Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Aeronautical Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Science and technology is advancing the design, development and performance of civil and military aircraft. Open up career opportunities in this field, and build the knowledge and skills to engineer the future of aircraft, with an Aeronautical Engineering degree.

This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build a strong foundation of knowledge in key engineering and mathematic principles, alongside essential higher education study skills. This an ideal route if you want to study the full honours degree, but don't meet the direct entry requirements, or are returning to education.

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering degree. 

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying Aeronautical Engineering, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Develop competence in essential areas of engineering and mathematics
  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the full aeronautical engineering undergraduate degree
  • Gain essential analytical and problem solving skills so you can study engineering
  • Develop practical and I.T skills, as you strengthen communication and study skills
  • Progress on to explore elements of aircraft design, including aircraft structures, flight systems, navigation, aerodynamics and performance

options available

This is for you if...


You have a real passion for aviation and want to help advance the future of flight


You want to study aeronautical engineering but don't meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree


You're are seeking a change of direction into engineering, or are a mature student with work experience

Course details

All about the course

Aeronautics students in the lab

Foundation Year

With a focus on your progression, the introductory foundation year is designed to provide a broad introduction to engineering and build your understanding of engineering situations and solving problems.

Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering degree.

BEng (Hons) Degree

For a further three years of study - or four if you choose an industry placement year, you will study a suite of modules designed to embed theoretical knowledge, build career-focused skills and help you become a world-class engineer.

In year one, you will study modules designed to enhance your core engineering knowledge, and you’ll explore elements of aircraft design as you progress to year two. During your final year, you’ll focus on advanced flight systems and complete individual research as part of your final project.

Learn more about the current course modules below.

Learning Experience

Collaboration is core to our values, so we strive to embed this throughout your studies. You will experience group projects that will build your confidence and capabilities in team working, problem-solving and communication - all desirable skills for real-world aeronautical engineering careers. You’ll also participate in competitions to enhance your professional and personal skills.

We are committed to providing the highest professional standards of teaching to our students, so our course is designed to meet the requirements of the Engineering Council’s Accreditation of Higher Education Programme. In year one, the Aviation Business Enterprise module will introduce you to design methods and techniques needed to support infrastructure where you will use theory and standard industry practice.

At Salford, you’ll be surrounded by interactive learning environments and laboratories. Using the Cranfield National Flying Laboratory Centre, you can gather real-time flight data. The course team has long-standing connections with the aviation industry, both in the North-West and beyond. You will benefit from a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, project and placement opportunities, and engagement with professional networks.

Aeronautics students at a flight centre

Industry Placement

On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Foundation year

Engineering Methodology 1 and 2

Studied in both trimester one and trimester two, these modules will provide an introduction to mathematics and its application to engineering. Module content is designed to help you understand and apply mathematics in engineering. Topics include algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus.

Energy and Power

Module content will introduce the concepts of power and energy within the context of engineering systems and conservation. You’ll learn the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and the technologies which can generate energy and power for domestic and commercial consumption.

Mechanical Systems

You’ll be introduced to the basic concept of mechanics. You’ll learn about the principle of stress and strain, solve problems in statistics and build knowledge for problems associated with simple beams. 

Study Skills

Study skills are the skills you need to enable you to study and learn efficiently – they are an important set of transferable life skills. This module will help you to develop your own study skill to suit your learning style. In addition, Information technologies are also developed. In this module you will be introduced to some of the elements of information technologies which will  provide you with the necessary skills to use in future (including writing reports and presentations).

Experimental Methods

Module content will provide you with an understanding of the basic units used in engineering and their practical significance.  You’ll learn to apply engineering analysis to design experiments and develop skills in producing technical reports.  You’ll also build a range of engineering measurement and computational analysis skills.

Year one - BEng Aeronautical Engineering

Engineering Mathematics

You will build on the engineering mathematics module from your first year by developing advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis. This will enable you to tackle more advanced engineering problems. Subjects covered include partial differentiation, determinants and matrices, vector analysis

Engineering Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

In this module, you will be given an understanding of the internal combustion engine and the gas turbine and an introduction to refrigeration cycles. You will also expand your knowledge of heat transfer processes, fluid mechanics to viscous flows by examination of the Navier-Stokes equations, and compressible flow analysis to one and two dimensional flows.

Aviation Business Enterprise

This is your introduction to the history of aviation, basic aeronautics and aircraft design. You will study topics such as the: Evolution of human flight from hot air balloons to airships to early heavier-than-aircraft to modern aircraft and possible future developments; Development of technologies relating to improvements in civilian and military aircraft designs and the supporting infrastructure; Design methods and techniques for aircraft using simple theory and standard industry practices, which you’ll put into practice as part of a group design project.

Engineering Materials and Electrical Systems

You will develop an understanding of the basic properties and applications of materials and of the principles of electronic and electrical engineering. This will include learning about the relationship between the micro-structure and mechanical properties of materials, mechanisms of corrosion and corrosion protection, the principles of electronic and electrical engineering, and the response of electrical elements in circuits to AC or DC supplies.

Engineering Structures and Engineering Dynamics

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of structural behaviour and the nature of stress and strain and provide you with a foundation in engineering dynamics, allowing you to tackle simple engineering problems, and preparing you for subsequent modules.

Product Engineering - Aeronautics Yr 1

This module will give you an insight into the complete process for the design or engineering of products and services. On completion of the module you will have basic marketing techniques and have an understanding of how to present information using both written and oral techniques. You will also be able to read and interpret engineering drawings, with particular reference to BS 308 and be taught skills in basic manufacturing processes and be able to create 2-dimensional orthographic engineering drawings. Your experience and learning are enhanced by the use of 3D CAD models viewed as projected images as well as ‘printed’ physical models.

Year two - BEng Aeronautical Engineering

Engineering Mathematics (Year Two)

You will build on the engineering mathematics module from your first year by developing advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis. This will enable you to tackle more advanced engineering problems. Subjects covered include partial differentiation, determinants and matrices, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable

Navigation Systems and Aircraft Performance

This module introduces the basic concepts of aircraft performance by modelling aerodynamic loads and propulsion system performance, leading to key results in both steady and accelerated flight. You will be taught how to calculate performance in straight and level flight, climb and glide, turns, and on take-off and landing. You will also cover the operating principles and performance analysis of major aircraft navigation systems, with emphasis on inertial navigation systems and the global positioning system.

Aerodynamics (year 2)

In this module you will learn about the fundamentals of lift and drag generation by aerofoils and wings, the theory of low-speed (incompressible) flow, aerofoil aerodynamics and the thin aerofoil theory, wing aerodynamics and the lifting line theory, the fundamentals of boundary layer theory, introduction to high speed (compressible) flow, convergent-divergent nozzles, apparatus and techniques employed in wind tunnel testing as well as the first steps of conducting a numerical flow simulation using computational fluid dynamics.”

Aircraft Structures

On completion of this module you will be able to establish the integrity of typical basic structural aircraft components and explain the process of material selection for the structural items of an aircraft.

Flight Systems (Year 2)

You'll learn the basic principles and theory of statics and dynamics as related to the static and dynamic behaviour of an aircraft and the theory of flight control as related to the dynamic behaviour of an aircraft.

Aircraft Design Enterprise (year 2)

In this module, you’ll undertake a group design project to do the preliminary design of a specified type of aircraft. You will decide the size and performance of the aircraft based on a survey of the potential market for its type and then work through stages of the design, both internal and external, checking that the aircraft will meet certification requirements and can do the tasks for which it is intended as well as being commercially viable.

Year three - BEng Aeronautical Engineering

Finite Element Analysis and Aircraft Structures

You'll be introduced to finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. The finite element method is based on the premise that a complex structure can be broken down into finitely many smaller pieces (elements), the behaviour of which is known or can be predicted. These elements can then be assembled to model the behaviour of the full structure.

Industrial Management and Project Preparation

This module has two main components. Industrial management in which you will be introduced to the commercial issues which must be addressed by engineering businesses, and the principles of quality management systems; and project preparation which will develop your ability to work independently, become competent in analysing and assessing the value of information, and develop effective communication skills both written and orally.

Aerodynamics (year 3)

This module deals with the analysis of high speed (super- and hypersonic) flows, and of engines as used in aircraft propulsion, particularly gas turbines. The two halves of the module are combined to examine the workings of intakes and exhaust nozzles as part of the study of the components of a gas turbine engine.

Aircraft Design Enterprise

In this module, you’ll undertake a group design project to do the preliminary design of a specified type of aircraft. You will decide the size and performance of the aircraft based on a survey of the potential market for its type and then work through stages of the design, both internal and external, checking that the aircraft will meet certification requirements and can do the tasks for which it is intended as well as being commercially viable.

Flight Systems (year 3)

Following on from Flight Systems module in your second year, you will develop a deeper understanding of the theory of statics and dynamics and flight control as related to the dynamic behaviour of an aircraft.

Final Year Project

The aim of the Final Year Project is to develop your ability to work with a significant degree of independence on a structured programme of activity. You should demonstrate your competency in analysing and assessing the value of information derived from the programme, be able to communicate effectively (both through written reports and orally) the details of the programme and conclusions that can be drawn together with suggestions of further work.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods in our range of teaching spaces and engineering laboratories:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Laboratory-based activities


You will be assessed using a combination of formats. These include:

  • Laboratory exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As an aeronautical engineering student, you will be based in our aeronautical and engineering laboratories that keep teaching and learning apace with cutting-edge innovation and discovery.

The Aerodynamics Laboratory contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels that help you to determine the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Our Control and Dynamics Laboratory includes flight simulators and programmable control equipment to studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration, and the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Our Merlin MP520-T Engineering Flight Simulator provides you with  practical experience of aircraft design. Our Elite Flight Training System is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator designed in accordance with FNPTII requirements.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Air traffic controller


Once you progress and successfully complete the full BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering degree, a wide range of exciting opportunities in engineering will open up. Demand for air travel remains high and the global aviation industry has plenty of career opportunities for aeronautical engineering graduates.

Many graduates secure roles with companies involved in the development, design and manufacture of major sub-units of aeroplanes and aerospace vehicles, such as engines, structural parts, avionics or environmental control systems. The course also provides a routes into aviation business management.

Today, you will find Salford's aeronautics alumni working throughout the world at leading companies that include Airbus, BAE Systems, Qatar Airways, Roll-Royce, Thales, and the Royal Air Force.

Read about Goshe's graduate role at Airbus.


You might find you want to learn more about automation, engineering and robotics. Building on our engineering expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni will also receive a generous fees discount. 

Aerospace Engineering (MSc)

Advanced Control System (MSc)

Advanced Mechanical Engineering Design (MSc)

Robotics and Automation (MSc)


A taste of what you could become

A systems engineer

An aircraft engineer

An aviation consultant

A technical project lead

A market analyst

And more...


What you need to know


We are looking for applicants who have a keen desire to follow a career in aeronautical engineering. Good interpersonal skills, attention to detail and a strong work ethic, are all desirable characteristics. You should have an understanding of linking theory to real-world application.


This course is not suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in starting your studies with a foundation year, please consider our International Foundation Year pathway.


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points to include level 3 study of Mathematics

A level

64 UCAS points to include minimum grade E in Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma

MPP for Engineering or science subjects, to include Merits in Mathematics modules

Access to HE

Pass with 64 UCAS points from a QAA-approved Engineering or Science programme

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points, to include Mathematics (grade E for Advanced Higher level, grade D for Higher level)

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points to include Higher Level Mathematics and Physics

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include Science, Engineering or Technology

International Baccalaureate

26 Points to include Grade 4 in Physics or Maths at Higher Level

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we receive your application, we'll assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID H415

Institution S03