SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN226606
Module Leader Caroline Tuff
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to support those employed in railway operations or seeking a career in railway operations, to function effectively in the railway operations context, and to provide them with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the elements shown in the syllabus This module will consider the similarities and differences of railway operations management across a range of countries to identify best practice. The political and economic imperatives which led to the re organisation of railways in the European Community will be explored. The concept of Interoperability will also be introduced and students will be encouraged to compare and contrast with their own national networks with others. The module will also consider light, metro, tram-train and heavy operations in the operational context.


During this module students will cover a syllabus developing the following principal areas: -360 1. Control of the International railway systems -360 2. The political and economic drivers behind railway operations 3. Technical standards and interoperability 4. Cross border operations including international freight operations 5. Major traffic flows in Europe and the major players 6. Traffic and Engineering operations 7. Language and cultural issues 8. European, Middle East and Euro Med initiatives, funding and aspirations

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:1. Critically analyse selected practices as implemented on different railways, assessing their value, and identifying opportunities for improvement.2. Critically evaluate and contrast the ownership, funding and value creation within two international organisations (passenger or freight).3. Research and critically evaluate trends in new technology and research and development relating to traction, train control systems, traffic control systems and intermodal operations in an international environment.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be expected to draw on academic theories and techniques in order to frame, analyse and solve actual work-based problems. To this end learning will involve not only formal but informal learning strategies and assessment. This module particularly emphasises the integration of learning and work e.g. the student's assessment may involve them in conducting actual work based analysis and decision making within a work context. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon managerial practices within the workplace. The teaching and skills development programme will be supported via GCU Learn, which will also enhance the students' ability to utilise e-communication.

Indicative Reading

Publications Railway Familiarisation Course - Office of the Rail Regulator Railway Safety Principles and Guidance series (obtainable through Glover, J. (2013) Principles of Railway Operation. London: Ian Allan Publishing Managing Railway Operation & Maintenance, Best Practices from KCRC, R Hirsch (ed) University of Birmingham and A & N Harris. 2007. Railway Timetable & Traffic, Hansen, I. A., Pachl, J, (Eds), Eurail Press, 2008. Useful Websites Department of Environment, Transport & Regions ( Network Rail ( Railway Safety & Standards Board ( Office of the Rail Regulator ( Health & Safety Executive ( National Rail ( Light Rail Transit Association ( Commission for Integrated Transport

Transferrable Skills

Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. Interpersonal Skills: an ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others on a complex group assignment. Communication skills, negotiation skills and presentation skills when participating in the group work and group presentation. Peer assessment: skills in giving and receiving constructive feedback. Research skills: data gathering using secondary methods, and data analysis. C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Powerpoint and MS Word packages for presentations and report writing; accessing and using industry databases such as FAME, MINTEL, KEYNOTE. Using Refworks software to develop referencing skills, and Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (PT) 3.00
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 145.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Summative 1: Written Assessment. 4000 words.