Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Aeronautical Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Three year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

Aeronautical engineering is the application of scientific and technological methods to research, design, develop, maintain, and performance test both civil and military aircraft. As the race to take flight further escalates, now is an exciting time to consider a career in aeronautics.

Salford is a leading regional UK centre for aeronautics. Providing a gateway to professional status, our Aeronautical Engineering degree course is designed to meet the requirements of the Engineering Councils Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP). With a focus on real-world problem-solving, you'll explore how to improve fuel efficiency, ensure flight safety and apply using technology to take flight even further.

This course is also available with an integrated masters.

Our Aeronautical Engineering courses scored 91% for learning resources in the National Student Survey 2020 (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data)

You will:
  • Explore elements of aircraft design, including aircraft structures, flight systems, navigation, aerodynamics and performance
  • Assess aircraft performance by modelling aerodynamic loads and propulsion system performance, leading to key results in both steady and accelerated flight
  • Complete a flight test course using the Cranfield National Flying Laboratory Centre
  • Choose to take an industry placement year to increase your professional aviation and aeronautics skills

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You're excited about aerospace and aviation and desire a future career in this field


You're a keen problem-solver who enjoyed mathematics or physics at school/college


You're fascinated by the opportunities in engineering and want a degree with professional status

Course details

All about the course

Our BEng Aeronautical Engineering degree is designed to equip you with technical and commercial skills to succeed in your future career. Delivered over three years - or four with a placement year, you’ll study modules that embed theoretical knowledge with creative application to help you become a world-class engineer.

  • In year one, you’ll follow a range of modules designed to enhance your core engineering knowledge in relation to mathematics, electrical systems, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, structures and dynamics.
  • As you progress into year two, you'll explore elements of aircraft design, including aircraft structures, flight systems, navigation, aerodynamics and performance.
  • In year three, you'll cover advanced flight systems, the aerodynamics of high-speed vehicles, and structural analysis using finite element methods. You'll complete experiments and project work, culminating in your individual project.


Throughout the BEng Aeronautical Engineering degree course, you will experience group projects that will enable you to develop your team working, problem-solving, communication and presentation skills - all desirable skills for today's careers.

You will also have the opportunity to gather real-time flight data with practical teaching at Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre. During the flight, the aircraft will conduct specific manoeuvres during which flight data is gathered for you to analyse.


Placements are a great way to expand you knowledge, apply theory to real-life practice and boost your graduate career prospects. On this course, you'll have the option to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Year one

Engineering Mathematics 2

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, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable.

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 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.

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.

Project and Risk Management

You'll be introduced to project management techniques, particularly in project planning, organisation and control. You will develop an understanding of project timings and resource allocation and a broad understanding of quantitative methods used for decision making in industry. You will gain experience in the interactive nature of engineering, including business and commercial influences, and effectively communicate the outcome using computer software and presentations.

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.

Year two

Aircraft Design Enterprise (year 2)

You'll learn about the interactive nature of aircraft design, including business and commercial influences, and to report outcomes effectively. You will also gain an appreciation of market requirements in the design process.

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.

Engineering Mathematics 2

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, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable.

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.

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.”

Year three

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?






Practical activities


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
  • Practical activities


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab 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.


We have created a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres, AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to journals, databases, and software. 

As an aeronautical engineering student, your studies will be based in our range of engineering laboratories. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


An Aeronautical Engineering degree can lead to a fascinating and rewarding career. On successful course completion, you’ll be closer to working in the aviation industry, one the the world's largest employment fields. 

Aerospace and aviation is one of the UK’s largest employment fields. Typical roles are connected to the development, design and manufacture of major sub-units of aeroplanes and related aerospace vehicles such as engines, structural parts, avionics or environmental control systems.  Other possibilities include aviation leadership and business management.

Today, you will find Salford’s aeronautical engineering alumni throughout the world at leading companies, including: Airbus, BAE Systems, Roll-Royce, Thales, and the Royal Air Force.


You might find you want to learn more about aeronautics and related technologies, so we offer a range of specialist postgraduate courses to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A Systems Engineer

A Flight Engineer

An Aviation Consultant

A Pilot

A Market Analyst

and more...

Career Links

This course is extensively informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and industry partners from aeronautics, engineering and technology. The course team has a wide range of long-standing and professional relationships with the aviation industry in the North West and beyond.

External validation of the course content recognises that it meets both UK and international standards required by the engineering profession. Continue collaboration with the professions also ensures a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, as well as career networking opportunities and professional memberships. 


What you need to know


We're looking for applicants who have studied mathematics or physics-based subjects at college and want to gain deeper knowledge in these subjects with a bias towards their application in aeronautics. You will ideally already have a keen interest in aerospace-related matters and desire a future career in this field.


International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band below 5.5, is proof of this.

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2021/22 academic year.

Standard entry requirements


Mathematics and English language at grade C/grade 4 or above.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

112-120 UCAS points to include the study of Mathematics and a numerate science. 

A level

112 - 120 points including maths and numerate science at grade C. A pass in the practical element of science A levels must be achieved.

BTEC National Diploma

DMM from Engineering or Science subjects, must include Distinctions in Mathematics modules.

Access to HE

Pass with 112-120 UCAS points from a QAA-approved Engineering course; including 60 credits overall with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 and Distinctions in numerate modules.

Scottish Highers

112-120 UCAS points to include Mathematics and Physics grade C for Advanced Higher level, or grade A at Higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate

112-120 UCAS points to include A2 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics.

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% from Science or Engineering.

International Baccalaureate

31 points to include grade 5 in Higher Level Mathematics and Physics.

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.

To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How Much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID H410

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.