Aerospace engineering, sometimes known as aeronautical engineering, is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, development and maintenance of aircraft. An aerospace engineer is responsible for the way aircraft construction is researched and developed, the testing of new aircraft and its components, as well as exploring aerodynamics and other factors that can affect airborne craft. You will be encouraged to develop your knowledge of skills in the area, preparing you for a variety of career choices.
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About Aerospace Engineering
The accreditation of an aerospace engineering degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), or an integrated Master of Engineering (MEng). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Engineering (MEng), or a Master of Research (MRes). Further study will award a research degree such as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Depending on your institution, your course may be accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). Your course may also be designed to help your progress towards becoming a Chartered Engineer.
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate aerospace engineering degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £9,500
An undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering will give you a good foundation level of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on fluid mechanics, flight simulation, aerospace thermodynamics, space systems, aerodynamics and wind tunnels, heat transfer, aerospace propulsion, and aerospace vibrations. The majority of undergraduate degrees will be designed to suit those students who have little experience in the area, as well as challenging those who have already studied or worked within the aerospace engineering discipline. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating practical sessions and potential field trips. Assessment methods could include written work, presentations, group and individual projects, and a final major research project.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MEng or MSc, you will build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of aerospace engineering. You will develop your understanding of both the traditional and contemporary concepts of the subject area. Modules and specialisms could include materials and statics, solid mechanics, stress analysis, composites and polymers, helicopter flight, and unmanned aerial vehicle systems. Assessment methods might include written work, presentations and a final major research project.
The entry requirements for an aerospace engineering degree will depend on your institution of choice. They will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree might require you to have a background in subjects with similar quantitative demands to aerospace engineering, such as mathematics and physics. If you do not have a strong background in these areas, but can prove that you are passionate about aerospace engineering, some universities may still consider your application. You can display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require that you have an undergraduate degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAA-ABB
- UCAS Points - 144-128 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Product Design, Computing, Statistics
- Degree Requirements - 2:2 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry
Graduates of aerospace engineering will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. The wide range of skills gained throughout your degree will be useful and applicable in a variety of industries, not limited to aerospace engineering. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, jobs might include becoming an aerospace engineer, a maintenance engineer, a CAD technician, a mechanical engineer, or a materials engineer. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to your degree, jobs could include working as an automotive engineer, a project manager, or an engineering consultant.