Taught course

Railway Operations, Management and Policy

University of Leeds · Institute for Transport Studies

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Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject such as Engineering, Maths, Economics, Management (and any other Business-related degree), Environmental science (having a mathematical component), Transportation.

Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience plus experience in the sector will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

Railways throughout the world play a key social and economic role in societies. They are complex systems and are constantly adapting to change. Many are experiencing substantial growth in patronage due to ever increasing economic prosperity and urbanisation - the result is a need for greater connectivity among urban centres and communities, while facing increasing industry complexity and new challenges.

Across the world, railways are coming under increasing pressure particularly as means of intercity transport (prompting the rapid expansion of High Speed Rail) and urban transportation with the growth of cities. On the one hand, this has led to a welcome increase in business, but on the other hand, it has increased the complexity of ongoing challenges. Holistic, multi-disciplinary solutions need to be developed to meet the challenges of capacity, congestion or reliability within finite resource budgets and complex industry structures.

The railway industry needs professionals with tailored skills and knowledge. This Masters will develop and expand your existing disciplinary background, to equip you with the skills needed to develop and evaluate a variety of solutions to railway problems and thus make a real contribution to the challenges of our railways worldwide.

"This course will bridge the gap between understanding day-to-day operations of the different parts of the complex rail system and the wider social and strategic context that railways operate within. It will enable new and existing professionals to excel within the industry. Network Rail is keen to support this bold initiative by the University of Leeds." Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman Network Rail.

The course will expose you to the need for a customer focused railway and the implications of this to scheduling, timetabling, pricing, customer information or response to disruption. The course will also examine broader strategic developments in the rail sector ranging from the introduction of new infrastructure and rolling stock on the network to lessons from other railway systems.

Taught by researchers who are at the forefront of their field, you will develop a range and depth of expertise that will equip you for a rewarding career.

The University of Leeds has invested in developing a new Institute for High Speed Rail and the Institute for Transport Studies is ranked 12th in world for Transportation Science and Technology – Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019.

The Programme Leader for this course is Dr Manuel Ojeda Cabral.

Other study options

This programme is available part time over 24 or 36 months. We are flexible as to how you choose to study this course so that you can combine it with other commitments, such as an existing job.

Please get in touch with our admissions team to discuss part time study options.

You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level, part time or full time, or at Postgraduate Certificate level with our PGCert in Transport Studies.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team
+44 (0)113 34 35353