Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Three year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

As long-haul travel becomes increasingly accessible and affordable, air transport is in high demand. Join this fast-paced industry, and gain the skills to design and manage next generation aircrafts, with our BEng (Hons) Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies degree.

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

Designed to help you build technical knowledge and skills, our course focuses on the underlying principles of aircraft engineering. You will develop the skills to recognise and alleviate risk, create a safe and efficient operating environment, and assess vital information. 

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 Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Build in-depth knowledge of avionic systems, including communication, flight instruments, flight management and passenger systems
  • Explore business economics in route planning, learning the techniques and methodologies used for aircraft navigation
  • Complete a flight test course using Cranfield University's National Flying Laboratory Centre
  • Choose to take an optional structured pilot training programme delivered by external partners that could lead to a Private Pilot Licence

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You're interested in exploring how advanced technology is revolutionising flight


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


You're excited by aircrafts and flight and desire a future career in this field

Course details

All about the course

Aeronautics students in a lab

Course delivery

Delivered over three years - or four with a placement year, you will 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, as you progress into year two, you’ll explore specialist aviation modules. By your final year, you’ll cover advanced modules and complete experiments and project work.

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 aircraft 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. 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.

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. You can also choose to take an optional structured pilot training programme to gain a Private Pilot Licence. These training programmes are delivered by external partners at an additional cost. Details will be available once you join the course.

Aeronautics students disembarking a plane

Read about student Nataniel's study experience at the university.

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

Aviation Business Enterprise

This is your introduction to the history of air transport systems leading to the current state of the aviation business.

You will study topics such as the:

  • Evolution of surface transportation systems – roadways, railways and waterways
  • Beginnings of air transport – first generation airships and winged flying machines
  • Development of technologies relating to improvements in civilian and military aircraft designs
  • Passenger facility enhancements such as in-flight catering, conveniences and entertainment
  • Birth of the modern airliner leading to the demise of the airships and the ocean liners.

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 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 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 Management Aerofluid Mechanics

This module will introduce you to project management techniques, particularly in the areas of 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 an understanding of the basic engineering principles that underpin the design of propulsion systems for the aerospace industry and have an introduction to the principles of gas turbine theory and jet engines. The module also covers the principles of aerodynamics for a range of flight conditions and consolidates a good understanding of flight manoeuvres and design aspects with case studies.

Principles of Air Navigation and Meteorology for Aviation

In this module you will gain proficiency and knowledge in the planning of multiple leg flight plans and build awareness and experience of aviation meteorology. On completion you should have developed skills including practical knowledge of operational procedures; requirements for safe and adequate flight planning; understanding requirements for time planning; the principles of aviation meteorology; and be able to make rational assessments for flight safety by interpreting synoptic weather forecasts.

Year two

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

Safety Assessment in Aviation and Human Factors and Crew Resource Management

The aims of this module is for you to, develop an in depth knowledge of aviation safety issues, use and evaluate analysis so you can anticipate and alleviate safety risks in aviation and to develop an understanding of Human Factors and CRM to optimise capability to operate in a safe and efficient aviation environment.

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.

Route Planning and Navigation Systems

This module will introduce the theory of business economics in route planning. You will learn the techniques and methodologies used for navigating an aircraft using modern navigation aids.

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.

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.

Final Year Project

The final year project is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding and application of the knowledge you have acquired on the course. The project topic chosen will be on an agreed subject related to audio or acoustics and you have the option to work within a group or as an individual with regular supervision.

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.

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.


This module will give you an in depth knowledge of avionic systems currently fitted to modern aircraft, including communication, flight instruments, flight management, automatic flight, warning and recording and passenger systems.

Aircraft Systems Design

In this module you will learn about aircraft design, including detailed refinement of component design and major interactions that have a crucial influence on the overall effectiveness of the design. You will study the interactive nature of aircraft design, including business and commercial influences, and be able to report outcomes effectively.  On completion you should also have an appreciation of market requirements in the design process.            

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?


As an aircraft engineering student, you will spend a lot of time in our professional laboratories, developing your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • 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

What do you do as an aircraft engineer? 

An aircraft engineer works on the design and management of next generation aircrafts. They recognise structural risks, create an efficient operating environment, and assess vital aircraft information. 

How long does it take to become an aircraft engineer? 

Our Aircraft Engineering Bachelor of Engineering programme (BEng) last three years or four if a placement year is chosen. We also offer a MEng (Master of Engineering) programme which takes your studies up to four years and gives you a postgraduate level qualification. 

Our programmes provide our students with the skills and knowledge sought after in the industry and prepares them for the first steps in their career. 

Is aircraft engineering a good job? 

A career in aircraft 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 new aircraft projects. 

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

With high-demand for air travel, career opportunities are expected to increase. Course graduates secure roles that range from supporting air traffic control to aircraft maintenance and engineering. The course also provides a route into aviation business management.

Today, you will find Salford’s aircraft engineering alumni working throughout the world at leading companies and aviation-specific organisations, including the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), CTC Aviation, Ryanair, Leonardo, and Goodrich.

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

An air traffic controller

A navigation consultant

An aircraft engineer

A aviation safety consultant

A pilot

And more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile

We're looking for applicants with a strong background in mathematics and/or numerate science skills. Ideally, you'll have a keen interest in aeronautics and aviation, with aspirations for an engineering-focused career. You may also be interested in becoming a pilot, but want the security of an academic engineering qualification.

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


English language and maths 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 UCAS points to include the study of Mathematics and a numerate science.

A level

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

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 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.

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 H490

Institution S03