Electrical and Railway Engineering BEng

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
71H9
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£22,260 (International)
Further information

Our stimulating Electrical and Railway Engineering BEng degree programme enables you to gain strong theoretical and practical skills in electronic and electrical engineering and to collaborate with academics who are global experts in their field.

Building on the global reputation of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, you will obtain a thorough Electrical Engineering education alongside a specific focus on the railway industry. Unique in the UK, this programme ensures that upon graduation you will have the skills and knowledge to benefit from the excellent career prospects in an industry experiencing significant growth.

You will be the subject expert on a major project during your degree, the projects are set and assessed alongside our partners from major industries. You’ll apply your in-depth technical knowledge and also learn how to share your ideas through virtual reality. In these projects, you’ll gain vital employability skills that will give you a competitive edge in applications forms, interviews and assessment tests for graduate jobs.

The Birmingham degrees in Electrical and Railway Engineering are the first of their kind in the UK. They have been put together in close collaboration with the railway industry; making them immediately relevant, ensuring you have the knowledge, experience and capability needed to have successful careers. Your studies will include core electrical engineering as well as specialised study on railway infrastructure, traction and energy, railway management, timetabling and control, and your design and research projects, which are highly valued by employers, will all have a railway focus.

Why study Electrical and Railway Engineering at Birmingham?

  • Accredited degrees, we have been an academic partner of the IET for over a quarter of a century providing employers with assurances that you have the qualities they seek.
  • Significant project work  which is highly valued by employers, is a thread that runs through your degree. This is underpinned by your coursework. Our projects and assessments developed with, and informed by, industry and research leaders.
  • Our degrees will  equip you to meet the technological challenges of the 21st century – autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, embedded computation, renewable energy, distributed generation, secure and high rate communications, electric vehicles, remote sensing, big data analytics, human-machine interactions, mechatronics, robotics.
  • Our courses are designed to meet the request from industry for graduates who are  well versed in subject fundamentals yet skilled in working across traditional boundaries.
  • You have the opportunity to choose specialities in your final year. See modules below.
  • The department fosters a lively student community with a strong discipline identity and close working relationships with highly supportive staff.
  • Graduates have gone on to work for highly respected organisations such as IBM, the National Grid and National Rail.

A degree that’s flexible to you

The programmes within the School of Engineering have been designed to give you choice. This allows you to find out more about the field of engineering that you want to further your studies in. These choices are shown below:

Choice 1: Complete year 1 and then decide which branch of engineering to follow. This also includes Mechanical (Automotive), Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering and Railway routes.

Choice 2: Complete year 2 and decide whether to continue onto the BEng or MEng* pathway. *Must achieve minimum grade for MEng pathway.

Choice 3: Complete year 2 and decide whether to take an industrial option, international study or continue with studying at Birmingham.  *Please contact Admissions for specific information about options.

The thing I really like about this course is that it’s an excellent platform for a railway career, but it’s still a strong Electrical Engineering degree from a prestigious university, so you aren’t tied to the railway industry. I chose Electrical and Railway Engineering because I’d always had an interest in the railway system, and this was a great opportunity to explore it in detail.

Marcus Milton, MEng Electrical and Railway Engineering

Modules

Year 1

Our first year has been designed to provide a contemporary and flexible educational model that builds upon essential engineering fundamentals to develop your broader understanding of behaviour, policy, entrepreneurship, and global perspectives and kindles the passion necessary to address the societal challenge agenda.

The first year is shared across the disciplines of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering.

First year engineering robotics class

Year 2

You’ll extend your technical understanding and learn how to apply your knowledge and creativity to solving electrical and railway engineering problems. You’ll focus on designing real control systems and embedded systems. You will come to understand power transmission, railway infrastructure and traction systems. 

  • Digital Systems and Embedded Computing - 20 credits
  • Engineering Mathematics 2 - 20 credits
  • Electronic Circuits and Devices and Electromagnetics - 20 credits
  • Electrical Energy Systems and Control - 20 credits
  • Railway Traction - 20 credits
  • Railway Infrastructure Engineering - 20 credits

Year 3

During your third year you will solve real-world problems through a challenging individual design project in the railway sector. You will study railway operations and management and train control.

Core modules

  • Power Electronics and Power Systems - 20 credits
  • Individual Project - 40 credits
  • Railway Design Project (BEng) - 20 credits
  • Railway Management and Control - 20 credits

Optional modules

Select one, example optional modules may include:

  • Engineering Mathematics 3 - 20 credits
  • Electronic Engineering - 20 credits

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2019/20

UK/EU £9,250
International £22,260

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

 

Tuition fees for placement years

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code 71H9

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics. You must also pass the practical element of any reformed science A levels which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015.

General Studies not normally accepted as one of the three A levels, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of an offer marginally.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

6,6,5 at Higher Level to include Mathematics with a minimum of 32 points overall. 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma will be considered for BEng programmes providing there is sufficient Mathematics content and applicant satisfactorily completes our Mathematics aptitude test.
Grades: BEng; D*D*D* plus Distinction in all units required.

BTEC Diploma considered in combination with A Level. 
Grades: BEng; D*D* plus B. If the A level taken is not in Mathematics, then the BTEC Diploma must include Maths and Further Maths units, and the applicant must satisfactorily complete our Mathematics aptitude test.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered in combination with 2 A Levels
Grades: BEng; D*plus A B. If A level Mathematics is not taken, then the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma must include Maths and Further Maths units, and the applicant must satisfactorily complete our Mathematics aptitude test.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Are you a UK/EU student and would like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? If you are not studying A Level Mathematics you can consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.

 

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

You will benefit greatly from ongoing and substantial investment in new teaching spaces. Labs are kitted out with brand new, hi-tech equipment – supplied by multinational companies like National Instruments – and extensive key software through our partnership agreement with Microsoft.

Resources and facilities

Your learning is based around dedicated teaching and research facilities, with Electronics Laboratories for teaching and project work. We strive to be as flexible as possible, giving you the opportunity to specialise within your undergraduate study throughout your time at Birmingham.

We continue to review our facilities and have exciting new projects to enhance your time spent at the University of Birmingham:

New building and facilities for the School Of Engineering

The University has begun work on a new School of Engineering building which is due for completion in 2020. It will bring together many engineering disciplines into one state-of-the-art building.

Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) is a hub for science and engineering teaching, with multi-functional labs suitable for subject-specific and cross-disciplinary teaching and team working.

How you will learn

We are a small department within a large engineering school – so you get the best of both worlds. You will be taught from a combination of large-scale lecture tuition, small-group teaching (six students or fewer), and lab and other practical classes. We make extensive use of online learning tools, too, so you can study even when you’re not on campus.

Laboratory-based work is an integral part of your course, this is vital not only to develop your experimental practical skills, but also to reinforce concepts introduced in lectures. Practical sessions typically last two to three hours, although more advanced experiments and activities may span over several sessions.

All of our undergraduate programmes feature a significant level of project working in each year of study, with individual and group projects designed to prepare our graduates for teamworking, problem solving and project management.

How you will be assessed

Modules are assessed using a combination of exams, tests and coursework, the mix of which will be dependent upon the modules you select.

Feedback is an essential part of learning and we use a wide range of methods, such as written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor. You'll receive feedback on each assessment, highlighting the positives of your work as well as any areas that need more attention. 

Your personal tutor

At the start of your degree, you'll be assigned a personal tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies to help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and dealing with any welfare issues.
We also have our own Welfare Tutor/Wellbeing Officer who is able to provide practical and emotional support for you if you are experiencing personal problems that interfere with your academic work.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as testing your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

You will be taught by staff who are experts in their research fields: staff with extensive industrial connections, research staff and staff with teaching qualifications. They will provide you with tools to gain the creative, problem-solving and technical skills needed to undertake your final-year individual project.

As well as specialised labs with state-of-the-art facilities such as simulators, you may also get to work with internationally leading research groups. There are also opportunities to work in industry which will provide real-world experience.

Contact Hours

Throughout your degree, depending on module choice, you can expect around 20 hours of contact time per week on average. This consists of approximately 14 hours of lectures and 6 hours of tutorials/labs.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.


The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 shows that 96% of our department's graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Industrial Year

A year working in industry provides you with the opportunity to build skills and confidence in the workplace. Our Industrial Liaison Officer provides advice and support for students looking to complete an Industrial Year. Students within the department secure placements for a wide range of employers with students regularly taking an industrial year at IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, GE and Caterpillar.

Electronic and Electrical Engineering graduate Shifath, talks about why he chose to study at the University of Birmingham and how the degree programme prepared him for life post-graduation.

Shifath Nafis, BEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering graduate

Graduates who have studied our courses:


Example employers

  • Arup
  • Defence Science And Technology
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • IBM
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • National Grid
  • Network Rail
  • Wessex Water


Example careers

  • Analyst
  • Design engineer
  • Electrical power engineer
  • Client engagement
  • Lead software engineer
  • Automotive reader manager
  • Electrical engineer
  • Project control engineer

When looking at graduates it is highly important that they are engaged and connected with the working environment and are, for example, aware of the tools that are applied as part of their chosen profession.

The University of Birmingham prepares its students with practical hands-on sessions bridging the gulf between academia and industry very well, which in turn is very helpful to the individual candidate.

Johnny Ojeil, Director, Arup.

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience:

Professional Accreditation