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Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies

MEng (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Aeronautical Engineering

UCAS Code: H492

Start Date(s): September


Four years full-time
Five years full-time with industrial placement


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE))
  • Follow a structured pilot training programme
  • Aircraft design is brought into sharp focus in parallel with a full treatment of fundamental and advanced aeronautical science
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course lets you combine the practical and theoretical aspects of flying with the underlying principles ofaircraft engineering. The University has excellent facilities including three flight simulators, allowing you to benefit from the practical application of theories taught in the classroom.

The course aims to produce graduates who can integrate theoretical and practical knowledge of maths, science, computer based methods, design, the economic, social and environmental context and engineering practice to solve complex aircraft engineering problems.

You have the option to follow a structured pilot training programme leading to the opportunity to gain a Private Pilot Licence.

A total of 45 flying hours are offered within the training programme, at additional cost, with the twin aims of enabling you to fly solo by the end of level 1 and obtain a Private Pilot Licence by the end of level 2. Lessons are at an additional total cost of £7,608 (correct at time of printing), with flexible payment options - please visit the CSE home page for more details.

You can elect to take a year's relevant industrial placement as part of your degree. Successful completion of an industrial placement year will add 'with Professional Experience' to your degree title. This is greatly encouraged and is an excellent opportunity to apply the knowledge that you have gained at the University.

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

This course has been awarded accredited status by both the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the exemplifying academic benchmark for registration as Incorporated Engineer (IEng) requirement in full, and the Chartered Engineer (CEng) requirement in part.

Why is accreditation important?

It provides external validation of the degree course content which recognises that it meets both UK and international standards required by the engineering profession.

Professional registration and Institution membership will enhance your career in the following ways:

  • Access to continuous professional development
  • Careers advice and employment opportunities
  • Increased earning potential over the length of your career
  • International recognition of your qualifications, skills and experience
  • Evidence of your motivation, drive and commitment to the profession
  • Networking opportunities

You will develop flight assimilation and air navigation skills in specifically designed subject modules and through the use of the School's fixed and moving base flight simulators.

There is a flight test course just prior to the final year, which is delivered by Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre using their specially instrumented Jetstream 31 aircraft. During the flight, the aircraft will conduct specific manoeuvres during which flight data is gathered for later analysis by the students. This valuable experience allows the students to link practical issues of aircraft behaviour to principles of flight taught in the classroom.

You will undertake experimental and project work throughout the programme, including a significant personal project in the final year.

Year 1                

This module will introduce you 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 waterwaysBeginnings of air transport – first generation airships and winged flying machinesDevelopment of technologies relating to improvements in civilian and military aircraft designsPassenger facility enhancements such as in-flight catering, conveniences and entertainmentBirth of the modern airliner leading to the demise of the airships and the ocean liners.            
In this module 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 microstructure 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 d.c. or a.c. supplies.            
An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in engineering subjects. This module will review and expand on the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on their applications to engineering.            
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 the you for subsequent modules.            
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.            
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 2                

This module will build on the engineering mathematics module from your first year by developing an advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis, and 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.            
The aims of this module are 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;                                        
  • develop an understanding of Human Factors and CRM to optimise capability to operate in a safe and efficient aviation environment.                                        
Topics and concepts covered in this module include fluid mechanics, boundary layer theory, sources of drag in particular aircraft drag, thin aerofoil theory, lifting line theory as it applies to the aerodynamic analysis of unswept wings in low speed flow and the apparatus used and techniques employed in wind tunnel testing.            
In this module you will 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.            
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.            
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.            

Year Three                

This module is concerned with the analysis of gas turbine engines as used in aircraft propulsion and high speed aerodynamics. Emphasis is placed on the aerodynamic and thermodynamic aspects which influence the performance of a given engine design. Wherever possible, data for actual aircraft engines is used to support the analysis.            
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.            
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.            
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.  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.            
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.            

Year Four                

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 give an introduction to the requirements for turbulence modelling and review classes of turbulence models.            
This module concentrates on 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.            
This module provides a systematic understanding of knowledge on finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the development of appropriate finite element models of physical systems, and how to interpret the results of the analysis. The module also covers advanced aspects of finite element analysis including harmonic vibration analysis and will give practical instruction in the use of an industry-standard finite element analysis program.
You will then choose one option from the below:      
This module looks at the processes associated with the assembly of very large aircraft structures, including the techniques of forming, joining and fixturing. You will be taught about the relevant regulatory and design standards that have to be met and the processes that must be used to ensure conformity with those standards.            
Gives a comprehensive understanding and systematic understanding of knowledge in the analysis of  flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 128 - 136 points
GCE A level 128 - 136 points with grade B or above in Maths and Numerate Science. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DDM with Distinction in Maths modules
Scottish Highers 128 - 136 points with grade C or above in Mathematics and English language
Irish Leaving Certificate 128 tariff points including Mathematics and Numerate Science at Higher Level.
International Baccalaureate 35 points with Grade 6 in Numerate Science and Maths at Higher Level.
Access to HE A minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 60 credits overall. Pass with 128 to 136 UCAS points achieved. Distinctions in numerate modules required.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We 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 have received your application we will 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.

International Students and Students who are Non EU/EEA/UK Nationals - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International Students and student who are not EU, EEA or UK nationals are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you 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 at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on
You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

This course is suited to students that have strong numerate skills, demonstrated by good A Levels in relevant subject areas, who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of aircraft engineering.

You may be keen to become a pilot, but want the academic engineering background as well to help give you a wider range of career options on graduation.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Dr Phillip Atcliffe for further information.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

Students may choose to study for their pilot's licence at a cost of approximately £7,000 (based on £140 per hour for 50 hours). Costs are approximated based on the  current academic year.

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


Depending on the module, teaching is delivered by a combination of:

  • Traditional lectures
  • video materials
  • group analysis work
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • laboratory work
  • demonstrations
  • use of specialised software as applicable

Laboratory work involves Flight Dynamics, Flight Control and the use of Simulink

Some workshop activities will include use of one of our three flight simulators,with case-study material for tutorial support and independent student study.

There will be some aspects of group presentation work which will require students to present the individual aspects of the group work as well as being required to operate as a team.



Career Prospects

Students who have completed this degree have gained employment with several leading companies such as National Air Traffic Services (NATS), CTC Aviation and Goodrich.

Typical job titles have included Air Traffic Control Safety Engineer, Airworthiness Engineer, and Pilot.

Alumni Profile

Daniel Pechev, BEng Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies

I came to Salford, mainly, because of its outstanding facilities, its location and the teaching staff. I strongly recommend the software based courses as they give you a taste of the real world, personal chit-chat with lecturers as they are always willing to help and the aero laboratory - it is just brilliant. The highlight from the three years I had so far was my improved skill of tackling new problems. My favourite piece of work was always related to aerodynamics, so any project was a favourite for me.

Further Study


Mechanical Lab

This lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Aerodynamics Lab

Contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels – typical laboratory experiments would include determining the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Composite Material Lab

This lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections.  The facility is particularly utilised for final year project work.

Control & Dynamics Lab

Contains flight simulators (see details below) and programmable control experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration due to rotating imbalance, and understanding the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Flight Simulators

  • Merlin MP520-T Engineering Simulator

    This simulator is used to support engineering design modules, such as those involving aerodynamics and control systems by giving a more practical experience of aircraft design than a traditional theory and laboratory approach. As a student, you'll design and input your own aircraft parameters into the simulator before then assessing the flight characteristics.

    The simulator is a fully-enclosed single seat capsule mounted on a moving 2-degree of freedom platform which incorporates cockpit controls, integrated main head-up display and two secondary instrumentation display panels.

    An external instructor console also accompanies the simulator and is equipped with a comprehensive set of displays, override facilities and a two-way voice link to the pilot.

  • Elite Flight Training System

    The Elite is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator used for flight operations training and is certified by the CAA as a FNPT II-MCC Multi-Crew Cockpit training environment.  It has two seats, each with a full set of instrumentation and controls, and European Visuals, so you see a projection of the terrain that you're flying through, based on real geographic models of general terrain and specific airports in Europe.

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