“CIRO’s academic programme gave me the opportunity to study other areas of the railway industry. Without this, I wouldn’t have had the insight that this work-based learning provided.

Lauren Elizabeth Challis, LTP Traincrew Diagrams Manager, South Western Railway
Graduate, Certificate of Higher Education in
Railway Operations Management


Did you go straight to work from school? Or are you new to the rail industry?

If so, this one-year course is ideal for you.

Enhance your professional qualifications

This is a work-based learning course that offers you the opportunity for professional development in railway operational management. We deliver it with our academic partner, Glasgow Caledonian University.

The rail industry is constantly changing, so we aim to make our learning experiences relevant.

The course is delivered over three trimesters. Students on this level complete two modules simultaneously per trimester. So, students will complete six modules in total.

Each module begins with a classroom-based tutorial. You have a personal tutor for each module who supports, guides and mentors you through the content.

You will learn basic railway operations and gain a background to the principles of railway operations.

The course gives you a wide spectrum of knowledge in railway operations and helps you to understand the railway as a system. It helps you to understand how the different parts of the rail industry operate and how they work together.

The first module covers the foundations of personal and professional development. Students will develop professional competencies in a business context and have the opportunity to practice and develop key academic skills. This module equips students to become more confident, independent learners and effective writers in an academic environment.

Following on from this, our ‘Customer and Stakeholder Delivery in Rail’ module will enable students to gain a broad understanding of the elements that combine to deliver the optimum level of customer service to rail customers. You will be introduced to tools and methods used by commercial organisations to formulate models of best practice in customer service.

Further modules cover subjects such as compliance, safety and risk, management skills, quality and planning.

Key development aims are to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills for effective railway operations management. All six modules focus on improving your confidence and competency in railway operations.

Each module will allow students to gain an understanding of the wider rail industry and how their role fits within it; from understanding the basics of what a performing railway is and how it serves its customers to the importance of railway management.


This course will help you to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the rail industry and railway operations management by increasing awareness and appreciation of the complexity of the rail environment.
  • Develop your reflective skills through academic assessment. Students will undertake independent research and plan an investigative project based on an identified issue within the workplace.
  • Gain skills and knowledge to help you critically think about the issues you face in your day-to-day job.
  • Better understand the various factors that can influence your role within railway operations management.
  • Gain an academic qualification for the rail industry.

Is this course for you?

Entry requirements

‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL) or any of the qualifications below:

  • GCSE AS and A Levels
  • NVQ Level 3
  • SVQ Level 3
  • Scottish Highers
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Advanced Apprenticeship

For more information about RPL please contact learning@railwayoperators.co.uk

Knowledge and experience

Your relevant experience may be that you are:

  • New to the industry
  • Started work after school with few qualifications

It is also suitable for people who have experience and want to expand their knowledge.

Ready to find out more?

Register Your Interest