and understanding of highway engineering principles and practice, as it refers to geometric design, structural design, construction and maintenance and gain an awareness of practices and issues in a range of overseas situations. A further aim is for students to gain experience of geometric design through a case study.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Traffic flow theory and traffic analysis processes on highways.
  • Road condition monitoring and rehabilitation options/methods
  • Road construction and maintenance practices.
  • Analysis methods for traffic at road junctions
  • Designing for safety, efficiency and environmental protection.
  • Road junction types, layouts and operations.
  • Traffic control systems
  • Highway Link Design
  • The principles and potential of computer aided design, with outline knowledge of a leading software package.
  • The principles and practice of route location and geometric design of highways
  • The principles and practice of structural design for flexible, rigid and composite road pavements
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Select and design roads and junctions according to requirements/specifications
  • Propose and evaluate alternative designs and options
  • Defend a highway scheme design through a written report.
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively
  • Design and draw geometric alignments for road links
  • Design the structure of flexible, rigid and composite road pavements
  • Propose and evaluate alternative designs and options, showing a critical awareness of options
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Time management
  • Use creativity and innovation in problem solving
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • Learn and study/research independently
  • Communicate your proposals succinctly
  • Report your work effectively
  • Collate and synthesise/prioritise information
  • Manipulate and analyse data
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use the junction design software LINSIG and ARCADY effectively.
  • Produce highway engineering drawings


Contact time in the module will include the following sessions, with each session including a mix of different delivery modes as decided by individual lecturers in consultation with the module lead: 1) Road classifications, standards and hierarchies 2) Introduction to traffic flow theory 3) Junction design: a. Priority junctions b. Roundabouts and grade separation c. ARCADY practical session d. Traffic signals: isolated junctions e. LinSig practical session f. Traffic signals: coordinated junctions g. Public transport priority 4) Highway construction: a. Geometric design of highways b. Highway materials and surfaces c. Road monitoring and maintenance methods and operations d. Highway Engineering surface features: Road markings, signing, furniture, lighting e. AUTOCAD practical session

Special Features

This module involves working with several specialist software packages, including ARCADY, LINSIG and AutoCAD.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures, computer practical sessions, seminars. Learning activities include: Individual design work, literature review/analysis, directed reading, site visit, student directed learning.

Wider reading or practice16
Completion of assessment task80
Practical classes and workshops7
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Follow-up work12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Croney, D and Croney, P (1991). The design and Performance of Road Pavements.. 

The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. 

Salter, R.J and Hounsell, N.B (1996). Highway Traffic Analysis and Design. 

Mannering, Fred L. et al (2009). Principles of Highway Engineering and Traffic Analysis. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Coursework 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Coursework 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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