BEng (Hons) Rail and Rail Systems Senior Engineer Apprenticeship (Traction and Rolling Stock)Southwark Campus
The Rail and Rail Systems Senior Engineer Apprenticeship includes a degree qualification, BEng (Hons) in Rail and Rail Systems Engineering. This Apprenticeship Standard aligns with the current edition of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) at Incorporated Engineering (IEng) level.
The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for IEng.
The BEng in Rail and Rail Systems Engineering (Traction and Rolling Stock) is distinctive in that it teaches the underlying principles of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering coupled with the required software tools and systems engineering approach to design and enable graduates to tackle complex engineering projects that are common place in the rail engineering sector.
This course focuses especially on the Traction and Rolling Stock elements 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 relevant aspects related to Electrification of track and various other track side equipment either fed from the track supply or a local DNO and the L5 analytical modules provided the background required to understand the more advanced aspects related to Electrical Plant associated with both the traction equipment and the rolling stock, their operational requirements, operating characteristics etc at L6 and the more advanced aspects of sustainability of rolling stock and condition monitoring, as well as requirement for traction and rolling stock for high speed railway. 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 of everyone while working as a team and sharing responsibility to see through the team idea into a product or service.
The course ultimately culminates into a systems-based approach in the final stages bringing together knowledge accrued both in the general electrical/electronic domain, professional practice aspects, knowledge about application and development of relevant standards, coupled with the solid technical knowledge gained in the L5 and L6 modules, complemented by Research Methods and Data Analytics modules, will prepare graduates to successfully complete the apprenticeship requirements and prepare for the next level of career progression for these practising engineers.
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 Incorporated Engineer and partially satisfies the requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer) and also meet the requirements of the Rail & Rail Systems Senior Engineer standard.
The full apprenticeship standard and assessment plan can be found on the IfA website.
4 years + EPA
All modules are compulsory, and most modules attract 20 credits, except for the individual BEng project which along with the integrated End Point Assessment attracts 60 credits.
- 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.
- Introduction to electrical and electronic principles
This module is intended to introduce the basic principles of electrical and electronic engineering for learners from non-relevant background. The material is broadly divided into two parts entitled. The Electronics part covers introduction to passive components and active devices and their role in creating simple standard analogue circuit building blocks. The Electrical part covers simple linear circuits and their behaviour in circuits energised by DC and AC sources.
- Introduction to mechanical engineering principles
This module introduces students to the principles of statics and dynamics, based on Newtonian physics and the concept of equilibrium; and to the properties and limitations of engineering materials and the science by which we understand these materials.
- Introduction to traction and rolling stock
This module introduces the basic concepts of the traction and rolling stock covering the types of the traction locomotives and rolling stock, their capacity, traction energy and specifications. It also covers common vehicle hazards and rail laying and construction machines and plants. CAD may be used in the design and modelling of the traction and rolling stock.
- 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.
- 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.
- Traction and rolling stock systems
This module describes the systems of the traction and rolling stock including their operation and maintenance in addition to application of related monitoring and control technologies. It provides knowledge and understanding of the traction and rolling stock types of defects, inspection methods, causes of the defects and repair techniques in order to provide a safe operation of these systems.
- 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.
- Rolling stock sustainability and condition monitoring
This level 6 module covers the key elements of sustainability of the rolling stock, namely; the economic, environmental and social aspects and provides knowledge and understanding of the procedure and techniques used for monitoring the condition of the rolling stock to ensure their safe operation.
- Traction and rolling stock for high-speed railway
This module describes the types of traction locomotives and rolling stock of the high-speed railway and considers the effect of the high-speed trains and related requirements in terms of their design, capacity and operations. The traction includes the use of electric power, diesel, hybrid and clean energy whilst the rolling stocks include passenger and freight train cars and the specialised maintenance and construction plants.
- Research methods
The module provides students with the ability to understand the key aspects of research methods. It enables students to discuss, evaluate and use a variety of research methods and techniques for their chosen subject area of Computer Science and Informatics and to develop a professional and ethical approach to carrying out research-based projects. It also equips students with entrepreneurial and innovation skills increasingly sought by industry and employers..
- Data analytics
This module provides a broad introduction to the basic theory, concepts, and techniques of data mining, and its role in business and scientific research. It will cover the main topics in the area. The focus of the practical aspect of this module is to develop hands-on experience and skills in solving real-world data mining problems. SAS® Enterprise Miner and SAS® Enterprise Guide will be taught and used throughout module for practical data mining projects. Simple Python scripts for data manipulation will be discussed and used.
- BEng rail systems engineering project
The individual major project requires students to plan, execute, review and report upon a major piece of technical work directly related to their degree discipline. In this regard, it provides students with the opportunity to develop a high degree of subject specific expertise.
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 L6 equivalent requirements for the core knowledge and skills required for the Rail and Rail Systems Senior Engineer apprenticeship standard and differs very much from a standard undergraduate degree.
Learners will be aiming to work as a Junior/Senior Engineer in the railway industry.
Learners are already in employment within the Railway industry.
This is a Level 6 UG course and students can wish to progress to a suitable MSc course in the relevant area.
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.
The course is developed to meet the core knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements of the Rail and Rail Systems Senior Engineer apprenticeship standard appropriate to L6.
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 learning
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).
Dr Fang Duan
Lecturer; Director of Intelligent Condition Monitoring and Asset Management Research Centre
To be considered for entry to the first year of this course applicants will be required to have the following qualifications:
- 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.
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.
How to apply
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4 years + EPA
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 online 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 using our online application system.
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
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.
- A Croft and R Davison, (2015) Mathematics for Engineers, A Modern Interactive Approach, 4th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.
- A Croft and R Davison, (2016) Foundation Mathematics, 6th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.
- K. A. Stroud and Dexter J. Booth, (2013) Engineering Mathematics, 7th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.
- K. A. Stroud and Dexter J. Booth, (2011) Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 5th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.
- L. Bostock and S. Chandler, (2000) Core Mathematics for Advanced Level, 3rd Edition, Stanley Thornes.
- L. Bostock, S. Chandler and C. Rourke, (1982) Further Pure Mathematics, Stanley Thornes.
Principles of Electrical Engineering
- Boylestad, R.L., 2013. Introductory Circuit Analysis: Pearson New International Edition. Pearson.
- Floyd, T.L. and Buchla, D., 2009. Electronics fundamentals: circuits, devices & applications. Prentice Hall Press.
- Neil Storey, 2013, Electronics: A systems Approach, 5th Edition, Pearson.
- James W. Nilsson and Susan A. Riedel, 2014, Electric Circuits, Prentice Hall 10th Edition
- Edminster, J A. Electric Circuits. (3rd Ed) McGraw-Hill, 1996.
- Horowitz and Hill, The Art of Electronics, Cambridge Press, 3rd Edition, 2013.
- 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
- Hart, S., 2016. Written English: A Guide for Electrical and Electronic Students and Engineers. CRC Press.
Analogue and Digital Electronics
- “Microelectronic circuits” - Adel S. Sedra, Kenneth C. Smith 2016.
- Fundamentals of Logic Design: Enhanced Edition | 7th Edition; Charles H. Roth Jr., Larry Kinney and Eugene B. John. Cengage Learning, 2020.
- “Electronic devices: conventional current version”, Thomas L. Floyd, Pearson Education, 2014, Harlow, Essex, 9th ed., New International edition.
- “The art of electronics” - Paul Horowitz, Paul Horowitz 2015.
Introduction to Traction and Rolling Stock
- Spiryagin, M., Cole, C., Sun, Y.Q., McClanachan, M., Spiryagin, V. and McSweeney, T., (2017), Design and Simulation of Rail Vehicles,1st Edition.
- Lao, K-W, Wong, M-C, Dai, N-Yi, (2020), Co-phase Traction Power Supply with Railway Hybrid Power Quality Conditioner.
- Quinn, A., Soper, D., Sterling, M., (2019), Train Aerodynamics Fundamentals and Applications, 1st Edition.
- Andrews, H. I., (1986), Railway Traction: The Principles of Mechanical and Electrical Railway Traction.
- British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock (2020)
Fees and funding
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.
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.