The module descriptors for our undergraduate courses can be found below:

  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering degree (H401)
  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering with a Year Abroad stream (H410)

Students on our H420 programme follow the same programme as the H401 spending fourth year in industry.

The descriptors for all programmes are the same (including H411).


Spacecraft Systems

Module aims

This module presents an industry standard methodology for spacecraft systems analysis and design. The main concepts covered in this course include the mission objectives: requirements analysis, political and regulatory constraints and financial considerations; the system as a whole: the launch vehicle/launch environment, spacecraft platform and ground segment; and the subsystem requirements: thermal, structure, power, electronics, communications and attitude control.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, you should be able to: 1. Analyse a broad variety of spacecraft systems. 2. Appraise the complete spacecraft mission objectives and requirements. 3. Interpret the inter-dependency between spacecraft mission systems and sub-systems. 4. Evaluate the impact of analysis and simulation on system design. AHEP Learning Outcomes: SM9M, EA6M, D9M, D10M, P9m, G1

Module syllabus

Mission Objectives:    Requirements    Political and regulatory constraints    Financial constraints Complete System:    Launch vehicle    Spacecraft    Ground segment Subsystem requirements:    Thermal    Structure    Power Electronics    Communication systems    Guidance, Navigation and Control 


Teaching methods

The module will be delivered primarily through large-class lectures introducing the key concepts and methods, supported by a variety of delivery methods combining the traditional and the technological.  The content is presented via a combination of slides, whiteboard and visualizer.Learning will be reinforced through tutorial question sheets.


This module presents opportunities for both formative and summative assessment.  
You will be formatively assessed through progress tests and tutorial sessions.
You will have additional opportunities to self-assess your learning via tutorial problem sheets.
You will be summatively assessed by a written closed-book examination at the end of the module.

Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark
Examination 2-hour closed-book written examination in the Summer term 100% 50%

Through completion of tutorial exercises you will receive instant feedback on your performance, while simultaneously receiving instruction on the correct solution to the problem.

Further individual feedback is available on request via this module’s online feedback forum, staff office hours and discussions with tutors.

Feedback will be provided on examinations in the form of an exam feedback report on the performance of the entire cohort.

Module leaders

Dr Aaron Knoll