Engineered success

The Rail and Rail Systems Engineer Apprenticeship includes an engineering qualification in Rail and Rail Systems Engineering FdEng. This Apprenticeship Standard aligns with the current edition of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).

The FdEng in Rail and Rail Systems Engineering (Electrical) is distinctive in that it teaches the underlying principles of the related theory of electrical and electronic engineering coupled with the required software tools and systems engineering approach to design and enable graduates to tackle complex engineering projects that are commonplace in the rail engineering sector.

This course focuses especially on the Electrification of various assets on the Railway, their operational and regulatory requirements and their specific nature of operation. As learners progress through the course, they become more familiar with the rail industry's relevant aspects related to Electrification and the L5 analytical modules provided the background required to understand the more advanced aspects related to Electrical Plant, their operational requirements, operating characteristics etc. The team project at L5 will provide an opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams to foster an integrated work culture and also bring out the best in everyone while working as a team and sharing responsibility to see through the team idea into a product or service.

The course ultimately complements accrued knowledge both in the general electrical/electronic domain, professional practice aspects, knowledge about application and development of relevant standards, coupled with the technical knowledge gained in the L5 modules, to prepare them either towards a graduate course or achieve best practice in their professional career with the added understanding gained of the various sub-systems from a design perspective.

The overall aim of this course is to produce Engineers who hold a qualification that meets the educational requirements of the relevant Professional Engineering Institution for registration at the appropriate level (fully satisfies the academic requirements for registration as an Engineering Technician and partially satisfies the requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer) and also meet the requirements of the Rail & Rail Systems Engineer standard.

The full apprenticeship standard and assessment plan can be found on the IfA website.

Apprenticeship Employment Guidelines
Apprenticeship Evidence Pack Guidance

Why Rail Systems Engineering at LSBU?

From AI machine learning boot camp to silent film processing, there is a range of extracurricular activities for Engineering students to get involved in.


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Entry Level Requirements

To be considered for entry to the first year of this course applicants will be required to have the following qualifications:

Part-time students

  • L3 Network Rail  or equivalent Rail apprenticeship; L4 students will be considered for an advanced entry with benefit of few exemptions to modules already covered and similar in nature and content.
  • A Level BBB including Mathematics and/or Physical Sciences (120 UCAS points) or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DDM, including Level 3 Mathematics and Physical Sciences (128 UCAS points) or;
  • EAL Technical Extended Diploma in Engineering Technologies, D, including: Further Engineering Mathematics; Electrical and Electronic Engineering Principles; and other options relevant to Electrical and Electronic Engineering or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 24 Distinctions and 21 Merits, with at least half the course in Mathematics and Physical Science subjects (122 UCAS points) or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 120 UCAS points and including Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above) or;
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C, and a Mathematics qualification equivalent to reformed GCSE grade 4 or above, as assessed by UK NARIC.

Recognition of Prior Learning/Transfer Credit

Applicants may exceptionally be considered for entry to the second year of the course with the following qualifications.  Applicants will normally be interviewed and may be required to sit a Mathematics test to ensure their preparedness for direct entry.

In addition to the academic suitability, apprentices will also be assessed through a formal interview by the course director to establish that they have adequate work experience to support an advanced entry and that their related work experience can be documented through OneFile towards consideration for their e-portfolio/end point assessment. This will usually be in agreement with the employer so that the apprentice is supported fully.

  • BTEC Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or a closely related subject or;
  • DipHE in a directly-relevant subject or;
  • Transfer of 120 Level 4 credits from a directly equivalent degree course and with the approval of the director of that course or;
  • An overseas qualification assessed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least BTEC HND in a closely related subject and an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.
  • Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)

    RPEL may be considered in determining the entry requirements for candidates with relevant work experience but cannot replace the requirement for formal qualifications in Mathematics.

    Missing English and Maths qualifications?

    If you do not have the required English and Maths qualifications needed to satisfy the entry requirements for this programme, we have courses available at our partner College that you can take to upskill in these areas. Find out more at South Bank College.


    The cost of the apprenticeship is paid fully by the employer (sometimes part funded by the government) through apprenticeship levy. The apprenticeship levy is a pot of money some companies pay into, which all businesses have access to spend on the training costs of apprenticeships. Companies fall into two categories: levy-payers (who pay into the pot) and non-levy payers (who do not). You can find out more in our Levy and Funding section, specifically for employers

    The apprentice does not contribute toward the cost of study.


    Apprenticeship standards are all assigned a funding band by the Government – these funding bands are the maximum amount the Government will fund via the levy towards a given apprenticeship standard. There are currently 30 funding bands ranging from £1,000 to £27,000.


    Employers with less than 50 staff sending an apprentice aged 16-18 will have 100% of the training costs paid by the government. All employers who employ an apprentice aged 16-18 on the first day of teaching will receive a £1,000 incentive from the government. You can find out more in our Levy and Funding section, specifically for employers.


    You can find out the funding band for an Apprenticeship Standard on the Government website. To find out how much we are charging, please get in touch with us at apprenticeships@lsbu.ac.uk

    Field trips

    Some modules include field with and site visits, which may be residential or outside the United Kingdom, ranging from three to five days. These are organised by the Division and students   are required to contribute towards the cost.  If there are any field trips or any course visits as part of your course, we will let you know in good time.

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    An Apprenticeship Standard is comprised of a programme of study, an End Point Assessment and on-the-job learning. This means that in addition to meeting academic requirements, you’ll  need to be employed in a role related to your apprenticeship. The process of applying depends on whether you have an employer to sponsor (and support) you.

    If you are employed and your employer has confirmed they will support your apprenticeship:

    You are welcome to submit an application via our application system. You’ll need to provide details of your employment/employer as part of the application. You’ll also need to ensure you and your employer meet the requirements – find out who can be an apprentice to see if you meet the entry requirements and employer commitments to find out more about your employer’s role.

    If you are not employed:

    • You will need to find a job role related to the apprenticeship you wish to apply for, with an employer who is happy to support you. If you would like to find an employer to support your apprenticeship with LSBU, you can search which employers are currently advertising Apprenticeships via the National Apprenticeship Service website searching for ‘London South Bank University’ as keywords.
    • If there are no search results, this means there are currently no vacancies. We update our vacancies regularly, so please do check back regularly.
    • Many employers advertise their apprenticeship vacancies on their websites or via other portals. You could search for ‘find an apprenticeship’ online.
    • When you’re ready to apply, see the government's advice on how to write a winning apprenticeship application and make your application.

    Further information for apprentices

    If you’re a prospective apprentice, you can find out more about who can be an apprentice on our student pages.

    Further information for employers

    If you’re an employer, you can find information about the employer commitments and further related information on the related pages for business.

    See our admissions policy 1.0 MB and complaints policy 516.0 KB.

    Prepare to start

    There are steps the apprentices, the employer and the University need to complete before you start your course. Take a look at the steps to be completed in the Enrolment section. Employers may also like to look at our steps to offering an apprenticeship.

    Preparatory reading

    Mathematics module

    Core materials:
    1. A Croft and R Davison, (2015) Mathematics for Engineers, A Modern Interactive Approach, 4th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.
    Optional reading:
    1. A Croft and R Davison, (2016) Foundation Mathematics, 6th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.
    2. K. A. Stroud and Dexter J. Booth, (2013) Engineering Mathematics, 7th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. K. A. Stroud and Dexter J. Booth, (2011) Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 5th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. L. Bostock and S. Chandler, (2000) Core Mathematics for Advanced Level, 3rd Edition, Stanley Thornes.
    5. L. Bostock, S. Chandler and C. Rourke, (1982) Further Pure Mathematics, Stanley Thornes.

    Principles of Electrical Engineering

    Core materials:
    1. Boylestad, R.L., 2013. Introductory Circuit Analysis: Pearson New International Edition. Pearson.
    2. Floyd, T.L. and Buchla, D., 2009. Electronics fundamentals: circuits, devices & applications. Prentice Hall Press.
    3. Neil Storey, 2013, Electronics: A systems Approach, 5th Edition, Pearson.
    4. James W. Nilsson and Susan A. Riedel, 2014, Electric Circuits, Prentice Hall 10th Edition

    Optional reading:
    1. Edminster, J A. Electric Circuits. (3rd Ed) McGraw-Hill, 1996.
    2. Horowitz and Hill, The Art of Electronics, Cambridge Press, 3rd Edition, 2013.
    3. Hughes Electrical and Electronic Technology, Edward Hughes, John Hiley, Keith Brown and Ian McKenzie-Smith, Pearson education Ltd., (2016), ISBN: 978-1-292-09304-8
    4. Hart, S., 2016. Written English: A Guide for Electrical and Electronic Students and Engineers. CRC Press.

    Analogue and Digital Electronics

    Core materials:
    1. “Microelectronic circuits” - Adel S. Sedra, Kenneth C. Smith 2016.
    2. Fundamentals of Logic Design: Enhanced Edition | 7th Edition; Charles H. Roth Jr., Larry Kinney and Eugene B. John. Cengage Learning, 2020.
    3. “Electronic devices: conventional current version”, Thomas L. Floyd, Pearson Education, 2014, Harlow, Essex, 9th ed., New International edition.
    Optional reading:
    1. “The art of electronics” - Paul Horowitz, Paul Horowitz 2015.

    Programming for Engineers

    Core materials:
    1. Y. Danel Liang, Introduction to Programming with C++, Pearson; 3 edition (25 April 2013)
    Optional reading:
    1. Deitel, H., C++ How to Program (4th Edition), Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
    2. Harman & Jones, First Course in C++, McGraw-Hill, 1997.
    3. Parsons, D., Object Oriented Programming with C++, DP Publications, London, 1994.Edition),  Pub EPA Press 3rd ed, 2012.

    All modules are compulsory, and each module attracts 20 credits.

    Year 1

    • Mathematics for engineering
      This module consolidates the mathematical skills that underpin the BEng engineering degrees. It is specifically designed to cater for the wide differences in mathematical background of 1st year London South Bank Engineering students, as well as to prepare students for the Advanced Engineering Mathematics and Modelling module taken in the 2nd year.  Additionally, it aims to introduce students to the Matlab computing environment.
    • Principles of electrical engineering
      This module is developed to provide students the knowledge of analysing DC and AC electrical circuits. It provides necessary underpinning knowledge for students on the Rail and Rail Systems engineering courses to allow them to acquire further deeper understanding of more complex concepts in the various pathways.
    • Analogue and digital electronics
      This module develops advanced techniques in analogue electronic design covering discrete bipolar junction transistor (BJT) and op-amp related circuitry design, simulation, prototyping and testing. The module also covers the fundamental theory for the design of and the practical uses of digital electronics in the two design domains of combinational logic design and sequential logic design. The module studies hardware devices to build circuits for digital logic designs and tools to support the design and analysis of those circuits; these include standard logic gates and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA).
    • Programming for engineers
      This module introduces the syntaxes and semantics of programming language C++ and teaches students the intellectual knowledge in programming principles and programming skills with Object Oriented Programming (OOP) techniques. The practical skills include C++ program design with OOP and the use of the compiling tools for editing, compiling, linking and executing programs in workshops. After learning this module, students can pursue other software engineering and advanced programming courses and use OOP techniques to solve simple engineering problems.

    Year 2

    • Rail industry professional practice
      The module introduces professional working practice in the rail industry. It will examine rail specific legislation and regulation and the resulting safe and professional working practices. Regulations such as the Common Safety Method Risk Assessment will be introduced. The structure and operations of the rail industry shall be explored as well as industry procedures about safety and quality requirements. The module will also look at risk management and environmental impact of rail construction work and rail equipment. Finally, the module will expose students to corporate policies like sustainability, ethics, equality and diversity and discuss the need to be in compliance to those policies, as well as the ways in which to constructively challenge non-compliance.
    • Rail project and asset management
      The module introduces the asset and project management of railway systems. It gives an introduction of the project key challenges in the management of railway projects standing out from other projects, network rail GRIP process, TfL pathway process, and different aspects of management.  Preventive and condition-based maintenance will be introduced, which provides informed decision making to minimize the life-cycle-cost of the assets.  State-of-the-art advancements in IoT, data analytics, and digitalization will be discussed as important tools for asset management.    .
    • Advanced engineering mathematics
      This module covers undergraduate advanced engineering mathematics to enable students to consider and model a variety of relevant engineering problems (e.g. electrical, mechanical, petroleum, chemical, computer, civil).
    • Rail systems engineering
      The module introduces methods to model circuits, signals and systems required for the electrical, electronic, telecommunication and control systems. It shows how to analyse complex signals with Fourier series, Fourier transforms and Laplace Transforms.

    Year 3

    • Rail electrical systems and operation
      This level 5 module will enable students to develop an understanding of the electrical technology and systems that go into the Rail infrastructure. It covers material about the electrical services that form part of an integrated Railway system be it supply to Track (HV DC), signalling equipment on the track side and other ancillary services that either feed off the track supply or from a dedicated DNO supply point. Student will become familiar with final circuit design, plant sizing, related standards, etc. It also covers topics such as Earthing (IT systems) and Earth less DC systems as applied to the design of services to the Rail industry.
    • Electrical machines for railways and power electronics
      This level 5 module adopts a modern approach to the study of electrical machines (both DC and AC), 3-phase transformers and power electronic converters. The treatment emphasises the features common to all types of electrical machines and power electronic converters and then develops basic performance equations and equivalent circuits and applies them to common electrical machines and power converters in current use. The associated laboratory workshop features work on typical electrical machines and power converters.
    • Rail standards and specifications
      This module examines the Regulations and Regulatory frameworks within which Safety-critical industries such as the Rail industry operate.  It examines the importance of Legislation, Standards and Directives in ensuring the safety of workers in the industry, and members of the public, with an examination of the role of regulatory authorities (e.g. ORR). An important part of ensuring safety is translating high level requirements into specific procedures to be followed by staff working directly on equipment, as well as the need to ensure the design of such equipment takes all regulations and regulatory requirements into account as well as technical ones.
    • Rail engineering team design project
      This is a skills-based module developing students' understanding of the design process within Rail engineering, including factors that need to be taken into account in identifying and meeting requirements for new products*, i.e. outcomes of processes; working within Regulatory, professional and Standards requirements; developing practical skills; working as part of a team; handling information; project planning and management; and report-writing and presentation skills.


    Employability Service

    By completing the apprenticeship route, you’ll have the advantage of having real-world work experience, working in a role related to your area of study. This will give you a competitive edge among other graduates when you complete your apprenticeship standard.

    During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, who can help you develop your skills through the Careers Gym workshops and presentations. Our JobShop advisers support students and graduates with finding the right job for them.

    We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

    This course is only offered as an apprenticeship course to learners who are currently in employment in the rail industry with an employer such as Network Rail, or any other rail industry related employer.

    The content of this course was developed to meet the L5 equivalent requirements for the core knowledge and skills required for the Rail and Rail Systems Engineer apprenticeship standard and differs very much from a standard L5 degree.

    Learners will be aiming to work as a Sub/Junior Engineer in the railway industry.

    Learners are already in employment within the Railway industry.

    This is a Level-5 UG course and students can wish to top-up, with further study, to a BEng course.

    The course is developed to meet the core knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements of the Rail and Rail Systems Engineer apprenticeship standard appropriate to L5.

    Several teaching staff have industry links and are actively engaged in research with the relevant industries.

    We also have an Industrial Advisory board, membership of which is drawn from industries, who have been employers of our students and are major employers in the South East of England.

    Teaching and Assessment

    The course is taught using a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, computing and laboratory workshops. Students will also be undertaking group work and will do presentations as part of the course work requirements on some of the modules that form part of the course.

    The course is assessed using a combination of course work assessments such as logbooks, formal reports, open and closed book examinations, laboratory and computing workshop tests.

    The break down between course work and end of module exam weights vary across the modules and levels of the program, typically varying form 100% course work on certain modules, 50% course work and 50% examination on a handful of modules through to 30% course work and 70 end of module examination.

    Each student on the course is allocated a personal tutor in the first week of the first year (usually the course director) on the course as part of Personal Development Plan (PDP).

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    Apprentice Guide

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    Contact information

    Course Enquiries - UK

    Tel: 0207 815 7500