Undergraduate courses

The Department runs courses of 4-year duration, leading to the Master of Engineering degree (MEng)

The Department of Aeronautics aims to provide a programme that trains and prepares the future leaders in aerospace and related engineering disciplines. This is achieved through an integrated programme of study wherein students engage with the constituent engineering disciplines such as aerodynamics and solid mechanics from the outset. The study programmes offered share a common core over years 1-3, with students subsequently tailoring their programme of studies to their interests, by choosing from a wide offering of elective module, or choosing to specialise in spacecraft engineering, or by completing a year-in-industry and year-abroad placement.

You can find the module descriptors including course aims, learning outcomes and reading lists on our current students' webpages.

Please also see the student terms and conditions for important information that you need to be aware of before becoming a student at Imperial.

What can you expect from your degree?

First year

The first year introduces students to the fundamental engineering disciplines associated with aerospace engineering, placing a strong emphasis on mathematics and building a strong foundation for further study.

Students are further introduced to computer programming and the use of numerical methods for solving scientific problems, as well as computer-aided design software. Students apply these new skills towards the design, manufacture and testing of a wind turbine.

Second year

In the second year, students continue to study core subjects, such as aerodynamics, solid mechanics, flight mechanics and propulsion in greater detail and depth. Additional practice with computer programming and design is provided. As part of their studies, students are further afforded the ability to attend the flight-testing course at the Flying Laboratory Centre at Cranfield University.

Third year

The third-year (H401) consists of a number of core and elective subjects. Such courses are more specialist in nature and include subjects like Spacecraft Systems, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Aircraft Systems Engineering.

A major part of the 3rd year is the group design project, where the class is split into design teams. Each team has to develop a particular design concept to the stage where the feasibility has been fully explored. Projects in recent years have included a "flying wing" passenger aircraft and an advanced tactical stealth fighter, and a manned-mission to mars and an electric racing car.

For H415, students will have to take spacecraft related electives, such as Spacecraft Structures and Spacecraft Systems, in addition to carrying out a space-related Group Design Project.

Fourth year (H410, H411)

Fourth year (H410, H411) students must first have attained a sufficient standard in the appropriate language and at least an upper-second class standard in the first three years of their studies overall if they wish to spend their fourth year in France or Germany.

The third year consists of an agreed programme of study at an approved university in either France, Germany, Singapore or US (California or MIT). Exchange agreements exist with the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule (Aachen, Germany), the Ecole Centrale de Lyon (France), the Ecole Nationale Superiure d'Ingenieurs de Constructions Aeronautiques and the Ecole Nationale Superieure de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace (both in Toulouse, France), the National University of Singapore and finally the University of California, or MIT.

Students completing the 4-year year abroad programme (H410) must also complete a major research project, equivalent to at least half their year's credits, during their year abroad.

4th year (H401, H415)

The final year of study allows students to tailor their studies towards their individual interests, choosing from a wide range of elective modules and individual research project topics. The research project is a major activity in the final year.

The project may be carried out at Imperial College, in industry or a research establishment, under the supervision of both College and industrial supervisors. 

For fourth-year H415 students must choose at least one space-related elective and complete a space-related final year project.

Fifth year (H420)

Students on the H420 programme spend their 4th year on a 9-12 month industrial placement. Students have previously completed placements at: Airbus, Rolls Royce, GE Aviation, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes F1.


Internal student survey

Students in Aeronautics participate in the College's internal Student Online Evaluation (SOLE) survey at the end of the Autumn and the Spring terms. For information on SOLE results, including the outcomes of previous evaluations, please see student viewpoint.

Key information sets (KIS)

Unistats provides a standardised set of information designed to be directly comparable sets of information about all full and part time undergraduate courses in all English Universities. They are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students trying to compare different courses from different Institutions.

Links with industry and employers

Imperial College works closely with employers and industry, including Industrial Advisory Panels, to design undergraduate courses wich provides graduates with technical knowledge, expertise and transferable skills and to encourage students to take internships and placements.

In Aeronautics all our undergraduate programmes are accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAes) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and so, together with suitable work experience obtained after graduation, provide a route to the professional qualification of Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Graduates also gain the Associateship of the City & Guilds Institute (ACGI), an internationally-recognised qualification unique to Imperial Engineering Graduates.