The Department of Aeronautics is delighted to offer you one of the most sought-after programmes: an MEng in Aeronautical Engineering!
You can find the admissions process and key stages outlined for your convenience.
Admissions Process Explained
Our Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, Dr Ajit Panesar, explains the admissions procedure.
Alternatively, the section below provides an overview of the process with brief descriptions of what each step involves.
Detailed information about the individual stages can be found after the Overview.
The admissions process is separated into 2 application cycles. The first application cycle corresponds to applications made before the deadline for the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge (typically in mid-October). The second application cycle consists of all remaining applications made before the deadline set by UCAS (typically in mid-end January).
Every application to our programmes goes through 3 stages of evaluation.
- Applications will first be evaluated from their UCAS application through:
- Qualification eligibility** and academic grades (predicted and/or obtained),
- Personal Statement,
- Letter of Support from a referee.
- Shortlisted applicants will be invited and required to complete the Aeronautics Mathematical Aptitude Test (AMAT).
- Applicants who have performed well at the previous 2 stages will then be invited to an interview with our academic staff.
**Qualification eligibility and academic requirements specific to the Department of Aeronautics can be found here - Common Qualification Eligibility and Requirements (PDF)
The Department evaluates each application holistically. Hence, the cumulative performance of the application is considered before a decision is made for the subsequent stages. If the overall performance is impressive, you will receive an offer from the Department!
Applying through UCAS
Before you apply to us, make sure you are familiar with what our programmes entail and what you should expect from the degree. You may revisit the course information page to learn more about our programmes.
All applications to our programmes must be made through UCAS, and only to H401 MEng Aeronautical Engineering. Transfer to other programmes (H410, H411 - Year Abroad; H415 - Spacecraft Engineering; H420 - Year in Industry) occurs at the end of the second or third year, subject to meeting certain academic requirements. For questions about applying through UCAS, you can read more guidance on the College's How to apply page or contact the Engineering Faculty Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For admission to our programmes, the application must be submitted by the UCAS deadline. You can view more about the key dates and deadlines on the College's When to apply page. All applications made before the deadline will be evaluated fairly by the Departmental Admissions team.
What is AMAT?
The Aeronautics Mathematics Aptitude Test (AMAT) is an online, invigilated mathematics test of A-Levels (or equivalent) standards. This test is designed to assess the applicant's understanding of core mathematical concepts.
When does it take place?
This usually occurs at the beginning of November and February, approximately 3 weeks after the deadline of each application cycle. Every shortlisted applicant will be invited and required to undertake this test.
How long is the test and how will it be conducted?
The test will take place on an online platform and invigilated over a group meeting on Microsoft Teams.
The total duration of the meeting is one hour. The test itself contains 30 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), lasting a total of 30 minutes.
More information will be provided separately to shortlisted applicants. The use of calculators is not allowed in the AMAT.
Are there practice papers?
Please refer to the section below on Making a Strong Application.
Will my performance be heavily impacted by unfamiliar questions?
The AMAT is designed such that a typical applicant is not able to answer all questions in the given time. Therefore, it is expected for applicants to skip questions if they are unfamiliar with the topics being assessed.
Consequently, you are not at a disadvantage if you have not covered some mathematical topics. On average, there are only a handful of questions (<10%) from topics covered in Further Mathematics.
When are applicants invited for an interview?
Applicants will be invited for an interview with our academic staff should they exhibit excellent cumulative performance throughout the admission stages.
How long is the interview and what purpose does it serve?
This interview lasts about 25 - 30 minutes. It serves as an opportunity for a two-way conversation between the interviewer and the applicant to ask questions and probe further. There are several elements that are being explored, including the applicant's motivations, academic ambitions and their suitability for our courses.
When does it take place?
Interviews will usually be scheduled approximately 3 weeks after the AMAT (late November & late February-early March), and we aim to inform applicants of the confirmed schedule approximately 2 weeks in advance. You may refer to the flowchart at the start of the webpage as a general timeline guide.
How is the interview going to be conducted?
Regardless of whether you are in the UK or overseas, the interview will be conducted through an online meeting via Microsoft Teams.
On-campus interviews are currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions but we hope that the situation will improve soon.
Receiving an offer
If the application's cumulative performance is satisfactory, you will receive an offer from the Department! Depending on your qualification, performance during the admissions stages, and other factors, the offer will vary.
The College has prepared a comprehensive and accessible page for offer holders. They may be useful in helping you understand what needs to be done before you start your journey with us.
For questions about the steps after receiving an offer, please contact the Engineering Faculty Admissions Team at email@example.com.
Making a Strong Application
Your personal statement is a very important part of your application. It provides you with an opportunity to stand out and conveys to us what makes you the right student for our course. Here are some tips for your personal statement as well as some additional resources.
Recommendations for Personal Statement
1. Does your personal statement read well?
Having a logical, well-structured and well-written statement makes a big difference.
Here are a few tips:
- Ensure there is a clear flow i.e. an introduction, body and conclusion.
- Write concisely without superfluous language.
- Be specific and factual (expected vs outcome obtained).
- Use STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), ABC (Action, Benefit, Course), and/or PEEL (Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link) methods to structure your writing.
2. Tell us why Aeronautical Engineering
We are interested to know what is your motivation for studying Aeronautical Engineering and your inspirations behind your academic ambitions. For example, this could be from an experience you had or where you draw your inspiration from. We understand you might be applying to other subjects, such as mechanical engineering. If so, we would like to see how this links with Aeronautics.
Top tip! Convey your enthusiasm and passion for the subject. We enjoy sharing our passions with others and getting to know others that have similar interests.
3. Demonstrate the Engineer in you
We want to know if you understand what Aeronautical Engineering is and what it entails.
Maths and Physics are the heart of Aeronautics. We would like to understand what interests you in it and how this links to Aeronautics; For example, details of a particular Physics practical/topic or Maths topic that fascinated you.
Engineering involves applying scientific principles to designing and building solutions to a problem. We want to see whether the engineering aspects appeal to you. For example, repairing a household item or developing code to create a tool to automate a boring or tedious task.
4. Tell us about your skills and aptitude towards learning
We want to ensure that you will enjoy our course. Therefore, we would like you to demonstrate what skills you have developed (e.g. critical thinking) and how this prepares you for this course. This could be demonstrated through any extra curricular activities, such as clubs and societies or leadership positions.
We also like to know what further experience you've had with Aeronautical Engineering. This could be from further reading or exploration through books, lectures or podcasts.
5. Be yourself!
This is one of the most important aspects. We want to get to know you and not who you think we are looking for.
Apart from your academic interests, we want to get to know you as an individual. For example, what activities you partake in out of school, what contributions you have made to your community and your hobbies. We enjoying seeing our students developing into well-rounded engineers of tomorrow.
The UCAS website was a wealth of resources, below are a couple of examples of what is available
- How to write a personal statement?
- Where to get advice on the personal statement?
- UCAS personal statement Advice video
- Personal statement worksheet
The College provides resources on personal statements.
Letter of Support
Recommendations for Letter of Support
Please provide brief background information on the school and the applicant.
If there are mitigating circumstances, please ensure they are clearly stated as these should not be in the applicant's personal statement.
2. Potential in Higher Education
It is important that the applicant's actual/predicted results are in the context of the applicant's background/situation. Therefore, after providing details on:
- How the applicant has performed in each subject (ideally with the most relevant/best presented first),
- Their suitability for the course.
We would like to further understand:
- What makes their grades impressive,
- Their problem-solving abilities,
- Whether they are the first in their family to attend university,
- The likelihood of them attaining their predicted grades,
- Their relative performance with the cohort (do indicate the size of the cohort as a measure).
3. Extra curricular activities and personal qualities
Their extra curricular activities, roles of responsibility and interests will inform us about their skills, contributions to their community and what they can contribute to the culture at university.
Their personal qualities such as their:
- Aptitude, dedication, resilience and enthusiasm that will benefit them at university,
- Relevant transferable skills that were not mentioned in their personal statement.
The UCAS contains useful advice regarding references.
The College provides some guidance on References.
Preparing for AMAT
Are there any material available to prepare?
List of topics
The list of topics examined during the test are:
- Algebra – algebraic fractions, indices, exponentials, logarithms, complex numbers, roots of polynomials
- Functions and Graphs – roots of functions, regions, circles, parametric functions, Argand Diagrams
- Trigonometry – identities, radians, inverse functions, hyperbolic functions
- Vectors and Matrices – magnitude of a vector, determinants, inverse of matrix, transformations, 3D lines and planes
- Calculus – differentiation, integration, first principles, differential equations, volumes of revolution
- Limits, Sequences and Series – geometric series, arithmetic series, Taylor and Maclaurin series, sum of squares and cubes
- Other – binomial expansion, even and odd functions, approximation, numerical methods
If there is a topic there that has not been covered in school yet, do not worry, you will not be unfairly penalised. The test allows for applicants to skip any questions they are unsure of.
Sample /Past paper
There are papers provided to familiarise yourself with the template of the test. These will also briefly describe the range of topics that can be tested and does not reflect the actual difficulty of the test.
A sample paper with the answers and worked solutions is available here - AMAT sample paper (PDF).
A past paper with answers is also provided here - AMAT November 2021 past paper (PDF).
What should I do a couple of days before the test?
Familiarise yourself with:
- The instructions provided in the invitation,
- All the required equipment and test the platform before the AMAT.
Top Tip! Give yourself time to troubleshoot through the issues that might occur with the technology used to administer the AMAT.
Preparing for Interview
What to expect?
The interview can be approximately broken down into two main components - understanding an applicant's motivations and academic ambitions, their critical thinking, problem-solving skills and coachability.
How to answer Motivation Questions?
The STAR method can help you structure your response. It stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
What can I do to prepare?
- Ensure you recall what you've written in your personal statement as questions can be asked about it.
- Think of different motivation questions you could be asked and how you would respond to them.
Top Tip! A good night's rest before the interview helps you to be fresh and able to think clearly.
Are there questions I can use to prepare?
Each interviewer has their own style but they will generally ask questions to understand: 1) why you want to study Aeronautics and 2) a physics, math or engineering problems to test your problem-solving skills.
The critical thinking questions posed by the interviewers are an avenue to gauge your ability to: absorb new content; engage and interact with the problem; and work towards a solution for the problem.
Top Tip! The interview questions are designed to assess your critical thinking skills. Hence, you are advised to focus on talking through how you go about solving the problem. For example, by stating any assumptions that you are making and the rationale behind a given approach.