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Apprenticeship - Rail Engineering Technician - Level 3Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: The RoundHouse

Years: 3

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This apprenticeship is designed as a three-year programme to equip you with a complex blend of skills, knowledge and occupational behaviours across electrical, mechanical and rail-specific disciplines such as traction and rolling stock, track, electrification and signalling.

The apprenticeship is delivered in a collaboration between Derby College and the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Northampton.

Typically, the duration of this apprenticeship is 36 – 48 months. This may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience or for someone already part-qualified through the Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship.

You will study:

  • Foundation Competence - 12-18 month duration
  • Level 3 academic subjects - 18–48 month duration (technical subjects are taught at Derby College and the rail specific subjects are taught at NTAR)
  • Level 3 competence qualification (workplace)

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships. In order to optimise their success, candidates should typically have four GCSEs at grade C or the equivalent, including Mathematics, English (at grade 4 or above) and a Science.

Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at grade 4 or above must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.

Course Content

You will study the following units:

  • Complying with Statutory Regulations and Organisational Safety Requirements
  • Working Efficiently and Effectively in an Engineering Environment
  • Using and Communicating Technical Information
  • Conducting Business Improvement Activities
  • Producing Components using Hand Fitting Techniques
  • Maintaining Mechanical Devices and Equipment
  • Maintaining Electrical Equipment/Systems
  • Wiring and Testing Electrical Equipment and Circuits
  • General Turning, Milling and Welding Applications
  • Producing Engineering Project Plans

Taught at Derby College:

  • Working Safely in Rail Engineering
  • Mathematics for Engineering Technicians
  • Engineering Solutions and Innovation within the Rail Industry
  • Electrical and Electronic Principles
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Engineering Design
  • Electronic Measurement and Testing
  • Engineering Drawing for Technicians
  • Engineering Materials
  • Other subjects which are required by the employer

Taught at NTAR (depending on the pathway):

  • Rail Vehicle Traction Systems, Suspension, Wheelsets and Brakes (Traction and Rolling Stock)
  • Passenger Comfort, Safety and Security (Traction and Rolling Stock)
  • Railway Infrastructure, Construction and Maintenance (Track)
  • Rail Technologies (Track)
  • Features and Applications of Electrical Machines (Electrification)
  • Rail Electrification Technologies (Electrification)
  • Overhead Line Technologies – Construction (Overhead Line Equipment)
  • Overhead Line Technologies – Maintenance (Overhead Line Equipment)
  • Functions and Characteristics of Railway Signalling Systems (Signalling)
  • Signalling Technologies (Signalling)
  • Telecommunications Systems (Telecoms)
  • Telecommunications Principles (Telecoms)

How will I be assessed?

Your academic study will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

What can I do after this course?

Completion of this apprenticeship standard will be recognised by the relevant professional institutions as the evidence required for Engineering Technical registration (EngTech) through a professional review.

For those deemed capable and ready, further career development and progression opportunities could be considered, such as the Level 4 Rail Technician Apprenticeship or higher levels of education and training.

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This course is run at the Roundhouse Campus

About the Roundhouse »

Jack O’Connor

Jack	O’Connor

Engineering NVQ powers R-R manager’s career

Rolls-Royce manager Jack O'Connor says his Derby College engineering course was the "start of everything" for the skills needed in his career. Jack joined the aero engine giant as a semi-skilled polisher and packer of blades. He began his Derby College Level 3 NVQ in engineering principals at the age of 23 when he was accepted by the company as an apprentice. Now aged 31, Jack is a Rolls-Royce production leader. He is also taking a University of Warwick – Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Business management. Jack said he left school was "a few" GCSEs and the college course and apprenticeship provided him with a second chance to kickstart his career and build his confidence.

He said: "I can honestly say that the course was brilliant and the lecturers were great.

"If you went through a difficult period they were always there to support you. You could have a laugh and a joke as well, and when you take into account the facilities, you're halfway there.

"I was really impressed. It was the start of everything for my work, really."


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