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Railway History Course

StainesI currently teach a Masters in Railway Studies through the University of York’s Centre for Lifelong Learning. The course 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 2010. 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. This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly on-line in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year, or a Postgraduate Diploma if they leave after the second year.‌


This part-time three-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules and a dissertation:


The Coming of the Railways to Britain, 1825-1900
The Declining Profitability of the Railway Industry, 1870-1914
British Railway Workers, 1825-1923


The Role of the Railways: Railways and Government, 1900-1945
The Railways and Society: The Railways After the Second World War, 1945-1979
Privatising British Rail, 1979-2010

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, local railway portfolio and other similar tasks.


Students will complete a 12,000 word dissertation on any aspect of the history of traffic, transport or mobility.

For more information, including entry requirements, please call 01904 32 8474 or see the website HERE

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