Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Professional Certificate Program (PCP) in Railway Engineering?
It is a series of three career-oriented courses plus a capstone project specifically designed for professionals working in the railway sector who wish to build up their technical and systems knowledge. The program is offered by TU Delft and endorsed by industry partner ProRail and KIVI.


How many courses does this PCP have?
This online program consists of three courses and a capstone project. That is four courses in total.


What courses are part of this PCP?

  • Railway Engineering: Track and Train Interaction
  • Railway Engineering: Real Time Operations
  • Railway Engineering: Performance over Time
  • Railway Engineering: Capstone Project


How much time do I need to spend on each course?
Each course runs for 6 weeks. Learners are expected to invest approximately 4-5 hours per week. Based on the total length of the courses and their weekly effort, you can expect 100-120 hours of workload for the whole program throughout the year.


What does each of the courses consist of? 
The courses vary a little but in general they consist of lecture videos, assignments, forums, interactive images and videos, ask-the-professor feedback and real-life cases. There is usually at least 1 quiz and 1 activity per week in each course and a final assignment. Unlike MOOCs, which are easy videos followed by quizzes, these career-oriented courses do demand the full time required.
 
Learners are assessed in the course through small assignments, which can be self or peer graded. Only final assignments and the Capstone Project are staff graded.

In the first 3 courses, the structure is:
5 x quizzes (20% of grade, 1 per week for 5 weeks)
5 x graded discussions (15% of grade, 1 per week for 5 weeks)
2 x mini-cases (15% - placement differs per course)
1 x final assignment (50% grade, begins in week 4, deadline in week 6)
 
The quizzes are based on the provided material. The graded discussions frequently ask you to bring in your knowledge from your own background, and will usually ask you to provide links to resources to support your arguments/facts. The mini-cases vary, some are calculations based on a specific contextual issue, while others provide a case for you to assess, argue for/against, reflect on or come up with a solution.
 
The final assignments are specific to each course, but these usually take the most time to prepare which is why week 6 has no additional content, and hence full time is needed to work on the assignment itself.

The Capstone Project requires you to work on a project that integrates the knowledge and skills gained from the first three courses.


What are the requirements to enroll in this PCP?
There are no formal admission requirements to enroll in the first three courses. However, the fourth course (Capstone Project) is only available to learners who complete the first three courses.

To fully benefit from these courses you should have basic knowledge of and working experience in railways, and maths at bachelor (or at least high school) level. This course is particularly aimed at Railway engineers, Railway system specialists, Railway system experts, Railway maintenance specialists/experts, Track maintenance specialists/experts, Safety specialists, Operations managers, Asset managers of track/train, and other professionals in managerial or advisory roles.


Do I need to take the introductory MOOC (Railway Engineering: An Integral Approach) before enrolling in these advanced courses?
No, this is not required.


How can I enroll in the full PCP?
If you wish to enroll in the full program or the first three courses, you can go to the program page and benefit from our package prices.

If you are only interested in one course please visit the individual course pages.


Do I receive any credentials or qualifications after taking this program?
Completing all three courses and the capstone project leads to a Professional Certificate Program from TU Delft.

Based on the total length of the courses and their weekly effort, you can expect about 100-120 hours of workload for the whole program throughout the year. Besides the program certificate you will be eligible to receive 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) if you complete the full program.


Do I receive any credentials or qualifications if I take the program’s courses separately?
After completing every course you will receive a certificate of completion and CEUs. The last course (Capstone Project) is only available to learners who complete all three courses and it does not lead to a separate certificate. Completing the capstone project means that you have already finished all four courses and therefore you will be entitled to the program certificate.


Do I have to follow all courses to receive a Professional Certificate Program credential?
Yes, you need to complete all three courses and the capstone project to obtain the program certificate. That is four courses in total.

If you decide to take one or more courses separately and you are not interested in the full program you will (only) receive a certificate of completion after successfully finishing each course. Completing only the series of three courses does not lead to any additional certificate.


Do I need to take the courses in the order proposed?
This program has been designed so that knowledge is acquired gradually. We therefore recommend that learners follow the courses in the suggested order. However, you may choose to enroll in any course of your choice based on your background knowledge or experience.

If you wish to pursue the full program, you must be aware that all three courses and the capstone project will be offered only once a year. The last course (Capstone Project) is only available to learners who complete all three courses.


If I miss or skip a course, can I still follow the program and receive the program certificate later?
Currently the program has scheduled dates for the year 2020. Dates for the re-runs in 2021 will be announced in the Fall of 2020. If you miss or skip one of the courses and you wish to continue the program the following year you will be able to take the course(s) you missed or skipped the following year. Individual courses are valid and can be considered for the full program within a two year period after their completion.


If I miss the first course of the series, can I still follow the program and receive the program certificate in 2020?
If you did not enroll and take the first course (Railway Engineering: Track and Train Interaction) in March 2020 you will not be able to complete the full program in 2020. However, you can either enroll in the available courses this year separately or enroll in the program starting again in September 2020 and take the rest of the courses in 2021. Enrolling in our full program gives you the opportunity to follow the courses in our suggested order and pay a reduced program fee. In all cases, please remember that the fourth course (the Capstone Project) is only available to learners who complete all the other three courses. Individual courses are valid and can be considered for the full program only within a two year period after their completion.


How much does it cost to join this program?
The full Professional Certificate Program, which consists of all three professional education courses plus an individual guided Capstone Project, is offered at a package price of €1600.

If you are only interested in one course the fee is €450 per course. The price of the Capstone Project is €650 but this will be only available to learners who complete the first three courses.


Can I partially unenroll from this program?
If you would like to stop your participation in a program and have already started one or more courses, you are subject to the following policy:

  • Learners will receive a refund of the amount they paid, minus the regular (i.e. undiscounted) course fee for individual courses started, minus the administration fee for each course the learner cancels.
  • The refund for the courses not taken is subject to the tuition refund policy for individual courses with respect to the cancelation period.


What does each of the courses consist of?
Every course consists of lecture videos, assignments, forums, interactive images and videos, ask-the-professor feedback and real-life cases. The capstone project is staff-graded and requires you to work on a project that integrates the knowledge and skills gained from the first three courses.


What materials and books do I need to be able to participate in this PCP?
All materials, readings and lectures are included in the course. In a few cases complementary or extraneous materials might only be published on YouTube or by 3rd parties with a direct link.


What will the capstone project look like?
This case/project-based course will finalize this program. You will not receive additional lectures, but instead will work on a design project that integrates the knowledge and skills gained from the first three courses. You will work on either your own project or on a project provided by the course team. The capstone project will be staff-graded and you will receive personalized guidance and feedback throughout.


Can I access the course and/or course materials after the end date?
After the course ends, you will have 6 more weeks to access and view the course content.


Is the content of the course downloadable as PDF?
No, the course content is only available online, during the duration of the course plus additional 6 weeks.