Aeronautical Engineering pictureUCAS code: n/a*
ECTS: 300
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 5 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington
* Apply initially for 
MEng Aeronautical Engineering (H401)

Aeronautics is the science behind the design of vehicles and structures that interact with air, with application to aircraft and other flight vehicles, motorsports, and energy.

This professionally accredited degree covers a broad base of engineering, computational and analytical skills, as well as the specific knowledge and experience required for careers in the aeronautical industry.

About the course


This stream within the Department of Aeronautics combines the study of aeronautical engineering with the opportunity to undertake an internship in industry between years three and four.

All students follow a common programme of study for the first two years. After this, students on target to achieve a minimum of a 2:1, who have organised a suitable placement, may transfer to our Year in Industry study stream.

All students should apply initially for the standard MEng Aeronautical Engineering degree (H401).

What you study

The first year provides a solid introduction to broad-based physical and engineering subjects. We introduce more specialised aeronautical material, such as aerodynamics and the mechanics of flight, from year two onwards. 

You will follow the third year curriculum from the standard programme, which involves the study of core modules and a diverse selection of optional modules in the third year (see Structure for a module list). 

You will also take part in a six-week design project at the end of the third year in which you replicate a real design office in either an aircraft company or a Formula One racing team. You will go through all the main stages in the design of a new vehicle, including aerodynamic profiling, structural design, engine sizing and autopilot synthesis. You will choose your role in the team according to your own preferences.

You spend the year between the third and fourth year undertaking a placement in industry, typically with a Formula One racing team or with an aircraft manufacturer. You will be responsible for organising your own placement, though the Department has strong links with industry and can offer advice on companies to approach.

After completing the year in industry, you return to Imperial for your fourth and final year. During this year you continue to study a mixture of core and optional courses and undertake a four-month individual project.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Year 1

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

Year 2

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

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

Year 3

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

The following list of modules are those currently available; the selection may be altered in the future to accommodate new modules.

You choose three optional modules from below, of which one can be from the Business and Humanities options.

  • Aircraft systems Engineering & Unmanned Vehicle Technologies
  • Mathematics
  • Advanced Propulsion
  • Design of Experiments
  • Helicopter Dynamics
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials in Action
  • Separated Flows and Fluid-Structure Interaction
  • Design-Led Innovation & New Venture Creation
  • Innovation Management
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
Business and Humanities

You can choose one module from Imperial Horizons or the Business School, to broaden your studies.

Year 4 (in industry)

You spend this year completing a placement in industry, before returning to Imperial to continue your programme of study.

Year 5

Compulsory modules (includes subject tutorials)
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Wing Design
  • Four-month individual Research Project and Laboratory Work: this may be in the Department, in industry, at a research establishment or in a university either in the UK or overseas
Optional modules (includes subject tutorials)

The following list of modules are those currently available; the selection may be altered to accommodate new modules.

You choose four modules, one of which can be from Imperial Horizons.

  • Helicopter Dynamics
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials in Action
  • Separated Flows and Fluid-Structure Interaction
  • Design-Led Innovation & New Venture Creation
  • Innovation Management
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Applications of Fluid Dynamics
  • Emerging Technologies for Green Aviation

If you take any of the above modules in the third year, it is not possible to take them again in the fifth year.

Business and Humanities

You can choose one module from Imperial Horizons or the Business School, to broaden your studies.

Teaching and assessment


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


Assessment varies between modules, but the majority involve 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.

Years 1 and 2

You must achieve a mark of at least 40% in each examination, and an average of at least 40% in your coursework.

Year 3

You must achieve an average of at least 40% in each individual core course examination, an average of at least 40% across all coursework assignments and an overall average of at least 40% for the year.

Year 4

In order to obtain the full ECTS credit for this course you will need to complete your industrial placement and obtain a pass in the final placement report.

Year 5

You must achieve an overall mark of at least 40% and an average mark of at least 40% in the final year project.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (key information set).

The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.

The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via Unistats.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.


Our minimum requirement for these courses is for three subjects to be passed at A-level with grades A*A*A, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A* in Physics
  • A in a third subject

or four subjects with grades A*AAA, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A in Physics
  • A in a third subject
  • A in a fourth subject

The third and fourth A-level can be in any subject except General Studies and Critical Thinking. Further Mathematics is strongly encouraged.

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

An overall score of 40 points, including:

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

English language requirements (all applicants)

All applicants 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.

Other qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates with qualifications other than A-levels and from candidates demonstrating other competencies. Candidates who have been accepted in recent years have had qualifications such as: Scottish Certificate of Education, International and European Baccalaureates, and the Irish Leaving Certificate.

Candidates with other competencies are given special consideration and are always treated on their individual merits. However, we do not accept Foundation Course qualifications. See admission of students with other competencies.

Selection process

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements you will be invited to visit the Department.

The visit will include an interview with an academic staff member during which we will aim to explore your interest in the subject and your 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.

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

Year in Industry:

10% of the relevant fee for that year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,750 per year

Year in Industry:

10% of the relevant fee for that year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change 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 cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.

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.

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.


Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

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).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017.

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

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 team website.

Tracking your application

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

Professional accreditation and associateship

This degree is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

It leads to a Master’s level qualification and the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI).

What our graduates do

All of our undergraduate courses lead to an integrated Master's degree, which includes study at postgraduate level, making 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
  • Project Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Vehicle Dynamics Engineer, Williams F1
  • Graduate Trainee Engineer, Siemens
  • Aircraft Performance Engineer, Airbus

Information for offer holders for 2017

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.

All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded here only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available on this course.

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.

There are currently no changes to record for this course. Keep checking back for future updates.