Master's programme in Railway Engineering

Railway transport is experiencing a worldwide renaissance. It offers substantial economic benefits, energy efficiency, and environmental and safety benefits. Rail is widely viewed as a vital component of the integrated transportation system for sustainable societies of the future. There is substantial demand for engineers with integrated knowledge of railway subsystems (infrastructure, vehicles and traffic control) who understand how to maximise performance of the whole system.

16 October 2018: Application opens
15 January 2019: Application deadline
1 February 2019: Deadline for supporting academic documents (all applicants) and documentation of fee exempt status (if required) or receipt of application fee (if required)
4 April 2019: Notification of selection results

Application open

Application through University Admissions in Sweden.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: The tuition fee for the full programme is SEK 310,000
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are generally required to pay an application fee of SEK 900.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: There are no tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to pay an application fee.

Read more about tuition and application fees

Degree awarded: Master of Science
Language of instruction: English
Duration: Two years (120 ECTS credits)
Programme start: Late August
Location: KTH Campus, Stockholm
School: School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH)

For questions regarding programme content and specific entry requirements, feel free to contact the programme.

Programme coordinator: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Railway Engineering at KTH

The master’s programme in Railway Engineering is among the very few programmes in the world that covers all aspects of rail engineering, and none offers the international perspective afforded by this one.

The programme focuses on the system aspect, which is extremely important in railway systems. Vehicle, infrastructure and control system have to be designed to work optimally together. Therefore, the programme contains courses from mechanical, civil as well as electrical engineering. The program starts with mandatory courses during the autumn term. Two of them are online courses from Illinois. During the spring term there is a mix of mandatory and conditionally elective courses. During the third term all students are at UIUC taking courses on site. There are no specialisations in the programme.

The programme is mainly based on classes, with lectures, assignments and exams, but also includes projects and individual studies. All teachers are also active researchers and will include new research trends in their course content. Many of the railway students prepare their master’s theses in industry, with a railway operator or a consultancy company.

Collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC)

About half of the courses are given by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and KTH respectively, and the programme includes international mobility. At least 15 ECTS credits have to be taken on site at the partner university. Many courses for this programme are taught online by KTH and UIUC exclusively. Please note; Due to US visa regulations, there is no guarantee that fee-paying students can study in the US. In case the visa is denied, these students will be offered an alternative study plan.

Topics covered

The programme covers, among other topics, vehicle and track design, vehicle-track interaction, traction systems, railway signalling systems, high-speed rail systems and railway traffic planning.

​​​​​ Courses​​​​​​​


The technical challenges associated with meeting the growing demand for railway transportation in an efficient and sustainable manner require a considerable number of engineers with education in the field of railways around the world. A large percentage of railway industry engineering staff are nearing retirement; consequently, there is a strong and growing demand for graduates with education in railway engineering. With one focus of the programme on system aspects, it is foreseen that many graduates from the programme will hold management positions in the organisations they work in.

The programme provides an excellent basis for pursuing a career in the global vehicle industry, at consultancy companies as well as at universities. The co-operation between the Swedish vehicle industry and the Department of Vehicle and Aeronautical Engineering is very close, and there are several major ongoing research programmes in which KTH, key manufacturers and the transport administration are involved. At both universities, there is also the possibility of continuing as a PhD student. The students with a degree from the master’s programme in Railway Engineering will be strong candidates for the limited number of positions available.

After graduation

Vehicle or track design engineer, signalling engineer, procurement or maintenance engineer at an operator, researcher or railway consultant.


Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.

Timon Niedecken, Germany

"I was looking for Railway Engineering. Only here at KTH could I found what I was looking for."

Meet the students​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Faculty and research

For more information about the railway centres hosting the programme see

KTH Railway Group

​​​​​​​Changes in the programme may occur.

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