Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Aeronautical Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Three year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


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.

We are delighted this programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering degree is designed to equip you with technical and transferable skills, and a commitment to the highest professional standards expected by society and by industry. With a focus on real-world problem-solving, you will explore how to improve fuel efficiency, ensure flight safety and apply technology to take flight even further.

With a focus on your future, you will also build transferable skills and learn about the decision-making methods used by industry. There is also the option to include an industry placement year, where you can gain additional workplace skills and boost your employability once you graduate.

Looking to take your studies further? Take a look at our integrated masters MEng pathway.

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:

  • 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 aircraft
  • 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 are interested in exploring how advanced technology is revolutionising flight


You are excited about aerospace and aviation and desire a future engineering career in this field


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

Course details

All about the course

Aeronautics students in a lab

Course delivery

Delivered over three years - or four if you choose to include a placement year, you will study a suite of modules that will 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 disembarking a plane

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.

Year one

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 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)

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.

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

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

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
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

Is aeronautical engineering a good career? 

A career in aeronautical engineering can be very rewarding. If you choose to go down this career path, you could play an important role in the research, design, and maintenance of exciting aircraft projects.  

What are the highest paying roles in aeronautical engineering? 

Aeronautical engineering is a field with high financial reward, with most roles offering attractive salaries. Some of the most high-paying roles in the field include Aeronautical Systems Engineer, Flight Test Engineer, Spacecraft Systems Engineer, and Aerodynamics Engineer. 

Is aeronautical engineering difficult? 

Aeronautical engineering could be considered a challenging field due to the specialist knowledge and technical expertise it requires. However, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies and getting to work on exciting projects. 

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

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


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. 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 route 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.

Further study

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. 

A taste of what you could become

A Systems Engineer

A Flight Engineer

An Aviation Consultant

A Pilot

A Market Analyst

and more...


What you need to know

Further study

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.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications.

If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

International students - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin their studies. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter. If you cannot find it, please contact: application@salford.ac.uk.

If you have a query relating to ATAS, please contact: salford-atas@salford.ac.uk

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 UCAS points to include grade C in Mathematics and grade C in a numerate Science-based subject (Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Design Technology or Computer Science). Grade C in A/S Level Physics is also acceptable. 

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

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

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

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 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £17,040.00per year
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,650.00per year

Additional costs

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

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. 

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID H410

Institution S03