Rail CRC > Programs & Courses > Railway Signalling and Telecommunications

Railway Signalling & Telecommunications Program

Program Purpose & Content

Developed and delivered by IRSE members, experienced rail industry professionals, the Program is designed for continuing professional development of engineers working or commencing their work in the area of rail signalling. The course offers a thorough understanding of theoretical knowledge and best practices in rail signalling and telecommunication including the concepts of rail signalling principles, safety and risk management; automatic train protection systems; signalling layout designs; life-cycle management of signalling & telecommunication systems and equipment including research, the development of specifications, testing, commissioning, maintenance and replacement; integration of signalling systems; and application and risk management in rail signalling including management human factors.

Program Recognition & Study Mode

The Post-Graduate Diploma Program in Rail Signalling & Telecommunication, which includes six modules or courses, is recognised by the Institute of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) in the UK and the degree is an acceptable equivalent to the IRSE exam for the purpose of the Institute membership. The course is delivered via flexible online learning suitable for mature-age students studying part-time and working full-time. Students could exit after completing the first three units with a Graduate Certificate. The Program modules could also be studied as single-unit non-award courses.

Learners completed the Post-Graduate Diploma Program may wish to consider undertaking three project-based subjects of the Master Program.

Learning Outcomes

Graduate from the Program will be able to:

  • Implement signalling systems to ensure safe and cost-efficient rail operation taking into account social, economic, technical, environmental and legislation aspects
  • Apply procedures from the safety and reliability assurance tool kit
  • Apply procedures from the risk management and mitigation tool kit
  • Manage signalling projects from design to construction, testing and commissioning stages
  • Apply signalling principles in different operating environments
  • Assess and adapt any signalling system
Entry requirements

The Program is international and accepts rail engineering professionals from anywhere in the world, subject to satisfying the entry requirements. It is expected that an applicant has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. However, applicants holding other tertiary qualifications or those without an undergraduate engineering degree who have at least five years’ relevant industry experience and are nominated by their employer may also be admitted. Please contact the course coordinator for details.

For non-English speaking learners there are English language proficiency requirements, usual for all international students wishing to enrol in an Australian university.

Times and dates of study:

The program is delivered over three terms per year. Term 1 is from March to June, Term 2 from July to October and Term 3 from November to February. For information about enrolment please contact Vicky Kreiser at v.kreiser@cqu.edu.au or by phone: +61 7 4923 2277.

Course Modules and Structure

Graduate Certificate in Railway Signalling and Telecommunications

Signalling and Safe Rail Operations (CPD1)

The module explains the role of signalling in safe railway operation and introduces railway signal engineers and technologists to signalling principles and equipment. It provides a foundation to understanding of all other areas of signalling. A particular is given to quality and safety management in the delivery of signalling systems in the current business and technology environment. The content of this module shares much commonality with the IRSE examination module Safety of Railway Signalling and Communications .

Signalling Principles (CPD2)

The module provides a thorough understanding of signalling principles and systems to ensure that you can apply this knowledge in a safe and cost efficient manner. Learners will be able to understand and address the issues that may arise from combining multiple and diverse units of equipment. The content of this module is aligned with the IRSE examination module Signalling Principles .

Signalling Layout (CPD3)

The equips you with skills required to design a signalling layout for a variety of different traffic patterns and equipment systems in a professional and cost efficient manner taking into account constraints of the layout and safety requirements. You will be able to demonstrate a professional understanding of integration of the equipment and subsystems to form a complete signalling system. The content of the module is aligned with the IRSE examination module Signalling the Layout .

Graduate Diploma in Railway Signalling and Telecommunications

Signalling Applications and Engineering (CPD4)

The module further advances your knowledge of different types and items of signalling equipment to the level required for undertaking engineering projects in the following modules of the course. It has a focus on particular aspects and items of signalling equipment such as power supply, lightening protection, relays, interlocking, train detection circuits and monitoring systems and explains how they could be safely integrated into a signalling system.

Signalling Systems, Management and Engineering (CPD5)

The module assists you with further development of engineering skills in railway signalling, control and communication systems including integration of many subsystems and diverse equipment in a professional manner. Students are introduced to Systems Engineering (SE) and learn how to transform an operational need into a set of requirements to system performance, produce the most suitable configuration and recommend system design, select the equipment, implement and then validate the system. The module considers not only individual components or sub-systems but also their interactions important for meeting the system requirements. The content of this module shares substantial commonality with the IRSE examination module Systems, Management and Engineering .

Signalling Research/Investigation Project (CPD6)

The module provides an opportunity to students to apply the skills and knowledge that they have gained in the railway signalling course to real life situations and problems. It allows students to demonstrate their general and technical skills in planning and undertaking projects in railway signalling. On successful completion of this module students complete an investigative or research project that is suitable for presentation to their own organisation as well as the Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) and other professional bodies.

Master of Railway Signalling and Telecommunications

Railway Telecommunications (CPD7)

This module provides you with broad systematic knowledge and skills required for the application of telecommunications systems in a railway environment. Impact of telecommunication systems on rail operation, safety and efficiency of railways, types and features of different communication systems, equipment and operation of train control centres are topics considered in the course. You will develop a professional understanding of the factors to be considered when choosing and applying telecommunications systems and equipment in different operating environments.

Railway Signalling Project Definition and Planning (CPD8)

This module requires you to perform background research in the area of the proposed project, establish project goals and develop a plan for completion of the project. On successful completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to review and identify the problem, decide on an appropriate research methodology, conduct a literature survey, as well as develop and communicate a plan for completion of the proposed project.

Signalling Project Implementation #1 (CPD9)

This course following on from the previous module CPD8 requires you to undertake and complete the project in accordance with the established project goals and the plan and communicate your findings to a professional audience. On successful completion of this course, you will be able to demonstrate the ability to successfully undertake and complete a rail signalling project.

Railway Signalling Project Implementation #2 (CPD10)

This is the final module of the master program, which is also project-based. On successful completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct industrial research and achieve goals of your investigative study. You will also be able to demonstrate your professionalism in rail signalling and defend your thesis to a panel of experts.


Ms Vicky Kreiser
Administration Manager
Rail Innovation Australia Pty Ltd

Voice: (07) 4923 2277
Fax: (07) 4923 2161


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