Aviation Engineering BEng
About the course
This specialist degree programme is aimed at those students who wish to undertake senior engineering roles within the operational side of the aviation industry, but who also retain an interest in flying. The engineering content is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The course runs alongside the Pilot Studies course, replacing flying training with greater design content, making this particularly suitable for anybody aiming for a professional engineering career, but not in a flying role.
Accordingly, the programme integrates basic flight principles and the opportunity to train on a flight simulator with a solid grounding in general engineering and a background in management and operations. The programme will draw on the close proximity of Heathrow and the other London airports and, on completion, graduates will be equipped to follow careers within the aviation industry.
Read about Student Industrial Work Placements.
Why Study Aviation Engineering Undergraduate Course at Brunel University?
3rd best UK University for overall student satisfaction in Aerospace and Aviation: 2012 National Student Survey
Top London-based University for overall student satisfaction in Aerospace and Aviation: 2012 National Student Survey
Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
About Mechanical Engineering at Brunel
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.
The range and diversity of career choice is consequently tremendous. In response to this diversity, we offer a variety of courses.
Interacting with students from different specialisms and with different interests is an important part of the University experience. To help with this, we have introduced a multidisciplinary project for Level 1 students. This is a design-based competition between teams made up of students from a number of subjects.
We also offer the Engineering with an Integrated Foundation Year course.
The range of courses reflects several of our research interests:
- energy and environmental engineering;
- internal combustion engines and their fuels;
- structures and materials;
- fluid mechanics.
To view the Brunel engineering graduate showcase video please click here.
This specialist course has been developed to allow graduates the widest possible range of career options within the aircraft industry.
The course differs from the Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies programme in that students do not undertake the practical flying training at Level 1; instead, an additional design project is undertaken. The aim here is to allow students to avoid paying the additional fees needed for the Pilot Studies option, but still to follow an engineering degree that is heavily biased towards aviation and which develops skills in flying practice (using the flight simulator) and flight theory. All Aviation Engineering students also take the PPL ground school.
From Level 2 onwards, the Aviation Engineering course is identical to the Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies course and so covers flying basics and the wider aspects of the aviation industry. This includes airport design and environmental issues. The course aims to prepare graduates for the many career opportunities within the aviation industry.
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.
Levels 2 and 3 are common to both courses and will comprise specialist engineering and aerospace subjects.
Flight simulation, making extensive use of the University’s flight simulator, is used throughout the course.
- Fundamentals of Solid Body Mechanics
- Fundamentals of Thermofluids
- Analytical Methods and Skills
- Aircraft Ground Theory and Design Project
- Engineering Materials, Manufacturing and Electrical Machines
- Aerospace Laboratories, Technical Drawing and Workshop Experience.
- Solid Body Mechanics
- Performance and Control of Aircraft
- Principles of Aircraft Design
- Professional Engineering Applications and Practice.
- Major Individual Project
- Flight Testing and Airport Environment and Design
- Propulsion Systems, Aircraft Structures and Materials
- Professional Engineering Practice.
* 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.
- You will have the unique opportunity to train on the College's own six-axis engineering flight simulator.
- You will take the PPL ground school, so if you wish to learn to fly in your own time, you will only need to carry out the flying training.
- Staff teaching on the course carry out much of their research with collaborators outside the University, including oil companies, aircraft manufacturers, and other leading industrial firms. This means that links between the Aviation Engineering staff and industry are very strong.
- 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.
- If you start on the full-time course, you can transfer to the sandwich course at any time before the end of Level 2.
- Students benefit from excellent laboratory facilities which are extensive, modern and well-equipped. Industry-standard specialist software for engineering design is available to students 24 hours a day in dedicated computer clusters.
- 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.
- 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 (if you choose placement route);
- we have more contacts to help you find a job when you graduate.
- Much of our research is undertaken with collaborators outside the University, including major oil companies, vehicle manufacturers, and other leading industrial firms.
Women in Engineering and Computing Programme
Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.
The programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which will allow you to train to become a Chartered Engineer in the future.
Fast-track route to Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status
To become an Incorporated Engineer you must fulfil certain requirements laid down by the Society and Institution. The duration for these usually takes seven years, as follows:
- An accredited three-year BEng degree.
- A minimum of two years’ approved industrial training with an appropriate company.
- A minimum of two years’ professional experience as a practising engineer.
Brunel’s sandwich courses help smooth the way through this stage because the integrated work experience is approved by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. With a large proportion of industrial training already completed, students are well down the road to registration, even before graduation
Facts and Figures
The Aviation Engineering degree course is hosted by the Mechanical Engineering Subject Area which has about 700 undergraduate students, 300 postgraduates and around 100 research students and assistants. Each year we take in about 160 new students, of which about 20-25 are studying for a degree in Aviation Engineering.
Teaching and Assessment
Our philosophy is to provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of scientific principles in aviation engineering, and to provide them with the transferable skills that are designed to meet the challenges of employment within the engineering sector of the global economy.
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?
Lectures - 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.
Laboratories - 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. In this situation you can develop your management and leadership skills and ensure that all members of the group deliver their best. 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.
One-to-one - 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.
You will undertake assignments, project work, reports on laboratory practicals, oral presentations and short tests. There are written examinations in May of each year. In Level 3, all students undertake a major individual project. This is worth a third of the overall marks for the year.
The final degree classification is calculated from a combination of Level 2 and Level 3 grades. Level 1 does not count towards your final degree, but you must pass the year in order to progress.
The four-year thick-sandwich degree programme enables you to gain high-quality, relevant professional experience which is sought by employers. This puts graduates from the course in a strong position when entering the job market. Students have the opportunity to change from the full-time mode of study to the thick-sandwich course up to the end of Level 2.
Aviation Engineering graduates can enter almost any professional aerospace career, for example as an aeronautical engineer, commercial or military pilot, air traffic controller, aeronautical researcher.
Graduates have gone on to work for:
- the RAF
- British Airways
- BAE Systems
- Transport for London.
You can choose to study either a full-time course or the prestigious sandwich course. Sandwich students undertake high-quality, paid work placements in aviation or related industry. We have very good links with local and international businesses, and furthermore, Brunel is situated only five miles from Heathrow Airport. The placement in industry is taken between Levels 2 and 3 for at least 44 weeks. This time can count towards becoming an Incorporated or Chartered Engineer.
Brunel’s award-winning Professional Development Centre will support you to get the best placement to suit your aspirations. They can help you with advice to compose the best possible applications, and coach you with mock interviews – often with the support of industry visitors.
The organisations that employ the students on placement are checked to ensure they can provide suitable training experiences. Quite often, Brunel graduates within firms mentor current students.
The placement is assessed, and students must pass it to graduate with the words 'with Professional Development' in their degree title. Each student is allocated both a mentor within the company and an Industrial Tutor from Brunel, who is on hand to help ensure that the placement yields the best possible experience for the student’s personal professional development.
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
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- GCE A-level AAB, including Maths and Physics (General Studies not accepted).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*D*D in Mechanical Engineering, with Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians and Further Mechanical Principles modules.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma D*D 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 grades AB in Maths and Physics.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 33 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.
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.