Aerospace Engineers research and develop aircraft and its associated technologies. The subject is generally split into aeronautical engineering, concerned with atmospheric vehicles such as planes, and astronautic engineering, which focuses on aircraft and components which leave the atmosphere, such as satellites.
Aerospace Engineering modules cover a number of related disciplines, all of which are necessary to create a full engineering team. They include fluid mechanics, mathematics, software design, propulsion and materials science. An emphasis on technical and management skills, as well as maths, physics and fluid mechanics, means that other branches of engineering and research are open to graduates.
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UK universities who offer aerospace engineering all have close relationships with the aerospace industry, meaning there are many opportunities for internships, work placements, and research collaborations. These collaborations inform teaching, and provide students with vital workplace experience.
The demand for skilled aerospace engineers is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by the need for new and innovative technologies to meet the challenges of space exploration, climate change, and global transportation.
Most aerospace engineering degrees in the UK last for three years. During the first year of study you will learn the essential components of aerospace engineering and in the second year you will choose to focus on modules which focus on your area of interest. In the final year of study, you will further tailor your degree to your career ambitions. Many courses also offer optional placement years in the industry as well.
International students can expect to pay between £18,000 to £37,900 per academic year when studying an aerospace engineering degree in the UK. Elements that affect international tuition fees include location, ranking and global reputation.
The Imperial College London Aeronautical Engineering degree, which is the number one ranked aerospace engineering course in the UK, will cost EU and overseas students £37,900 per year. Coventry University’s Aerospace Systems Engineering MEng/BEng (Hons) degree however, ranked 9th in the UK, is only £19,400 per year. Below is the UK top five aerospace engineering programmes and their international fees.
A Bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering is an undergraduate degree that provides students with a foundation in the principles of aerospace engineering. Students will learn about the design process, including how to use computer-aided design (CAD) software and simulation tools to design and analyze aerospace systems and modules covered will include Mathematics, physics, aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, control systems, materials and spacecraft design.
A Master's in Aerospace Engineering is a postgraduate degree that provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in the field of aerospace engineering. Postgraduate aerospace engineering courses will typically involve advanced study in the area of aerodynamics, propulsion, materials, structures, and control systems. Career prospects for individuals with a Master's in Aerospace Engineering are typically stronger than if you hold an undergraduate aerospace degree.
A PhD in aerospace engineering is a research-focused degree that prepares individuals for advanced careers in academia, research and development and industry. Career prospects for individuals with a PhD in aerospace engineering are typically strong
Aerospace engineering graduates find roles in areas such as aircraft and component design, aircraft manufacture, maintenance and testing, flight simulation, patent engineering, systems engineer and structures engineer.
Aerospace Engineering employment opportunities are available at a range of different companies involved in the design and manufacture of aircraft and associated aspects of the industry. Huge companies such as Rolls-Royce Engines, British Airways, Airbus, BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence constantly look at UK Aerospace Engineering graduates when recruiting.
Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016-17.
According to the Guardian University Guide 2023 aerospace engineering subject rankings, the following five universities have the highest percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs, or are in further study at professional or higher education level within 15 months of graduation.
The entry requirements for an Aerospace Engineering degree in the UK can vary depending on the university and the type of course. Generally, you will need to have completed your secondary education and obtained high school qualifications, such as A-levels, BTECs, or equivalent qualifications. The typical minimum requirement is usually BBB or ABC grades in maths, physics and one other subject at A-level or equivalent.
Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university.
To learn more about the best Aerospace Engineering courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking Aerospace Engineering universities in the Guardian University Guide 2023 below:
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The aerospace industry is always in need of skilled engineers, and this demand is expected to grow in the coming years. The need for new technologies, environmental concerns, and increasing air travel are all driving factors behind this demand. Aeronautical engineers are often paid very competitive salaries, which can make the field attractive to those interested in earning a high income.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defence systems, and spacecraft, while aeronautical engineering is the study of aircraft that operates within the earth’s atmosphere.
A degree in aerospace engineering equips students with a range of technical and transferable skills, including problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, communication skills and analytical skills.
Aerospace engineering graduates will have many opportunities to move into which particular sector interests them the most. Roles will be available within the aerospace industry, defence industry, research and development and consulting.
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