SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N226342
Module Leader Caroline Tuff
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September 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

This module bridges concepts of value and efficiency with planning provision by covering the financial and economic background to the rail industry, the nature of costs of a railway company and how these costs can change in different circumstances and over different timescales. The students will then explore the impact of operational planning and the use of planning processes, as a means of achieving political, service and economic imperatives. This will support them to analyse the possible impacts of new or modified train plans. The module will then consider how the creation and implementation of a timetable is developed over time and resourced. This will enable students to understand the influences on the building of commercial models for the provision of rail services that prioritise the interests of passengers and taxpayers.


The following key areas will be considered; -462b7 political and economic drivers behind railway operations b7 railway costs, for example, cost structure, fixed and variable costs, cost allocation. b7 Revenue, forecasting and distribution b7 public interest in railways-, for example, subsidy, franchise agreements, performance and regulation b7 technical standards and interoperability b7 major traffic flows in Europe and the major players b7 the timetable and resource planning process b7 Influences on train planning b7 The constituent elements of a "good plan"

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Analyse key components of the operational rail system key to the delivery of the service.2. Evaluate the delivery of the service.3. Analyse the impact of the operational plan on the delivery of Rail Business objectives 4. Evaluate ways to improve over budget plans whilst appreciating the impact on wider business objectives

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

CONNOR, P., HARRIS, N. G. & SCHMID, F., (eds), 2015, Designing and Managing Urban Railways, University of Birmingham & A & N Harris, London. GUBBINS, E. 2003. Managing Transport Operations , 3rd ed. The Institute of Logistics and Transport/Kogan Page HARRIS, N. G., HAUGLAND, H., OLSSON, N. and VEISETH, M., 2016. An Introduction to Railway Operations Planning , A & N Harris HARRIS, N.G. & SCHMID, F., 2003. Planning Freight Railways, 2003. London: A & N Harris NORRIS, B., MILLS, A. & CLARKE, T., 2016. Rail human factors: supporting the integrated railway. London: Routledge PROFILLIDIS, V., 2016. Railway management and engineering, 4 th ed, Abingdon: Routledge. PYRGIDIS, C. N., 2016. Railway transportation Systems: design, construction and operation. Boca Raton: CRC Press. WANG, Y., NING, B., VAN DEN BOOM, T. & SCHUTTER, B., 2016. Optimal Trajectory Planning and Train Scheduling for Urban Rail Transit Systems. Cham: Springer.

Transferrable Skills

-425b7 Reflection and reflective writing b7 Self-manage learning and work in a self-directed manner. b7 Planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development b7 Communication skills: literacy and numeracy b7 Critical thinking, assessment and evaluation skills -425b7 Retrieval and analysis of information -425b7 Problem solving and decision making b7 Negotiation, time management and forward planning skills -426b7 Applying theory to practice

Module Structure

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

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% CW1: Work Based AssignmentWord count: 4000 wordsWeighting: 100%Addressing: All LOs