Rail and Rail Systems Principal Engineer Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship (Railway Systems Engineering and Integration)

Course fact file

Course type

Postgraduate, taught


3 years (36 months) part time

Fees and funding

The Degree Apprenticeship will be paid for through your employer, there will be no costs incurred by you.

Start date


Study options

Postgraduate part time

Sessions will be delivered in intensive. week-long blocks of teaching.

Contact Details

For all enquiries relating to this programme please contact our Degree Apprenticeship team at:

Email: degreeapps@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4271
Mob: +44 (0)7976 230 204


At the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), we are leaders in railway science and education. With over 130 academics, researchers and professional support staff, we deliver world-class research and thought leadership within railways, and offer an expanding portfolio of high-quality education programmes.

Our close relationships with the rail industry mean that our research and teaching draws in real-world situations and by studying in depth what is happening across the world's railways, we prepare our learners for the challenges of the future.

The University of Birmingham is the first higher education institution to offer deliver of Level 7 Degree Apprenticeships to the Rail and Rail Systems Principal Engineer standard. You can find details of this standard on the Institute for Apprenticeships website where the skills, knowledge and behaviours for the standard are outlined.

Degree apprenticeships involve close partnerships between the employer, the apprentice and the University of Birmingham to collect, collate and demonstrate the skills, knowledge and behaviours specified. The University of Birmingham will work with your employer to confirm you achieve all of these, with the educational element provided via studying on the MSc Railway Systems Engineering and Intergration.

Why study this course?

  • The University of Birmingham has a reputation for high-quality, relevant and challenging railway engineering education towards accredited degrees.
  • This programme will support your application for Chartered Engineer status.
  • Intensive, week-long blocks of study supplemented by tutorials, team exercises and visits.
  • Blended learning that allows you to apply your learning in the workplace immediately and uses work-based experience in your academic study, adding value in both circumstances.
  • The induction course introduces rail and rail systems and study skills to those who may not have recent experience of higher education. It does not bear credit and is usually approxiamately 2 weeks in duration, taking place in late August/early September each year.
  • 60 academic credits are taken each year. The Railway Systems Engineering and Integration programme is accredited, and meets the educational aspects of the degree apprenticeship standard.
  • You will be employed in an appropriate role which will provide knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the apprenticeship standard. Throughout the apprenticeship, you will compile a portfoilio of evidence against the apprenticeship requirements and which guides the discussion during regular tripartite meetings between you, your employer and the University. The portfolio also forms an element of the end point assessment.
  • The End Point Assessment (EPA) is an integrated assessment and comprises a work-based research project with a written report, a presentation to a panel of assessors and an occupational competence interview. The University will provide supervision and support for both the project and the preparation towards the EPA alongside employer supervision.

Modules and teaching

Each module takes place over an intensive week-long block and comprises classroom lectures, tutorials, team exercises, visit and assignments to embed and draw each element of the subject together. 


Fees and funding

The Degree Apprenticeship will be paid for through your employer, there will be no costs incurred by you.

All employers who have a payroll over £3 million pay an Apprenticeship Levy. They can use this levy to fund your enrolment on the programme.

Entry requirements

A good first degree in relevant subject or an equivalent professional qualification. Subject to interview (and sometimes a special test) candidates without a first degree may be admitted onto this programme. It will also be at the discretion of your employer whether you meet their requirements for the course.

How to apply

You will need to apply for the Degree Apprenticeship through your employer, who will have their own selection criteria.

For all enquiries relating to this programme please contact our Degree Apprenticeships Manager:

Email: degreeapps@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4271
Mob: +44(0)7976 230204