The PG Diploma in Railways Studies is designed to give students an alternative perspective on railway history, and the course will provide a better understanding of how academics have investigated the social, cultural, political, business, economic, and technological aspects of British railway history between 1825 and 2002. Those successfully completing the diploma are expected to come away from it thinking about railway history differently from when they started the course, and the programme overall will act as a bridge from an ‘amateur’ interest in railways to becoming part of the ongoing academic discourse.
The programme starts in late September/early October each academic year – places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions.
This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.
-To provide students with knowledge of the academic debates regarding different aspects of British railway history between 1825 and 1920s
-To give students knowledge of how the building and development of Britain’s railways in the Victorian period changed the nation socially, economically and politically
-To provide the students with an understanding of how and when railways’ operational and managerial systems were developed, refined and advanced before 1914
-To provide students with knowledge of how labour relations changed within the British railway industry before 1926, and how the railway unions developed
-To provide students with an understanding of the potential causes of the declining profitability of British railway industry after 1870
-To demonstrate the complexity and diversity of events in the past, and the range of problems involved in the interpretation of complex, ambiguous, conflicting and often incomplete material • To equip students with the analytical tools to effectively interrogate the worth of primary and secondary source material pertaining to the history of the British railway industry
-To encourage students to develop their own views on different historical debates in the academic literature and to think creatively about the topics they are studying
-To provide a supportive and stimulating postgraduate environment enabling students to work independently within a clearly defined structure of regular discussion and supervision
-To provide students with knowledge of the academic debates regarding different aspects of British railway history between 1920s and 2002
-To give students with an understanding of the debates in government and in public surrounding what the social and economic role of British railways should be
-To provide students with an understanding of how government changed the structure of the British railway industry after the First World War
-To impress on the students the importance of studying emotive or controversial historical events in an objective manner.
This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
-The Coming of the Railways to Britain, 1825-1900
-The Declining Profitability of the Railway Industry, 1870-1914
-British Railway Workers, 1825-1926
-The Role of the Railways: Railways and Government,1888-1939
-The Railways and Society: The Railways After the Second World War, 1945-1968
-Privatising British Rail, 1987-2002
Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.
Assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, book reviews, short research projects and other similar tasks.
Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
-Flexible, fully supported, modular delivery
-Taught exclusively online
-Two stages: Certificate and Diploma. Each stage typically takes 12 months
-Comprises six distinct modules
-Part-time study (approximately 15 hours per week) allows participants to structure their learning around the other life circumstances