The programmes in Railway Risk and Safety Management have been jointly developed by the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham and the High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) Group at the University of York.
The programme team aims to create a deep and robust understanding of approaches to manage safety and risk in transport systems and projects. The partners 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.
The basic requirement is a good Honours degree in an appropriate science-related discipline (for example, Engineering, Physics, Economics or Mathematics) and evidence of a very good knowledge of the English language. However, practical experience may also be an important consideration or an alternative to a numerate degree.
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries
This postgraduate programme is intended for people working on or expecting to work for mainline railways, metros, tram systems and automated people movers.
G0: Foundations of System Safety Thinking (September)
This is an introductory module. It outlines the principles of system safety, including risk, basic terminology and the main types of hazard and safety assessment techniques. It also overviews materials covered in later modules. It will be delivered through distance learning. This module is run by the HISE Group at the University of York.
G1: Induction Weekend (September)
This weekend course prepares the new students for the challenge of postgraduate study. It provides an introduction to railway systems engineering, a team activity, and lectures on the history, the legislative and financial background and the structure of British and European railway industry.
S1: Railway Operations and Control Systems Design (October)
The module covers the interdependent technical areas of the railway of operations and control systems. Areas addressed include the management of complexity, safe operation of freight and passenger train services, human resource management and environmental issues, as well as operations management and economics for the rail industry.
S4: Technology Strategy and Supply Chain Management (October)
This module addresses the choice of railway technology elements; matching technology to route, operational requirements and legislation. It discusses the option of future proofing, back-up systems and emerging technologies.
S2: Railway Traction Systems and Traction Supplies (November)
This module covers all aspects of motive power, from diesel-electric propulsion through to pulse width converter systems for electric motive power units. Individual lectures deal with the basic physics of traction, friction braking and dynamic braking systems, DC and AC motor design and traction supplies, power converters, and train detection. Industry-based speakers address the topics of station design, station systems and infrastructure power supply components.
G2: Safety and Risk Management in the System Development Process (November)
This module addresses hazard identification, the application of hazard analysis techniques, and the management and tracking of safety related risks through the development of a system. It also covers classical system safety analysis techniques such as fault trees (FTA) and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). This module is run by the HISE group at the University of York.
S3: Rolling Stock and Infrastructure Systems Interactions (December)
The infrastructure portion of this module is designed to give students an in-depth technical knowledge of the rolling stock and infrastructure systems and an understanding of how to design and maintain them in order to minimise risk and maximise safety.
G4: Safety Management Systems (January)
This module provides an awareness of the issues associated with conducting technical safety activities within an organisational and regulatory environment. It also aims to develop skills at applying theoretical safety engineering knowledge in situations constrained by human competency, resources and organisational culture. This module is run by the HISE group at the University of York.
G6: Systems Engineering and Ergonomics for Dependable Operations (February)
Dependability is defined as the combination of acceptable levels of reliability, availability and safety, often measured as service performance. The systems engineering portion of the module covers two broad areas: systems engineering and management of the engineering process, including project risk, risk control and reliability engineering.
G3: Computers and Safety in Critical Systems (February)
This module provides an introduction to the issues that must be considered when computers are used in safety-critical or safety-related applications. The emphasis throughout is on areas that are of potential concern to safety engineers.
G5: Through Life Safety (March)
This module addresses the safety issues that arise after system deployment, including safe management of operational systems; procedures required to maintain the safety of systems when maintenance or modification is required; and safety monitoring and advanced safety monitoring techniques. This module is run by the HISE group at the University of York.
G7: Review of Group Exercise-Based Learning
This module provides a summary review of the previous modules and calls upon the students to synthesise the objectives and the course in professional presentations. Also included are railway industry site visits to area companies in order to allow students to witness first-hand the implementation of the systems which have been exhibited in the course.
R1: Literature Review
R2: Research Skills Workshop
MSc Individual Investigative Research Project (January onwards)
Project topics are agreed between the student, the Universities and the sponsor, whether or not the student is a permanent employee. A project workshop help before the main project activity allows the postgraduate to learn more about finding a topic, developing a hypothesis and about carrying out the necessary research.
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