Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies BEng

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

Becoming a pilot is one of the most exciting and rewarding of career choices. This specialist degree provides an ideal starting point for you to train to become a professional pilot after graduation.

The programme incorporates fundamental practice and theory, but also presents the opportunity to obtain a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and to undertake training in a flight simulator.

See Course FAQs and Flying Training Information.

View the Brunel Engineers graduate showcase video and read about Student Industrial Work Placements.

NSS2nd best UK university for overall student satisfaction in Aerospace and Aviation: 2013 National Student Survey

NSSTop London-based university for overall student satisfaction in Aerospace and Aviation: 2013 National Student Survey

NSSAccredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


From jet aircraft to air conditioning plant, from tunnelling machines to body-scanners, from technical consultancy to financial services such as insurance, mechanical engineers deal with the design and production of the machines, systems and structures that are taken for granted in the modern world.

This course has been developed to allow graduates the widest possible range of career options within the aircraft industry. The engineering content is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the pilot training provides the first stepping stone for those hoping to progress to a career as a commercial or military pilot.

As well as covering flying basics, the degree programme examines wider aspects of the aviation industry, for example airport design (BEng), aircraft operations (MEng) and environmental issues. This aims to prepare graduates for the many career opportunities within the aviation industry, as well as for becoming a commercial pilot.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 266633 (College Marketing Office)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Mr Colin Axon

Email: me-ug-admissions@brunel.ac.uk

Related Courses

Course Content

Level 1 provides grounding in engineering fundamentals and all students will study for the ground examinations for the European Private Pilot’s Licence, including air law, meteorology, principles of flight and human factors. You will also complete the flying training elements of the UK National Private Pilot’s Licence.*

Levels 2 and 3 will comprise specialist engineering and aerospace subjects, and opportunities exist to continue flying training towards the European JAR-FCL Private Pilot’s Licence, possibly with the addition of either a Night Qualification or an Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) rating.

Flight simulation, making extensive use of the University’s flight simulator, is used throughout the course.

* Because of the cost of undertaking flying training, there is a major additional cost for the Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies course, although this is payable in Level 1 only. Please contact the Admissions Tutor for more information.

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Fundamentals of Solid Body Mechanics
  • Fundamentals of Thermofluids
  • Analytical Methods and Skills
  • Aircraft Ground Theory and Flying Practice
  • Engineering Materials, Manufacturing and Electrical Machines
  • Aerospace Laboratories, technical drawing and workshop experience.

Level 2

  • Solid Body Mechanics
  • Thermofluids
  • Performance and Control of Aircraft
  • Principles of Aircraft Design
  • Professional Engineering Applications and Practice.

Level 3

  • Major Individual Project
  • Professional Engineering Practice
  • Propulsion Systems, Aircraft Structures and Materials
  • Flight Testing and Airport Environment and Design. 

(If you choose the placement route, you will take your year-long placement in between Levels 2 and 3).

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • The ‘Pilot Studies’ element of the course gives you the opportunity to gain a National Private Pilot’s Licence. Flying training will take place at Booker Aviation and all transport to and from the airfield will be provided by the University.
  • You will have the unique opportunity to train on the College's own flight simulator.
  • You can enter the course on either the MEng or the BEng route. If you enter on the BEng route, you can transfer to the MEng programme at the end of Level 2 by obtaining an average of 60% at that level.
  • You have the opportunity to study abroad, either in Europe as an Erasmus exchange student or at Iowa University in the US, during your second year.
  • Much of our research is undertaken with collaborators outside the University, including major oil companies, vehicle manufacturers, and other leading industrial firms.
  • We have very good links with business and industry in the UK and overseas. This means that:
    • degrees are designed to meet the needs of industry and the market place
    • the latest developments in the commercial world feed into your course
    • you have greater choice and quality of professional placements
    • we have more contacts to help you find a job when you graduate.


The programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which will allow you to train to become a Chartered Engineer in the future.

Teaching and Learning

All students study a common set of modules at all levels to ensure that everyone graduates from the course with the same core knowledge and skills.

How many hours of study are involved?

In Level 1 contact between students and academic staff is relatively high at 17 hours per week. This will assist you in adjusting from school/college to university life. As the course progresses the number of contact hours is steadily reduced as you undertake more project-based work.

How will I be taught?


These provide a broad overview of the main concepts and ideas that you need to understand, and give you a framework on which to expand your knowledge by private study.


Practicals are generally three-hour sessions in which you can practice your observational and analytical skills, and develop a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts.

Design Studios

In a studio you will work on group projects with guidance from members of staff. You may be required to design and produce an artefact or develop a solution to an engineering problem. These sessions allow you to develop your intellectual ability and practice your teamwork skills.


On registration for the course, you will be allocated a personal tutor whose role is to provide academic and pastoral support during your time at university. You will have one-to-one supervision on all Level 3/4 project work. If you go on an industrial placement you will also be allocated an industrial tutor who will help you to achieve the training objectives necessary to satisfy the requirements for Chartered Engineer status with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. You will also be visited by a member of the academic staff to monitor the progress of your training.


Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you have to pass this year to continue with the course. Students wishing to transfer from the BEng to the MEng must achieve at least 60% at Level 2.

Several methods of assessment are employed on the course. There are written examinations at the end of each term, but work is also continuously assessed throughout. You will undertake projects, assignments, essays, laboratory work and short tests.

Project work is commonplace and is usually completed in groups to imitate the everyday experience in an engineering firm, where specialists must pool their talents to design a solution to a problem. In this situation you can develop your management and leadership skills and ensure that all members of the group deliver their best. Group members share the mark gained, so it is up to each individual to get the most out of everyone else.


Aviation graduates will leave Brunel with highly marketable knowledge and skills, and will be very well placed to go on to commercial flight training.


Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

These statistics relate to graduates from a number of different pathways – Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (MEng), Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering with Automotive Design, Motorsport Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Aviation Engineering and Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies.

In 2013/14, six months after graduating:

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

Graduates can enter almost any professional aerospace career, for example as an aeronautical engineer, commercial or military pilot, air traffic controller, aeronautical researcher.

You will also have a major advantage if you are going on to pursue a course of professional flying training.

Graduates have gone on to work for:

  • The RAF
  • Ministry of Defence
  • GE Energy
  • Qinetiq Group
  • Caterpillar.


You will have the opportunity to carry out high-quality professional placements in the UK or overseas. We have very good links with local and international businesses, and furthermore, Brunel is situated only five miles from Heathrow Airport.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/7 entry

This programme requires an additional fee for the flying element in Year 1 only. Find out more.

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £17,200 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements 2016/7

  • GCE A-level AAB-ABB, including Maths and Physics (General Studies not accepted).
  • Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma Grade A in Engineering, plus the Specialist Unit in Maths for Engineers at grade C along with 1 AS-level (excluding General Studies) at Grade B for Additional and Specialist Learning.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD, In Mechanical Engineering with Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles modules.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in Mechanical Engineering with Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles with an A-Level Maths at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D with A-Levels grade AB in Maths and Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 31 points, including 6 in Higher Level Maths and 5 in Higher Level Physics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Engineering course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All Maths and Physics units must be Distinctions at level 3. Plus A-level Maths at grade B. Access students who are not taking A-level Maths are encouraged to apply for the Foundations of Engineering course.
  • Foundations of Engineering courses For Brunel Foundations of Engineering progression requirements, see the course page.

5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade B, English Language at Grade C, and Double Science (or two separate Science subjects) at Grade C or above. Other acceptable GCSEs: English Literature, Geography, History, Languages, others may be considered on an individual basis.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

For non-EU qualification equivalencies, please check the relevant country entry criteria.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 25 May 2016