Honda wind tunnel

Study the science behind the design of vehicles and structures that interact with air in this professionally accredited, integrated Master’s degree.

Key information




4 years


Typical offer

Three A-level offer: A*A*A

Four A-level offer: A*AAA–A*A*AA

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

7 : 1

Based on 2017 entry data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course's accreditation

  • UCAS course code: H401
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2018
Explore our campus


This professionally accredited course aims to provide you with a broad base of engineering, computational and analytical skills, as well as the specific knowledge and experience required for careers in the aeronautical industry.

All students initially apply to this degree, MEng Aeronautical Engineering (H401), before choosing whether to continue or transfer to one of the other three Aeronautics options.

Study programme

All of our Aeronautical Engineering students cover the same core study programme for the first two years. This focuses on a broad base of physical and engineering subjects, including a strong emphasis on mathematics in the first year and an opportunity to attend a one-week flight testing course at the National Flying Laboratory Centre at Cranfield University in the second year.

The third year includes a mixture of core and optional modules, including a six-week group design project. Working in design teams, you are tasked with developing a particular design concept to the stage where feasibility has been fully explored. Projects in recent years have included a "flying wing" passenger aircraft, an advanced tactical stealth fighter, and an off-shore oil platform.

You can also begin to tailor the course to your interests by choosing from a selection of optional modules. This gives you the chance to focus on the areas of aeronautical engineering that interest you the most and tap into cutting-edge research activities being undertaken by internationally recognised experts within the Department.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year, with a range of advanced modules and a four-month individual research project, which gives you the chance to put your project management skills to the test. This can be carried out in the Department, in industry or at a research establishment, under the supervision of both College and industrial supervisors.

Students who have studied the appropriate foreign language also have the opportunity to undertake their project in Europe.

FacilitiesWind tunnel

Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics is at the cutting edge of aerospace teaching and research. Throughout the course you will benefit from access to our first class facilities, which include:

  • a Mach 9 hypersonic gun tunnel and a variable Mach supersonic wind tunnel
  • a range of low-speed wind tunnels for road vehicle studies
  • a large flight test arena for the development of next-generation aerial robots
  • a state-of-the-art flight simulator where you can test-fly your own aircraft designs

Transfer between courses

All students should initially apply for this course.

At the end of the second year, students who are on target to achieve a 2:1 or above may apply to transfer to our Year Abroad course, Year in Industry course, or Spacecraft Engineering course.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.


Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for 2018 entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Aircraft Performance
  • Computing
  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Ethics
  • Experimental Methods (5 Labs)
  • Introduction to Aerodynamics
  • Introduction to Structural Analysis
  • L1  Applications
  • Management and Business for Aeronautical Engineers
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics
  • Properties of Materials
  • Thermodynamics

Year 2

Core modules

  • Aerodynamics
  • Circuits, Signals and Systems
  • Experimental Methods (8 Labs)
  • L2 Applications
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Materials
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics of Flight
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Propulsion and Turbomachinery
  • Structural Mechanics and Dynamics
  • Technology, Business and the Market for Aeronautical Engineers

You also have the opportunity to attend a flight testing course at Cranfield University.

Year 3

Core modules

  • Aerospace Vehicle Design
  • Aircraft Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft Structures
  • Airframe Design
  • Control Systems
  • Experimental Methods (5 Labs)
  • Finite Elements
  • Group Design Project
  • L3 Applications

Optional modules

You choose three modules from below.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Mechanics of Flight
  • Advanced Propulsion
  • Aircraft Systems Engineering and Unmanned Vehicle Technologies
  • Biomechanics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Design-Led Innovation and New Venture Creation
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Innovation Management
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Materials in Action
  • Materials Modelling
  • Mathematics
  • Optimisation
  • Separated Flows and Fluid-Structure Interaction
Business and Humanities

You can choose one of the below in place of one of the modules above.

Year 4

Core modules

  • Individual Project
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Wing Design

Optional modules

You choose four modules from below (that you have not studied in Year 3).

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Mechanics of Flight
  • Applications of Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Design-Led Innovation and New Venture Creation
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Innovation Management
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Materials in Action
  • Materials Modelling
  • Separated Flows and Fluid–Structure Interaction
Business and Humanities

You can choose one of the below in place of a module above.

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master’s level qualification. It is accredited by the following organisations on behalf of the Engineering Council:

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreements with RAeS and IMechE are renewed every five years.

The current accreditation agreements are due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2020–21 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment


You can expect to be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and problem sessions.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar 385 (26%) 378 (25%) 290 (19%) 150 (10%)
Independent study 1,115 (74%) 1,122 (75%) 1,210 (81%) 1,350 (90%)
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number


Assessment varies between modules, but for the majority it involves a combination of written exams and continuous assessment of coursework and tutorial material. In the final years, interim and final oral presentations and progress reports are also assessed.

From the first year, you will take part in hands-on design exercises and laboratory tests using state-of-the-art equipment in the Department. This project work increases in complexity as you progress through the course.

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework 26% 18% 53% 47%
Written 74% 82% 47% 53%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.

You can use the Unistats website to find out how this course compares in areas such as student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*A*A

Four A-level offer: A*AAA–A*A*AA

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A*/A in Physics (A* is required if applying with three A-levels. At least an A is required if applying with four A-levels)

Further Mathematics is strongly encouraged but not essential.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 40 points overall.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • 7 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 7 in Physics at higher level

Advanced Placements

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in Physics
  • 5 in two other relevant subjects

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.

Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2016 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application open day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College, you will be invited to visit the Department. The interview day consists of:

  • an interview with a member of staff
  • a 30 minute mathematics test
  • an opportunity to speak informally with students and lecturers
  • a tour of the Department and campus with current students

The interview aims to explore your interest in the subject, your technical ability and motivation to study aeronautics. You will also take a mathematics test, which is designed to evaluate your mathematical and problem-solving skills.

The interview provides an opportunity for you to ask for more detailed information about aspects of the course. You will also have an opportunity to meet other staff and students informally and will be invited to join a tour of the Department and the College.

We usually make offers of a place on the course within a month of your visit, although occasionally this may not be possible.

We also welcome applications for deferred entry if you want to spend a year gaining industrial experience before university.

There are alternative arrangements for applicants who do not live within reasonable travelling distance, which are either or both of the below:

  • a Skype interview
  • an open-ended technical question

English language qualifications (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course.

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2018 entry
£9,250 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2018–19 only.

The fee for Home/EU students is controlled by the UK government.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU students

The UK government has confirmed that funding arrangements for EU students starting a course in 2018 means they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan for the duration of their course.

This will remain the case even if their course finishes after the UK's exit from the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2018 entry
£29,000 per year

The tuition fees for Overseas and Islands students are set by Imperial College London.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an inflationary amount. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Additional course costs

This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you will be free to opt out of these.

DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Field trip (flight testing course) Optional £50
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Research project (at the College) Mandatory Free
Research project (elsewhere in the UK) Varies
Research project (outside the UK)
 - return economy flight
 - Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Flight testing course

The Easter break of second year includes an optional flight testing course at the Cranfield Institute of Technology.

The cost of this trip to the Department in the 2016–17 academic year is £320 per student. Students wishing to take part will be asked to pay £50 towards this cost. Payment is required before the end of the spring term (March), via bank transfer.

Individual Research Project and Laboratory work

A four-month individual research project and laboratory work is a mandatory part of your final year assessment. You can choose to complete this in the Department, in industry, at a research establishment or at a different university either in the UK or overseas.

You should expect to budget for travel and/or accommodation costs if you choose to complete your project in industry, at a research establishment or at another university.

The Department will cover the cost of a return economy flight where the project is completed outside of the UK.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, we will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.


All of our undergraduate courses lead to an integrated Master's degree, which includes study at postgraduate level. This makes our graduates highly sought after for a range of careers in the aerospace industry, manufacturing, consultancy, research and development, and in other fields as diverse as teaching or finance.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Simulation and Analytics Engineer, Red Bull Technology
  • Aerodynamist, McLaren
  • Technology Analyst, Goldman Sachs
  • Graduate Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space
  • Technical Service Engineer, Singapore Airlines

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: H401
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2018 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Aeronautics students

Got a question?

Dr Andy Wynn
T: +44 (0)20 7594 5047


Read more on the Department of Aeronautics website.

Social media icons

Join the conversation

Connect with us online via our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to join in the conversation about all things Imperial!

Get a first-hand account of what life at Imperial is really like by checking out our student blogs.

Undergraduate prospectus print cover

Order a prospectus

For more information about Imperial and the courses we offer, you can download a PDF of our prospectus or request a printed copy.

Order a free prospectus

Further information

London Eye

Living in London

London’s fusion of culture and charm will give you a student experience unlike any other, and our first-year accommodation guarantee means that you'll have the perfect base from which to explore this exciting city.

Students outside the Union

Student finance

We want to attract the very best students, regardless of their financial background. That's why we offer the most generous bursary scheme of any UK university, as well as a range of scholarships.

Students at graduation

International students

Imperial is proud to be the most international university in the UK, welcoming students from over 130 countries.