Aircraft Systems engineering video lecture

Already have a passion for aircraft, space travel and want to know what kinds of job opportunities are offered? Never even thought about aerospace as a potential place for your career?

Whether a passionate aviator, or simply curious to know more, this section introduces you to key areas of aerospace and aviation where you may be able to apply your talents.

From aerospace engineering to flying, from air transport operations to air traffic control, there may be a place for you in aerospace.
For in-depth information and case studies please visit:

Study and Apprenticeships

In this section, find out more about entering the aerospace industry via university study, college courses or apprenticeships.  As you will see, from aerospace design to aircraft maintenance, to space courses and aviation management, there are lots of college and undergraduate degree courses on offer in the UK which can help prepare you for a career in aerospace.

However, it doesn’t end there. If you prefer a hands-on route with the chance to ‘earn while you learn’, apprenticeship opportunities also exist.

And with so many specialist areas of aerospace, you can also consider postgraduate study to gain expertise in fields such as aerodynamics, propulsion, satellite systems, or air transport management.

Study routes into aerospace

With a variety of complex career paths, from aerospace engineering to space mission analysis and airline management, there are many specialist degrees at UK universities which can help you develop the skills and knowledge for a career in aerospace.  With a strong tradition in aerospace engineering, over 33 universities in the UK offer aerospace engineering-related degrees alone, with international reputations for excellence in research and teaching, and using facilities such as flight simulators!

Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering Study

This is about applying maths, science and technology to the research, design, manufacture and maintenance of airborne products and finding ways to continually improve existing models and create new concepts for clients such as airlines or aero-manufacturers.  Areas of study include aerodynamics, structures, fluid dynamics and avionics, and examining manufacturing processes or maintenance.  Traditionally, ‘aeronautical’ engineering has a mechanical focus, covering the various aspects of conventional flight in the atmosphere and the manufacture of aircraft. ‘Aerospace’ engineering encompasses aeronautical engineering together with other aspects, such as space, automated flight control systems and avionics. However, as courses are developed, the distinctions between the two are now disappearing, with course content often overlapping.

University Entry Requirements

Maths and Physics A levels/Scottish Highers, or equivalent, are a must for entry on to aerospace engineering courses. Grade requirements can be high, but vary between universities. You will also need a third subject and this could be another Science, or something complementary; Languages, for example, are very useful as so many aerospace companies have sites world-wide!

How long does it take?

A BEng is a Bachelor’s level degree, three years of full-time study, while the MEng involves an integrated additional year of study leading to a Master’s level qualification. The alternative is to study a separate Master’s (MSc) qualification after BEng level in a specialist subject field. Many universities offer work experience opportunities during the period of study, either through a one-year ‘industrial’ placement between the second and third year of the course, or through project work or summer placement schemes. Getting experience will really help you secure employment when you graduate!

Where can I study?

As the Royal Aeronautical Society provides an impartial service, we are unable recommend specific institutions. However, when making your selection, you are advised to look at the websites for universities with suitable courses and visit those which interest you the most. Take into consideration entry requirements aeronautical study facilities, employment rates for graduates and the institution’s links with industry, as well as practical concerns such as location and living expenses etc. In the case of entry requirements, you will need to contact institutions individually.

We have compiled lists of Further Education and Undergraduate courses relating to aerospace and aviation for you. Scroll down the page to download.

Accredited aerospace degrees

Some engineering degree courses are accredited by professional bodies such as the Royal Aeronautical Society. Engineers often work towards Chartered Engineering status during their career, in order to gain professional recognition. Accredited degrees assist engineers in this process.

Click here for our Accreditation Pages where you can find out about degrees currently accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Aircraft Engineering Study

In recent years, an increasing number of hands-on engineering courses have become available at university level. This is in addition to the courses available at Further Education (FE) level which often accompany apprenticeships and technician-based training.  Many courses incorporate work experience with aircraft maintenance suppliers, such as airlines or specialist maintenance companies, to help acquire the EASA licenses for aircraft maintenance engineers.

Scroll down the page to download a list of Further Education and Undergraduate courses relating to aerospace and aviation.

Other aerospace and aviation courses

In addition to the above, there are a number of specialist engineering courses which relate to the Space industry, many combine aeronautics with astronautics. Other relevant courses to aerospace engineering include mechanical, electronics/electrical and systems engineering degrees.

In addition, as specialist skills become necessary for increasingly complex aerospace business environment, degrees such as air transport management, aviation management and airline and airport management are now available focussing on the operational, regulatory and financial aspects of the industry.

And in both engineering and business disciplines, courses which combine pilot studies are also available, with the chance to gain a pilot’s licence (levels vary) at the same time as a degree.

Applying to university

UK students should apply for courses via UCAS who manage the whole selection process for UK students entering undergraduate study. UCAS also organise a number of fairs across the country with study advice and the chance to meet universities as well as providing lots of advice on their website.  International students should contact UK universities directly for entry advice. Most universities have a specific International Office who can provide specialist advice about international qualifications and UK equivalencies for university entry. Look out also for British Council fairs throughout the world attended by UK universities.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Find out about the RAeS Centennial Scholarship Scheme at

Going down the college route? The Engineering Technology Board (ETB) has teamed up with the Nuffield Foundation to launch a brand new Engineering Bursary Scheme for students at further education (FE) colleges. Find out more at


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