How easy or difficult is it to study RSEI?

It depends how much you know about rail already. It’s more difficult if you are new to rail but an engineering background will help.

Could you specify some jobs which are offered in UK after doing the MSc in RSEI? Could you also give me an idea of an estimate of salary packages too.

Hello, salary is much more experience dependant than qualification based. It’s hard to give you an estimate without knowing your salary but graduate positions can start from around £30k. The breadth of the railway is at your disposal after obtaining this qualification. You can go also go into most fields.

I’m an undergraduate student from India who wishes to continue my Masters in the UK. I would like to know the career prospects after doing a Masters in Land and Hydrographic Surveying. What other Masters would you suggest for a high career future in Civil Engineering?

Hello, it depends on the type of Civil Engineering you are into. Land and surveying is very specific but there is a big need in that field. You can also do general civil engineering and move into structures and buildings.

Hello! I wanted to ask about the construction job scenario in 2022-2024 in UK. What is the present requirement of project controls, planning professionals? I am planning to pursue an MSc in Construction Management from the University of Birmingham in 2022. After graduating, what are the chances of getting into companies like Arcadis, Balfour Beatty, Mott Mcdonald, Snc Lavlin etc.? How many students per class get into such top companies with certificate of sponsorship after doing an MSc? I have 13 years of experience working as project controls professional in construction roads, bridges to buildings. What course would you recommend for getting more chance of landing a job in the UK, the MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration or Construction Management?

Hello, for the project controls/planning I would actually recommend some qualifications by the association of project managers. The courses here are more engineering focused with less focus on planning and controls techniques.

Hi Colin, do you think that as an international student, companies would offer me a position after completing an MSc in Railway Systems and Integration Engineering course? What is the probability of them accepting and what are the factors which can impact me getting a job?

Quite a few companies do sponsor international students. Look toward the larger companies as they have more budget for this. The probability of accepting and getting a job is largely down to how well you do and how well you come across.

I am joining the University of Birmingham this year for civil engineering program and I wanted to ask about laptop programs and requirements. As a Civil Engineering student, what programs are we going to use and how? What requirements do I need to get for a laptop? For programmes like AUTOCAD will the university download it for us? Would it be free, or if I have do have to buy it myself how much does it cost? For these sorts of programs can I use the computers in Chemical Engineering department to get my work done, and how long can I stay there? Is the department open anytime? If I want to train myself with these programmes can I use the PC's in the department? Do you think a Mac book pro would be good for someone studying Civil Engineering? Thank you.

Hi, everything you need software wise will be on the university system. AUTOCAD etc have some fairly hefty performance requirements especially if your models get big. Have a look on their website for the system specs required. Those bits of software get expensive too so I would see if you could do what you need to using the university computers first and foremost. You will have a choice between the university library (open very late) and the department (quite late) to work in. Any computer/OS you feel confident with will be fine for word processing.

Hi Colin, what advice would you give those of us starting the part-time MSc course in Sept 2020? I want to be prepared as best I can to hit the ground running.

I would say it’s best to read up on all aspects of railway from rolling stock, to signalling and infrastructure in order to give yourself a good grounding of the basics. Following this it would be good to look into the finances and economics of railways, how much they cost, what they do for wider economic growth and perception. Lastly, I’d say look into the macroscopic issues surrounding railway development, the reasons for and against choosing to build a railway as a public transport system.

Hi Colin, I am considering pursuing either the MSc in Railway System Engineering and Integration course, or the MSc in Railway Safety and Control Systems course. I gather that the MSc in Railway Safety and Control allows for specialisation within the MSc, whereas the MSc in Railway Systems and Engineering is more focused on systems engineering (and hence broader than the MSc in Safety and Control?) What would companies usually prefer? A specialisation or a broader exposure?

Hi, this is a tough question, we have a need for both generalist and specialist, I would say taking the general route gives you a bit more of a chance to find an area you are really interested in even if you do not stay as a generalist. Career wise however, it really depends where your passion is as you will get the most satisfaction out of going down that route.

Hi, I have completed my BE in Electronics and Communications Engineering and I am currently working as a railway signal engineer in India. I am looking for a Masters course in Railway Engineering, what are the job opportunities like after doing this Masters?

Hi, this is an excellent course to gain an appreciation of UK and European Railways. The UK has a very buoyant rail market with lots of opportunities.

Hi, I have graduated in Mechanical Engineering and have 4 years of experience in the rail industry as a rolling stock engineer (Locomotive maintenance). I would like to know about the MSc in Rail Safety and Control Systems. What will my role be like in the industry after the completion of this course? Which course would be better to choose, the MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration or the Safety and Control Systems MSc?

Which course you choose will depend on where you wish to end up. The Safety and Control Systems course will give you a more detailed appreciation of application of safety in the railway environment. This will enable you to focus more on safety and assurance roles.

The systems engineering and appreciation course will give you an appreciation of the whole railway system. This would be useful for multidisciplinary roles and getting an appreciation of the different areas that make up the industry.

I have worked for almost 9 years in railways and have been involved mostly in the maintenance of track, bridges, level crossing gates, colonies and service buildings. How do you see this course as being beneficial for a railway engineer who is going to construct/lay new railway lines and going to maintain the assets?

The railway is a pretty nuanced place as you no doubt have seen in your career. What this course will enable you to do is to broaden your view of the whole railway system and understand where your part fits in to that. I found it particularly useful for understanding the constraints facing other fields and how to overcome these challenges together.

Is there any program in Railway Engineering which is related to the design and construction of superstructure and infrastructure of tracks at the University of Birmingham?

As far as I’m aware there is no dedicated course for purely the rail superstructure. This tends to be collected under the generalities of Civil Engineering for things like bridges, tunnels and earth management. The Rail Systems course will go into some detail on the track form but not on the detailed design of the supporting superstructure.

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

Interestingly, I never planned on joining the railway industry hence why I did a degree in Aerospace Engineering. However, the longer I’ve been here the more I’ve enjoyed it and developed within my role. Engineering is a very transferable subject which has enabled me to take the same skills and knowledge I’ve acquired and use them in my role as a systems integrator.

The main reason I have decided to undertake this course at the University of Birmingham is to broaden my understanding around a specialist subject. With the skills and knowledge that this course will give me I would be able to use it as a stepping stone to further develop my career.

Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

For me, choosing the right course meant that it had to be convenient, it had to be relevant and it had to be good. The University of Birmingham has an excellent reputation and was offering the right level of teaching with an amount of flexibility that suited my work needs.

I’m studying for the MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration. It’s quite a bespoke degree with equivalents not offered at many other universities. Despite the bespoke nature, the course quality is excellent; the course is everything I’d hoped for and has met all my expectations.

Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

I work at SNC-Lavalin Rail and Transit so it will be back to work for me. I aim to use my new found broad appreciation of railway systems to enhance the projects I am working on such as Crossrail 2 and HS2 in order to make the industry a more efficient and effective place.

What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

One of the highlights of my time at the University of Birmingham has been meeting and mixing with other like minded individuals. The course brings together students from a range of backgrounds in different areas of the same industry which helps put new perspective on ideas and concepts.

Other highlights include module dinners, where we have industry experts come in to discuss their respective fields, great staff working behind the scenes for the module and most importantly being away from the office and doing something new and exciting.

What, for you, are the best things about the course?

For me, the best thing about my course is the quality of the lectures and the flexibility of the course. I have really taken a lot away even from subjects I am really familiar with, which has really helped with some of the things I have been doing outside of the university.

I am doing my course part time, which means I have my work commitments in between the time I am at the University of Birmingham. The University staff and academics are really understanding of one’s situations and circumstances, and they work with you in order to help you progress.

What is the difference between the Railway System Engineering and Integration course and the Railway Risk and Safety management course? and why did you prefer to do that course?

The railway is a fascinating and diverse industry. The Railway Systems Engineering and Integration course give students a broad appreciation of the major elements and constraints throughout the 8 modules, preparing for a future in Railway Systems Engineering. The management of risk and safety is critical in a mass public transportation industry. The Risk and Safety Management programme gives students a high level appreciation of the structure of the railway industry leading into he management and control of safety and risks.

What are the job prospects after completing this full time course? I have 2 years of work experience in the metro rail industry in the field of rail track installation process in India.


With your specific background added to the accreditation this course will give you, your experience will put you ahead of most candidates at your level in the UK. The course will give a general appreciation of the UK rail industry structure, technologies and operations, enabling you to relate your experience to the requirements of a different railway.

Hope this helps.

Some students from the University of Birmingham told me that it is quite difficult for international students to get a job in the UK or anywhere else. Is that true?

If you are an international, non-EU student you will need to look for companies that sponsor work visas (Tier 2) as part of their recruitment process. Not every company does this so you will need to do your research however a significant number of companies (mine included) do. Network Rail for example take over 150 graduates a year and sponsor work visas. The UK market is competitive in general, whether you are a UK citizen or a foreign national. More often than not, when we are looking for potential recruits, what’s important is a good grasp of the English language, a cultural fit and sound technical knowledge. These things will set you apart from the competition.

I was wondering if you could give me your opinion about the MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration? I am interested in the MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration and I was wondering, how many people normally attend each class?

I really enjoyed the MSc and have found the broad knowledge and skill base that it gives you both useful for me and my career. Systems Engineering and more specifically Systems Thinking is becoming a key part of the way we work in our industry and this degree will put you on the leading edge of this transition.

With regards to class size, that really depends on the amount of students enrolled in the course in a full time or part time capacity. When I was there it would typically be around 30.

What is the difference between the Railway Systems Engineering and Integration course (MSc) and the MRes version of the same course?

The main difference between the MSc and the MRes is the way in which knowledge is gained. The MSc is based on taught modules with a dissertation at the end whilst the MRes focuses on the research project which makes up two thirds of the course, with a few taught modules. You should decide on where you want to go with your degree after and that may help you decide between the two courses.