SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1N226331
Module Leader Caroline Tuff
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Students must be working in the rail industry in a full-time, part-time or voluntary capacity.

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to support those employed in railway operations to function effectively in the railway operations context. To provide them with the necessary knowledge and understanding of key operating principles, safety protocols, cross organisational/interdepartmental working and compliance which constitute the tools that operators control. The module then examines risk practices and methods of risk assessment, security procedures and incident investigation and the use of evaluation and feedback when planning improvements.


The following key areas will be considered: -320b7 Block Signalling b7 The track b7 Electrified railway systems b7 From the cab and line side features b7 Engineering work b7 Level Crossings b7 Yard, depot and station operations b7 Communication and control. b7 Compliance b7 Process improvement Methodology b7 The importance of safe and efficient working b7 I nappropriate behaviour; recognising this and taking prompt, appropriate action. b7 Emergency and incident management; investigation, corrective action and preventative controls. b7 Risk practices and risk assessment b7 Organisational/interdepartmental working

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Describe key operating principles of railways2. Explain how various organisations and departments work together to deliver operating principles3. Explain mechanisms for procedural, regulatory and legal stakeholder compliance and the effect of non-compliance on the rail business4. Utilise reflection to summarise module related learning.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This work-based module adopts a blended approach to learning which combines face to face contact, through classroom based tutorials and/or webinars, and online learning via GCU's virtual learning environment, GCU Learn. The teaching and learning strategy encourages an active and self-directed approach to learning. In the context of a work-based ethos, teaching and learning methods use real world and real work scenarios to promote inquiry and problem based learning in a collaborative learning environment. Students will be expected to take an objective stance and use a wide range of evidence to support their arguments, for example academic theories/theoretical perspectives/concepts/techniques/principles/rules and regulations in order to frame and analyse actual work-based problems. Learners will be supported during the module by the module team including module tutors and the IRO Learning and Development team as well as dedicated GCU academic members of staff including Academic Development Tutors (ADT's). Module tutors act as facilitators of learning and assessment and also determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery. They also support students to identify relevant work activity that can operate as a source for work-integrated learning and assessment. ADTs provide support for academic writing and the development of study techniques. Both formative and summative assessment strategies will be adopted during the module. Formative assessment is used as a foundation upon which students can build towards their summative work. Formative opportunities will be used to provide developmental feedback to enhance students' learning and academic writing. The summative assessment will enable students to demonstrate their learning in relation to the module learning outcomes in a work-based context.

Indicative Reading

GLOVER, J., 2013. Principles of Railway Operations , Ian Allan Publishing HALL, C. 2016. Modern Signalling Handbook , 5 th ed. Ian Allan Publishing HALL, S. & VAN DER MARK, P., 2008. Level Crossings , Ian Allan Publishing KICHENSIDE, G. & WILLIAMS, A., 2009. Two Centuries of Railway Signalling , 2 nd ed, Ian Allan Publishing MARSDEN, C. J., 2019. Rail Guide 2019: Main Line Systems , Crecy Publishing ROLT, L. T. C., 2009. Red for Danger: The Classic History of Railway Disasters , 2 nd ed.The History Press Ltd The Rule Book (GE/RT8000) and other National Operations Publications from the RSSB, available from: <> RAIB accident reports, available from: <> Rail Magazine, Available at: <> Modern Railways, Available at: <>

Transferrable Skills

-426b7 Reflection b7 Independent learning b7 Professional behaviours b7 Written communication skills b7 Information retrieval skills: library and internet research skills b7 Problem solving b7 Time management skills b7 Applying theoretical principles to workplace

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (PT) 128.00
Seminars (PT) 25.00
Lectures (PT) 7.00
Assessment (PT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 30.00 35% CW2: A learning Log not exceeding 1000 wordsWeighting: 30%Addressing LO4
Course Work 01 n/a 70.00 35% CW1: A written work based assignment not exceeding 2000 wordsWeighting: 70%Addressing LO1, 2 & 3