Rail and rail systems senior engineer

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Important notice

The structure for this course is currently being reviewed and enhanced to provide the best possible learning experience for our students. Module structure, content, delivery and assessment are all likely to change, but we expect the focus of the course and the learning outcomes to remain as described below. Once the changes have been confirmed, updated module information will be published on this page.

Rail and rail systems senior engineer

Level 6 degree apprenticeship
Studying BEng (Honours) Railway Engineering

Develop a wide range of skills and knowledge as you work on real-life engineering problems on live railway projects

About the apprenticeship

Course length: 5 years, part-time

Start date: September

Course level: Level 6

University award: BEng (Honours) Railway Engineering

How much it costs: funded through the employer

Course summary

  • Gain a bespoke railway engineering degree and choose a pathway in either electrical and mechanical, civil and track or signalling and telecoms engineering.
  • Get support mentoring throughout your studies to become a professional railway engineer.

This course meets a huge demand for practical skills in railway engineering and offers options to those not looking for the traditional academic standard engineering degree route into rail. You’ll choose to specialise in track and civil, signalling and telecoms, mechanical or electrical.

This course meets the rail and rail systems senior engineer apprenticeship standard.

How you learn

As well as expanding your understanding of railway engineering, you’re encouraged to specialise in an area that interests you, and to undertake active projects within the workplace. You’ll also gain the professional and personal skills you need to progress your career within the sector.

You learn through:

  • part-time study at Sheffield Hallam
  • workplace learning
  • coursework
  • project reports
  • portfolio work

Campus facilities

You'll study at our City Campus, based in our state-of-the-art lab and teaching facilities and using cutting edge technology.

Entry requirements

Throughout the course, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours at university. They can be existing employees looking to develop their careers, or new applicants to the business.

Applicants must:

  • be over 18
  • not be in full time education
  • have the right to abode in the UK
  • meet the course entry requirements

GCSE (or equivalent)

GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or grade 4, or above.

If you don't have this yet, you'll need to achieve this level before you take your end-point assessment.

UCAS points and college grades

112 UCAS points including at least 64 points from two A levels or equivalent BTEC. National qualifications to include mathematics or a mathematics-based subject to at least AS level. For example:

  • BBC at A Level including mathematics or a mathematics-based subject plus at least one other from physics, physical science, engineering science, computer science, technology, chemistry or other science or technology subject. 
  • DMM in BTEC Extended Diploma in a science or technology-based subject (including passes in mathematics and two other science or technology-based modules).


  • A combination of qualifications which must include mathematics or a mathematics-based subject and may include AS levels, EPQ and general studies.

Additional qualifications

 We may also consider applicants with relevant work experience. 


The programme adopts a blended learning approach with modules delivered through a combination of lectures, class-based seminars, practical work and site visits.

Throughout the course, you will study these core modules:

  • Rail engineering mathematics 
  • Rail engineering principles 
  • Legislative and business studies 
  • Rail industrial project 
  • Rail specific engineering practice 
  • Project and quality management 
  • Applied engineering mathematics 
  • Rail engineering management 
  • Rail engineering end point assessment project 

You will also study specific modules depending on the subject you choose to specialise in.

Civil pathway modules 

  • Geotechnics and drainage
  • Railway structures 
  • Track engineering 
  • Railway structure practice 
  • Track engineering practice 
  • Geotechnics and environment
  • Structural design and analysis 

Track pathway modules

  • Geotechnics and drainage 
  • Track engineering standards 
  • Track engineering 
  • Track engineering practice 
  • Track engineering standards practice 
  • Geotechnics and environment 
  • Track engineering analysis

Signalling pathway modules 

  • Electronic, electrical and processor engineering 
  • Signal engineering 
  • Signal engineering practice 
  • Signalling and telecommunication principles 
  • Signalling and telecommunication principles practice 
  • Railway communications 
  • Signalling design 

Mechanical and electrical pathway modules 

  • Electronic, electrical and processor engineering 
  • Railway electrical engineering 
  • Railway mechanical engineering 
  • Railway electrical engineering practice 
  • Railway mechanical engineering practice 
  • Advanced railway electrical engineering 
  • Supply and distribution 

Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change.

Next steps

If you are an applicant

To apply for this apprenticeship, you must first have a suitable employer who can support your application. We can support you to encourage your employer to offer an apprenticeship. You will then apply for the course through them.

If you don’t currently have a job, we can help you find an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer

If you want to offer an apprenticeship for an existing employee or a new recruit, get in touch.

If you have 15 or more potential apprentices, we can tailor the programme to your business.

This course is delivered by Sheffield Hallam as part of the South Yorkshire Institute of Technology

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