Electrical and Railway Engineering BEng - Degree Apprenticeship

Rail and Rail Systems Senior Engineer

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

N/A. No tuition fees are payable.

Siemens Degree Apprenticeship

Do you want a traditional university degree, but would like to start earning a salary now? Do you have a strong work ethic and can be disciplined with your study? Do you want to start your engineering career with a leading employer? If you answered yes then this new and exciting degree could be right for you.

The University of Birmingham and Siemens Mobility have partnered to offer a brand new degree apprenticeship programme. This Level 6 degree apprenticeship is one of a kind and tuition fees are fully paid, as well as students receiving a monthly salary. The programme allows you to gain a traditional university degree combined with practical work-based projects and industry experience.

This four-year Electrical and Railway Engineering BEng - Degree Apprenticeship programme, designed in partnership with Siemens Mobility, will enable you to gain strong theoretical and practical skills in electrical and railway engineering, and to collaborate with academics who are global experts in their field, whilst also gaining work experience with Siemens during placements. On these placements you will get to work with some of the biggest brands in the world.

You will be actively involved in developing the specific design and professional skills required by electrical/railway engineers and will tackle numerous design problems to develop your analytical, technical and decision-making abilities. You will gain a thorough understanding of electrical engineering, whilst also gaining experience in a range of railway system issues and disciplines.

You will spend your first and second year at University, learning the fundamentals of electrical engineering and the core elements of the railway system. Siemens Mobility guarantees industry experience during your summer vacation after your first year, plus a whole year during the 3rd year of your degree. You’ll then return to study the final year of your degree back at the University of Birmingham. Throughout all four years you will earn a salary and incur no fee costs at all.

Why study Electrical and Railway Engineering at Birmingham?

  • Gain valuable work experience with your third year spent working at Siemens Mobility
  • Earn a salary while you learn and have your tuition fees fully paid for by Siemens Mobility
  • 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.
  • The department fosters a lively student community with a strong discipline identity and close working relationships with highly supportive staff.

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


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.  All modules compulsory.

  • 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

In your third year you will undertake a full year in industry with Siemens Mobility.

Year 4

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. You will also collect evidence, throughout all four years, which shows how you’re picking up the skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standard. You will present this in your final year Engineering Practice Portfolio module.

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
  • Engineering Practice Portfolio - 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.


Applicants admitted to this programme will be simultaneously employed as apprentices by Siemens Mobility. No fees are payable.

Applicants who meet the academic requirements for our Electrical and Railway Engineering degrees who are not offered an apprenticeship position will be made an offer of a place for one of our standard Electrical and Railway Engineering programmes where tution fees will be payable.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code 71HD

Additional assessment

Suitable applicants will also have to submit a supplementary application for the employers’ use, and will be invited to an assessment day at the University. This will give you a chance to find out more about the programme, tour our campus, and meet current staff, students and colleagues from Siemens Mobility.

Guaranteed offer

Applicants will be notified of the decision on their degree apprenticeship application after attending an assessment day. Those that are not successful in gaining a place with Siemens on the Degree Apprenticeship programme will be automatically offered a place on the BEng Electrical and Railway Engineering undergraduate degree programme.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
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 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.

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.

Siemens Mobility will offer you a graduate job at the end of the degree programme providing you meet their performance criteria.


During your placements you will be productively employed and play an active, and valued, part on project teams and will make meaningful contributions to fee earning client projects. You will be equipped with the opportunity to apply your learning in a challenging but fully supported environment. 

Alongside developing your technical skills through your placements with Siemens Mobility you will develop a combination of interpersonal skills (eg rapport building, behavioural styles, working in a team and networking) and consulting skills, (eg models of consulting, distinctive business advisor, change management and analytical skills) embedding the Siemens Mobility experience.

Professional Accreditation