Aerospace Engineering MSc
About the course
This specialist course has been developed to equip graduate engineers with the skills required of a highly demanding aerospace industry.
Taught modules are balanced with practical and challenging individual and group aerospace project work. You will learn about aircraft design aerodynamics, space mechanics, spacecraft design, propulsion systems and the role of flight simulation in aerospace at an advanced level.
Practical projects typically include the design, build and testing of a scale aircraft, computational fluid dynamics and structural analysis modelling of a critical aerospace component and flight performance evaluation using a flight simulator.
MSc Aerospace Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.
Although the course has a distinct specialist and technical flavour, the MSc also seeks to provide graduates with a raft of non-technical skills to enable them to realise their professional potential to its fullest.
To this end, the course provides modules that cover topics in strategic management, enterprise, research and innovation, as well as exploring issues that are of special importance to the future of the aerospace industry, such as safety, security, and sustainability.
The MSc Aerospace Engineering course consists of five taught modules, a group project, and an individual project and dissertation.
Design and Analysis of Aerospace Vehicles
- Part A – Aerospace Vehicles
Introduction to spacecraft design: types, roles, systems, operating environment; Introduction to helicopter design: configurations, roles, design problems, operating environment, sizing and performance estimation; other aerospace vehicles: UAVs, MAVs, GEVs, spaceplanes, microlights, parachutes.
- Part B – Aircraft design and systems analysis
Fixed-wing aircraft conceptual design, parametric studies, preliminary design, detailed design. Airframe structure, aerodynamics, propulsion, use of materials, and mission requirements. Aircraft cost, aircraft reliability and maintainability predictions. Use of aircraft design data and design formulae. Application of specialist performance analysis software to the conceptual aircraft design process.
Advanced Aerodynamics, Propulsion Systems, and Space Mechanics
Incompressible flow over airfoil and finite wings: Classical airfoil theory, vortex panel numerical method, Biot-Savart law, Helmholtz's theorem, Prantdl's classical lifting-line theory, lifting-surface theory, vortex lattice numerical method, the delta wing. Compressible flow: flow about bodies and shock formation, compressible flow relations, flow through nozzles, shock interactions and reflections, hypersonic flows.
Application of numerical codes: CFD, Euler solvers. Spacecraft trajectories. Multistage rockets. Escape velocity. Elliptical and circular orbits. Orbital manoeuvres. Atmospheric re-entry and atmospheric heating. Axial aircraft compressors. Radial equilibrium theory for axial machines. Axial aircraft turbines. Aircraft combustion chamber design. Ramjet.
Current Topics in Aerospace
Airport design, air traffic control and management; aircraft and airport security; safety measures in aircraft; environmental pollution and noise; history and statistics of air accidents; passenger and luggage handling; catering services; role of flight simulators; future for aerospace industry and air traffic growth.
Strategic Management Innovation and Enterprise
- Financial ownership issues: financial implications, sources of finance, raising capital, venture finance, merchant banks, mergers, take-overs, business restructuring.
- Human resources management: key theories of motivation in workplace, leadership, incentivisation, managing a unionised workforce, employment legislation in UK, EU and worldwide. Organisation of a business: organisation theory, organisational strategy and culture, integration of functions, forces for change and continuous improvement.
- Marketing concept: Customer orientation; market segmentation and analysis
- Ethical business: Moral codes; legal frameworks; industry regulations; local and global trade. Marketing Communications: market research, marketing mix, branding, advertising and sponsorship.
Research Methodology and Sustainable Engineering
- Practical research issues: research processes and strategies; researcher/supervisor roles and relationships; writing, communicating and disseminating research; principles of good research practice.
- Information retrieval: objectives; sampling methods; data analysis; when and how to apply statistics; statistical methods; preparing and sorting data; parametric and non-parametric tests; computer software for statistical analysis.
- Risk management: Risk analysis and decision support, financial indicators
- Innovation: Brainstorming, value engineering, intellectual property protection.
Group Project in Aerospace Engineering
Students work nominally in groups of five or six to prepare a novel design for a particular engineering system or product. They will be required to work from an initial design brief to produce the product design specification and the necessary planning and management strategies.
- you will learn and apply techniques and skills to carry out the design of a multidisciplinary or cross-disciplinary system or product.
- you will be required to produce a final technical specification including cost justification.
- you will also be expected to provide performance justification, the specification of appropriate manufacturing techniques and provision for accommodating environmental effects.
Aircraft Structures, Loads and Aeroelasticity
Students will work independently on a project within given resources and time constraints. Students often choose project topics from a list provided by the module co-ordinator or after having discussions with academic members of staff.
- Some projects may be part of the research activities undertaken by various research groups within the College.
- Some project topics may be initiated by organisations external to Brunel, though supervision from within Brunel is necessary in all cases.
- The nature of projects may be predominantly design, experimental, computing and/or analysis, or sometimes a critical literature survey. Many projects combine several of these aspects.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Highly rated by students
Mechanical Engineering at Brunel ranks highly in the Guardian league tables for UK universities, with a student satisfaction score of 86.4% in 2015. Postgraduate students can therefore expect to benefit from an experienced and supportive teaching base whilst having the opportunity to thrive in a dynamic and high-profile research environment.
We have extensive and well-equipped laboratories, particular areas of strength being in fluid and biofluid mechanics, IC engines, vibrations, building service engineering, and structural testing. Our computing facilities are diverse and are readily available to all students. The University is fully networked with both Sun workstations and PCs. Advanced software is available for finite and boundary element modelling of structures, finite volume modelling of flows, and for the simulation of varied control systems, flow machines, combustion engines, suspensions, built environment, and other systems of interest to the research groups.
Strong links with industry
We regularly consult aerospace engineering experts to keep our programmes up to date with industry needs. Read more about how we integrated industrial expertise into an MEng Aerospace Engineering module.
Aerospace Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.
Teaching and Assessment
Modules are taught over eight months (from October to May) and are assessed by a balanced combination of examination and assignment.
For the final four months (June to September), students will conduct an individual project and prepare a dissertation, allowing the opportunity to undertake original research relating to the aerospace engineering field.
The group project is conducted throughout the year and is assessed by means of project logbooks, oral presentations and final project reports.
Aerospace engineering is currently one of the key areas where there is significant industry demand to recruit well qualified engineers. This demand exists especially in the UK, but also in other European countries. Brunel's MSc Aerospace Engineering course aims to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to fulfil this burgeoning industrial demand.
Roles within the aerospace industry might include working in a broad range of areas including strategic management, enterprise, research and innovation, specifically research in safety, security, and sustainability which are of special importance to the future of the aerospace industry.
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 2016/17 entry
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in an engineering or technology discipline. Other subjects in a related discipline, including but not limited to Physics and Mathematics will be considered and assessed on an individual basis.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
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 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (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.