“CIRO offered the perfect course for me in its Diploma of Higher Education. It is pitched perfectly to build on my 13 years of practical rail working experience to date. This course is significantly bridging the gaps in my knowledge.”

Carol Ingram, Network Change Co-Ordinator for Network Rail’s Northwest and Central Region.

Current student, Diploma of Higher Education in Railway Operations Management


This two-year course is ideal for those looking to further their education in rail, and already have a Certificate of Higher Education, or equivalent.

You may also be suitable for the course if you possess certain qualifications and a few years of industry experience. This could be acknowledged through the Recognition of Prior Learning.

Taking part in rail industry courses is a good way of fast-tracking yourself to a dream job in the rail sector. Taking part in this course provides the skills and knowledge needed to go far in a variety of job roles. These vary from railway safety officer to railway operations manager.

This is a work-based learning course for people looking to develop enhanced commercial awareness and achieve continuous personal improvements in vital rail skills. We deliver this programme in conjunction with our academic partner, Glasgow Caledonian University.

It is comprised of five modules which are delivered over six trimesters. Each module begins with a classroom-based tutorial. You are then assigned a personal tutor for each module who will support, guide and mentor you through the programme.

Throughout this course, you will focus on developing your railway operations knowledge and expertise. The course is specifically designed to help you think critically and solve associated problems. In the five modules, you will be challenged to master the tools that will help you to deliver excellence in railway operations.


This course will help you to:

  • Advocate ways to achieve continuous business improvement by utilising newly learnt skills and best practice models.
  • Use your enhanced commercial awareness to better understand your role and how it relates to the wider industry.
  • Understand data and theory from a variety of operating disciplines and apply this to your work.
  • Build an understanding of rail operations, safety in rail, financial management, people management and strategy planning.

The modules are designed specifically to boost the understanding of many key soft skills such as teamwork, as well as hard skills. 

The nature of this course brings hands-on experience and promotes learning together. This helps to form a cohesive knowledge of key industry aspects including operations, strategic planning and finances.  

Is this course for you?

Entry requirements

Applicants will be looking to hold a level 4 qualification (Certificate of higher education, Scottish advanced Highers, Irish advanced Certificate). Alternatively, students might be able to gain entry via the RPL system.

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

Knowledge and experience

Your experience should ideally include:

  • Basic understanding of railway operations
  • Knowledge of the railway industry
  • General understanding of customer services
  • Basic understanding of safety

Ready to find out more?

Register Your Interest

CIRO is an expert organisation when it comes to creating the next generation of rail industry professionals. Find a list of all CIRO’s learning opportunities here. 


If you would like to discuss submitting an application, please contact learning@railwayoperators.co.uk and a member of the team will get back to you.