Undergraduate MEng (Hons)

Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2022


In a nutshell

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

The MEng pathway is designed to build advanced technical knowledge and skills. By focusing on the underlying principles of aircraft engineering, you can develop the skills to recognise and alleviate risk, create a safe and efficient operating environment, and assess vital information. You will also explore how you can enhance flight performance, as you develop flight assimilation and air navigation skills. 

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.

The course is designed to meet the requirements of the Engineering Councils Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).

You can learn more about engineering, explore course modules and speak to the course team, by joining our next Open Day.

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


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

Course details

All about the course

Aeronautics students at a flight centre

The Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies degree is designed to equip you with technical and transferable skills, and a commitment to the highest professional standards expected by society and industry. 

Combining mathematics, science, computer-based methods, design and engineering, the course will prepare you to approach complex aircraft engineering problems. 

Delivered over four years - or five 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 will follow a range of modules designed to enhance your core engineering knowledge and introduce aeronautics
  • As you progress into year two, you will explore specialist aviation modules, such as aircraft structures, flight systems, aerodynamics, flight simulation, route planning, and navigation systems
  • As you head into year three, you will cover advanced modules including avionics and aircraft system design. You will complete experiments and project work, culminating in your individual project
  • In your final year, you will take your studies to postgraduate level, completing modules in engineering computation, aerospace system design and aerodynamics


Collaboration is core to our values, so we strive to embed this as a learning objective 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 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.

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.


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

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

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.            


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.

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.

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

A vital part of your career preparation, whether in industry or research, is to complete an individual project. Your final project will be based on an engineering theme of industrial relevance.

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.

Year four postgraduate

Aerospace System Design

In this module you will develop an in-depth knowledge of aerospace systems and subsystem integration. As a case study which is representative of larger aircraft, an in-depth knowledge of design to market requirements of unmanned aerial vehicles and their associated systems is a cornerstone of the module. You will design and implement system requirements relevant to integrated aerospace systems.

A key focus of this module is ‘design for manufacture’ and hence the design has to be built and tested at the end of the module. You will develop a core competency of the design, build, integrate and test procedures of aerospace systems for future requirements.

On successful completion, you will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the operating principles of aerospace system design and prepare system specifications and integration plans. Ground testing, documentation and flight operations manuals are produced in line with CAA guidelines and requirements. You will also develop a critical understanding of aerospace system developments for future system requirements.

Engineering Computation

This module provides a systematic understanding of knowledge on computational methods as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the development of appropriate computational models of physical systems, and how to interpret the results of the analysis. The module also covers advanced aspects of finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) including harmonic vibration analysis and will give practical instruction in the use of an industry-standard analysis program

Aerodynamics MEng

This module introduces you to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods for the numerical prediction of aerodynamic flows. You will study finite-difference and finite-volume techniques, the vortex-lattice method, the modern CFD method for the prediction of transonic aerofoil flows and be given an introduction to the requirements for turbulence modelling and review classes of turbulence models.

Plus one optional module:

Aerospace Assembly

This module will expose you to real engineering problems in an industrial or aerospace environment. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes associated with the assembly of very large aircraft structures, including the techniques of forming, joining and fixturing, and an awareness of the regulatory and design standards that have to be met, and the processes that must be used to ensure conformity with those standards.

Flight Dynamics and Control

This module provides a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the analysis of flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.

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

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 aircraft engineering student, your studies will be based in our range of engineering laboratories. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


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 and Goodrich.


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 who apply for our postgraduate courses also qualify to receive a generous fees discount. 

MSc Advanced Control Systems

MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering Design

MSc Aerospace Engineering

MSc Robotics and Automation

Some graduates choose to further their subject interest through postgraduate research. The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is home to our engineering research hub, leading projects associated with the design and performance analysis of aircraft and other aerospace vehicles.

Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available at Salford through our Doctoral School.

A taste of what you could become

An aircraft engineer

An air traffic controller

A flight safety consultant

A technical project lead

A pilot

And more...

Career Links

This course is informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and industry partners from aeronautics, engineering and technology fields.

The course team has long-standing connections with the aviation industry, both in the North West and beyond. These relationships ensure a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, project and placement opportunities, and engagement with professional networks.


What you need to know


We're looking for applicants with a strong background in mathematics and/or numerate 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.


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.


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 Mathematics 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

128 UCAS points to include the study of Mathematics and a numerate science. 

A level

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

BTEC National Diploma

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

Access to HE

Pass with 128 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

128 UCAS points to include Advanced Higher level Mathematics and Physics at grade B.

Irish Leaving Certificate

128 UCAS points to include A1 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 6 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.

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.
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Part-time 2022/23 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.

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID H492

Institution S03