Introduction to the Rail Industry - Level 2 (Full-Time)

Level 2 - 5 GCSEs(A*-C) or BTEC 1st Diploma or NVQ level 2 or Equivalent

Subject Area Rail Engineering

School Engineering

Attendance Full-Time


This one-year rail engineering course programme offers a thorough grounding in railway engineering and will provide knowledge and practical applications to enable progression either into employment or a Level 3 programme in railway engineering. Modules taught on this course include railway safety skills, railway engineering principles, railway communication procedures and employment rights. Mature students may progress into employment in the rail industry as a track operative.

Find out more about the facilities and employer links available at our £5 million Rail Academy.

Course Enrichment

• In 2016 our Rail Academy achieved a maximum five star Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) rating, demonstrating the quality of training at the facility.
• Last year, Ganymede Solutions provided 20 paid work placements for students.
• ISS Labour provided work placements for 10 rail students with five leading to full-time employment. 


This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: 07/09/2018
Duration: 12 Months
Venue: The Rail Academy, Gateshead

Who the course is for

This level 2 rail engineering course is designed for students who would like to develop their skills for a career in Railway Engineering

Qualification Gained

EAL Level 2 Certificate in Rail Engineering Underpinning Knowledge

We need a skilled workforce of the future that can help us to achieve a transport system that can support economic prosperity. Centres of excellence such as that Rail Academy and its students who feed directly in to the Transport skills talent pipeline play a pivotal role within the transport skills landscape.

Transport for the North

How to Apply


Click on the "Apply for this course" button at the bottom of this page.

In Person

Come along to our Student Services Office, located within Armstrong Building. Alternatively, visit an Open Event at our Rye Hill Campus, click here for dates and times.


You can download an application here and post it FREE to:

Newcastle College
Rye Hill Campus
Scotswood Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

Alternatively call 0191 200 4000 and we will send you an application form.

Course Content

  • Introduction to Railway Environment
  • Railway Safety skills / General H+S skills
  • Railway Tools + Plant skills / General Engineering Tool Skills
  • Railway Maintenance activities
  • Railway Communication Procedures
  • Preparing for a career in the Railway Industry or progression to a level 3 programme
  • Employment Rights
  • Railway Engineering Principles

Learning Methods

You will learn through:

  • Classroom and Rail practical activities
  • Laboratory, workshop on specific rail equipment
  • Visits to areas of vocational interest and regional employers

Assessment Methods

 Written report writing, practical observations, simulated rail scenarios, experiments, verbal questions and multiple choice online examination.

Progression Opportunities

Careers within rail are diverse and you may pursue a career as a track operative, technician, OLE linesman or signalling installer.

Our partnerships with industry also give you opportunities to apply for apprenticeships with key employers.

The government has planned £37.5 billion investment over the next five years in the rail industry. This 1 year programme offers a thorough grounding in Railway Engineering and will provide knowledge and practical applications to enable progression either into employment or a level 3 programme in Railway Engineering.

Successful students may progress onto Level 3 Diploma in Installation and Maintenance of Engineering Assets or an approved apprenticeship programme, subject to satisfactory reference from Level 2 tutor.

Career Opportunities

Mature students may progress into employment in the rail industry as a track operative

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSE’s at A*- D: Maths and English must be included or mature entry
  • Successful completion of Diagnostic/Aptitude tests
  • Successful completion of Interview

Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, contact Student Services, based in Armstrong House at Rye Hill Campus. If you need information in another format (e.g. large print) or another language, please ask.

Student Services
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Wednesday and Friday: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4.30pm

Telephone Contact Centre
Monday - Thursday: 8.30am - 5pm
Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm

You can also contact us via the following:

In person: Student Services, Armstrong House, Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA.
By phone: (0191) 200 4000 By fax: (0191) 200 4517 By minicom: (0191) 272 3304
By e-mail:
By post: Student Services, Newcastle College, FREEPOST NT920, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA (you do not need a stamp). 

Additional Course Costs

16 to 18s

Tuition is free for learners aged 16 to 18. A learner will continue to be eligible for free tuition for the duration of their qualification, this includes Year 2 of a qualification if the learner was aged 16-18 when they started in Year 1. Additional financial support may also be available for full-time learners, please call our Student Services team on 0191 200 4000 for more information.

Please note, if you are applying from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you may be subject to different funding rules than students who live in England. Depending on your age and type of course you choose you may be liable for fees, even if you are under 19. Please contact Student Services on0191 200 4000 to discuss your eligibility with a Student Adviser.