14 months
21960 GBP/year
15557 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Railway Safety and Control Systems programme at University of Birmingham provides an all-round level of knowledge and education and equips the next generation of industry leaders. It provides you with the opportunity to delve deeper into risk/safety management or railway communications including the digital railway.

Visit the official programme website for more information


This Railway Safety and Control Systems programme focuses on risk and safety systems design; risk and safety systems operation; and communication and control systems (including signalling). Efficient communication and control of operations, together with the prevention of the loss of life and livelihood associated with railway crashes and incidents, are high priorities for all organisations involved.

We recognise that each transport sector and mode has its own specific features but seek to ensure that a common approach is taken to the generic issues involved in ensuring dependable operations. As a result, you will develop a deep and robust understanding of approaches to manage safety and control in transport systems and projects, taking advantage of expertise from two leading UK universities.


This Railway Safety and Control Systems programme at University of Birmingham is intended for those who wish to establish or enhance their career in the safe operation of transport systems.

Companies employing graduates include mainline railways, metros, tram systems and automated people movers. Safety is high on the agenda of transport operators around the world and our graduates are in high demand.

The introduction of the Digital Railway means a greater emphasis on train communications and control over traditional signalling technologies, meaning graduates of the Communication and Control pathway will be highly sought-after around the world.

Furthermore, the Communication and Control pathway is designed to provide partial/full exemption from the IRSE professional examination for signalling engineers: the PG Cert is designed to exempt candidates from Examination module 1 and the PG Diploma, the full examination.


The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, Institute of Highway Engineers).

Programme Structure

The programme has three possible pathways for:

  • Railway risk and safety systems: this pathway emphasises systems engineering and safety in critical systems, for designing new safety systems.
  • Railway risk and safety operations and organisation: this pathway emphasises management and safety throughout the system's lifecycle, for engineers and managers who will be responsible for the safe operation of a railway system.
  • Railway communications and control (include signalling): completion of this pathway, to PG Diploma or MSc level, is aimed at exemption from the institution of Railway Signalling Engineers' (IRSE's) examination to Professional Railway Signalling Engineer recognition. It includes theory and practice in railway control systems; one module is a practice-based in signalling and control systems. 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 14 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines

More details
  • Application deadline for full time study is 31 May
  • Application deadline for part time study is 30 June


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Engineering, Physics, Economics or Mathematics).
  • All applicants will be asked to attend an interview to support their application and determine their suitability to the programme.
  • Practical experience will also be taken into account. If you have no or limited industry experience you will be required to attend the introductory course. 

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    21960 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 25620 GBP for the full programme during 14 months.
  • National

    15557 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 18150 GBP for the full programme during 14 months.

UKFees with Integrated Presessional Programme

  • Diploma full-time £12,660
Fees without Integrated Presessional Programme
  • MSc full-time £16,470

Fees with Integrated Presessional Programme

  • Postgraduate Diploma full-time £18,840

Living costs for Birmingham

765 - 1134 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Railway Safety and Control Systems
University of Birmingham


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